There are long, historical ties between the Muslim world and Europe. From the earliest days of Islam and the Umayyads’ invasion of Spain and France in the early 700s, through the Crusades and the European colonization of North Africa and South Asia in the 1700s and 1800s, to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the wake of World War I and the European colonization of the Middle East, the threads of Europe and the Muslim world have been tightly woven together by geopolitics into a vivid tapestry of conflict and cooperation.
The proximity of North Africa to southern Europe and the Europeans’ colonization efforts, combined with the many people in the Muslim world seeking education and employment in Europe, have resulted in large populations of Muslims living on the Continent.
September 28, 2014
British Islamist Abu Rumaysah
Hitler Acted to Stop Evil Doctrine of “Protocols of Elders of Zion” Jews were corrupters by nature.
September 10, 2014
British Professor: Israel To Blame For Starting Gaza War Because It Returned Fire At Hamas
Shlaim makes the self-contradictory statement that calm prevailed before Israel struck back.
A column written by Avi Shlaim, professor emeritus of international relations at St Antony’s College, Oxford University takes the absurd position that Israel started the Gaza War because it responded to the killing of three Israeli Boys and the continued rocket attacks by Hamas.
The op-ed called “For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit its mistakes” appearing in Sunday’s Guardian condoned the Hamas terrorist attacks because they were “were a response to Israel’s aggressive security measures.”
What did Israel gain by unleashing the deadly firepower of the IDF against the caged population of this tiny coastal enclave? Virtually nothing. Israel had in fact provoked this crisis by its violent crackdown against Hamas activists on the West Bank following the murder of the three teenagers. Hamas rocket attacks – the ostensible reason for the war – were a response to Israel’s aggressive security measures. The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, defined the operation’s objective as “calm in return for calm”. But calm prevailed before Israel initiated the cycle of violence. Hamas was left with a quarter of its pre-war rocket arsenal and many of its tunnels, dubbed “terror tunnels” by Israeli spokesmen, were destroyed. But arsenals can be replenished and tunnels can be rebuilt.
Shlaim makes the self-contradictory statement that calm prevailed before Israel struck back. Assuming he meant that before the most recent Gaza War there were no Hamas rocket attacks, the retired professor is way off. The chart below details Hamas rockets fired at Israel before the start of Operation Protective Edge:
August 14, 2014
If Europe Cannot Protect ITs Jews, It Cannot Protect Its Noble Core Values
Wall Street Journal
Kudos to Andrew Nagorski for “Camouflaged as Humane Concern, Anti-Semitism Flourishes“(op-ed, Aug. 6) . There was no equivocation or rationalization of this pressing problem as is too often the case.
What we are witnessing today in some European countries—shocking expressions of anti-Semitism, physical assaults on Jews and defiance of the police—was already evident in 2000, when the second Palestinian intifadah triggered threats to Jews in France and elsewhere. In the ensuing 14 years, the American Jewish Committee had countless meetings with European officials. At times, there was an unwillingness to confront head-on the problem, namely, unvarnished anti-Semitism. Instead, the reactions were: “This is a sad but unavoidable response to the Middle East conflict,” or “We’re experiencing hooliganism, not anti-Semitism.”
Now Europe as a whole is waking up to the threat, and it is not only to Jews. If Europe cannot protect its Jews, it cannot protect its noble core values. The two cannot be separated, as if Jews were not one litmus test of postwar Europe’s commitment to overcoming the past and building a brighter future for all, including Jews.
The first step is to acknowledge the seriousness and upward trajectory of the danger in this combustible mix of jihadists, right-wing extremists and Israel delegitimizers. They may not agree on much, but regarding Jews and Israel, there is a striking unity.
There is no one-size-fits-all antidote for the pathology of anti-Semitism. Rather, it requires the sustained efforts of government ministries from education to interior to justice, joined by the determination of civil society, including religious leaders of all faiths, to defend the principles of mutual respect and civic harmony.
American Jewish Committee
March 11, 2014
Europe’s Alarming Push to Isolate Israel
When President Barack Obama warned of “international fallout” if Israel fails to embrace the latest U.S. Middle East peace proposal, Newsmax asked noted author and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz to comment on the growing talk of a European boycott against Israel.
Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?
Why have we seen such an increase in anti-Semitism and irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in western Europe?
To answer these questions, a myth must first be exposed. That myth is the one perpetrated by the French, the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, and many other western Europeans: namely that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.
The Holocaust was perpetrated by Europeans — by Nazi sympathizers and collaborators among the French, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss, Belgians, Austrians and other Europeans, both Western and Eastern.
If the French government had not deported to the death camps more Jews than their German occupiers asked for; if so many Dutch and Belgian citizens and government officials had not cooperated in the roundup of Jews; if so many Norwegians had not supported Quisling; if Swiss government officials and bankers had not exploited Jews; if Austria had not been more Nazi than the Nazis, the Holocaust would not have had so many Jewish victims.
In light of the widespread European complicity in the destruction of European Jewry, the pervasive anti-Semitism and irrationally hateful anti-Zionism that has recently surfaced throughout western Europe toward Israel should surprise no one.
“Oh no,” we hear from European apologists. “This is different. We don’t hate the Jews. We only hate their nation-state. Moreover, the Nazis were right-wing. We’re left-wing, so we can’t be anti-Semites.”
The hard left has a history of anti-Semitism as deep and enduring as the hard right. The line from Voltaire, to Karl Marx, to Levrenti Beria, to Robert Faurisson, to today’s hard-left Israel bashers is as straight as the line from Wilhelm Mars to the persecutors of Alfred Dreyfus to Hitler.
The Jews of Europe have always been crushed between the Black and the Red — victims of extremism whether it be the ultra-nationalism of Khmelnitsky to the ultra-anti-Semitism of Stalin.
“But some of the most strident anti-Zionists are Jews, such as Norman Finkelstein and even Israelis such as Gilad Atzmon. Surely they can’t be anti-Semites.”
Why not? Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas collaborated with the Gestapo. Atzmon, a hard leftist, describes himself as a proud self-hating Jew and admits that his ideas derive from a notorious anti-Semite.
He denies that the Holocaust is historically proved but he believes that Jews may well have killed Christian children to use their blood to bake Passover matzah. And he thinks it’s “rational” to burn down synagogues.
Finkelstein believes in an international Jewish conspiracy that includes Steven Spielberg, Leon Uris, Eli Wiesel, and Andrew Lloyd Webber!
“But Israel is doing bad things to the Palestinians,” the European apologists insist, “and we are sensitive to the plight of the underdog.”
No, you’re not! Where are your demonstrations on behalf of the oppressed Tibetans, Georgians, Syrians, Armenians, Kurds, or even Ukrainians? Where are your BDS movements against the Chinese, the Russians, the Cubans, the Turks, or the Assad regime?
Only the Palestinians, only Israel? Why? Not because the Palestinians are more oppressed than these and other groups.
Only because their alleged oppressors are Jews and the nation-state of the Jews. Would there be demonstrations and BDS campaigns on behalf of the Palestinians if they were oppressed by Jordan or Egypt?
Oh, wait! The Palestinians were oppressed by Egypt and Jordan. Gaza was an open-air prison between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt was the occupying power. And remember Black September, when Jordan killed more Palestinians than Israel did in a century? I don’t remember any demonstration or BDS campaigns — because there weren’t any.
When Arabs occupy or kill Arabs, Europeans go ho-hum. But when Israel opens a soda factory in Maale Adumim, which even the Palestinian leadership acknowledges will remain part of Israel in any peace deal, Oxfam parts ways with Scarlett Johansson for advertising a soda company that employs hundreds of Palestinians.
Keep in mind that Oxfam has provided “aid and material support” to two anti-Israel terrorist groups, according to the Tel Aviv-based Israeli Law Group.
The hypocrisy of so many hard-left western Europeans would be staggering if it were not so predictable based on the sordid history of Western Europe’s treatment of the Jews.
Even England, which was on the right side of the war against Nazism, has a long history of anti-Semitism, beginning with the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 to the notorious White Paper of 1939, which prevented the Jews of Europe for seeking asylum from the Nazis in British-mandated Palestine. And Ireland, which vacillated in the war against Hitler, boasts some of the most virulent anti-Israel rhetoric.
The simple reality is that one cannot understand the current western European left-wing war against the nation-state of the Jewish people without first acknowledging the long-term European war against the Jewish people themselves.
Theodore Herzl understood the pervasiveness and irrationality of European anti-Semitism, which led him to the conclusion that the only solution to Europe’s Jewish problem was for European Jews to leave that bastion of Jew hatred and return to their original homeland, which is now the state of Israel.
None of this is to deny Israel’s imperfections or the criticism it justly deserves for some of its policies. But these imperfections and deserved criticism cannot even begin to explain, must less justify, the disproportionate hatred directed against the only nation-state of the Jewish people and the disproportionate silence regarding the far greater imperfections and deserved criticism of other nations and groups — including the Palestinians.
Nor is this to deny that many western European individuals and some western European countries have refused to succumb to the hatred against the Jews or their state. The Czech Republic comes to mind. But far too many western Europeans are as irrational in their hatred toward Israel as their forbearers were in their hatred toward their Jewish neighbors.
As author Amos Oz once aptly observed: the walls of his grandparents’ Europe were covered with graffiti saying, “Jews, go to Palestine.” Now they say, “Jews, get out of Palestine” — by which is meant Israel.
Who do these western European bigots think they’re fooling? Only fools who want to be fooled in the interest of denying that they are manifesting new variations on their grandparents’ old biases.
Any objective person with an open mind, open eyes, and an open heart must see the double standard being applied to the nation-state of the Jewish people. Many doing so are the grandchildren of those who lethally applied a double standard to the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
July 29, 2014
Synagogue in Germany attacked
Police say a synagogue in the western German city of Wuppertal was attacked with petrol bombs overnight, but nobody was injured.
Police spokesman Alexander Kresta said the synagogue was attacked early Tuesday with several incendiary devices, but first investigations showed no damage was done to the building.
Kresta said an 18-year-old male suspect, whose citizenship could not immediately be clarified, was arrested. He said investigations were continuing and police were looking for two more suspects.
July 26, 2014
The End of French Jewry?
Council on Foreign Relations
Here’s the situation in Paris:
Violent anti-Jewish riots in Paris on Sunday [July 20], sparked by Israel’s ongoing operation in Gaza to halt rocket attacks from the coastal enclave, left Jews in the French capital fearing for their lives….An anti-Israel demonstration at the city’s Bastille Square quickly turned violent with protesters seeking out and attacking Jewish targets and screaming “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right” according to community newspaper, JSS News….Hundreds of Parisian Jews were trapped in a synagogue while rioters threw stones and bricks. The group was initially thought to be held hostage and was freed to leave the center only after police intervention at 9 p.m.
The French writer Guy Milliere described the condition of French Jews in an article entitled “Paris’s Kristallnacht:”
The prevalent sentiment among French Jews is that a page has been turned. The French Jewish philosopher Shmuel Trigano wrote on July 16th that what is happening is a sign that Jews must leave France, fast. “Recent events are likely to play the role that such events have played in the past for the Jews in many countries: a strong symbolic event gives the signal that the Jews have no future in the country that was theirs.”
Jews have lived in France since Roman times, and the French Jewish community is the largest in Europe at about a half-million. But the future looks bleak, due to a vicious combination of old right-wing anti-Semitism, the growing anti-Semitism on the French left, and the violent hatred of Jews by all too many in the 15% of the French population that is Muslim. And this is hatred of Jews, not criticism of Israel: slogans like “Hitler was right” and “death to the Jews” and attacks on synagogues are not efforts to promote the well-being of Palestinians or change Israeli government policies.
In my travels to Israel over the years I have noticed what so many others have as well: the growing French presence. One hears French spoken in hotel lobbies and restaurants, and sees real estate ads more often in French than English. It was estimated a month ago that one percent of the French Jewish community, or 5,000 people, would emigrate to Israel this year. That figure will surely grow now, this year and in the coming years. French Jews simply do not feel safe, despite general denunciations of anti-Semitism from government officials. To walk in many parts of Paris wearing a kipah is to risk serious bodily harm.
This is a tragedy for individuals and families who suffer violent attacks, but the beneficiary will be Israel–whose culture and economy will be strengthened by these new arrivals. For France, with a long history of Jewish life and a long history of anti-Semitism, it is a sad chapter. And for French Jewish life, perhaps one of the last.
June 16, 2014
Israel summons EU envoy over ‘blatantly one-sided’ declaration
Union stands behind joint statement with Arab League, which slams Israel but hails ‘Palestine’s commitment to democracy and human rights’
The Times of Israel
Jerusalem has summoned the European Union’s top representative in Israel to the Foreign Ministry to protest a declaration the union issued together with the Arab League, calling it one-sided and biased against Israel
The head of the Foreign Ministry’s European division, Rafi Schutz, on Monday morning complained to Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen about a proclamation adopted by the EU’s foreign ministers and their Arab colleagues after a meeting between the groups last week in Athens
“The declaration was so blatantly one-sided, it basically read as if it was dictated by the Arab League,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told The Times of Israel. “It hails the Fatah-Hamas union and praises the Palestinians’ ‘commitment to democracy and human rights,’ but doesn’t reflect negatively in any way on the rockets fired from Gaza at our citizens, or anything else the Palestinians do wrong.”
The 10-page declaration does not explicitly mention Hamas, nor does it mention rocket attacks against Israeli civilians or any other form of Palestinian terrorism, merely condemning “all acts of violence against civilians” and calling for “full respect of international humanitarian law.”
On the other hand, the declaration — adopted last Wednesday at a summit headed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby — is not short of harsh criticism for alleged Israeli violations. For instance, the European and Arab foreign ministers expressed concern over the “grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip largely caused by the closure imposed by the Occupying Power,” according to the declaration.
The ministers also “stressed their common position that Israeli settlements, the separation barrier built anywhere in the occupied Palestinian territory, home demolitions and evictions are illegal under international law and constitute obstacles for peace and they endanger the viability of the two-state solution.”
Furthermore, the ministers reaffirmed their concern regarding “unilateral measures” in violation of international law, such as the “settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem.” They called for the release of Palestinian prisoners “in accordance with previous agreements” and demanded an end to Israel’s “excessive use of administrative detention in contravention of international law.”
The European and Arab ministers also welcomed the establishment of the Palestinian unity government “as an important element for reaching a two-state solution,” calling on Israel to cooperate with the new government.
“The Ministers welcomed Palestine’s commitment to democracy and human rights as expressed by its accession to relevant international treaties and conventions,” the statement read. In April, the Palestinian Authority applied to 15 international treaties and conventions in a move that Israel said contributed to the breakdown of peace talks a few weeks later.
Speaking to The Times of Israel before Lars Faaborg-Andersen’s meeting at the Foreign Ministry Monday, a senior EU official defended the declaration as balanced overall, saying that it condemns all acts of violence and thus indirectly criticizes Hamas. The official also stressed that the declaration hails the principles of the Middle East Quartet — recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and adherence to previous agreements — which is significant in a declaration co-signed by the Arab League.
“Some Arab countries have supported Hamas, so for them to accept the Quartet principles is considerable,” the senior official said.
Israel should appreciate that the EU was able to “draw the Arabs toward our position, as opposed to the other way around,” the official added, referring not only to the parts of the declaration dealing with the peace process but those focused on other issues in the region, such as the violence in Syria.
Last week’s joint declaration was “very similar” to the one published after the last EU-Arab League summit, which took place in 2012 in Cairo, and it faithfully represents the EU’s positions on the Middle East peace process and other issues, the official added. The text has been updated regarding the new Palestinian unity government but merely reiterates positions the EU has expressed several times in recent weeks, the official said. “We can stand fully behind this declaration.”
June 1, 2014
Ynet Israel News
Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting in custody
Sources identify suspect as 29-year-old Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, who was arrested on Friday carrying rifle used in attack; suspect said linked to Syrian jihadists.
A man suspected of killing four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24 was arrested Friday in Marseille, carrying a Kalashnikov and a pistol of the type used in Belgian capital AFP learned on Sunday from sources close to the investigation and judicial source.
A source close to the investigation says that Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from Roubaix in northern France, is suspected of having been in the company of jihadists in Syria in 2013. He is in custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist attack, a judicial source said.
The gunman entered the Jewish Museum with a rifle and opened fire, killing three people at the site. A fourth person later succumbed to wounds he sustained in the attack.
The custody, which began Friday at midday, can last for up to 96 hours or, if he is declared an imminent terrorist threat, for up to 144 hours.
Nemmouche had maintained his silence for the first 24 hours, and sources told AFP that it is too early to discuss possible complicity.
He was arrested at the bus station Saint-Charles in Marseille by customs officials, on a bus from Amsterdam via Brussels.
According to sources close to the investigation, he was in possession of a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a revolver with ammo. According to one source, he was armed with “weapons of the type used on May 24 in Brussels.”
Another source close to the case said that “many elements are consistent with the shooter in Brussels”.
Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap calmly walking into the museum, taking out a Kalashnikov and opening fire, and then briskly walking away.
Two of the victims were an Israeli couple from Tel Aviv, and the others both worked at the museum.
The attack, which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections, led officials to immediately raise anti-terror measures and increase the protection for Jewish sites.
April 18th, 2014
Blaming the Jews. Again.
American Center for Democracy
Blaming the Jews, is a tradition in the borderlands of East Europe, where numerous governments and insurgency groups felt free to “use the Jews,” as the saying goes, blame them for whatever real or often trumped-up economic or other problem they failed to resolve, to divert their critics’ attention, while massacring the Jews and often resettling the survivors against their will. So entrenched is this “tradition” that when there were no Jews to blame, others, non -Jews, were accused of hiding their Jewish identity and punished for that. “Using the Jews” as sacrificial lambs has become a characteristic feature of totalitarian regimes there and elsewhere.
Yesterday brought news that disguised individuals with Russian flags or other insignias showed up outside a Donetsk synagogue after Passover prayers handing out leaflets in the name of the “Commissioner for Nationalities” in the Donetsk Regional Administration building, which is in the hands of Russian separatists. The leaflet required Jews over 16 years old to register with this new authority, pay a $50 fee to do so, and to provide a list of their property. The leaflet also said that non-compliance would see their citizenship revoked, their assets confiscated, and their deportation.
The leaflet was signed by Denis Pushilin, self-appointed leader the pro-Russian “provisional government” in Donetsk. U.S. Today, reported the leaflet “Says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, ‘and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,’ a name adopted by the militant leadership.”
Pushilin, curiously, denied that the leaflet was authorized by him, but didn’t deny that the leaflet came from his followers. This is strange because most commentators believed that the pro-Russian militants would utterly deny responsibility for the leaflet, dubbing it as yet another provocation from the “fascists” in Kiev to make the pro-Russians look like anti-Semites. Of course, Kiev, backed by the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pratt, has denied any and all alleged provocations.
According to Donetsk Rabbi Pinhas Vyshedski, the press secretary of the self-proclaimed [Russian] republic, Aleksander Kriakov, is “the most famous anti-Semite in the region.” Further, “Vyshedski wondered how separatists who are trying to position themselves as ‘anti-fascist’ and claiming it’s Kiev that¹s run by neo-Nazis could pick Kriakov as their spokesman,” reported the Daily Beast.
Given the vile history of anti-Semitism and Jew-baiting in Ukraine and Russia, either side could have been responsible for the leaflets.
In many ways, it doesn’t matter who created provocation. More important, of course, is its meaning for the Ukrainian Jews. The unspoken suggestion that the Jews are on one side or the other of the conflict is putting them in danger.Despite talks of new agreements with Moscow, Ukraine is unlikely to escape the violence that has been ubiquitous in its history, especially when Russia is promoting conflict in the eastern and southern parts of the country via propaganda and provocation.
Whether provoked or unprovoked, deliberate or accidental, that violence will continue a long history of suffering among numerous innocents. The Donetsk leafleting may presage nothing further. On the other hand, the messier things get, both in rhetoric and actual conflict, the more likely it is that the Jews will be blamed for something by somebody, and if the past is of any indications, they will end up suffering or … dead.
Europe’s oldest hate is back and growing
‘Jews, Out of France!’
A European Boycott of Israel?
Middle East Quarterly
Steven J. Rosen
Where is the European Union headed in its policy toward Israel? Its recent decisions seem to be building momentum in opposite directions at the same time. One path is marked by important new agreements expanding economic cooperation with Israel. The other is shaped by a new EU directive that could encourage boycotts of Israel’s major banks and many of its key companies and research institutions.
On the positive side, in July 2012, the EU took unprecedented measures to enhance its relations with Israel in sixty trade and diplomatic policy areas, including increased access to its single market, closer cooperation on transport and energy, and enhanced ties with nine EU agencies. And in October 2012, despite fierce opposition from the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement seeking such actions against Israel, the European parliament ratified a critical framework agreement to facilitate the export to Europe of Israeli industrial products. The Israeli Foreign Ministry called it “an extremely important agreement” that “deepens the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel” while the Council of the European Union, the union’s supreme executive authority, welcomed both agreements as showing “the significance the EU attaches to its relations with the State of Israel” and “the importance of further developing our broad, bilateral partnership.”
Catherine Ashton (left), the EU’s foreign policy chief, has been outspoken in her criticism of Israeli “settlement” policy. Israeli politicians across the political spectrum, including PM Netanyahu (right) are united in their unhappiness with the EU’s recent pronouncements about boycotting Israeli institutions operating beyond the “Green Line.” The EU guidelines apply only to settlements but, if strictly implemented, could lead to a wider EU boycott not only of settlement entities and activities but also Israeli institutions operating primarily in “Israel proper.”
Contrary to these affirmations, the EU also issued a new guideline whose implementation could profoundly disrupt relations with Israel. In July 2013, the union promulgated a new directive that could encourage a boycott of Israeli banks operating in Jewish communities in east Jerusalem and anywhere beyond the pre-1967 lines. The guidelines apply only to settlements but, if strictly implemented, could lead to a wider EU boycott not only of settlement entities and activities but also Israeli institutions operating primarily in “Israel proper.” The secondary effects could be even greater as they are adopted by European banks and companies making their own decisions.
Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief peace negotiator and chair of the liberal Hatnuah Party, said, “True, [the European boycott] starts with settlement [goods], but their problem is with Israel, which is seen as a colonialist country. Therefore, it won’t stop at the settlements, but [will spread] to all of Israel.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser Yaacov Amidror described the directive as a “conscious decision” to attack Israel politically and economically and a “type of an economic boycott.”
If implemented in a manner that impedes cooperation with Israel, the guidelines could harm European interests as well. Israel is a very good customer for European products: In 2012, it imported 46 percent more from the EU than it exported back ($26.7 vs. $18.3 billion). Enhanced trade between Israel and the EU is creating more jobs in Europe than in Israel. Israeli purchases from the EU have increased by nearly 50 percent since 2003. Israel now imports half as much from Europe as Australia does and about 60 percent as much as Saudi Arabia.
Most European officials acknowledge that cooperation with Israel in research and development is in Europe’s interest and not just in Israel’s. For instance, Israel was the only non-European country invited to take part in the Horizon 20/20 program promoting research and development, and Europe’s countries benefit from closer cooperation with tech-savvy Israeli firms. As CNN reported, American technology companies are also “on a shopping spree in Israel, spending billions on ever larger deals and fueling the country’s startup success story. … Microsoft in Israel estimates that about $13 billion in Israeli tech acquisitions have been completed since the start of 2012.” Impeding European cooperation with Israeli firms hurts both sides, not just Israel.
The Slippery Slope
Any new impediments mean that Brussels is putting a roadblock in front of its own declared goal of expanding trade, investment, and research cooperation with Israel. Article 12 (b) of the guidelines illustrates how the new directive could evolve from a boycott of settlements to a wider boycott of Israel. The guidelines state, for example, that any Israeli financial instrument that operates in any way “either in the framework of EU-funded financial instruments or otherwise” in any territory across the pre-1967 armistice line will be ineligible for cooperation with the EU.
A boycott aimed only at settlement production would have only a minor impact from a macroeconomic perspective because only 2 percent of the agricultural and industrial products Israel exports to the EU originate in settlements. According to the Forward, “most Jewish settlements in the West Bank are either bedroom communities for Israelis working within the 1967 borders or homes for service workers employed by the government and local authorities in the West Bank.” But a boycott of Israeli companies that have any involvement across the former armistice line, even in Jerusalem, would have a far wider effect. Under article 16 of the directive, entities administering financial instruments of an agreement with the EU must certify that they do not operate at all in the territories, either with EU-funding or in any other way. The guideline implements the EU Foreign Affairs Council position adopted on December 10, 2012, stating that, henceforth: “All agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
Many major Israeli companies and nonprofits inside the pre-1967 lines have at least some incidental or secondary involvement with economic activity that crosses the “Green Line,” especially in eastern Jerusalem where half the city’s Jewish population lives in long-established communities such as Ramot, French Hill, Neve Yaacov, Pisgat Ze’ev, East Talpiot, and Gilo. These communities are part of the sovereign state of Israel under Israeli law but are treated as “illegal settlements” under the EU directive. A former Israeli official said, “The current EU guidelines document … is so sweeping that it is unclear whether its full potential impact was understood by those who drafted it.”
In July 2013, the EU issued a new directive that could encourage a boycott of Israeli banks operating in Jewish communities in east Jerusalem and anywhere beyond the pre-1967 lines. Institutions such as Bank Leumi would be targeted for providing mortgage loans to homebuyers or operating branches in Israeli settlements.
If article 12 (b) were strictly implemented, no major Israeli bank would be eligible to provide a financial instrument since all of Israel’s major banks have at least some business activity outside the pre-1967 armistice line. A leading organization promoting a complete boycott of Israel has published a study of the entire Israeli banking sector as well as dossiers on Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Israel Discount Bank Ltd., and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. It identifies “five categories of operation in which Israeli banks provide financial services to “occupation-related” activities: (1) mortgage loans for home buyers in settlements; (2) financial services to Israeli local authorities in the West Bank and the Golan Heights; (3) special loans for building projects in settlements; (4) operating branches in Israeli settlements; and (5) providing financial services to businesses in settlements. Indeed, banks would be in violation of Israeli law if they discriminated against mortgage applicants in east Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Ramot or Gilo, to which the laws of the state were extended by a center-left Labor government in June 1967.
Israel’s Jerusalem laws and the city’s unification are particular targets of the boycott movement. A recent EU heads of mission report on the city emphasized that policy recommendations on “reinforcing the EU policy on East Jerusalem” single out Israeli economic activity there for a boycott of “financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU” and call on the EU to inform European “citizens and companies of the financial and legal risks involved in purchasing property or providing services” in east Jerusalem.
Beyond the banks, many of Israel’s largest and most innovative companies are targets of the boycott movement and could be declared ineligible for EU programs. Boycott advocates have already built dossiers against Paz Oil Company, Israel’s biggest indigenous gas and energy supplier; Elbit Systems Ltd., a leading defense electronics manufacturer; Matrix IT, Keter Plastic (Keter Group), IDB Group, CLAL Group, Delta-Galil Industries Ltd., Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., Hot Communication Systems, Lithotech Medical, D.N.M Technical Equipment and Tools, Magal Security Systems, Intellitech Engineering Mechanical and Aviation, and Veolia Environment, an Israeli-controlled French multinational.
Another unintended consequence of the directive could be to impede the activities of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Israel. The BDS movement boasts that, under the new rules, the bank will have to
stop loans to virtually all major Israeli businesses and public bodies … that operate in occupied Palestinian territory … loans worth hundreds of millions of euros each year from the European Investment Bank. … Among those excluded … will be major Israeli banks including Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, and Bank Leumi … Recent EIB loans such as the €120m lent to national Israeli water company Mekorot in 2011 or the €40m lent to electric car company Better Place in 2012 would not have been granted under the new rules as both companies have sizeable illegal settlement activities.
Yet another consequence could be that Israeli and European airlines could be considered ineligible under the directive’s prohibitions as they are written. Former Israeli ambassador to the European Union Oded Eran said,
It must be assumed that those who negotiated [the recent EU-Israel Open Skies agreement signed in June 2013] on behalf of the EU knew that frequently Israeli air controllers direct incoming planes eastwards, above territory occupied in 1967, not to make a political point but to allow the pilots smoother landings.
This is also authorized by the September 28, 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, stating: “Aviation activity by Israel will continue to be operated above the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Yet, in the language of the European directive, the presence of these airlines over the West Bank might be construed as “illegal.”
Even Israeli universities could run afoul of strict implementation. “All of the Israeli universities have an archaeology department that carries out digs in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, so [as] to exclude all of us from participating in Horizon,” according to Eric Zimmerman, academic secretary of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
In August 2013, Dutch Foreign Ministry officials informed the Netherlands’ largest engineering company that a sewage treatment plant it was helping to build to battle pollution in the Kidron stream, which originates in east Jerusalem, might violate international law, leading the company to consider pulling out of the project to avoid financial, legal, and image problems.
The indirect effect of this directive could be even more damaging. Ambiguities about the directive’s terms and legal applicability to Israeli entities add a chilling effect to contacts between EU countries and Israel. A European company or bank may ask why it should get involved with Israel if it might run afoul of the bureaucracy in Brussels. Also, organizations promoting boycotts of Israel focus their activities on trying to embarrass any private European firm that has contact with Israeli partners. The stigma of “settlements” could be a scarlet letter to stain almost any Israeli entity that operates in the eastern half of Jerusalem or the settlement blocs that will remain part of Israel under any peace treaty. European companies may, out of an abundance of caution, steer clear of Israeli partners altogether to avoid any possible taint.
Alongside the new directive are reports that large European banks are being advised by their investment committees to prohibit loans or aid of any kind to Israeli companies that operate in the West Bank and to Israeli banks that grant mortgages to home builders or buyers across the Green Line. Five European countries are warning their companies against projects over the Green Line, and other EU countries, as well as the EU Commission, are considering warning businessmen to avoid financial activity beyond the 1967 lines.
In August 2013, Dutch Foreign Ministry officials informed Royal Haskoning DHV, the Netherlands’ largest engineering company, that a sewage treatment plant necessary to battle the pollution in the Kidron stream in East Jerusalem would violate international law, leading the company to consider pulling out of the project to avoid financial, legal, and image problems. Then Vitens, the largest supplier of drinking water in the Netherlands, cancelled a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli national water company Mekorot after the Dutch media and parliamentary debate mentioned that Mekorot drills for water in the West Bank. Vitens, however, continues to work with Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU), a governmental arm of the Hamas government in Gaza, even though Hamas is on the European list of terrorist organizations. Surprisingly, CMWU also receives funding from the European Union.
Another step toward a boycott of Israel was taken by the British Office of Trade and Investment, which issued a new “Overseas Business Risk Report” for Israel on December 3, 2013, warning that
Financial transactions, investments … [and] other economic activities … in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral, or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment. EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice.
Finally, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stated on July 5, 2013, that her office was drafting comprehensive guidelines on labeling settlement products. “An overwhelming majority of Member States have recently supported or openly demanded” such guidelines, which are also required by a bill submitted to the European parliament in February but not yet approved. Israeli experts believe such labeling will lead European retailers to boycott settlement products entirely.
Conflicts with the Peace Process
The EU directive also lumps together communities strongly supported by the Israeli consensus, such as those in east Jerusalem and the settlement “blocs,” with settlements on remote hilltops in the West Bank that have far less support. No major party in Israel or a majority of the Jewish public regards Jewish neighborhoods included in the 1980 “Basic Law—Jerusalem” as occupied territory. Even among Israelis willing to relinquish Arab populated areas of Jerusalem for a comprehensive peace agreement, there is no support at all for sacrificing or impeding Jewish communities inside the city limits.
As Obama’s first Middle East envoy George Mitchell said,
For the Israelis, what they’re building in is in part of Israel … The Israelis are not going to stop … construction in East Jerusalem …We could spend the next 14 years arguing over disputed legal issues, or we can try to get a negotiation to resolve them in a manner that meets the aspirations of both societies.
Another reality to which the European directive is blind is its failure to treat the “settlement blocs,” including Ma’ale Adumim, Modiin Illit, Gush Etzion, and Givat Ze’ev, differently. These bedroom suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem comprise only 5-9 percent of the land of the West Bank but include about 80 percent of the settlers. They received a special status in the Camp David peace talks in July 2000 when President Clinton proposed and Yasser Arafat accepted that they would come under Israeli sovereignty. In exchange, there would be a swap of land given by Israel from its own pre-1967 territory as compensation.
While the understandings reached at Camp David had no legal standing after the negotiations collapsed in September 2000 with the launching of the Palestinian war of terror (euphemized as the “al-Aqsa intifada”), the concept of agreed settlement blocs laid the basis for subsequent negotiations, including the current initiative proposed by U.S. secretary of state John Kerry. In a letter responding to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on April 14, 2004, President George W. Bush acknowledged,
In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949… It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
The Israelis understood this to mean that those settlements in the blocs that would remain part of Israel in a future negotiation would be treated differently from settlements outside the blocs agreed to at Camp David. The EU position is blind to this critical distinction.
Israeli sovereignty over the settlement blocs was also the basis of Ehud Olmert’s negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas between November 2007 and the end of 2008. Olmert openly defended the idea of continued Israeli construction in the blocs during those negotiations. He said in April 2008,
It was clear from day one to Abbas, Rice, and Bush that construction would continue in population concentrations—the areas mentioned in Bush’s 2004 letter. I say this again today: Beitar Illit will be built; Gush Etzion will be built; there will be construction in Pisgat Ze’ev and in the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It’s clear that these areas will remain under Israeli control in any future settlement.
Ongoing construction did not prevent the negotiations from achieving significant results. Abbas later said, “There were no failures in the negotiations. We reached agreement on all the core issues. I’m sure that if negotiations [had] continued, within two months we would have reached an agreement.”
Along with its blindness to realistic past compromises on Jerusalem and the blocs, the EU directive harms the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three additional ways:
1.As Yair Lapid noted, heavy-handed EU pressure tactics against Israel feed the Palestinian illusion that international pressure, rather than direct negotiations with Israel and painful compromises, will bring statehood.
2.Acts like the directive undermine the Israelis’ confidence that European countries respects Israel’s vital interests. Brussels issued this new directive just as the Israeli government was making tough and unpopular concessions, including the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists. Secretary of State Kerry was not happy with the timing of the directive and asked the EU to suspend its application while the peace talks are underway.
3.It undermines Israeli confidence that the Europeans can play a useful role in the peace process. During the past ten years, Israel accepted a European role in at least three cases. But the new guidelines enormously reduce Jerusalem’s trust in the EU and willingness to allow EU participation, for example, in monitoring economic and religious aspects of a possible Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Leaders of Israel across the political spectrum warn that the guidelines are harmful and should be amended. Labor party chief Shelley Yacimovich criticized the European Union’s sanctions, saying that the correct way to intervene was through positive, encouraging steps. Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid asked Brussels to change its decision or at least freeze this step during the current negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel’s chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni tried to convince the EU’s Ashton that it is important for EU members to allow Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate an agreement on the border as opposed to the EU making a unilateral decision.
While Brussels routinely condemns Israeli administration in the territories, captured in a war of self-defense, it remains silent in the face of other disputed areas such as Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus or Western Sahara. In fact, it regularly does business with the occupying powers.
The EU directive also treats Israel more harshly than other countries administering disputed territories, an inconsistency Brussels refuses to explain. For example, no EU punitive measures have been contemplated against Turkey for its occupation of Northern Cyprus since 1974, nor are products from Turkish-occupied Cyprus labeled by the EU even though the Republic of Cyprus is a member-state of the union. In fact, Brussels gives financial aid to Turks occupying northern Cyprus, 150,000 of whom are regarded as “illegal settlers” by the Republic of Cyprus government. Council Regulation (EC) no. 389/2006 of February 27, 2006, established “an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community.” Under this regulation, the financial resources allocated amount to €259 million (US$352,965,200), managed by the EU Directorate General Enlargement Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community and implemented on the ground from a support office inside Turkish-occupied Cyprus.
The EU/Morocco Fisheries Partnership agreement also treats the territorial waters of Western Sahara as part of Morocco’s jurisdiction despite the fact that the International Court of Justice ruled that Morocco did not have sovereignty over Western Sahara. The EU does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara, and Morocco has been accused by various international organizations of committing human rights violations against the Saharawi people there. But according to article 2(a) of the agreement, EU fisheries can take place in “the waters falling within the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Morocco.” In fact, since Moroccan stocks are largely depleted, the bulk of the fishing under the agreement today takes place offshore Western Sahara.
The Frente Polisario, the internationally recognized political representatives of the Western Sahara Saharawi people, condemned the protocol as an “attempt to legitimize the theft of Western Sahara’s natural resources.” An opinion by the European parliament’s legal services in 2009 concluded that the Saharawi people had not been consulted on the fisheries agreement and that there was no proof that they benefitted from it as international law demands. Yet on December 10, 2013, the European parliament approved, by a 310 to 204 vote, a new protocol under which fishing vessels from eleven EU countries will be allowed to fish in the waters of the Kingdom of Morocco in return for an annual EU payment to Morocco of €30 million (US$40,800,000).
Other examples of EU double standards may be cited. The draft Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between India and the 27-nation European bloc soon to be signed, does not exclude Kashmir, in spite of the fact that India’s sovereignty over this territory is not recognized by any European government. All European states recognize Abkhazia as a part of Georgia’s territory and condemned Russia’s subversion there and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from it. Yet the EU aid program for Abkhazia is conducted in cooperation with the Russian-sponsored government.
The Livni-Ashton Compromise
After the draft EU directive was announced in July 2013, Jerusalem faced a dilemma. It could not accept the guidelines as initially drafted but did not want EU trade and cooperation to diminish. The Israelis recognized that the Europeans were unlikely to change the language of the directive because, by the time it was announced, it had already been approved by the EU Council’s twenty-eight members. The question became how to reach a compromise on the implementation of the guidelines in a more lenient fashion.
Friendly European governments stated publicly that they wanted the issue resolved in a manner that would enable continued Israeli participation in EU projects. For example, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, “We have to look closer and see if there were things that were not intended, and make changes where changes need to be made without changing the overall approach.” German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said that with “goodwill from both sides, the decision can be implemented moderately.”
There is a clear precedent for a solution. Jerusalem has long accepted that the 1995 EU-Israel free trade agreement does not give duty-free treatment to agricultural and industrial products originating outside the pre-1967 armistice line. In 2005, Israel signed an agreement with the EU stipulating that all Israeli products imported to the EU duty-free must be accompanied by a certificate of origin “giving the name of the city, village, or industrial zone where production conferring originating status has taken place,” and “preferential treatment will be refused to the goods for which the proof of origin indicates that the production conferring originating status has taken place in a city, village, or industrial zone which is brought under Israeli administration since 1967.”
In the autumn of 2013, Israeli and EU negotiators sought a similar compromise to permit Israeli participation in the important Horizon 20/20 program and other joint projects without spending European funds outside the “Green Line.” Brussels proposed that Israeli entities would be allowed to employ subsidiary special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to shield EU financial instruments from ineligible corporate activities under article 12 (b) of the guidelines, “either in the framework of EU-funded financial instruments or otherwise,” in any territory across the pre-1967 armistice line. The proposal would allow legal subsidiaries created by their parent as SPVs to raise capital or hold assets and liabilities to apply. The SPV subsidiary of the Israeli entity would have no activities beyond the pre-1967 line and would not use the financial instrument beyond it; thus the SPV of an otherwise ineligible Israeli entity would be eligible.
Because Palestinian supporters opposed this solution, some on the European side felt it was overly generous. But for Israel, reliance on the SPV solution would still have injurious legal and political implications. One Israeli official said privately that “if a given mother company has to create a daughter company, that means that from the legal point of view the mother company is not eligible.” This would leave many large banks and corporations out in the cold. Also, the mechanism of SPV might not be practical for smaller entities.
Israeli negotiators suggested other mechanisms such as a separate bank account within the mother company (thus keeping its eligibility), a solution rejected by Pierre Vimont, executive secretary-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS) on November 22, 2013. But on November 26, Livni and Ashton jointly announced that they had reached an agreement that “fully respects the EU’s legal and financial requirements while at the same time respecting Israel’s political sensitivities and preserving its principled positions.” Israeli officials say that the agreed compromise accepts the SPV method but commits the EU also to consider other methods that are less problematic from the Israeli point of view.
Deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin, a conservative Likud member who oversaw the negotiations along with Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalist Jewish Home party, told Israel Radio that under the compromise, “Every Israeli entity will be able to apply. If it receives the money, it will need to find a mechanism, with the Europeans, that will allow the Europeans to achieve their objective: that their money … will not go beyond the Green Line.”
The actual wording of the compromise will not be public until enforcement language is appended to the Horizon 20/20 agreement to be signed in April 2014. Israeli officials believe the final wording will allow any Israeli institution operating both within and beyond the Green Line to apply for EU grants and that each application will be considered according to its individual merit as long as there is a formula to ensure that EU money will not reach the settlements.
However, statements from the European Union suggest otherwise. On December 17, 2013, Leonello Gabrici of the European External Action Service stated on behalf of Ashton that the original language of the EU guideline has not been changed. He categorically rejected any amendments to that language because “the guidelines are … an implementation of the EU’s long-standing position regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements. ….The guidelines’ publication on 19 July … made our existing policy clearer, more concrete, and more easily enforceable. Amending … the guidelines would signal a reverse of EU policy on … settlements in particular, and this we cannot allow. They will enter into force on 1 January 2014.”
Draft guidelines published July 19, 2013, included article 12 (b), which unambiguously stated that any Israeli financial instrument operating in any way “either in the framework of EU-funded financial instruments or otherwise” across the pre-1967 armistice line will be ineligible for EU financial instruments, as well as article 16, which required Israeli entities administering financial instruments of an agreement with the EU to certify that they do not operate at all in the territories, either with EU-funding or in any other way. These black letter texts that were reaffirmed on December 17, 2013, are not consistent with the oral understandings that Israeli officials believe to have been reached with Ashton on November 26, 2013.
Disapproval of Israeli settlement activity and a desire to impose consequences for this activity is pervasive and intense among officials of the European Commission and its External Action Service. These are the officials who drafted the guidelines to overreach and who will administer application on a day-to-day basis. Will their enforcement follow the plain written language of the guidelines, leading to boycotts of many of Israel’s leading companies? Or will they implement the more flexible interpretation that Israeli officials believe has been orally agreed to by Ashton that would permit growing cooperation?
Future implementation by the commission and the External Action Service may be influenced by progress or failure in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Europeans increasingly view Israel through the prism of the Palestinian issue, and recent actions of the European Council emphasize linkage between bilateral relations and Israeli concessions in the Kerry negotiations. On December 16, 2013, the European Council offered Israel a package of positive incentives:
The EU will provide an unprecedented package of European political, economic, and security support to both parties in the context of a final status agreement. In the event of a final peace agreement, the European Union will offer Israel and the future state of Palestine a Special Privileged Partnership including increased access to the European markets, closer cultural and scientific links, facilitation of trade and investments as well as promotion of business to business relations. Enhanced political dialogue and security cooperation will also be offered to both states.
The EU special envoy for the Mideast peace process, Ambassador Andreas Reinicke, described the European offer as something “very close to a membership,” a status he compared to the European Free Trade Association (consisting of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland) whose members have EU privileges through the agreement on a European economic area and various bilateral arrangements.
But the flip side of this may be added sanctions in the event that the talks break down since European leaders are poised to blame Israel for failure. If Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas fulfills his promise to resume political warfare against Israel at the United Nations and other multilateral fora, his supporters in the EU are ready to squeeze Israel’s access to European markets.
Vice-president Joe Biden said on December 10, 2013, “The wholesale effort to delegitimize Israel is the most concentrated that I have seen in the 40 years I have served.” The paramount goal of the BDS movement is a European boycott of Israel. Intentionally or not, the new directive promulgated on July 13, 2013, is a major milestone in this campaign and, surely, will not be the last.
Steven J. Rosen served for twenty-three years as the foreign policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is now the director of the Washington Project of the Middle East Forum.
 “Annex: Support to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Israel-European Union (EU) Action Plan, 2013,” Europa, European Union, Brussels, accessed Jan. 21, 2014.
 “International Agreements,” Official Journal of the European Union (Brussels), Nov. 20, 2012.
 “ACAA agreement between Israel and the EU ratified,” Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Oct. 23, 2012; Jewish Telegraphic Agency (New York), Oct. 23, 2012.
 “Eleventh Meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council,” Council of the European Union, Brussels, July 24, 2012.
 Haaretz (Tel Aviv), July 1, 2013.
 i24 News (Tel Aviv), Nov. 4, 2013; Haaretz, Nov. 4, 2013.
 “European Union, Trade in goods with Israel,” Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission, Brussels, Nov. 7, 2013; “European Union, Trade in goods with Saudi Arabia,” idem, Nov. 7, 2013; “European Union, Trade in Goods with Australia,” idem, Nov. 7, 2013.
 CNN Money, Nov. 22, 2013.
 “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes, and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards,” Official Journal of the European Union, July 19, 2013.
 “Trading away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements,” crisisaction.org, New York, Oct. 2012, p. 20.
 The Forward (New York), Mar. 30, 2012.
 “Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process,” Council of the European Union, Brussels, Dec. 10, 2012.
 Oded Eran, “The European Union Toughens Its Stand on the 1967 Lines,” INSS Insight, no. 447, Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, July 18, 2013.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Leumi Bank,” Who Profits from the Occupation [hereafter, Who Profits], Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Aug. 8, 2013.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Hapoalim Bank,” Who Profits, Aug. 8, 2013.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Israel Discount Bank,” Who Profits, Jan. 21, 2014.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Mizrahi Tefahot Bank,” Who Profits, Aug. 11, 2013.
 Financing the Israeli Occupation, Who Profits, Oct. 2010.
 Ian S. Lustick, “Has Israel Annexed East Jerusalem?” Middle East Policy, Jan. 1997.
 “EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report 2012,” posted by European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, Brussels, Feb. 28, 2013.
 “Companies Supporting the Israeli Occupation Industry of Palestinian Land,” Interfaith Peace and Hoder Investment Research, Providence, R.I., Oct. 2009; “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Settlements’ Products,” Who Profits, accessed Jan. 21, 2014.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Paz Oil,” Who Profits, Nov. 19, 2012.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Elbit Systems,” Who Profits, Mar. 25, 2008.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Matrix IT,” Who Profits, Dec. 7, 2008.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Keter Plastic Keter Group,” Who Profits, July 14, 2010.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: IDB Group,” Who Profits, Feb. 16, 2009.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: CLAL Group,” Who Profits, Feb. 16, 2009.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Delta Galil Industries,” Who Profits, July 17, 2012.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Gilat Satellite Networks,” Who Profits, Apr. 4, 2013.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Hot Telecommunication Systems,” Who Profits, Mar. 20, 2012.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Lithotech Medical,” Who Profits, Dec. 10, 2008.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: DNM Technical Equipment and Tools,” Who Profits, Dec. 30, 2011.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Magal Security Systems,” Who Profits, May 23, 2010.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Intellitech Engineering Mechanical and Aviation,” Who Profits, Oct. 4, 2009.
 “Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry: Veolia’s Activities in Israel and the OPT: An Overview,” Who Profits, Jan. 2012.
 Palestinian BDS National Committee, July 18, 2013.
 Eran, “The European Union Toughens Its Stand on the 1967 Lines.”
 “Security of the Airspace,” Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Sept. 28, 1995, annex I: art. XIII.
 The Times Higher Education (London), Sept. 5, 2013.
 Haaretz, July 12, 2013.
 YNet News (Tel Aviv), Aug. 25, 2013.
 Haaretz, Aug. 26, 2013.
 The Times of Israel (Jerusalem), Dec. 12, 2013.
 “Overseas Business Risk – Israel,” Open to Export, London, Dec. 3, 2013.
 The Times of Israel, July 23, 2013.
 Basic Law – Jerusalem – Capital of Israel, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, July 30, 1980.
 Rick Richman, “The Second Time Will Be a Tragedy, Too,” Commentary, Mar. 26, 2010.
 “Exchange of Letters between PM Sharon and President Bush,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Apr. 14, 2004.
 The Washington Post, Apr. 24, 2008.
 The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2012.
 Globes (Rishon Le-Zion), July 16, 2013.
 The Times of Israel, July 17, 2013.
 The New York Times, Sept. 8, 2013.
 The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 25, 2013.
 Globes, July 16, 2013.
 The Times of Israel, Aug. 11, 2013.
 Dore Gold, “What should Israel do about Europe?” Israel Hayom (Tel Aviv), Aug. 16, 2013; Eugene Kontorovich, “How the EU directly funds settlements in occupied territory,” The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 28, 2013; Avi Bell and Eugene Kontorovich, “EU’s Israel Grant Guideline: A Legal and Policy Analysis,” Kohelet Policy Forum Research Paper, Jerusalem, Oct. 2013.
 The Times of Israel, Dec. 25, 2013.
 “Turkish Cypriot Community,” Official Journal of the European Union, Mar. 7, 2006.
 “EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol,” Western Sahara Resource Watch, Brussels, Sept, 25, 2013; for the EU’s treatment of Israel, see The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 12, 2013.
 Advisory opinion on Western Sahara, International Court of Justice, The Hague, Oct. 16, 1975.
 “Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Communities and the Kingdom of Morocco,” art. 2(a), Official Journal of the European Union, May 29, 2006.
 Erik Hagen, “The role of natural resources in the Western Sahara conflict, and the interests involved,” University of South Africa, Pretoria, accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
 Western Sahara Resource Watch, July 24, 2013; Erik Hagen, ” EU-Morocco fish pact: Fish before peace?” Western Sahara Resource Watch, EurActiv.com, Dec. 10, 2013.
 European Parliament Press Service, Brussels, Dec. 10, 2013.
 Rediff News (Mumbai), May 13, 2011.
 The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2013.
 Ibid., Aug. 25, 2013.
 The Times of Israel, Aug. 11, 2013.
 “Notice to Importers: Imports from Israel into the Community (2005/C 20/02),” Official Journal of the European Union, Feb. 1, 2005; “Notice to importers: Imports from Israel into the EU (2012/C 232/03),” idem, Aug. 3, 2012; “Notice to importers: Imports from Israel into the Community (2001/C 328/04),” idem, Nov. 23, 2001.
 “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities.”
 “Eurostat’s Concepts and Definitions Database,” European Commission, Brussels and Luxembourg, accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
 Palestine News Network (Bethlehem), Oct. 17, 2013.
 Catherine Ashton and Tzipi Livni, joint statement, European External Action Service, Brussels, Nov. 26, 2013.
 Arutz Sheva (Beit El and Petah Tikva), Nov. 26, 2013.
 The News International (Karachi), Nov. 28, 2013.
 Israel Hayom, Dec. 19, 2013.
 “Response by Baroness Ashton to Letter re Horizon 2020,” The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 2013.
 “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities.”
 “Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process,” Council of the European Union, Brussels, Dec. 16, 2013.
 Andreas Reinicke, interview, Israel Policy Forum, New York, accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
 Haaretz, Dec. 11, 2013.
French Jews Migrate To Israel Citing Rising Anti-Semitism
February 8, 2014
PARIS (RNS) By any standard, David Tibi is a French success story.
The 44-year-old dentist and father of five has a thriving practice and a house in the affluent Paris suburb of Vincennes. His wife is a doctor and he is a leading member of the Jewish community and holds a senior post in its Central Consistory of Paris.
But in early July, the Tibi family will pack their bags and join the thousands of Jews now leaving France. The house has been sold. A colleague will be handling the dental practice. The family is leaving on a one-way ticket to Israel.
“If my children are to live their full Jewish identity, their future is in Israel and not in France,” Tibi said during an interview at his office in northeastern Paris, an area packed with kosher stores and restaurants. “Many Jews feel this way. There’s a massive desire to leave.”
Worldwide, immigration to Israel has stagnated and even declined. But French Jews are bucking the trend. Last year, a record 3,270 French Jews made aliyah — or immigration to Israel — a 63 percent hike from 2012. The Jewish Agency, which promotes aliyah internationally, estimates that figure could spike to 5,000 as early as this year, dramatically changing the face of Israeli immigration as well as France’s own Jewish community, the largest in Western Europe.
“For Jews today, Israel allows them to reinforce their Jewish identity,” said Ariel Kandel, who made his own aliyah from France 20 years ago and now directs the Jewish Agency in France.
A mix of factors are driving the exodus, Kandel and others say, from historical and sentimental ties — many of France’s majority Sephardic population have family in Israel — to economic ones. In January, French unemployment rose to a record 11 percent. Israel’s, by contrast, hovers at about 6 percent.
But rising anti-Semitism may be the strongest driver, manifest not only through rhetoric but also action. In 2012, a radical Islamist gunned down four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
More recently, two of Tibi’s children were taunted on a tram. Tibi filled out immigration papers three weeks ago, making good on a project he had contemplated for years.
“My son is always asking me why there are police in front of his Jewish school, why we need to be searched each time we go to the synagogue,” he said. “We are raising our children to live with this fear.”
What troubles Tibi most is the lack of response on the part of the French.
“Once we had one million French on the streets against anti-Semitism. Now we have three million on Facebook and Twitter who are supporting Dieudonne,” he said, referring to a controversial French comic who is known for his anti-Jewish discourse.
The Tibis have already found an apartment in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ra’anana. They have picked out schools for their children. They will have to learn Hebrew, but they will hardly feel lonely. Half a dozen other French families are flying out with them. Other friends and family live near Tel Aviv. And in his new home, Tibi said, roughly 8 percent of the population is French.
“If you go to a restaurant, they’ll hand you a menu in French,” he said. “The (Israeli) administration gives you documents in French. We had the waves of aliyahs from Ethiopia and Russia. Now it’s the aliyah of French Jews.”
The Israeli government is facilitating the French aliyah in other ways. There are draft measures to recognize French diplomas and other qualifications. At the Jewish Agency’s Paris office, brochures offer information about youth programs to Israel that attract roughly 1,000 French Jews each year. Every week, another 300 Jews attend the agency’s informational meetings about Israel, Kandel, the director, said.
“That means you have about 30,000 Jews who are thinking about moving to Israel in the next two years,” he said. “We’re not knocking on people’s doors. But if people want to, or hope to, or think of leaving, the state of Israel must be capable of delivering.”
What Israel delivers does not suit everyone. There are no statistics of Jews returning here, but some have a hard time adjusting and finding jobs in Israel.
Children of immigrants are required to serve in the military where conscription is mandatory for both young men and women. And then there’s the ongoing existential threats from Palestinians and hostile Arab neighbors.
A poster in Kandel’s office states: “We did not promise you a rose garden.”
“Life is tough in Israel,” Kandel said. “What’s new is that life is tough in France as well. So the young especially are thinking, ‘Why not take my chance in Israel?’”
Others strongly believe their roots remain in France.
“For a lot of people, being connected to Israel and having a Zionist commitment just expresses itself in going to Israel on vacation,” said Sacha Reingewirtz, president of the French Union of Jewish Students. “We’re not looking at a massive exodus.”
Paris Orthodox Rabbi Mendel Azimov is also unfazed by the departures. “I can’t say this is a general community alert,” he said. “There are half a million Jews in France and I don’t see everybody moving out.”
But Tibi, who is president of the Paris-area Jewish community, is watching the departures and listening to the talk. “It’s a snowball effect,” he said, predicting the exodus may reach 8,000 Jews a year.
The fallout is already evident, he added. Students are leaving Jewish schools. The community is searching for new leaders and reconsidering costly construction projects.
Tibi is feeling the loss in other ways. “I was born in France. I did my studies in France. I am extremely sad to leave a country that gave me a lot,” he said. “But sometimes even when you love, you have to leave.”
EU envoy rejects Netanyahu’s claim that Europe is unfairly critical of Israel
January 22, 2014
In response to PM’s criticism that the EU is unbalanced, Lars Faaborg-Andersen says European Union criticizes any actions, taken by either Palestinians or Israelis, that undermine peace talks.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu backed by Israeli and EU flags Photo: REUTERS
In the first public EU response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s charge that the Europeans are unbalanced and hypocritical when it comes to criticizing Israel, the EU’s Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen denied on Wednesday any EU imbalance.
“I don’t think that there is any argument that we are imbalanced,” he said.
“Any action taken that undermines the talks we are critical of,” he told a briefing of journalists in Jerusalem.
Faaborg-Andersen said the EU is in a “very continuous and close dialogue with the the Palestinians and Israelis and we are passing on messages to both parties.”
“I don’t see any basis to the allegations that we are being one-sided and not evenhanded on these issues.”
The EU envoy said that the Europeans are “very critical of anything on the ground that can hurt the process,” including rockets from Gaza, incitement, house demolitions, and further construction in the settlements.
Netanyahu lashed out at the EU last week, accusing it of “hypocrisy” in condemning settlement construction, but not the Palestinians for incitement or continued terrorism.
Netanyahu’s anger was sparked by an apparently coordinated EU move to summons Israel’s ambassadors in London, Paris, Rome and Madrid this week to protest the recent announcement of construction of 1,400 housing units in the major settlement blocs and Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the pre-1967 lines.
Irish Times: Graphically Illustrating Bias
Honest Reporting (defending Israel from media bias)
November 3, 2013
The Irish Times has a habit of confusing journalism with activism when it comes to reporting on Israel. Last year, the newspaper didn’t just report on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Ireland, it told its readers how they could join in the boycott.
Now, the Irish Times has produced a puff piece of a story that reads like an advertorial for an anti-Israel organization. “Graphic illustration of Palestinian concerns” begins (emphasis added):
The first infographic produced for the website Visualising Palestine, published in February 2012, was sensational. It showed what happens during hunger strikes, giving examples from history and featuring Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan, who persevered for 66 days before Israel agreed to free him.
“Sensational?” Bear in mind the attitude of much of the media when it comes to reporting on Israel’s social media outreach, routinely dismissed as propaganda, the attitude of the Irish Times towards what could be accurately described as Palestinian propaganda could not be more different.
According to the article, the objective of Visualizing Palestine is (emphasis added):
to illustrate in a single graphic what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories, in order to make an impact on global public opinion, which largely has been shaped by an expertly processed Israeli narrative.
While the Irish Times would never run an expertly processed Israeli narrative, the newspaper is more than willing to help make an impact on public opinion on behalf of the Palestinians. The newspaper would almost certainly refrain from republishing the IDF’s infographics. So why is it acceptable to devote an entire gallery to several slides illustrating two series of infographics?
The first, “Hunger Strikes,” is meant to elicit sympathy for the self-induced suffering of Khader Adnan, who chose to go on hunger strike while in administrative detention. Of course, not mentioned is Adnan’s background as a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.
The second infographic series, “A Guide to Administrative Detention,” never addresses the possibility that those in administrative detention may have been taken into custody for genuine reasons e.g. terrorism and security offenses.
The man behind these infographics, Ramzi Jaber makes an implicit reference to a single unitary state, a solution advocated by those who wish to see a Jewish state of Israel replaced by a state of all of its citizens and ultimately, an Arab majority state (emphasis added):
Ramzi dismisses the notion that there is a distinction between Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and Israel.
“All Palestinian IDs are approved by the Israeli interior ministry. There is one territory, one border, one army, one economy, all controlled by Israel.”
On an issue of journalistic style, the norm is for a subject’s last name to be used throughout an article. In this case, however, Irish Times journalist Michael Jansen, as if referring to a buddy, calls Ramzi Jaber by his first name repeatedly. Perhaps this is indicative of a story where the journalist identifies with the protagonist. Given the overly sympathetic reportage of Visualizing Palestine, this isn’t altogether surprising.
Jaber is given license to make out of context claims such as:
“After the Israeli occupation in 1967, all of the West Bank’s water was given to Israel’s Mekorot company for one shekel.”
As Hebrew University Professor Yoav Kislev, an expert on water issues, writes:
In 1967 there were running water systems in only 50 of the 430 Palestinian localities in the West Bank; the rest used water collected in cisterns and carried water to their homes in jars and containers. After the Six Day War responsibility for the water economy in the territories was transferred to the Civil Administration and the water supply was extended to Palestinian locations and refugee camps (Sherman, 1999, p. 63). In 1982 the infrastructure that had been developed was transferred to the Mekorot company, and it provided water to the Palestinians and later also to the settlements. Most of the development occurred in the first decade after the war but later too there was a certain growth in the supply to Palestinians. By the early 1990s about 200 localities were connected to the Mekorot network.
The reality was that Palestinian access to water supplies was actually expanded as a result of a transfer to the Israeli national water supplier.
The Irish Times even goes as far as to mention Visualizing Palestine’s campaign to secure donations. After such a sympathetic and biased article, perhaps Irish Times readers will decide to give generously.
The Irish Times’ anti-Israel activism can only contribute to an environment that encourages this. YNet News reports:
A pro-Israeli activist residing in Dublin, Ireland, was shocked this week when he discovered that a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) organization had taped yellow stickers on Israeli products reading “For justice in Palestine, Boycott Israel”.
Among the many items found carrying the yellow boycott sticker was a pack of dates from the Jordan Valley. One of the stickers read: “Organic dates – produce of West Bank; Israeli Settlement Produce.”
The call for boycott is directed not only at products made in Israeli settlements but at Israeli products altogether – even though the sticker notes the product was made in the West Bank. Similar stickers were placed on other products in the Tesco supermarkets chain.
German TV: How anti-Semitic is Germany?
Jerusalem Post Correspondent
November 3, 2013
Documentary shows the commonality between anti-Israel legislative initiatives from Green Party and neo-Nazi NDP party.
Berlin anti Israel rally Photo: Courtesy
BERLIN – The German public television station ARD broadcasted last week a documentary film about modern anti-Semitism at the heart of German society.
Close observers of contemporary anti-Semitism showered praise on the film for not shying away from showing anti-Semitism in all walks of life in Germany.
The 50 minute film – titled Anti-Semitism Today: How hostile is Germany toward Jews? – was created by Ahmad Mansour, an Israeli Arab, and two other Germans, Kirsten Esch and Jo Goll. Mansour is a policy advisor to the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. He has lived in Berlin since 2004 and studied Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University.
Writing in the main weekly German Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, Michael Wuliger, said in his commentary titled “Focus on Reality” that the film clearly showed “examples of anti-Semitism from educated, well-meaning German citizens” who wave the moral finger at Jews.
Appearing in the film is Dr. Monika Schwarz-Friesel, a linguistics professor at the Technical University in Berlin, who investigated a combination of 14,000 letters and emails sent to the Israeli embassy and Jewish organizations. She said the majority of the anti-Semitic letters and emails came from “so-called mainstream society.” One letter from a man with a doctorate states, “Why are always again the Jews persecuted? You need to ask yourself that.”
He added, “By the next Holocaust the whining begins to start again. I am fed up with it.”
The film shows the commonality between anti-Israel legislative initiatives from the German Green Party and the neo-Nazi NDP party. Both parties seek to demarcate Israeli products from the disputed territories.
Dr. Dieter Graumann, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, slammed the disparate treatment targeting Israel as “absurd” in the film. With respect to the product labeling, he noted that there are “many different territorial disputes in the world and nowhere else is it [product labeling] done.”
He added that there is no effort by German politicians to label products from China because of its territorial dispute with Tibet. “The difference is there are 7 million Israelis and 1.3 billion Chinese,“ said Graumann.
The German Green Party politician Kerstin Müller – and the future head of the party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation office in Tel Aviv – defended the labeling of Israeli products. Müller denied knowing of the neo-Nazi initiative before submitting her party’s initiative in the Bundestag. She said that the buying of products from the settlements “destroys the idea of an independent Palestinian state.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s office in Jerusalem and German Jews have criticized Müller for hostility toward Jews and being unfit to run the party’s Böll office.
The Böll Foundation in Berlin stands by Müller as a capable director.
The film appeared to break new ground, largely because it showed that hatred of Israel – the modern form of anti-Semitism – unifies many diverse groups in German society, including Islamists, mainstream Germans, left-wing Germans and rightwing extremists. Previous German documentaries focused on anti-Semitism from right-wing extremists.
Anti-Semitism in Belgium Reaches New Heights
September 24, 2013
I have devoted numerous columns of late to the tsunami of anti-Semitism sweeping throughout Western Europe, noting that aside from the frenziedly anti-Semitic Islamic extremists, the principal perpetrators are left wing activists frequently led by those purportedly promoting human rights.
Manfred Gerstenfeld’s most recent book “Demonizing Israel and the Jews” (click here for link) documents evidence of the depressingly high levels of European anti-Semitism, highlighting the frequent employment of Holocaust inversion as a vehicle to incite Jew hatred. He notes that opinion polls indicate that nearly half of all European adults – close to 150 million – are today convinced that Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians.
This trend was corroborated in a recent report (published by the Gladstone Institute) exposing an outrageous situation in Belgium, the country of my birth and thus struck a sensitive personal chord. Had my parents not immigrated to Australia on the eve of the war, they could have suffered the same fate as many members of my family who were amongst the 50% of the prewar Belgian Jewish community deported with the active assistance of the state bureaucracy and collaborators, and murdered in Auschwitz.
The report described an extraordinary Belgian primer for teachers of “Holocaust Remembrance” which appeared on the official central Flanders educational website database. Endorsed and funded by the Ministry of Education, the template designed for teachers of 6-12 year olds shamelessly promoted hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism by employing the crudest forms of Holocaust inversion.
It even reproduced a cartoon (click here to see it) which had initially appeared in 2009 at the notorious Teheran Holocaust Denial conference, depicting a Jewish concentration camp inmate impaled on barbed wire in the form of a swastika. Entitled “Never Again”, it was accompanied by a caricature of an Arab in the same position titled “Over Again”. The message conveyed is crystal clear – Israelis, descendants of Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, are treating the Arabs in the same manner as the Nazis treated their forbears.
The caricature was produced by Carlos Latuff, a Brazilian of Lebanese origin, notorious for his creations of other obscene anti-Israeli caricatures bracketing Israelis with Nazis. One of his most outrageous recent works was an ugly distortion of the well-known poignant image of the young Jewish boy during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising with his caption: “I am a Palestinian”. He has also depicted the Israeli Prime Minister as a vampire with blood dripping from his fangs.
There were other ‘lessons’ on the Belgian website presenting Israelis as bloodthirsty murderers. One included a “play” in which children would adopt the role of Palestinians or Hamas supporters and represent the good people whilst those assuming the roles of Israelis would epitomize the evil tyrants.
The leading Antwerp Jewish monthly, Joods Actueel, described this “history lesson” as a perversion and accused the authors of transforming educational material “into an instrument to infect youngsters with hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism”. It is utterly unconscionable and evil for the Belgian Ministry of Education to endorse a website designed as a schoolteacher’s guide to the Holocaust, which effectively promotes the same hatred that paved the way for the Shoa.
Such behavior is in breach of the resolutions adopted condemning and defining anti-Semitism at the OSCE – to which Belgium is a signatory.
The protests generated following media exposure of this abomination obliged the Belgian authorities to withdraw some of the offending material from the website. But this episode is merely a symptom of the problem. The reality is that frenzied hatred against Israel has today become an endemic component of political discourse in Brussels, the official capital of Europe and headquarters of NATO.
This must be viewed in the broader context of anti-Semitism in Belgium. There are approximately 40,000 Jews in Belgium, more than half residing in Antwerp.
The Muslim population has significantly increased and now represents a powerful electoral force. In the capital, Brussels, where the most popular baby name is Mohammed, Moslems today comprise 30% of the electorate. It is predicted that by 2020 they will amount to 10% of the entire population. They are the major new element contributing towards the exponential growth and saturation of society with rabid anti-Semitism.
Hatred of Jews is usually but not exclusively manifested as anti-Israelism. The Jewish community has been under increasing pressure and last year, anti-Semitic incidents, including desecration and vandalism of Jewish institutions as well as violence directed against Jews, rose steeply by 30%.
The anti-Jewish climate and violence against Jews is particularly intense in Antwerp where 50% of schoolchildren choose Islamic studies. But there are also reports of some Jewish schoolchildren in Brussels experiencing such excessive levels of anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation that they were obliged to leave their state school.
A few months ago there was extensive media exposure in Belgium highlighting the inaction and cynicism of the Antwerp police in relation to a violent anti-Semitic incident in which thugs assaulted their neighbors (one of whom was hospitalized), called them “stinking Jews” and threatened them with “finishing what the Nazi started”.
According to the JTA, last week the leading Belgian daily De Standaard, resurrected the medieval anti-Semitic blood libel alleging that Israeli settlers poison Palestinian water wells.
These trends are also reflected at the political level. Two years ago, Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck of the ruling Christian Democratic Party even supported an amnesty for Nazi collaborators suggesting that the country should “maybe also forget because this is in the past”. Karel de Grucht, Belgium’s former Foreign Minister and European Commissioner for Trade, is regarded as a avid anti-Semite.
It is not surprising that in a climate in which Jews are treated like pariahs, a large proportion of the community is sadly resigned to the fact that there is no future for a meaningful Jewish life for their children in Belgium. Increasing numbers, especially younger people, have or are planning to settle in Israel.
Yet the Belgian Jewish communal umbrella body, from which the more committed Jewish and Zionist Antwerp Jews have seceded, has sought to defuse hostility against Jews by groveling to the political establishment and distancing itself from Israel. At one stage it even honored a politician who had equated Zionism with racism.
Admittedly, the burgeoning levels of anti-Semitism and the application of double standards against Israel are not unique to Belgium and prevail in varying degrees in most European countries.
But it is the ultimate in hypocrisy for a country whose former leaders were responsible for the genocide in which millions of Congolese were murdered, to engage in Holocaust inversion. In particular to behave in this manner and yet remain silent at the cruel ongoing civil war of barbaric proportions with over 120,000 deaths, taking place only a few minutes drive from Israeli borders.
Watch Danny Ayalon analyze the latest European Union decision on
economic sanctions imposed on economic activities beyond ’67 lines.
Analysis includes political,legal and moral aspects.
The Times of London: Israel Can Do No Right
Honest Reporting: Defending Israel from Media Bias
September 1, 2013
The immediate impression is one of abandonment. Instead of a story celebrating the remarkable and unprecedented in-gathering of Ethiopian Jewry by Israel over the past decades, readers are assaulted with a story of neglect and failure:
Israel slams door on Ethiopian Jews after final airlift by Catherine Philp Mevasseret Zion on August 31 2013
For six years, as he waited in a transit camp in Ethiopia, Getenet Havate dreamed of the day he would reach Israel. Only one regret still lingered as he kissed the tarmac of what he has long seen as his promised land.
“My sister is the last of the family left there,” he said. “I don’t know if I will ever see her again, and she will never see Israel.” ……Blah, Blah, Blah
Firstly, the headline itself is misleading. It is not Ethiopian Jews who have been unable to immigrate to Israel but some members of the Falash Mura – Ethiopian Jews who had converted to Christianity generations ago. While the status of the Falash Mura is complicated, ultimately Israel decided to bring them to Israel out of humanitarian concerns and to reunite family members of Ethiopian Jews already in Israel.
The incredible feat of bringing over 90,000 Black Africans to Israel is not presented by The Times’ Catherine Philp as an Israeli humanitarian gesture but one driven by cold self-interest:
Amid demographic concerns about the low Israeli Jewish birthrate compared with Israel’s Arab citizens, the airlifts resumed in 2003, with 300 Ethiopians making the journey each month.
Displaying a lack of professionalism, Philp relies solely on the testimony of one newly arrived and disenchanted Ethiopian immigrant to paint a negative picture:
Assimilation into Israeli society, however, has proved hugely difficult. Many of the original Beta Israel migrants were astonished to discover that their supposed Hebrew brethren were white, not black, and they were unprepared for the discrimination they met.
As rural Africans, many Ethiopians have been ill-equipped to enter the job market. Unemployment among them runs at more than 60 per cent.
The Havate family’s situation is typical of many. Two years after she arrived, Mr Havate’s mother, Azeneg, cannot speak a word of Hebrew and has no non-Ethiopian friends. She and her family still live in the absorption centre outside Jerusalem where they were first housed.
While there have undoubtedly been enormous difficulties absorbing such a population into Israeli society, which nobody denies, perhaps Philp could have interviewed officials from the Jewish Agency or other bodies that have dedicated themselves to assisting Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
And what about the success stories?
Evidence of the acceptance of the Ethiopian community in Israel could be seen this year as Ethiopian-born model Tahunia Rubel, 25, won Israel’s Big Brother while Ethiopian immigrant Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, 21, was crowned Miss Israel 2013. Glass ceilings have been broken with Ethiopian Members of Knesset, IDF officers and the recent appointment of the first ever Israeli ambassador of Ethiopian descent.
Even if the integration of Ethiopian Jewry has not been a resounding success, it appears that Philp has produced a one-sided and negative story that turns a potentially positive aspect of Israel into a decidedly negative one.
Is it a coincidence that The Times also published a story by Philp with the same date stamp as the Ethiopian one with this headline and story?
50,000 African migrants to be deported from Israel: by Catherine Philp Jerusalem on August 31 2013
Israel is preparing to deport thousands of African migrants after striking a secret deal with Uganda.
The Israeli Government confirmed that the first of 50,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants would be sent to the East African nation after reports emerged suggesting that they had reached an agreement.
The terms of the deal have not been revealed, but Israeli media and opposition politicians suggested that it was agreed after Israel pledged to send money and weapons to Uganda.……Blah, Blah, Blah
Is there a theme to these two stories, a thread portraying Israel as a country that mistreats Africans? It isn’t a step too far before Israel is presented as a racist country.
The issue of illegal immigration and the struggle to balance human rights against the need to prevent open borders is something that many Western nations are grappling with, including the U.S., UK, Western Europe and Australia. In the Israeli context, it is made all the more acute by the unique security situation and the tiny size of a country that cannot be expected to grant asylum to every African looking for a better life. (It is, of course, necessary to distinguish between economic migrants and those who are genuinely fleeing persecution.)
So why single out Israel for special treatment?
Putting these two articles together might give us an answer.
The Sad Story of Denmark and the End of Religious Freedom
February 20, 2014
Seventy years ago last fall, in October 1943, Danes acted with courage to defy the Nazi occupiers and rescue the country’s Jews. It was a striking blow for religious freedom and basic human decency. The rescue is a wonderful story that has brought honor and glory to Denmark ever since.
This week the Danish parliament did what it could to reverse that reputation. It passed a bill outlawing halal and kosher slaughter entirely. What of religious freedom now? “Animal rights come before religion,” said Minister of Agriculture and Food Dan Jorgensen.
But not really: only days before, a giraffe in the Copenhagen zoo was slaughtered before the eyes of children visiting the zoo: “After an autopsy, ‘Marius’ was dismembered in front of a zoo audience that included children, and fed to the zoo’s lions,” CNN reported. So slaughter is possible: just not when Jews and Muslims do it in accordance with religious ritual. The new law is an act of religious intolerance, with a dose of radical chic added in. “No Jews or Muslims welcome here” is the message. It’s true that kosher meat slaughtered elsewhere can be imported, but that may be a temporary reprieve that could be reversed in future laws– and ritual circumcision of Jewish children may be outlawed as well. Last month, “The Danish College of General Practitioners, a group with 3,000 members, made a statement that ritual circumcision of boys was tantamount to abuse and mutilation.” That decision (under widespread consideration in Europe) would quite simply eliminate the practice of Judaism. This is a far more gentle way of ridding Europe of Jews than was practiced in the 1930s and 1940s, but would be very effective, and a judenrein Europe would be the result.
Once upon a time Europe was a Christian continent, which for centuries made it unwelcoming to Jews. Briefly that changed, after the Holocaust and under the influence of innovations like Vatican II; the period from 1945 to perhaps 2005 was a golden age. But like most golden ages, it has passed. This assault on Judaism is, of course, part of a broader assault on religion, all religions, including Christianity, and the biblical understanding of life. The basic idea is that religion is primitive and ignorant and must be repressed. This is a militant form of secularism and while Muslims and Jews are today’s victims, there will be many more tomorrow.
The fight is on in the United States as well, but we have the great advantage of the First Amendment, including these words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” By contrast the Danish constitution says “The citizens shall be entitled to form congregations for the worship of God in a manner consistent with their convictions, provided that nothing at variance with good morals or public order shall be taught or done” and “No person shall for reasons of his creed or descent be deprived of access to complete enjoyment of his civic and political rights.” That’s much narrower: worshiping God in accordance with your own church or synagogue or mosque ritual is a very narrow concept compared to “free exercise.” Jews in Denmark will still be able to vote, and go to synagogue; they just won’t be able to practice Judaism.
The idea that religion (and religious freedom) are limited to fixed hours and forms of worship is subversive of free exercise, and what Denmark is doing now proves it. Criminalize kosher slaughter and circumcision and you are criminalizing Judaism.
Denmark has a glorious history of protecting a persecuted minority. And now, seventy years later, it joins the persecutors.
Is There A Future For Jewish Communities In Europe?
Council on Foreign Relations
August 8, 2013
Is there a future for the Jewish communities of Europe?
Two-thirds of a century after the Second World War, this question remains a troubling one–above all to many Jews who live there. It is examined in depth in a brilliant new article entitled “You Only Live Twice” by Michel Gurfinkiel in Mosaic, the invaluable web site dealing with Jewish life, thought, and religion. Gurfinkiel is a French journalist and writer who for some years edited the conservative journal Valeurs Actuelles, is the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, and serves on the board of governors of the Consistoire, the organization representing France’s Jewish communities.
“Despite all their success and achievement, the majority of European Jews, seconded by many Jewish and non-Jewish experts, insist that catastrophe may lie ahead,” Gurfinkiel writes. Polls show remarkable levels of anti-Semitism and widespread acts of violence against Jews. As Gurfinkiel notes,
Like Israelis, but unlike most American Jews, today’s European Jews are survivors, or children of survivors, either of the Holocaust or of the near-complete expulsion of Jews from Islamic countries that took place in the second half of the 20th century. They know, from personal experience or from the testimony of direct and irrefutable witnesses, how things unfolded in the not too distant past, and how a seemingly normal Jewish life could be destroyed overnight. When anti-Semitic incidents or other problems accumulate, they can’t help asking whether history is repeating itself.
To contemporary European Jews…. today’s anxieties thus also recall the crucial choice they or their parents made some 30 or 50 or 70 years ago when, having survived the Holocaust, they resolved to stay in Europe—more accurately, in Western Europe, under the American umbrella—or, having been forced out of Islamic countries, to flee to Europe. Was this the right choice, after all?
The article is too rich to summarize here in its discussion not only of the Jewish communities, but of what their fate tells us about Europe itself and its own future. Gurfinkiel argues that there was a golden age for European Jews after the Second World War when Europe lived under the American umbrella, but now a different Europe is developing. And he quotes a leading scholar:
even so sober an analyst as Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of definitive works on the history and dynamics of anti-Semitism, has concluded that although the final endpoint of European Jewry may be decades in coming, “any clear-sighted and sensible Jew who has a sense of history would understand that this is the time to get out.”
This article will provoke controversy and its conclusions will be resisted. But its explanation and evocation of Jewish history in Europe and of the conditions of the present day make it an article that must be read- and then re-read.
‘Ya’alon orders freeze in permits for EU projects in West Bank’
Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakow Lappin
July 25, 2013
Israel has severed cooperation with the European Union in Area C of the West Bank in response to new measures the EU has taken against settlements.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the IDF’s civil administration to cease cooperation in joint projects with the EU, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
This means that the IDF will refuse to grant new permits or renew existing permits for EU construction projects in Area C, which is territory under Israeli civil and military control. It also will not issue or renew any documents that EU personnel might need for travel in the West Bank or into Gaza from Israel.
In addition, IDF offices in the West Bank, such as the civil administration and the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, will no longer hold work meetings with EU officials or personnel.
Some of the EU-led projects in the West Bank include a program to train Palestinian Authority police officers in basic and advanced policing skills, and a waste removal program.
Neither will receive Israel’s cooperation any longer.
Ya’alon’s decision was first reported on the Walla Hebrew Web portal and NRG Hebrew news site on Thursday, and was confirmed by The Jerusalem Post.
His directive came as the EU was increasing its involvement in the development of Palestinian projects in Area C. It also followed a series of EU decisions in the past half-year against West Bank settlements.
In December 2012, the European Union decided that future agreements with Israel would explicitly state that they did not apply to areas beyond the pre-1967 lines. The exact language to be used in future agreements and understandings with the EU is still under discussion.
Last week the EU published new guidelines, which clarified that prizes, grants and funding could not be awarded to Israeli entities, including non-profits and educational institutions, located beyond the pre-1967 lines.
Separately, the EU is working on legal guidelines for any of its member states that might choose to label products as having been produced in West Bank settlements.
These products are already marked to inform European customs officials enforcing tax-free trade agreements with Israel. The new guidelines will be used for consumer labeling purposes.
The new measures are a reflection of longstanding EU policy with regard to West Bank settlements. Only recently were they so blatantly stated, with Israel having failed in its efforts to prevent this.
When the EU published its latest guidelines on prizes and grants last week, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip called on the government to halt EU-funded projects in Area C.
The council said on Thursday night that it welcomed Ya’alon’s decision.
“We hope Israel will continue to respond to those who take unilateral steps against it,” said its director-general, Yigal Delmonti. “Already two weeks ago we said that the EU has taken a clear pro-Palestinian stance and cannot be considered a neutral party.”
On Thursday night, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry, COGAT and the EU refused to issue a response to the report of Ya’alon’s decision.
How to respond to EU sanctions
July 25, 2013
Were Israel to fight fire with fire and levy counter sanctions on European goods it would be entering an economic war that it would lose and therefore has every interest in avoiding.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Photo: REUTERS/Kimmo Mantyla/Lehtikuva
This week the EU took three steps that together prove Europe’s ill-intentions toward the Jewish state.
First, last Friday the EU announced it is imposing economic sanctions on Israel. The sanctions deny EU funds to Israeli entities with an address beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines. They also deny EU funds to Israeli entities countrywide that carry out activities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.
The areas beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines delineated by the EU directive include the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned eight years ago; the Golan Heights, which has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1981; eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem, which have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967; and Judea and Samaria, over which Israel has shared governance with the PLO since 1994 in accordance with signed agreements witnessed by EU representatives.
The EU’s second action was the publication Tuesday of EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton’s letter to her fellow commissioners informing them that by the end of the year, the EU will publish binding requirements for specially labeling Israeli goods produced by Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines exported to EU member states.
This act is potentially more damaging for Israel than the ban on transferring EU monies to Israeli entities with “bad” addresses. Labeling Israeli products is a means of signaling Europeans consumers that they should view all Israeli exports as morally inferior to other goods and wage a consumer boycott of Israeli products. Indeed, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius described the proposed labeling as an alternative to a broader boycott of all Israeli goods.
The EU’s third act was its decision to define Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization, but leave all the other Hezbollah-related institutions untouched. While the move has been applauded by Israeli politicians desperate to deny Europe’s animosity, Europe’s partial designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity is another act of aggression against Israel.
By pretending that Hezbollah has a legitimate “political wing” – a transparent lie that even Hezbollah has denied – the EU ensures that Hezbollah personnel and Hezbollah institutions can continue to find safe haven in Europe so long as the avoid attacking non-Jewish Europeans.
Hezbollah agents can continue raising money, planning attacks, and recruiting terrorists in Europe, as long as Hezbollah labels the activities “political.”
In other words, all Hezbollah operations directed against Israel and Jews will remain lawful in Europe.
Beyond exposing the EU’s fundamental and obsessive hostility toward the Jewish state, these three actions put paid to the EU’s protestations of allegiance to international law and commitment to bringing about peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
As ambassador Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the EU’s actions against Israeli entities that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are unsupported by international law. The EU’s claim that Israel’s presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is unlawful is not supported by any treaties or customs. Indeed, it is explicitly refuted by treaties and customs.
Israel’s legal rights to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem are recognized under the law of nations through the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which also called for “close Jewish settlement” of these areas. The Mandate’s allocation of sovereign rights over all of these areas to the Jewish people, and its recognition of the Jews as the indigenous people of the areas, has not been abrogated by any subsequent treaty. To the contrary, they were reinforced by Article 80 of the UN Charter.
Moreover, as Baker noted, the EU wrongly claims that Jewish communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949. But authoritative interpretations of Article 49 make clear that Article 49 does not apply to such communities.
The lines the EU points to as Israel’s legal border were never borders and never legal. The 1949 Armistice Lines, which the EU falsely refers to as the 1967 borders, represent nothing more than the lines at which Israeli forces halted the invading armies of Arab states that illegally assaulted the nascent Jewish state at its birth on May 15, 1948.
The armistice agreements explicitly stated that the armistice lines lack all legal significance in terms of claims of parties to lands beyond the lines.
Finally, as Baker noted, the EU itself repeatedly supported UN resolutions and international agreements that recognize the legality of Israel’s continued control and civilian presence in the areas. As a consequence, its own actions contradict its claim that Israel’s presence and the presence of Israeli civilian communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal.
Beyond its unsubstantiated legal claims against Israel, both in its intention to label Israeli products and in its actions related to Hezbollah, the EU is acting in violation of international law. The EU’s intention to label Israeli products involves the imposition of trade barriers in contravention of the World Trade Organization’s legally binding rules.
By allowing Hezbollah to continue to operate in the EU, the EU is in violation of binding UN Security Council Resolution 1373 from 2001 that prohibits the use of member states’ territory for the benefit of terrorist groups.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called the EU’s imposition of economic sanctions a “resounding wake-up call,” adding, “I hope that now all those who thought it is possible to continue with the freeze [in the peace talks with the PLO] will understand that we have to act to open negotiations, because this is the only way to protect Israel’s general interests.”
This view, which is the official view of the Left, is based on a complete denial of reality.
The EU announced its sanctions on the very same day US Secretary of State John Kerry announced he had convinced the PLO to return to peace talks with Israel. The confluence of these events could not demonstrate more clearly that the EU’s diplomatic onslaught against Israel has nothing to do with the conduct of negotiations with the PLO. If the EU’s chief interest was bringing Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table, Brussels would be sanctioning the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate with Israel since 2008.
By levying sanctions the EU does not seek to advance the cause of peace. It hopes to coerce Israel into abandoning its legitimate historic claims as the indigenous people of the Land of Israel to the lands allocated to the Jewish people under international law by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It hopes to coerce Israel into surrendering its right to defensible borders and voluntarily transform itself into an indefensible strategic basket case wholly dependent on the goodwill of outside powers for its survival.
The question is what can Israel do about it? Were Israel to fight fire with fire and levy counter sanctions on European goods it would be entering an economic war that it would lose and therefore has every interest in avoiding. But Israel’s inability to respond in kind to European aggression does not mean it is without options.
Europe is using economic sanctions to expand its political power over Israeli decision-makers. So Israel should act to diminish Europe’s political power in Israel.
The EU itself told Israel how to go about doing this in Paragraph 15 of the sanctions directive. It reads, “The requirements [banning the transfer of EU funds to Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 armistice lines]… do not apply to activities which, although carried out in the territories…
aim at benefiting protected persons under the terms of international humanitarian law who live in these territories [i.e., the Palestinians] and/or at promoting the Middle East peace process in line with EU policy.”
In other words, Israeli NGOs that receive EU assistance are exempt from the financing ban if they commit to undermining Israel’s rights in the area. As the EU sees it, NGOs who receive EU money are EU agents, advancing European goals in the domestic Israeli arena, and as such should be exempted from the EU’s economic sanctions.
In a 2010 meeting with US diplomats leaked by WikiLeaks, Jessica Montell, the executive director of the Israeli-registered pro-Palestinian pressure group B’Tselem, effectively admitted that her organization would cease to exist without European funding.
According to the protocol of the meeting, Montell “estimated her NIS 9 million ($2.4 million) budget is 95 percent funded from abroad, mostly from European countries.”
To stem the momentum of Europe’s new economic war, Israel’s first response to the EU’s sanctions must be swift passage in the Knesset of a law requiring all Israeli entities that agree to operate under the EU’s funding guidelines to register as foreign agents and report all EU contributions.
Those contributions should be taxed at the highest corporate tax rate.
EU officials have stated repeatedly that they seek to undermine Israeli control over Area C. Area C is the area of Judea and Samaria where, in accordance with agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, Israel exercises most civil and military authorities. The EU is funding projects in Area C whose stated goal is to make it impossible over time for Israel to assert its authority over the area.
Israel’s second response to the EU’s announcement of economic sanctions on Israeli economic activity in Judea and Samaria should be to suspend all EU projects in Area C. Future EU projects should be subject to intense scrutiny by the civil administration. Israel’s default position should be to reject, rather than approve, such requests, given their hostile intent.
Finally, EU peacekeeping forces from Gaza to Lebanon to Syria have repeatedly proven not only their cowardice, but their willingness to act in ways that endanger Israel in order to protect themselves.
In Gaza, EU border guards fled to Israel following Hamas’s takeover of the area in 2007.
Along the border with Syria, Austrian peacekeepers fled at the first sign of trouble, leaving Israel to deal with Syrian breaches of the European-sanctioned 1974 disengagement agreement by itself.
European forces in UNIFIL in Lebanon have signed protection agreements with Hezbollah where in exchange for European forces’ turning a blind eye to Hezbollah’s illegal use of civilian infrastructures as military installations, Hezbollah has promised not to murder European forces.
Given this track record, Israel should bar European forces from further participation in armed forces in Israel. To this end, Israel should allow the mandate of the European-dominated Temporary International Presence in Hebron to expire when it next comes up for review. The TIPH, which has been deployed to the city since 1994, is composed of forces from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
Israel has for years been operating under the misguided belief that the EU would eventually come around and side with Israel against its enemies.
This belief has been informed by equal doses of innocence and wishful thinking. The EU’s decision to initiate an economic war against the Jewish state forces Israel to abandon its long-held illusions.
Israel has options for responding forcefully to Europe’s aggression. If judiciously and firmly employed, these responses can diminish the Europeans’ interest in escalating this economic war, by denying them the political victory they seek.
Europe Hypocritically Lashes Out Against Israel
July 21, 2013
The European Union has disposed of any pretense of even-handedness with Israel, and has effectively repudiated the concept of disputed territories, which will be one of the principal issues of contention at the forthcoming peace talks sponsored by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Newly issued EU guidelines prohibit the issuing of funding, grants, prizes or scholarships to Israeli institutions located beyond the Green Line. Part of a 2014-20 financial framework, they cover all areas of cooperation between the EU and Israel, including economic, science, culture, sports and academia. While they do not directly affect trade agreements, the move is a clear penalty that could, in the future, extend to goods produced in the settlements, and launch of a new European anti-Israeli offensive.
The EU is Israel’s most significant trade partner. In 2012, Israel imported $22.4 billion and exported $14.2 billion to the EU. Thus, the material and symbolic implications of the exclusion of settlements from EU trade agreements should not be underestimated.
By no longer recognizing “disputed territories” the EU is demanding that Israel acknowledge that “settlements” and all territories occupied after 1967 are not part of the sovereign Israeli state. This not only incorporates the major settlement blocs that will never be forfeited, but also the officially annexed Golan Heights, the Jewish suburbs of East Jerusalem and the Old City, including the Western Wall.
It means that the EU has abrogated its own Quartet Roadmap by unilaterally determining that the borders of Israel will be the 1949 armistice lines. It is also in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which stipulates that these are not deemed to be legal or permanent borders and specifies that Israel should have “secure and recognized boundaries.” Rather than supporting direct negotiations with the Palestinians, the EU is now imposing upon us indefensible borders that will endanger our future existence.
This EU policy is utterly perverse and certainly will not advance the cause of peace. On the contrary, it will undermine the forthcoming peace talks, and provide an incentive to the Palestinians to reject any compromise knowing that intransigency will be rewarded by intensified European and global pressure on Israel to make additional unilateral concessions.
Ironically released on the fast of Tisha B’Av, the EU announcement caught the Israeli government by surprise. But the writing has been on the wall for a long time. Moral relativism has dominated European thinking since World War II. This, combined with post-colonial guilt and mounting pressure from powerful Moslem groups, has encouraged Europeans to treat Jews, and in particular the Jewish state, as their scapegoats.
But it goes further. The traditional anti-Semitism rooted in European culture throughout two millennia that went into remission after the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust is now rapidly re-emerging and actively directed against the Jewish nation-state. Many Europeans are deeply offended and agitated by suggestions that their policies towards Israel are motivated by bias or anti-Semitism. Yet the April 2004 Berlin Declaration of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) specifically defines anti-Semitic behavior as the application to Israel of “double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” or “describing Israel as ‘a racist endeavor’.”
Opinion polls consistently show that Europeans are convinced that Israel represents an equal or greater threat to world peace than North Korea or Iran. More ominously, a recent European poll indicated that 150 million Europeans endorse the view that Israelis treat Palestinians like the Nazis treated Jews.
It is almost surreal that the EU is taking a punitive stand against Israel at a time when the civil war in Syria has cost more than 120,000 lives, Iran seeks to become a nuclear power, and Egypt and most of the region is in total flux. At the same time, the EU has been agonizing for more than a year whether or not to proscribe the so-called “military” wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity. In this context, it is obscene for the EU to flex its muscles against Jews living in the Jewish suburbs of East Jerusalem.
Moreover, the EU knows that 90% of Palestinians in the West Bank already live under the authority of the Palestinian Authority and that Gaza is totally controlled by Hamas. The Europeans are also aware that, despite Israel’s repeated offers to negotiate without preconditions, the Palestinians have been the intransigent party, increasing their demands for unilateral concessions as a precondition and treating Israel as a supplicant.
But the double standards applied against Israel have always been blatant. The EU has never made similar demands of China’s occupation of Tibet, India’s occupation of Kashmir or even Turkey’s control of one third of Cyprus. It is only toward Israel that it seeks to impose such extreme discriminatory measures.
It is unclear where the Obama administration stands on this matter. Theoretically, the White House and State Department should be opposed to the new EU policy because it undermines even the remote prospects of a successful outcome to the forthcoming negotiations with the Palestinians. But neither the White House nor the State Department have criticized the initiative, and there is a lurking suspicion that there are those in the administration who welcome and may even have encouraged this move to exert pressure on Israel.
Indeed, in his efforts to court the Palestinians to agree to negotiations, Kerry has been ominously hinting that the “disputed territories” should be substituted by the terminology used in the Arab League peace proposal. This could pave the way for the US to blame Israel for a breakdown in negotiations if we refuse to consider Arab demands for using the 1949 armistice lines as the benchmark for territorial negotiations.
In combating this new European challenge, the need is greater than ever for our government to speak with one voice. Recent provocative statements by government ministers repudiating a two-state solution under any circumstances and calling for annexation of the territories in direct contradiction to official government policy provided a rationale for dispensing with the concept of disputed territories, which made it respectable for the EU to do the same.
We must not concede to this malevolent, new EU demand which, if played out further, would entail abandoning hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens. We must make every possible effort to prevent the EU from expanding this move toward broader sanctions. And we must make clear that whilst this discriminatory clause remains in effect, we can no longer consider the EU an honest broker or an intermediary in peace negotiations.
The European initiative is a wake-up call. While Israel has a powerful and resilient economy that can withstand trade restrictions, it cannot endure further isolation. We cannot write off Europe, but instead must exploit all our resources to shame the EU and more aggressively expose the double standards and bias it continues to employ against us.
German paper publishes ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon attacking Israel
Benjamin Weintal, Jerusalem Post
July 3, 2013
Leaders decry illustration after ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ depicts Israel as wild, hungry beast devouring German military weapons.
German paper publishes ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon attacking Israel, July 2, 2013. Photo: Süddeutsche Zeitung
BERLIN – The largest German daily broadsheet –the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung– published a photo of a cartoon on Tuesday depicting Israel as a wild, hungry, ill beast devouring German military weapons. The cartoon sparked criticism from Jewish organizations in Germany and the US.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post by email on Tuesday that his organization “decries the illustration depicting Israel as a monster in a leading German newspaper.” He said the cartoon was “grotesquely beyond the pale of legitimate criticism and invokes one of the classic anti-Semitic tools: Animalization is a classic and effective tool in dehumanizing an enemy, something Nazi and Soviet propaganda deployed over and over again.”
The cartoon was the work of Ernst Kahl, who told the Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung that had he been asked, he would have rejected the paper’s use of his cartoon in conjunction with two book reviews about Israel; one of which covered American Jewish author Peter Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism.
Under the cartoon, the Süddeutsche wrote, “Germany is serving. Israel has been given weapons for decades and partly free of charge. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch.
Peter Beinart deplores that it has come to this.” The headline on the book review pages reads, “The downfall of liberal Zionism.” Cooper declared that “the characterization of the Jewish state as a ‘ravenous Moloch’ is a canard. The attempt to deploy a Jewish critic [Beinart] as a fig leaf does not cover up the hate.” He urged the newspaper’s editors to “apologize to its readers, the Jewish community and the State of Israel,” and he expressed hope that “the main protests against this illustration and captions are forthcoming from German NGOs and personalities.”
In an interview with Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung, Dr. Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, termed the cartoon “almost on the level of Stürmer” – a reference to the anti-Semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.
He expressed shock that “anti-Semitic associations” were allowed in the paper.
The Süddeutsche employee responsible for the placement of the cartoon was Franziska Augstein the sister of Jakob Augstein, whom the Wiesenthal Center cited in its list of last year’s top 10 anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish statements. He writes a column for Der Spiegel.
Alex Feuerherdt, a journalist who has written extensively about modern German anti-Semitism, told the Post that this was not the first time the Süddeutsche had published “incitement articles against Israel.” He cited a December 2012 article with the headline “Netanyahu against the entire world,” which claimed that Israel was working against the entire international community. Feuerherdt said the article reinforced anti-Semitic stereotypes that Jews were egotistical and only concerned with narrow self-interest.
In 2012, the paper published Günter Grass’s poem “What Must Be Said,” which attacks Israel for wanting to wipe out the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Süddeutsche issued a statement on its website Tuesday, under the title, “Is a Horned Monster Anti-Semitic?” The paper wrote that the cartoon had “nothing to do with anti-Semitic clichés,” but added that as “the photo led to misunderstandings, it would have been better to have chosen a different photo.”
German neo-Nazis submit anti-Israel legislation
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
June 15, 2013
Neo-Nazi and Green parties want to label settlement products, professor calls the move “political warfare and demonization.”
The Reichstag building seen from the west. Inscription translates to
“For/To the German People” Photo: Wikimedia Commons
MADRID – An initiative by Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party last year in a state parliament to demarcate Israeli products came to light this month and closely resembles the recent Green Party bill that would label Israeli products from settlements.
The revelation last week that an anti-Israel bill from the mainstream left-liberal Green Party in the Federal Bundestag mirrors, in key provisions, the language of a far-right party stirred criticism from Israeli and German experts on modern anti-Semitism.
“This alliance between the Greens and the far Right to promote blatant double standards is a huge stain on Germany’s moral standing,” Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head the Jerusalem–based group NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
“Duplicitous product labeling is the thin wedge of the BDS [Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment] movement, and central to the Durban strategy of political warfare and demonization that targets Israel,” Steinberg, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, added.
Michael Schroeren, spokesman for the Green Party in the Bundestag, wrote the Post by email last week that he “finds it absurd” that one could conclude that the “Greens were inspired by the neo-Nazis to come to their position” on labeling products from the West Bank. The Greens flatly deny they are advocating a boycott of Israeli goods and stress the need to make possible with the label system an “informed purchasing decision” for consumers in Germany and the wider EU.
Udo Pastörs, head of the NPD in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, introduced a bill last November to label Israeli products. He has termed Germany a “Jew Republic,” and called the American-Jewish economist Alan Greenspan, former head of the US Federal Reserve, a “crooked nose.”
The NPD motion calls for “Palestinian and Israeli products” to be labeled and for a “clear designation of origin” to be implemented.
Five months later, the Green Party introduced a federal bill to label “imports of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank to Europe and Germany.”
Henryk M. Broder, one of Europe’s top experts on contemporary anti-Semitism, wrote last week in a column titled “Two Souls, One Thought” in the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche that the Green and Nazi parliamentary initiatives to label products are “at their core identical.”
Both initiatives use the historical model of the German Nazi regime boycotts of Jewish businesses starting on April 1, 1933, and invoking the mass slogan: “Germans defend yourselves. Do not buy from Jews!” Broder wrote.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal’s Jerusalem office, told the Post on Thursday, “The fact that a mainstream German party initiates such a measure is a sad reflection of the distorted view of Middle East politics so common in recent years in the political discourse regarding Israel in certain circles of the Federal Republic. In that respect we see an unfortunate growing erosion of the traditional German support for the Jewish state which is part of a dangerous tendency in elements of German society and certain intellectual circles to extricate Germany from its moral obligations in the wake of the Holocaust.”
Zuroff, the world’s leading hunter of Nazi war criminals, added, “The initiative by the Green Party to have all products produced in the disputed territories is clearly short-sighted and counterproductive and will not help bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer to real and lasting peace.”
He said the Green deputy Kerstin Müller, who helped engineer the initiative targeting Israeli settlement products, is incapable of running her party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation in Tel Aviv. She is slated to take over as director in late 2013.
“Obviously, a person who played a leading role in this initiative is uniquely unsuitable to represent the Böll Foundation in Israel, but perhaps they have an opening available in Ramallah,” Zuroff said.
Marc Berthold, the outgoing director of the Böll Foundation in Tel Aviv, declined to be interviewed by the Post. Müller refused to answer Post queries.
Steinberg urged Israel’s government to examine Müller’s fitness to run the foundation.
“The Böll Foundation – which exploits German taxpayer funds to impose its interests and ideology on Israeli democracy – repeatedly violates civil society norms. It is up to the Israeli political system, including the Knesset and actual civil society groups that do not represent external interests, to decide how best to respond to this anti-democratic manipulation,” Steinberg said.
Israel’s embassy in Berlin accused the Greens of singling out the Jewish state for disparate treatment.
Ralf Fücks, head of the Berlin-based Böll Foundation, defended Müller as experienced and capable of running the Green Party office in Tel Aviv. He declined to respond to a Post query about the similarities between the neo-Nazi and Green Party initiatives covering Israeli settlement products.
Update: The University of Cambridge retracted its statement of Hawking joining the boycott, citing health concerns as his reason for missing the conference. But when reached for comment and clarification, university spokesman Tim Holt provided The Huffington Post with this response:“We have now received confirmation from Professor Hawking’s office that a letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli President’s office regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly.”______________________________________________________________
During a ceremony, Abbas reportedly said he was “honored to be Neapolitan” and urged Israel to pursue the renewal of the peace talks.
“We know that Italy is pushing the peace process and the United States is determined,” Abbas was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying.
Shalom Bahbout, the rabbi of Naples and South Italy, said Abbas “had skeletons in the closet” and was thus undeserving of the award.
”There are beautiful people out there who are worthy of such an honor, and we are not against conferring honorary citizenship on a Palestinian,” Bahbout reportedly said.
“This is not the case with [Abbas], who denied the Holocaust in his university thesis, and who never distanced himself from Palestinian terrorist attacks.”
In 1982, Abbas completed a postgraduate thesis titled “The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement 1933 – 1945″ that disputed the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Bahbout suggested that the award also be conferred on President Shimon Peres, who is set to travel to Rome this week to meet Pope Francis I and Italian leaders. He is also slated to receive an honor at the city of Assisi.
Since his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories last month, US President Barack Obama has been advancing an effort to resume negotiations between the two sides.
Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Saturday that Israel has proposed holding a four-way summit to relaunch peace talks.
The report cited a senior Palestinian official as saying that the high-level event would be attended by Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas.
Abbas reportedly welcomed the proposal, but demanded that Israel first “implement its commitments.”
Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev declined to comment on the specifics of the report, as did chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
The opening of a Spanish consulate in Gaza
April 22, 2013
Many issues that will presumably accompany the upcoming visit to Israel by the foreign minister of Spain, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margolo.
Fatah supporters at rally in Gaza City Photo: Suhaib Salem / Reuters
One of the central issues that will presumably accompany the upcoming visit to Israel by the foreign minister of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, will be the minister’s curious, unprecedented and most irregular decision, dated March 14, 2013, as published in Spain’s official governmental publication, to open a Spanish consulate in Gaza, accredited to the Hamas administration.
Whichever senior ministerial figure is tasked with receiving him, whether it be Minister for International Relations Yuval Steinitz or Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, it would be highly advisable to point out the utter lack of political wisdom in the decision to open a consulate in Gaza, as well as the legally questionable nature of such a decision.
Opening a consulate in Gaza is incompatible with the provisions of the 1995 Israeli- Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (commonly known as “Oslo II”) under which the Palestinians are committed not to exercise powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, and specifically not to permit the establishment of diplomatic or consular posts in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, or the appointment or admission of diplomatic or consular staff.
In opening a consulate in Gaza, Spain would in fact be generating, and contributing to a blatant violation of the Interim Agreement, in contravention of the EU’s status as signatory and witness to the agreement.
In light of the fact that the Gaza Strip, since 2006, has been taken over by the Hamas terror organization, which has usurped the Palestinian Authority as the governing body and established its own separate Islamic fundamentalist administration, clearly the opening by Spain of a consulate in Gaza would be interpreted by the Hamas administration, and seen universally, as a formal act of diplomatic recognition of Hamas by Spain. It would be interpreted by the PA as an action violating its own status and basic interests.
Furthermore, such an action would be incompatible with the EU designation of Hamas as a terror organization, and would thereby place Spain in direct contravention of EU directives.
As to the political wisdom of such a decision by Spain’s foreign minister, and the potential repercussions within Spain, the distinguished visitor might consider recent expressions by Hamas bodies calling for Spain to be returned to Muslim rule as “Al Andalus,” and calling for acts of martyrdom, suicide bombings and resistance as the way to achieve this.
Similarly, in an interview which aired on May 25, 2012, on the official governmental television channel of the Hamas regime in Gaza, Al- Aqsa TV, Dr. Subhi al-Yaziji, dean of Koranic studies at the Islamic University of Gaza established by Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, and described in Hamas media (Al Ahrar) to be a senior member of Hamas, stated: “The conquest of Andalusia is an old dream, something Muslims proudly hope for and will continue to hope for in the future.”
Unquestionably, the decision of Spain’s Foreign minister to establish a consulate would be seen as an act that legitimizes Hamas and its violent ideology. In view of all the above, it would be highly advisable for Spain’s foreign minister to reconsider his decision.
The author is the former legal adviser to Israel’s foreign ministry and former ambassador to Canada. He presently serves as director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Israel Vanishing from Scotland Libraries
It does not matter what ideas are contained in these books, it is the bare fact of their origin which is enough for them to be banned.
April 10, 2013
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
► More from this writer
One of Scotland’s councils has just implemented a boycott of Israel after comparing the country to apartheid South Africa.
The Clackmannanshire Council declared it would resist all economic and political support for Israel in order to “end suffering in Palestine”. In Scotland, once known as the only European country which has no history of state persecution of Jews, a region is officially dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish State as a malevolent, “settler” and foreign entity.
Last year the Scottish University of Dundee banned water from Eden Springs on the campus, because – it claimed – “it steals water from the Salukia spring in the occupied Syrian Golan, where it is bottled in the illegal Israeli settlement of Katzrin”.
Another Scottish provincial council near Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, in 2011 probibited the purchase of English translations of Israeli books and the distribution of these books in public libraries throughout the council’s jurisdiction.
One’s memory went back to the German spring of 1933, when students, professors and librarians worked on a list of “degenerate” Jewish books. The list included Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, Thomas Mann and Heinrich Heine. In the largest event outside Berlin, 18,000 Jewish books were destroyed
It is two years since the Dunbartonshire Council prohibition made the headlines. What is the current status of Israeli books in the Scottish libraries?
The Dunbartonshire decision marks the first time that a region in Europe has been cleansed of the presence of Israeli books. It does not matter what ideas are contained in these books, it is the bare fact of their origin which is enough for them to be banned. It seems that the shocking announcement worked.
In the library’s catalogue, David Grossman appears with just two titles, bought before the banning edict; Amos Oz is present with two and Abraham Yehoshua with one, as are Nobel Laureate Shai Agnon and Yoram Kaniuk.
There are no entries at all for Batya Gur, Dorit Rabinyan, Sami Michael, Naomi Ragen (a U.S. born writer who lives in Israel), Yehuda Amichai, Orly Castel-Bloom, Dan Pagis, Emil Habibi and Michal Govrin.
No results for any Israeli academic who published books after 2011 or pro-Israel booklets like those of Alan Dershowitz.
No entry for Meir Shalev, who published many novels in English.
In the two years after the ban-the-books decision, the Scottish council did not purchase any book written by Israeli authors, but welcomed into its shelves anti-Semitic publications such as “Mornings in Jenin” by Susan Abulhawa, Ilan Pappe’s “The Forgotten Palestinians”, Sari Nusseibeh’s “What is a Palestinian State Worth” and a pamphlet titled “The Case for Sanctions against Israel”, a kind of guide to the BDS movement.
The latest books A.B. Yehoshua’s “Friendly fire” or Aharon Appelfeld’s “Until the Dawn’s Light” were not considered for acquisition, but the Scottish libraries recently bought a copy of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the infamous and false anti-Semitic pamphlet which still appears in the libraries’ catalogue in the Victor Marsden’s translation at shelf number “3058924” (to understand the severe implications of this decision, in Italy’s public libraries the last editions of the “Protocols” are from 1938).
In August 2012, the Conference of European Rabbis appealed to Apple Inc to stop selling the Arabic-language version of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which was being sold via iTunes. Yuli Edelstein, then Israel’s Minister of Public Information and Diaspora Affairs, supported the appeal.
They might be interested to know that the book because of which thousands of Jews were killed in Europe, used by Hitler as a manual in his war to exterminate the Jews and found in Palestinian suicide bombers’ pockets, can be easily ordered in a Europe’s public library. See under the “adult non-fiction” section.
This is how the boycott of Israel works: a silent cutting off the Israeli cultural transmission from generation to generation. In a symbolic pogrom, a language, a nation, an entire body of literature have been eviscerated from a Scottish region’s libraries, while the most lethal Judeophobic forgery appears again in Europe’s cultural archives like during Herr Goebbels’ time.
A northern European region succeeded where Iran’s Ahmadinejad failed: Israel is disappearing from people’s eyes and imagination.
PA TV interview confirms that Norway and UK Foreign Ministries gave incorrect information to their parliaments
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Media Watch
Rare interview with wife of Palestinian prisoner proves PMW’s contention that PA pays salaries to prisoners,
including terrorists, and not social welfare to their families, as reported by foreign ministries.
PA TV journalist to wife of prisoner:
“For nearly four years, the prisoner’s allowance from the Ministry of Prisoners’
Affairs… has not reached your hands and your children’s hands… Did you try
to turn to the authorities?”
“A year and a half ago, I went to the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs… Their answer
was: ‘Your husband transfers it to the person he wants. It’s in his power not to
transfer [it to you] and we can’t do anything about it.”
“[My husband] told me: ‘If you do what I want, it [the monthly salary] will return
to you. As long as you are like this, it won’t return to you.'”
Since 2011, Palestinian Media Watch has been supplying governments and media worldwide with documentation that the PA pays high monthly salaries to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel for security offenses, including terrorists serving multiple life-sentences for murder. Yet for nearly two years, the British and Norwegian Foreign Ministries have told their MPs that PMW’s documentation was incorrect. They argued that the PA does not pay salaries to security prisoners, which would be a reward for terror, but gives “social aid to the families” like other PA social welfare programs. This, they have now explained, was what the PA assured them. In spite of all PMW’s documentation, Norway and the UK have justified their continued funding of the PA, saying that none of their support money was going into a funding program specifically for terrorists, but was going to the wives and children.
PMW is now releasing a recent interview with a wife of a Palestinian prisoner that verifies the accuracy of PMW’s reports. In the interview, the prisoner’s wife and
mother of five children complains repeatedly that the prisoner, her husband, has not given her and their children control of his salary, but instead gave it to
his brother. According to the prisoner’s wife, many other prisoners likewise don’t give control of their salary payments to their wives:
“It’s not just me, this problem, many of the prisoners’ wives and children suffer from it, from the transfer of his salary, the prisoner’s salary.”
This testimony refutes the claims of UK Minister of State Alan Duncan in his letter on behalf of UK’s DfID, Department for International Development:
“It is true that in some cases, payments will go to families of those who have committed the sort of crime that we utterly condemn. We believe however that it would be wrong
to punish innocent children and dependent family members by denying them access to social support.”
It also refutes the claims of Norway’s Foreign Ministry that the payments are “social benefits to the families”:
Neither Norway nor Britain has indicated if the fact that the PA pays salaries to convicted terrorists in prison from its budget, will impact on their future funding
of the PA budget.
Irish Teachers Teach Hatred Of Israel
April 7, 2013
The Teachers Union of Ireland voted last week to commence a full boycott of Israel.
At its Annual Congress on Thursday 4th April 2013, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) became the first academic union in Europe to endorse the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel. The motion, which refers to Israel as an “apartheid state”, calls for “all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes” was passed by a unanimous vote during today’s morning session.
Now, in the exchange of “scientists, students, and academic personalities” between Ireland and Israel it is perhaps not so difficult to guess who benefits. Israel is a world leader is science and high-tech, and any exchange must be entirely one-sided. So what the teachers have done is to cut themselves off from knowledge and advancement. Far worse, of course, they have deliberately tried to cut their students off.
The head of the Teachers Union, Jim Roche, added this comment:
Mr. Roche pointed to the desperate situation of Palestinian education under occupation saying that: “Palestinians are struggling for the right to education under extremely difficult conditions. They are eager for it, as shown by the large numbers of students in third level education inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territories. Education has always been a target of the Israeli occupation….”
A few facts. When Israel took over the West Bank in 1967 literacy was about 88 percent; now it is about 93 percent, according to the CIA Factbook. In Jordan, just across the river and with a large Palestinian population, it is almost exactly the same– which suggests that Israeli “targeting” of education isn’t working too well, or more likely that Mr. Roche is simply motivated by ignorance and hatred of Israel. It is also the case that according to UNICEF, the youth literacy rate in Jordan is 99 percent and in Gaza and the West Bank it is exactly the same, 99 percent. This is despite the fact that per capita income in Jordan is twice as high as it is in the West Bank and Gaza, suggesting again that Israeli “targeting” of education is a nonsensical accusation.
One could pile statistic upon statistic, but that would be a vain effort when it comes to minds like those of the members of the Teachers Union of Ireland, who voted unanimously on the boycott; not one soul had the wit or independence of mind to object or to question. One can only pity the poor Irish student who might think for himself or for herself, might wish to spend a term in Israel at a place like the Technion, and might not share in the biases of the teachers. The message from teachers to students is pretty clearly “shut up.” And meanwhile, of course, no mention (much less boycott) by the Irish teachers of China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba or anyplace else where students are “struggling for the right to education under extremely difficult conditions” that include repressive governments, no academic freedom, political tests for admission to higher education–and in the Saudi case greatly restricted opportunities for girls. What a lesson to their students: ignorance, bias, bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and anti-Semitism wrapped in self-righteousness.
Palestinian Media Watch
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
March 17, 2013
UK Parliament scrutinizes Palestinian hate incitement, terror glorification and British funding of PA in debate examining PMW findings
MP Ellman: “The matters… are truly shocking and put a question mark over the status of the Palestinian Authority as a partner for peace”
MP Henderson: “No peace agreement will be able to guarantee peace… if a generation of Palestinians is growing up indoctrinated to hate Israel, Jews and the West”
British Parliament recently held a long debate examining “hate incitement against Israel and the West by the Palestinian Authority.” The debate was initiated by MP
Gordon Henderson. Henderson and other MPs cited Palestinian Media Watch documentation of PA hate promotion and terror glorification, which they were exposed
to in recent meetings with PMW Director Itamar Marcus as well as in PMW bulletins and reports.
MP Gordon Henderson on the severity of the Palestinian culture of hate:
“It is clear that a culture of hate has wormed its way into the very fibre of Palestinian society. Incitement to hate is pervasive in Palestinian school textbooks, on television
programmes and at cultural and sporting events. Palestinians have been consistently and unremittingly taught to hate Jews, Israel and the West… Incitement takes many
forms. It ranges from the denial of Israel’s right to exist to the abhorrent glorification of violence and infamous Palestinian terrorists.”
[British Parliament debate, Feb. 26, 2013. All quotes below are from this debate.] Documentation cited by MP Henderson:
Map cited by MP Henderson
“During the Palestinian application for statehood at the United Nations in September 2011, the PA’s official TV channel broadcast a map that depicted all of modern Israel
and the Palestinian territories wrapped in the Palestinian flag with a key through it. Therefore, at a time when President Abbas was telling the UN that he sought
two states living side by side, residents on the west bank were being shown a map carrying an unmistakeable message of Palestinian sovereignty over the whole area.”
Picture cited by MP Henderson
“Last summer, a PA TV broadcast showed a painting depicting Israel as an ogre with a Star of David skull cap that impales and eats Palestinian children in Gaza.”
Video cited by MP Henderson
“Just this month, PA TV broadcast a music video honouring a number of convicted terrorists… One of the terrorists who was honoured in that video was Ibrahim Hamid, who is serving 54 life sentences in Israel for planning
a series of suicide bombings that killed 46 Israelis.”
Picture cited by MP Henderson
“Official Facebook page of Fatah in Lebanon recently posted a photo of a mother dressing her young son with an explosive suicide belt and encouraging him to blow up the Sons of Zion.”
Other MPs from various parties likewise cited examples and reiterated the significance of PMW’s findings.
Picture cited by MP Offord
“Fatah’s Facebook page routinely publishes pictures and slogans venerating arms and violence against Israel. In some pictures, young children are even shown carrying
MP Louise Ellman (Lab) said the findings raise the question of the PA as a partner for peace:
“I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this important debate. The matters that he brings to the attention of the House are truly shocking and put a question
mark over the status of the Palestinian Authority as a partner for peace.” MP Henderson raised the problem of the UK funding PA salaries to prisoners, a topic
being debated now in Norwegian Parliament as well:
MP Gordon Henderson:
“Consistent with the Palestinian Authority’s policy of glorifying terrorists, the PA financially rewards terrorism by paying a monthly salary to Palestinian prisoners
in Israeli prisons convicted of terror offences… I was shocked to learn that those payments are part funded by the British taxpayer. Indeed, the payments come from
the PA’s general budget, into which the UK contributes more than £30 million each year. I am unaware of any known safeguards in place preventing the use of UK aid
to that end. Previous attempts by my parliamentary colleagues from all parts of the House to raise that issue have been met with apparent denial and a declaration
that the payments are simply “social welfare payments to the families of prisoners” …However, since these payments are not explicitly given to those in need, it seems
logical to assume that they are given as a form of reward for prisoners’ terror acts.”
MP Guto Bebb (Con) cited proof that the payments were not social welfare, but in fact salaries for prisoners:
“… in December 2012, a Palestinian Authority statement, which was released through its official news service… which is made in the name of the Palestinian Minister
responsible for prisoners’ affairs, Issa Karake, announced that those payments were salaries and not social assistance. It went further by stating that any talk of
social assistance was incorrect rumour. How can my hon. Friend square that issue with the denials made by our own Government?”
MP Henderson cited what he saw as a positive remark by Prime Minister David Cameron:
“I am reassured that this is an issue that the Government are starting to regardwith increased seriousness. Indeed, the Prime Minister made his position clear
at a United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner late last year, when he said: ‘Britain will never support anyone who sponsors a football tournament named after a suicide bomber
who killed 20 Israelis in a restaurant. We will not tolerate incitement to terrorism.'” (PMW notes that contrary to PM Cameron’s policy, Britain does in fact support those
who glorify terror. All the examples of terror glorification cited by the MPs in the debate were sponsored by the PA. Moreover, the PA leadership consistently glorifies
terror. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sponsored a summer camp honoring Dalal Mughrabi, whose bus hijacking killed 37 civilians.
Abbas supported naming a square after Mughrabi and personally sponsored a computer center named after her. These are just a few examples of many. PMW recently prepared a
report for the Foreign Affairs Committee of Dutch Parliament with 40 pages of examples of PA-sponsored terror glorification. All of these events
and programs glorifying terrorists are funded by the PA general budget that Britain supports. Contrary to PM Cameron’s assertion that “Britain will never support” anyone
who glorifies terror, it is supporting the PA, which glorifies terror almost daily. In addition to naming sporting events and places after terrorists, PA TV currently
broadcasts four different weekly TV programs that are dedicated to honoring and glorifying Palestinian prisoners who are imprisoned for terrorism and security offenses.
As long as Britain is supporting the PA, it is supporting those who glorify terror.)
The British government responds
Responding in the name of the British government was Alistair Burt, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Burt acknowledged
the problem, referring to documentation he saw in a recent meeting with PMW Director Itamar Marcus, but argued that hate incitement is a symptom and not the problem:
“I had a briefing on some of the material some weeks ago, through Palestinian Media Watch. There are some tough examples. I think that I was expected to be shocked,
but I was not. Hon. Members should not mistake me. Some material was shocking and offensive. It has no place in any political or historical discourse in which any
credible democratic authority has a part. But my deep and genuine worry is that this incitement is not simply a cause of separation between peoples and hatred;
I am afraid that it is a symptom of it.”
Burt also seemed to imply a symmetry between PA and Israeli incitement, although he did not cite any examples of Israeli incitement to back this up:
“I welcome this opportunity to reiterate the Government’s position on incitement. We oppose, in all circumstances, the advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred
that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. We deplore incitement on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“We do not hesitate to raise instances of incitement with both the Palestinian Authority and Israel whenever we feel that it is appropriate to do so.”
Video cited by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt
Burt cited a video he had been shown by PMW Director Marcus in their meeting, of a young girl singing about martyrdom
at a performance broadcast on PA TV. Following Burt’s policy of blaming both sides equally, he did not blame the PA schools who may have taught the girl the song,
nor did he blame official PA TV for broadcasting the song, nor did he blame the producers of the event for including it in the program. Furthermore, he did not
mention that PM Salam Fayyad and the Secretary General of the Presidential Office, Al-Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, were in the audience applauding the singers. Instead, he
blamed both sides equally:
Burt: “My overwhelming feeling in looking at some issues, particularly in relation to children, was sadness that those on both sides of the divide who wish to emphasize
difference and separateness are steadily winning that battle. One example, which my hon. Friend may be aware of, is a little girl of about seven years of age reciting
with pride a poem about a suicide bomber, or so-called martyr. If we see a child reciting a poem about such a thing, instead of what ought to be filling her mind,
how do we react? Anger towards her is clearly not appropriate. Whoever’s fault it is, it is not hers. I felt sadness for her, but anger that those who possess the
ability to take down some of the barriers between Palestinians and Israelis simply do not do so, but continue actions that perpetuate the hatred.” (emphasis added)
Burt also praised the PA leadership for what he called “their genuine commitment to non-violence”:
“On the PA’s leadership, it is important to stress that we consider that the track record of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad shows their genuine commitment
to non-violence and a negotiated two-state solution.”
MP Andrew Percy rejected Burt’s praise of the PA leadership, noting the PA may be telling UK leaders one thing and “saying something slightly different in Arabic”:
“I am a little alarmed at that statement by the Minister, because there are many examples – example after example, indeed – of senior Palestinian officials at the
very top levels attending sporting competitions named in honour of people who have murdered innocent Israelis, or of their attending ceremonies to rename squares and
streets after people who have murdered innocent Israelis. So while they may say one thing to the West, they may be saying something slightly different in Arabic.”
Alistair Burt responded by ignoring the facts cited by Percy and repeated UK policy: “The Prime Minister was clear in his denunciation of those who set up sporting tournaments
or who support activities named in memory of the so-called martyrs and the suicide bombers. Of course, that is the clear position of the UK Government.”
(PMW notes that MP Percy was correct to state that PA leaders are involved in the terror glorification that Britain condemns. Burt’s statement that Britain’s policy
is to “denounce those who set up sporting tournaments or who support activities named in memory of the so-called martyrs and the suicide bombers” is likewise not
being implemented. Praising Fayyad and Abbas from the floor of UK Parliament for “their genuine commitment to non-violence,” and not “denouncing” the fact that
they are honoring terrorists, is contrary to stated UK policy.)
Finally, in spite of all the documentation, Burt tried to minimize the severity of the problem:
“I do not fully share the bleakness of the rhetoric with which my hon. Friend began his remarks, particularly his comment that Palestinians have been consistently and
unremittingly taught to hate Jews, Israel and the west.” Possibly anticipating Burt’s comment or having heard it before, MP Gordon Henderson
in his earlier remarks criticized those who fail to acknowledge the significance of the PA hate incitement. He also warned that the PA hate incitement will undermine
any future peace agreement:
“It is shameful that such incitement to hatred has been denied by too many people… I contend that incitement is a form of abuse of Palestinian children. We must remember
that those children are the next generation of peacemakers and state-builders. Simply put, no peace agreement will be able to guarantee peace in the medium to long term
if a generation of Palestinians is growing up indoctrinated to hate Israel, Jews and the West.” (emphasis added)
PMW sparked debate in Norway [http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8601],
the responses of Norwegian MPs [http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8606],
and how as a result a parliamentary committee investigated [http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8637]
if Norway is funding Palestinian terrorists [http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8630]
Europe Rolls Over for Hezbollah Blackmail
March 7, 2013
The recent cases in Bulgaria and Cyrus provide irrefutable evidence that Hezbollah is highly active in Europe, where it raises funds, launders money, traffics drugs, recruits operatives and plots attacks with impunity.
The main objective of Israeli President Shimon Peres’s week-long state visit to Brussels, Paris and Strasbourg March 5-12 is apparently to persuade reluctant European leaders to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement a terrorist organization.
Blacklisting Hezbollah would deprive the militant group of significant sources of fundraising by enabling the freezing its bank accounts and assets in Europe. It would also facilitate intra-European police cooperation aimed at pursuing and arresting Hezbollah operatives believed to be living underground throughout Europe.Several Western countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands officially classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization years ago. But the European Union has steadfastly resisted calls to sanction Hezbollah.
EU leaders say they do not have enough information to make a judgment about whether Hezbollah is involved in terrorism. They have tried to justify themselves by saying that because the issue is legal, not moral, in nature, they need “courtroom evidence” of Hezbollah’s culpability.
Well, at least that has been clarified: in recent weeks Bulgarian authorities implicated Hezbollah in the July 18, 2012 terrorist attack which killed five Israeli tourists and their driver in the Black Sea resort of Burgas.
Bulgaria’s February 5 public announcement, which angered many EU countries afraid of provoking Hezbollah, was the first time that an EU member state has officially established that Hezbollah was guilty of a carrying out a terrorist attack on EU territory.
European officials have long rationalized their lack of resolve against Hezbollah by claiming that the organization has both a military wing and a political wing, and that cracking down on the former would cripple the latter, which consequently would lead to the destabilization of Lebanon as well as the broader Middle East.
Many analysts, however, say this high-mindedness is a smoke screen behind which Europeans are hiding to conceal the real reason why they are reluctant to confront Hezbollah: fear, fear and more fear.
Europeans are afraid to call Hezbollah what it is because they fear reprisals against European interests at home and abroad. Europeans also fear that if they take a hard line against Hezbollah, the group may activate sleeper cells and carry out attacks in European cities. (According to a leaked German intelligence report, there are more than 900 Hezbollah operatives in Germany alone.)
In addition, Europeans are afraid that Hezbollah may retaliate against European troops, known as UNIFIL, participating in the United Nations mission in Lebanon.
In Spain, for instance, where Hezbollah was involved in the April 1985 bombing of a restaurant near Madrid in which 18 Spanish citizens were killed, the case was closed in 1987 due to a lack of arrests.
After six Spanish peacekeepers were killed in a Hezbollah bomb attack in southern Lebanon in June 2007, a fearful Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero recruited that same Hezbollah to safeguard Spanish troops, presumably as a way to safeguard his own job.
Less than a month after those killings, it emerged that Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah militants, who agreed to provide “escorts” to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war against Israel.
The Spanish government recently announced that it will cut the number of its troops within UNIFIL to half by the end of 2013. What is clear is that Spain, as well as its European partners, have abandoned the letter and the spirit of UN Resolution 1559, the main objective of which was to disarm Hezbollah and to transfer effective control over the southern Lebanon to Lebanon’s armed forces.
Europeans are also afraid of inciting the thousands of shiftless young Muslim immigrants in towns and cities across the continent. The fear of angry Muslims is, in fact, so pervasive in European capitals that in practical terms Islam has already established a de facto veto on European foreign policymaking.
In addition to the investigation in Bulgaria, there has also been the trial in Cyprus of Hossam Taleb Yaakoub, a captured Hezbollah operative with joint Lebanese and Swedish citizenship who is suspected of plotting attacks on Israeli targets. The trial, which is scheduled to end on March 7, has provided many insights into Hezbollah’s secret operations in Europe.
Taken together, the recent cases in Bulgaria and Cyprus provide irrefutable evidence that Hezbollah is highly active in Europe, where it raises funds, launders money, traffics drugs, recruits operatives and plots attacks with impunity.
Even so, the new revelations are unlikely to cause the EU to reconsider its refusal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group and crack down on its fund-raising. Indeed, European officials have signaled that they desperately want to keep the peace with Hezbollah.
After Bulgaria implicated Hezbollah, John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor and his nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, urged the EU to condemn Hezbollah: “We call on our European partners as well as other members of the international community to take proactive action to uncover Hezbollah’s infrastructure and disrupt the group’s financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks.”
But Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign policy, responded without even mentioning Hezbollah by name. She said only that there was now a “need for reflection” and added: “The implications of the investigation need to be assessed seriously as they relate to a terrorist attack on EU soil, which resulted in the killing and injury of innocent civilians.”
In Sweden, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt went so far as to express his anger at Bulgaria for blaming Hezbollah. In a February 5 tweet, he said: “We need to reflect seriously on consequences of Bulgaria probe naming Hezbollah as behind terrorist attack.”
Only one EU country has had the courage to blacklist Hezbollah’s entire organization: The Netherlands proscribed the group in 2004. In a recent statement, the Dutch Embassy in Israel said: “The Netherlands has been calling for Hezbollah to be included on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2004, and has consistently urged its EU partners to support such a move.”
If the EU is eventually shamed into adding Hezbollah to its terror list, it will probably follow the example not of Holland but of Britain.
In 2008, the British government “banned” Hezbollah’s military wing after the group targeted British troops in Iraq. But the Labour government stopped short of curtailing Hezbollah’s ability to operate in Britain, arguing that the military wing is separate from the political wing.
In recent weeks, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has repeatedly urged the EU to replicate the British model and outlaw only Hezbollah’s military wing. Although this “fix” would allow the EU to say that it has taken meaningful action against the group, Hezbollah leaders themselves make no such distinction.
Sheikh Naim Qassem, the second in command of Hezbollah, with the title of deputy secretary-general, has rejected Britain’s attempt to separate the group into military and political wings. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in April 2009, Qassem said: “Hezbollah has a single leadership. … The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads Jihad actions in the struggle against Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu concurred, saying: “There is only one Hezbollah, it is one organization with one leadership.”
Avi Dichter, Israel’s Minister of Home Front Defense and a former director of Shin Bet, had this to say: “To speak about [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah as someone who is only political is ridiculous. … Asking if Hezbollah is a terrorist organization is like asking if Paris belongs to France. Who is sleeping? Are we Israelis sleeping or are countries in Europe sleeping? There is no debate.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, writing in the Washington, DC-based magazine Foreign Policy, put it this way: “Calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al-Qaeda an urban planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings. … The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must find a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.
Muslim antisemites in Holland praise Hitler
A bridge too far?
March 12, 2013
Britain’s Prince Charles is currently on an official visit to Jordan, Oman and Qatar. But stepping foot in nearby Israel by any member of the British royal family is officially banned by the British Foreign Office.
Prince Charles’ latest trip is one more of the many routine visits by various members of the royal family to the Muslim Arab countries of the Middle East organized for them by the Foreign Office in successive British governments. Yet the same royals are never sent to Israel and one wonders if any of them ever express a desire to visit the Jewish state. If they do, no doubt the Foreign Office slaps them down quickly for fear that such a visit would upset their Arab and Muslim trading partners and endanger Britain’s extensive and lucrative bi-lateral economic and business ties in the Muslim Arab world.
It was just over a year ago that the Countess of Wessex, wife to Prince Edward, was embroiled in a scandal after she had accepted a lavish set of gems and a solid silver and pearl cup from the Bharaini royal family during her visit to the Persian Gulf state. Her “duty” included attending an opulent and lavish banquet in the repressive and hardline oil rich nation and hobnobbing with King Hamad al-Khalifa and his prime minister, whose name is almost as long as a sentence – Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.
Apart from accepting the gifts – or what some have described as bribes – Bahrain was wracked by demonstrations during the so-called Arab Spring in which fifty people were killed and many more arrested and tortured. Under such circumstances, perhaps the extravagant gifts should be returned by Buckingham Palace. So far they remain the property of what is called the Royal Collection.
The value of the jewels alone could be as high as $3.5 million. Back in 2007, the Duchess of Cornwall was given similar gifts by the Saudi royal family including three separate suites of jewels, also estimated at $3.5 million.
So for the happy Royals, endlessly jetting off to some of the most despotic and autocratic regimes in the world, it is fair game. Visiting the only true democracy in the Middle East, however, is off limits. And the present visit by Prince Charles to Jordan means that only one of the bridges over the River Jordan separates him from the Jewish state: So near and yet so far.
This British ban on royals visiting Israel is no different than the divestment and boycott campaign against the Jewish state by pro-Palestinian Israel haters and by the Left. The lordly mandarins of the Foreign Office, influenced by the corrosive presence of the Arabists amongst them, maintain this outrageous boycott of Israel and have done so for 65 years since the Jewish state’s 1948 rebirth as a nation in its ancestral and biblical homeland.
Queen Elizabeth, during her 60 or so years on the throne, has made some 250 overseas visits attending, among others, functions in Sudan, Libya, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia – including some of the most deplorable human rights abusers on earth. But a state visit to Israel, where she would be showered with immense affection by its people, is tragically out of the question.
So what would happen if, just once, Prince Charles ignored his Foreign Office handlers and made the moral choice to cross that bridge over the River Jordan?
Link to original article: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/sharpe/130312
French city grants honorary citizenship to murderer of Israeli minister
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
March 10, 2013
Terrorist Majdi Al-Rimawi was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 80 years for participating in the planning and murder of Israeli Minister Rechavam Zeevi in 2001.
A few weeks ago, the city of Bezons in France decided to grant Al-Rimawi “honorary citizenship.” The inscription on the plaque prepared by the municipality of Bezons
referred to Al-Rimawi as a “political prisoner.” Al-Rimawi participated in Zeevi’s murder and was a member of the terrorist organization PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The Mayor of the city of Bezons, Dominique Lesparre, made a speech at the ceremony in which he justified the acts of the terrorist convicted of murder, calling him
a “victim.” He also defended all 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons as “Palestinian resistance.” The transcript of his speech was posted on his blog:
Dominique Lesparre, Mayor of Bezons: “Majdi is a direct victim of this occupation… As are the 4,500 Palestinian resistance [fighters] who were imprisoned for having dared to defend their country against
an occupier whose military means are oversized and whose methods constantly violate UN resolutions and international law.”
Germans Lurching towards Anti-Semitism
February 28, 2013
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, successive German governments have meticulously upheld their obligations to the Jewish people. Study of the Holocaust is a mandatory component of the German state education curriculum, Holocaust denial is classified as a crime and restitution commitments were honored and even exceeded.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is a genuine friend of the Jews and despite intense political pressures and occasional minor vacillations, has consistently supported Israel, describing its security as “part of my country’s raison d’etre”. However in recent years, as in other European countries, German public opinion has turned against Israel, perceiving it as the principal threat to global stability and peace. This hostility has increasingly assumed overt anti-Semitic tones.
There is growing resentment against Jews, who are blamed for imposing excessive emphasis on collective German national guilt for the Holocaust. Anti-Jewish hostility is often expressed in the more ‘politically respectable’ demonization of the Jewish nation state, allegedly not related to anti-Semitism although the “Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe” (OSCE) explicitly defines such behavior as anti-Semitic. The German left has accused Israel of war crimes, occupation and racism and also engages in inverse Holocaust imagery, enthusiastically condemning Israel for allegedly behaving towards the Palestinians as its Nazi forebears did to the Jews. When reproached for engaging in anti-Semitism, the left condemns the ‘global Zionist propaganda machine’ for seeking to deny Germans the right to criticize Israeli government policies.
These trends are fortified by the sizable Islamic migrant community – now numbering over four million – which aggressively agitates against Israel, utilizing obscene placards at demonstrations chanting “gas the Jews” or “death to the Jews”. Moslems are at the forefront of violence directed at identifiable Jews in urban areas, especially in Berlin, where some Jewish communal leaders are now recommending to avoid wearing kipot in public. Yet, the government has welcomed the immigration of almost 200,000 former Soviet Jews and invested major funds to resurrect a vigorous Jewish communal life and foster Jewish education. Despite receiving state subsidies, the Jewish leadership displays its independence and frequently speaks out if it considers the government is not fulfilling its obligations to the Jewish community or fails to act evenhandedly towards Israel. However the intensification of extreme anti-Israeli hostility combined with a recent spate of disconcerting incidents has created angst within the Jewish community. Last year, there was a traumatic national debate which assumed ugly anti-Semitic overtones after a judgment in Cologne ruled that male circumcision causes “bodily harm” and declared the practice illegal. The matter was only resolved following the direct intervention of Chancellor Merkel who initiated the passage of legislation legalizing circumcision.
In April 2012, in a provocative outburst, 84 year old Nobel Prize laureate Gunter Grass bitterly accused the Israeli government of seeking to obliterate the Iranian population. He warned that the Jewish state, which he considers ‘insane and unscrupulous’, represents the principal obstacle to peace in the region and called on his government to cancel delivery to Israel of the last Dolphin submarine. Despite being discredited for having initially concealed that he had served as a member of the Nazi Waffen SS, Grass’s vicious attack on Israel, whilst condemned by numerous politicians and journalists, was enthusiastically endorsed by many Germans. Shortly after that incident, the state-sponsored Berlin Jewish Museum invited Judith Butler, a notorious Jewish promoter of BDS against Israel, as a guest lecturer. Butler received enthusiastic applause from the 700-strong audience when, purporting to act in accordance with the highest Jewish moral values, she renewed calls to boycott Israel and ‘abolish political Zionism’ in order to create a bi-national Palestinian state.
To provide a platform for such an outspoken anti-Israeli activist at a state-sponsored Jewish Museum in Berlin is surely obscene but not unprecedented. Former Israeli communist Felicia Langer, lives in Germany where she condemns the German government for supporting Israel, constantly equates Israelis with Nazis, calls for Israeli leaders to be tried as war criminals, describes Israel as an apartheid regime and even praises Iranian President Ahmadinejad. In August 2009, German President Horst Kohler, who four years earlier had addressed the Knesset, shocked the Jewish community by honoring Langer with the Federal Cross of Merit, Germany’s most prestigious award.
In 2010, despite protests from the Israeli Embassy, Frankfurt’s Mayor Petra Roth invited Alfred Grosser, a German-born Jew known to be frenziedly hostile to Israel, to give the annual Kristallnacht oration in the Paul’s Church. He used the occasion to draw parallels between the behavior of Israelis and Nazis and was lauded by the media.
Another ongoing scandal prevails at the German Center on anti-Semitism in Berlin, considered the most important German institute engaged with the subject. Until last year it was headed by Professor Wolfgang Benz, who received his PhD from Professor Karl Bosl, a former Nazi storm trooper who maintains an ongoing association with right wing extremist groups. To this day, Benz continues defending his mentor. Benz equates Islamophobia with anti-Semitism, alleging that critics of Islamic practice are reminiscent of Nazi anti-Semites attacking the Talmud. He recently challenged the fact that the Muslim terrorist murders in Toulouse had an “anti-Semitic dimension”. He dismisses concerns about the Moslem Brotherhood as being reminiscent of anti-Semitic phobias like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and bizarrely complains that drawing attention to the fact that Moslems comprise 70% of Berlin prison inmates is comparable to Hitler’s ravings over “the fact that 89% of Berlin pediatricians in the 1930s were Jews”. The Center focuses on right-wing extremism and largely ignores or understates left-wing and Islamic anti-Semitism. Yet, despite protests, no effort has been made to redirect the activities of this government funded institute.
The most recent upheaval erupted in response to a list compiled by the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, purporting to identify the ten worst anti-Semitic statements of 2012. It included President Ahmadinejad, the Moslem Brotherhood, Nation of Islam founder, Louis Farrakhan and European anti-Semites. Ninth on the list was Jakob Augstein, publisher of the magazine Der Freitag, who also provides columns to Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading weekly, founded by his father. I have an aversion to simplistic lists prioritizing bigots and having reviewed some of Augstein’s outbursts, I consider that bracketing him with Ahmadinejad or Farrakhan absurdly magnifies his standing and impact. But nevertheless, his outbursts, by any benchmark, warrant describing him as an anti-Semite. Augstein alleges that when “Jerusalem calls, Berlin bows its will”; that US presidents were obliged to “secure the support of Jewish lobby groups”; that American Republicans and the Israeli government profit from violence in Libya, Sudan and Yemen; that “the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever swelling war chant”; that “Israel incubates its opponents in Gaza”; that the recent Prophet Mohammed video provoking riots was initiated by Israel; that ultra-Orthodox Jews are like Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and “follow the law of revenge”. Even the broadest interpretation of the OSCE definition would qualify such demonization of Israel and allusions to Jewish global power as anti-Semitic. In response, Augstein shamelessly claimed that being opposed to Jew hatred and “deeply respecting” the Simon Wiesenthal Center, he was distressed to be defamed as an anti-Semite. Prominent German Jewish writer and commentator, Henryk Broder, was sufficiently outraged to describe Augstein as “a pure anti-Semite… who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war”. The president of the Jewish Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, whilst condemning his “horrible, hideous” articles on Israel, criticized his placement on such a list. His vice president, Salomon Korn, went further and foolishly defended Augstein against charges of anti-Semitism. Juliane Wetzel from the German Center on anti-Semitism was amongst those who rejected suggestions that Augstein was disseminating hatred of Jews. Overall, the bulk of the German media, as well as both leftist and CDU politicians defended him, insisting that he was merely expressing legitimate criticism of Israel.
It was significant that in 2010, two Bundestag leftist representatives were aboard the Turkish Marvi Marmara and that for the first time, the left and the right united in parliament to carry a unanimous resolution censuring Israel for the Gaza flotilla episode. This in itself may not represent anti-Semitism, but reflects the atmosphere of increasing hostility against Israel which would have been inconceivable in Germany only a few years ago.
For Jews, the positive side of Germany is the evident abundance of pro-Israeli and even philo-Semitic rank and file Germans in all walks of life. Yet, simultaneously the intensifying efforts by left wing activists uniting with Moslem extremists and occasionally even Nazis, to demonize Israel and promote anti-Semitism, provide valid grounds for concern about a future for Jews in Germany.
The situation is likely to further deteriorate drastically after the culmination of Angela Merkel’s term as Chancellor.
Forbes Picture Captures IOC President Jacques Rogge Wearing Official Palestinian Olympic Shawl.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
… The best excuse Rogge has mustered [for refusing to hold a moment of silence commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes] is that a commemoration wouldn’t be appropriate. He apparently forgot about the moment of silence for the besieged city of Sarajevo at the start of the 1984 Winter Games.
And the moment of silence at the close of the 1996 Games for victims of the Centennial Park bombing. And Rogge has certainly forgotten the opening of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
A tattered American flag recovered from the World Trade Center on 9-11 was carried around the stadium. It was then raised as the official U.S. flag. …
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge is a bigot, hypocrite, and supporter of terrorists. The “Palestinian” government is made up of two terrorist groups, the PLO/Fatah in Judea and Samaria, and Hamas in Gaza. Their athletes’ mere presence at the Olympics is disgusting and an affront to civilized values. Yet, despite the hypocritical and contradictory evidence provided above, he thinks commemorating the savage murder of Israeli athletes by “Palestinians” linked to the PLO/Fatah and the current “Palestinian Authority” is “inappropriate?” Well, Forbes has evidence of what is really inappropriate: A bona fide picture of Rogge wearing an official, terrorist Palestinian Olympic shawl in 2010 while visiting the “Palestinian Authority,” a terrorist group child of the Fatah and PLO terrorist groups:
Here’s Forbes caption for Rogge’s mugshot: “President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge pauses during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. Rogge on Tuesday expressed concern over “obstacles” facing Palestinian athletes, and in veiled criticism of Israel said athletes should be granted free movement regardless of politics.”
“Regardless of politics?!?!?!” But “Palestinian” terrorist politics are fine? Rogge is a politically-correct partisan, wanting to jump on the Jew-hate bandwagon so he gets lots of atta-boys from like-minded useless idiots — the ones he rubs elbows with at expense international cocktail parties where limousine liberals can assuage their secret guilt about being rich and comfortable while the true, teeming, suffering masses of the earth wriggle in the dirt. I would venture Rogge harbors fear and wants to be on the “right” side of politics so some crazed Arab/Muslim terrorist doesn’t blow him up, or to prevent himself from getting beheaded when the New World Caliphate takes over starting in Europe. But what are we to expect of the eternally corrupt and hypocritical Internal Olympic Committee? Their true nature is betrayed by their concrete actions. Again, SportingNews:
[The IOC] …awarded Berlin the Olympics as Adolf Hitler was passing anti-Jewish laws.
It went to Moscow right after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. It partied in Beijing as dissidents were rounded up.
It has looked the other way as Iranian athletes refused to compete against Israelis. The Palestinian Authority sent a letter this week to Rogge, thanking him for opposing “Israel’s attempts to exploit the Olympic games for propaganda purposes.” …
I guess he’s gleeful for being congratulated by his terrorist friends. I know Rogge’s heart is as cold as ice:
When Ankie Spitzer, widow of Andre Spitzer [Israeli athlete murdered at the 1972 games in Munich], stretched out her hands to Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, and begged him to hold a minute’s silence, he refused. “My hands are tied” he said. “No,” Ankie replied: “Your hands are not tied. My husband’s hands were tied, so were here his feet, when he was murdered. That was having your hands tied.” …
But as usual, the reasons behind burying the memory of murdered Jews are probably more concrete — i.e., selling your soul for a couple of gold coins. From New Jersey On-Line:
… Actually, it’s easy to understand anyone’s actions when money is involved. For years, the IOC’s refusal to commemorate the Munich 11 was assumed to be based on pressure from Arab nations, a huge financier of the Games. ESPN found the proof, in the form of minutes from a meeting of the 2000 Sydney planning committee, that said the IOC received boycott threats “from several Arab Olympic committees” if the Israeli dead were honored in any manner. …
EJC head blasts ‘Spiegel’ writer for ‘Israel hatred’
January 8, 2013
European Jewish Congress head Kantor accuses Augstein of using his columns to stoke hate against Israel and Jews.
January 21, 2013
by Caroline Glick
In an interview with Haaretz in November 2010, British novelist Martin Amis said the following about discussions of Israel in his motherland:
I live in a mildly anti-Semitic country, and Europe is mildly anti-Semitic, and they hold Israel to a higher moral standard than its neighbors. If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack. Everyone else is protected by having dark skin, or colonial history, or something. But you can attack Israel. And the atmosphere becomes very unpleasant. It is traditional, snobbish, British anti-Semitism combined with present-day circumstances.
After participating last week in a debate in London about Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines organized by the self-consciously pretentious Intelligence Squared debating society, I can now say from personal experience that Amis is correct. The public atmosphere in England regarding Israel is ugly and violent.
The resolution we debated read: “Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future.”
My debating partner was Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council.
We debated Daniel Levy, one of the founders of J-Street and the drafter of the Geneva Initiative, and the son of Lord Michael Levy, one of Tony Blair’s biggest fundraisers; and William Sieghart, a British philanthropist who runs a non-profit that among other things, champions Hamas. Levy has publicly stated that Israel’s creation was immoral. And Sieghart has a past record of saying that Israel’s delegitimization would be a salutary proces and calling for a complete cultural boycott of Israel while lauding Hamas.
We lost overwhelmingly. I think the final vote tally was something like 500 for the resolution and 100 against it.
A couple of impressions I took away from the experience: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don’t see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?
As to visiting as an Israeli, again, I just don’t see the point. The discourse is owned by anti-Israel voices. They don’t make arguments to spur thought, but to end it, by appealing to people’s passions.
For instance, in one particularly ugly segment, Levy made the scurrilous accusation that Israel systematically steals land from the Palestinians. Both Dayan and I demanded that he provide just one example of his charge. And the audience raged against us for our temerity at insisting that he provide substantiation for his baseless allegation. In the event, he failed to substantiate his allegation.
At another point, I was asked how I defend the Nazi state of Israel. When I responded by among other things giving the Nazi pedigree of the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini and currently led by Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, the crowd angrily shouted me down.
I want to note that the audience was made up of upper crust, wealthy British people, not unwashed rabble rousers. And yet they behaved in many respects like a mob when presented with pro-Israel positions.
I honestly don’t know whether there are policy implications that arise from my experience in London last week. I have for a long time been of the opinion that Israel shouldn’t bother to try to win over Europe because the Europeans have multiple reasons for always being anti-Israel and none of them have anything to do with anything that Israel does. As I discuss in my book, these reasons include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, addiction to Arab oil, and growing Muslim populations in Europe.
I was prepared to conduct a civilized debate based on facts and reasoned argumentation. I expected it to be a difficult experience. I was not expecting to be greeted by a well-dressed mob. My pessimism about Europeans’ capacity to avail themselves to reasoned, fact-based argumentation about Israel has only deepened from the experience.
One positive note, I had a breakfast discussion last Wednesday morning with activists from the Zionist Federation of Britain. The people I met are committed, warm, hardworking Zionists. I wish them all the best, and mainly that means, that I hope that these wonderful people and their families make aliyah.
While their work is worthwhile, there is no future for Jews in England.
Anglo-Jewish Leaders partner anti-Israeli Charity
by Isi Leibler
January 29, 2013
I rubbed my eyes as I observed yet another botched initiative by the well-intentioned leadership of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Its plenum, by a vote of almost to 2:1, endorsed a linkage with the British branch of Oxfam International, one of the largest global charity organizations with branches in over 90 countries.
The Board of Deputies will send 30 representatives to a training weekend with Oxfam where they will be taught how to raise funds in the battle against global hunger in order to “tackle injustices in the international food system”. The cost, about $13,000, will largely be borne by Oxfam.
It is unprecedented for an umbrella body like the Board of Deputies to enter into partnerships with charities. The Board struggles to fulfill its clearly defined constitutional obligations. Besides, Jews are renowned for their generous philanthropic contributions, and there is thus no rational reason why it should seek to highlight such non-Jewish activity.
But even if the Board felt an obligation to become visibly engaged with a charity, it is staggering that it chose to do so with Oxfam, an organization which has a notorious reputation for engaging in anti-Israeli initiatives totally beyond the normal province of a charity.
Oxfam’s hostility towards Israel goes back for over a decade. One of the worst examples occurred in the wake of the Durban hate fest, when the Belgian branch produced huge posters with oranges dripping in blood titled “Israeli fruits have a bitter taste: reject the occupation of Palestine, don’t buy Israeli fruits and vegetables”. Following a storm of protest this blood libel was withdrawn.
In 2009 Oxfam effectively promoted BDS by terminating its relationship with actress Kristin Davis, one of its principal spokespersons, because she had endorsed Israeli Ahava cosmetic products.
Oxfam’s director Jeremy Hobbs proclaimed that “the people of Gaza are living in the world’s largest prison but have fewer rights than convicts”. Oxfam called for ending the boycott of Hamas and repeatedly condemned the “illegal” Israeli presence in East Jerusalem. It was party to a document urging the international community to demand that Israel “provide compensation for the damage caused during Operation Cast Lead and other Israeli military action”.
Following the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, which Oxfam considered “a direct result of the Israeli blockade in Gaza”, it denounced Israel’s “appalling use of violence and killing of civilians”.
Oxfam has condemned Israel’s security fence which played an important role in bring an end to suicide bombings within Israel
To this day Oxfam calls for the specific labeling of goods produced over the green line – clearly a form of boycott.
In addition Oxfam cosponsors initiatives with bodies that have clear records of supporting terrorists such as the London Muslim Center and Islamic Relief.
It is thus inexplicable why a Jewish representative body would associate itself with a charity which prides itself on maintaining a consistent record of hostility towards the Jewish state.
Even more bizarre was the fact that the Board was encouraged by other Jewish establishment bodies. These included the principal PR organization promoting Israel, the British Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM) and the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA), the principal Israel fundraiser whose former leader had the dubious record of having urged British Jews to speak out against the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel.
Astonishingly, even the British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, intervened, telling the London Jewish Chronicle that the Board should engage with Oxfam as well as with other bodies which criticize Israel. It is unprecedented for a British civil servant, an ambassador to Israel, to intervene in such a controversial domestic issue. What motivated him to do so on this occasion?
In justifying the initiative, Board President Vivian Wineman sought to calm his constituents by remarking that working with Oxfam did not mean the Board shared its views. However, he opined that his executive felt obliged to “engage” with bodies that were hostile to Israel.
He stated that after meeting with Oxfam, he was satisfied it would not boycott Israel or associate itself with organizations linked to terrorism. If it did, the Board would terminate the association.
However Oxfam refused to modify ongoing political attacks on Israel or suspend its campaign to oblige Israel to label all products produced over the green line.
The Board also failed to explain why, if it sought to “engage” with organizations hostile to Israel, it chose a charity which it was unlikely to influence, rather than concentrating on “engaging” with more relevant organizations such as the government and political parties. In this context few would hail the Board’s promotion of the case for Israel in the broader political arena as a stellar success.
Clearly some British Jews would be happier if the Board was seen to be more “balanced” or “evenhanded” in relation to Israel. There are undoubtedly pressures from elements within the Jewish establishment – the “trembling Israelites” – that are discomforted at being perceived as a pro-Israel lobby. Perhaps they sought to distance themselves from this by displaying their broadmindedness and commitment to society at large by linking to an anti-Israeli charity.
During the debate, there were repeated remarks that dealing with Oxfam may not be good for Israel but it was good for Anglo-Jews to be seen as helping charities providing food for children. Senior vice-president Laura Marks conceded that it was highly unlikely that the Board would succeed to persuade Oxfam to modify its policies towards Israel, but gushed that the Board’s involvement would at least result in “helping Oxfam understand our values as Jews, to help them to see that we share values with them”.
It should be noted that those opposed to this initiative were not calling for a Jewish boycott of the charity. They argued, with irrefutable justification, that there was no rationale for the official organ of the Jewish community to provide an imprimatur to an organization which has a consistent record of hostility to the Jewish state.
There is also the issue of Jewish dignity. What sort of message is the community sending to the British public and for that matter what example is it providing to Jewish youngsters, when it associates itself with such an organization?
Following the plenum vote, Jonathan Hoffman, one of those leading the opposition to the association with Oxfam, said it was a sad day for British Jews and undermined Israel. “To Israel’s enemies it says, even the Board supports an organization hostile to Israel – look how isolated Israel is. To Israel’s friends it says, the Board’s not serious about fighting delegitimization. How can it be when it rushes into a tie-up with one of Israel’s most hostile charities?”
Despite obtaining a plenum majority to endorse their initiative, it may well be a Pyrrhic victory for the leaders of the Board because the divisions created will not soon be healed. British Jews who are passionate supporters of Israel and at the forefront of Jewish activity will not easily forgive their leaders for shamefully linking them with an organization consistently displaying double standards and bias against Israel. According to the Jewish Chronicle, numerous outraged constituents have already threatened to withdraw their communal levy payments from the Board.
Venomous Antisemitism published by Palestinian Ma’an News Agency
funded by Danish, Dutch and UK governments
and the EU, UNDP, and UNESCO
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
January 30, 2012
“[The Jews] feel inferior to the nations and societies in which they live, because of the hostility and evil rising in their hearts towards others and for their plots and schemes against the nations who know with certainty that the Jews are the root of conflict in the world, wherever they reside.”
“[Jews are] outcasts in every corner of the earth, and not one nation in the world respects them… but Allah’s curse upon them and his fury at them cause them to
continue with their transgression.” “Allah has stricken fear in their hearts and decreed humiliation and degradation upon them until Judgment Day”
An article published by the independent and European funded Palestinian Ma’an News Agency (MNA) confirms that classic Antisemitic ideologies continue to exist among
Palestinians. The article written by Sawsan Najib Abd Al-Halim appears on Ma’an’s website, and describes Jews as: “the root of conflict in the world,” cursed by Allah, and “outcasts in every corner of the earth.”
Palestinian Media Watch [http://www.palwatch.org/] has documented that demonization of Jews [http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=757] and Israelis has been an integral part of PA ideology for years.
The Ma’an article further explains that Jews are hostile, evil, and brutal, plotting and scheming, and that “Allah has decreed” that Jews are destined to be “humiliated.”
Ma’an News Agency, “an integral part of Ma’an Network,” “was launched with generous funding from the Danish Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority
Some of Ma’an Network’s donors: The European Commission, UNDP, UNESCO, the Government of Denmark, the Government of the Netherlands and UKaid. [http://www.maannet.org]
(PA) and the Netherlands Representative Office to the PA,” the agency’s website states. Some of the donors with whom Ma’an Network partners are The European Commission (the EU), UNDP, UNESCO, the Government of Denmark, the Government of the Netherlands, UKaid.
“Undeterred in its mission to convey the truth” says a slogan among several on Ma’an Network’s website. The Antisemitic article on Ma’an’s website expresses contempt for Jews, defining them as “sons of death”, “too cowardly to confront an enemy face to face” and “seized by fear and trembling” if “their fortresses” are breached, and describes how “their hearts fill with horror” if “a missile falls” or “a bullet passes over them.”
This is because:
“Allah has stricken fear in their hearts and decreed humiliation and degradation upon them until Judgment Day.”
Jews “cause strife, and scheme everywhere they settle,” the article claims, and therefore “they have been outcasts in every corner of the earth, and not one nation
in the world respects them.” As a result, “the lives of Jews have always been war and fighting.”
However, “because of the hostility and evil rising in their hearts towards others and for their plots and schemes against the nations,” the Jews “have been defeated
through the ages and feel inferior to the nations and societies in which they live,” the writer explains. These nations, the writer asserts, “know with certainty that the Jews are the root of conflict in the world, wherever they reside.”
The Ma’an article concludes with Fatah’s slogan: “Revolution until victory”.
Ma’an’s editors did not dissociate themselves from the contents of this Antisemitic article in any way. The article only appeared on Ma’an’s Arabic website and not
on its English site. The article was posted on November 18, 2012 and still appears there as of the PMW publication on January 29, 2013.
PMW reported on Antisemitic content [http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8465]
in a recent film about Fatah broadcast by PA TV.
The following is part of the Antisemitic article on Ma’an’s website (emphasis added):
“Israel is Trembling”
by Sawsan Najib Abd Al-Halim
“We’re used to seeing vampires in Dracula movies, where the murderer and the vampire act in the dead of night, and as soon as dawn breaks, the murderer disappears and hides during the day. The brave warrior, who at the very least has moral values, fights in the daytime. In all wars, in all eras, honorable nations conducted their battles during the day and slept at night. But has Israel even a trace of morality? A brave warrior is proud when he confronts another [warrior] as brave as he, and the more he is struck, the stronger he grows, proud in his struggle and respectful of his adversary. But since Jews are – as our grandparents said of them – sons of death (expression of contempt, meaning ‘a coward,’ -Ed.), they are too cowardly to confront an enemy face to face, especially if their enemy is as well armed as they…
Jews think that their fortresses will protect them from death, but any breach of these fortresses or protective walls instills panic and fear in their hearts, and
they are seized by fear and trembling. If a missile falls beyond their protective walls or if even a bullet passes over them, you can see how their hearts fill with
horror – and this is because Allah has stricken fear in their hearts and decreed humiliation and degradation upon them until Judgment Day…
Historically, it is known that the lives of Jews have always been war and fighting. The only reason for this is that they have been outcasts in every corner of the
earth, and not one nation in the world respects them, for they cause strife, and scheme everywhere they settle. We know that they have been defeated in every war
they have fought throughout history, and they have been dispersed in every direction, but Allah’s curse upon them and his fury at them cause them to continue with their transgression and tyranny.
A coward acts brutally when he can, but runs for cover humiliated, when he faces anyone who is his equal. Our fathers told us of one Palestinian before 1948 who
was holding a stick while walking the streets of Tel Aviv, and he drove away scores of cowardly Jews…
Psychologically, they have been defeated through the ages and feel inferior to the nations and societies in which they live, because of the hostility and evil rising
in their hearts towards others and for their plots and schemes against the nations who know with certainty that the Jews are the root of conflict in the world, wherever they reside.
Jews think that every shout is against them, and what better proof is there than the slogan they voiced to the world – which is ‘Antisemitism.’
Therefore, the only way we can deal with them, when we are weak militarily compared to Israel’s power, is to stick to the threat to annihilate Israel, not to submit
to its [Israel’s] desire for a cease fire, and keep the flame of resistance burning.Rather than [violently] resist and then back off somewhat, whereby we give them
the impression that we are afraid of them. There is nothing wrong with our sitting with them to talk, but the resistance must always continue. Late President Yasser
Arafat, peace be upon him, understood the Jews’ weakness, so he showed them the face of peace in negotiations, and at the same time raised the slogan ‘Every day
a settler.’ This is the slogan that terrorized the Jews, and which many Palestinians have forgotten. They may have forgotten why the comrade-fighter Marwan Barghouti
was arrested. Wasn’t it because he was the one given the job to fulfill this slogan? (Marwan Barghouti is serving 5 life sentences for orchestrating terror attacks against Israeli civilians.)
Let us again be united in the message against the Jews and turn the weapons against them. Every time the guns and stones are directed at the Jews, they become angry,
seized by fear, their brutality increases and our sacrificing increases more and more. Jews know that the more their brutality increases, so our resolve and defiance
are strengthened against them, until Allah will strike terror in their hearts and they will be driven away from our land humiliated. This is revolution until victory.”
[Ma’an News Agency’s website, posted Nov. 18, 2012, accessed Jan. 29, 2012]
Facing flak over his criticism of ‘the Jews,’ David Ward says he’d be ‘happy’ to change terminology to ‘the Jewish community’
Times of Israel
February 8, 2013
British member of Parliament David Ward of the Liberal Democrat party (photo credit: CC BY-ND emcmillanscott/Flickr)
LONDON – A British Member of Parliament who last month was censured for accusing “the Jews” of inflicting atrocities on the Palestinians is facing fresh action after he suggested blaming “the Jewish community” instead.
David Ward, a member of the Liberal Democrat party which is in coalition with the ruling Conservatives, made his original comments after signing a book of remembrance ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27. He said he was “saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could, within a few years of liberation, be inflicting atrocities on the Palestinians in the new State of Israel – and continue to do so.”
Following an outcry from the Jewish community, the Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael, whose job it is to enforce discipline within the party, gave Ward a written warning, and Ward pledged never again to use the phrase “the Jews” in the same context.
However, asked by the London newspaper The Jewish News this week why the original statement remained on his website, Ward replied in an email, “Can you provide me with a more acceptable choice of words that I could use to criticize the treatment of the Palestinians?”
In a later message, he asked the paper whether it could ask the Board of Deputies, Anglo-Jewry’s main representative organization, “if they’re in agreement that I should replace the words ‘the Jews’ with ‘the Jewish community?’”
“If so,” he added, “I’m perfectly happy to do so.”
In a meeting with Jewish community leaders on Thursday morning, Carmichael pledged to deal with Ward’s latest comments, in line with his previous promise that the consequences for Ward “would escalate significantly” if he repeated his behavior.
The meeting was attended by the heads of the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism in the UK.
“During the meeting we repeated our bewilderment that the original statements remain on Ward’s website and our view that his prior apology has no credibility,” they said in a statement.
Ward represents the constituency of Bradford East.