Month: April 2013

JEWISH REFUGEES FROM ARAB LANDS:JUSTICE DENIED

Contents: Editorial Introduction l Articles l Perspectives l Links

 

Editorial Introduction

 

EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION

 

Palestinian Member of Parliament and spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi posted a September 6, 2012 blog in the Huffington Post ( “Israel’s Cynical Definition of Refugee.”) accusing the Israeli government of being “cynical” and “hypocritical” in raising the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands within the international arena. Since Zionism views Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, she asks, how can Jews who “immigrated or fled” Arab lands be considered refugees? “You can’t be returnees to one homeland and refugees from another,” she writes, further arguing that by equating Jewish and Palestinian refugees, Israel is cynically “undermining the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.”

 

Ashrawi also suggests a population exchange – Palestinians returning to Israel proper and Jews returning to their native Arab countries. Considering today's prevailing antagonism towards Jews in Arab countries together with Israel’s refusal to be bombarded with millions of disgruntled Palestinians, whose numbers would shift the religious-ethnic balance of power within democratic Israel, this is a proposal Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon calls “ridiculous.”

 

Rather, by asserting these claims and suggestions, Ashrawi reveals either an astonishing ignorance of international law that clearly equates one’s nationality with one’s place of birth ( “The Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: An Examination of Legal Rights – A Case Study of the Human Rights Violations of Iraqi Jews.”, or she herself is cynically manipulating the issue. (In accordance with international law, the Palestinian refugee issue is itself exceptional, in that the UN considers refugees as those who lived in Palestine for a mere two years or longer, and not necessarily having been born there, and includes as well in this designation all their descendants in marked contrast to the generally accepted definition.)

 

Furthermore, refugees are generally defined as those forced to flee either their place of birth or naturalized residence. That is precisely what happened to Jews living in Arab lands. And, their expulsion had nothing to do with the Palestinians. So argues Ya’acov Meron in "Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries". He notes that there was a concerted effort on behalf of Arab countries to expel its Jewish populations a full five months before the Arabs left Palestine en masse and the matter of Palestinian refugees emerged. Indeed, Jewish emigration out of countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt and Yemen began well before the establishment of the State of Israel, the consequence of discriminatory laws as well as violence.

 

He further notes that a “strange silence” exists over the expulsion of Jews, both within Arab historical literature (for instance, there is little reference to the Farhud , a pro-Nazi uprising  considered by many to be the Middle East’s equivalent to Kristallnacht, that took place in Iraq in 1941) and in Israel, where Operations Magic Carpet that airlifted the Yemenite Jews to Israel and Ezra and Nechemiah that airlifted Iraqi Jews romanticize Jewish Arab emigration and gloss over the terrible hardships that it entailed.

 

Finally waking up to this issue, the Israeli government now asserts that international recognition as full-fledge refugees would not only entitle Jews from Arab Lands to financial compensation but, as Ben Sales writes in "Recognizing Jewish Refugees from Arab World", but would also serve as a “counterbalance to the Palestinian refugee issue in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations… and … be a part of any final-status deal.” Regardless of whether Oriental Jews feel disenfranchised from their countries of birth, their status as refugees must be acknowledged, as Danny Ayalon states, “All those Jews wanted to be part of the Jewish rebuilding of Israel. But the fact that they were harassed, they were killed; that they were robbed of their dignity as human beings, is something that never has been recognized.”

 

Jewish rights to refugee status must be recognized, Fouad Ajami, a Middle East scholar with Stanford’s Hoover Institute, asserts. He writes, "The Arab Jews became phantoms", whose stories were "edited out" of Arab consciousness. We are talking about the claims of the Palestinians? Fine, but there were 800,000 Arab Jews, and they have a story to tell." It is some of their stories that Egyptian-born author Lucette Lagnado poignantly recounts in her article "When Jews Fled Arab Lands". Focusing on the plights of individual families like the Abadie family from Syria, and others from Libya and Egypt, the particular suffering of the communities they represent is brought to light through their stories: not only the tortures and intimidation that forced Jews to abandon family and well-established businesses and communities, but the difficulties in integrating into new societies (e.g., the ma’aburot (Israeli refugee camps as one example).

 

Ultimately, Lagnado writes, mutual recognition of this double-victimization might even help bring about a rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians. She quotes Jewish Egyptian refugee Sir Ronald Cohen: "There are refugees on both sides, so that evens the scales, and I think that it will be helpful to the (peace) process. It shows that both sides suffered the same fate."

 

It is some of these stories that are now being recorded for posterity.  According to Adi Schwartz in "Sephardi Stories, on the Record," leading the effort is University of Miami professor Henry Green who is assembling these live testimonials into an audio-visual history, named Sephardi Voices, instituted along the lines of the Spielberg Foundation’s USC Shoah Foundation Institute. (““The Forgotten Refugees Collection”. is another organization doing similar work.) Begun in 2009, with a working budget of $250,000, Green has already assembled 250 testimonials and hopes to gather a total of 5,000 within five years.  “The end goal,” says Green, “is to create an extensive, international, digital archive of testimonies and photographs and thus ensure the preservation of the history and heritage of Sephardi Jews for generations of scholars, educators, and the general public.”

 

Machla Abramovitz

 

 

MAIN ARTICLES

 

1. Meron, Ya’akov. “Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries.” Middle East Quarterly. Vol. II. No. 3. September 1995.

 

In a key address before the Political Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on November 14, 1947, just five days before that body voted on the partition plan for Palestine, Heykal Pasha, an Egyptian delegate, made the following key statement in connection with that plan:

The United Nations . . . should not lose sight of the fact that the proposed solution might endanger a million Jews living in the Moslem countries. Partition of Palestine might create in those countries an anti-Semitism even more difficult to root out than the anti-Semitism which the Allies were trying to eradicate in Germany. . . If the United Nations decides to partition Palestine, it might be responsible for the massacre of a large number of Jews…

 

2. Ben Sales, “Recognizing Jewish Refugees from Arab World.” Jewish Forward. September 4, 2012.

 

Naim Reuven was only 8 when he left Baghdad more than 50 years ago, but he still remembers going with his father to catch fish in the Tigris River.

His dad worked in a laundromat, a middle-class father of six and one of Iraq’s more than 100,000 Jews. Baghdad’s Jewish community suffered a pogrom in 1941, but Reuven, born a year later, has only fond memories of his childhood there – until Israel declared independence in 1948.

 

3.. “Lucette Lagnado: When Jews Fled Arab Lands.” Wall St. Journal. October 12, 2012.

 

Fortunée Abadie is still haunted by the day in 1947 when mobs stormed the Jewish Quarter of the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, shortly after the United Nations vote that laid the groundwork for the creation of Israel.

Aleppo, a city where Jews and Muslims had lived together for centuries, exploded with anti-Jewish violence. Mrs. Abadie, now 88, remembers watching attackers burn prayer books, prayer shawls and other holy objects from the synagogue across the street. She heard the screams of neighbors as their homes were invaded. "We thought we were going to be killed," she says. The family fled to nearby Lebanon. Mrs. Abadie left behind all she had: clothes, furniture, photographs and even a small bottle of French perfume that she still misses, Soir de Paris—Evening in Paris…

 

4.  Adi Schwartz.  “Sephardic Stories, on the Record.”  The Tablet.  May 1, 2013.

 

“Sometimes I still have nightmares,” says Juliette Glaser to her interviewer, as she sits in front of a video camera in her Miami living room, recalling in a confident voice her childhood memories from Cairo—where she was born in 1941 and which she fled 15 years later. “They were putting the city on fire during the revolution of 1952. They were getting rid of King Farouk. The city was black, and there was fire everywhere. I remember Egyptians walking in the streets, holding big knives, saying, ‘We’re going to kill the Jews, where are the Jews? Any Jews around here?’ And we would hide in the basement, turn all the lights off, just shivering, shaking of fear.”…

 

 

PERSPECTIVES

 

1.“The Untold Story of the Middle East: Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries” – Panel Discussion. 21 Sep 2012.

 

Panel discussion on “The untold story of the Middle East: Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries” (organized by the Permanent Mission of Israel)

 

 

2. Eli E. Hertz,. “Arab and Jewish Refugees: the Contrast.” 2007.

 

How and why did Palestinian Arabs leave and who was responsible?

 

It is important to set the historical record straight.  The overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees left what was the newly-established State of Israel on their own accord due to structural weaknesses within Palestinian society and their leadership …

 

 

3. Carole Basri.  “The Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: An Examination of Legal Rights – A Case Study of the Human Rights Violations of Iraqi Jews.” Fordham International Law Journal. Vol 26, Issue 3 Article 6. 2002.

 

Although the issues surrounding the Palestinian refugees are frequently addressed at the
United Nations (”U.N.”), in the news media, and in legal journals, very little has been written
about the Jews displaced from Arab lands. In light of the little known fact that approximately 50%
of Israelis are Jews from Arab lands or their descendents, this Article will use Jews from Iraq as a
case study in examining the history and rights of Jews from Arab countries, who were expelled or
forced to seek refuge elsewhere. Part I of this Article examines the historical legal status of Jews
in Iraq and the discriminatory and prosecutorial events that triggered the expulsion of Jews from
Iraq. Part II demonstrates that actions taken by Iraq against Jews violated international law stan-
dards and other laws applicable now and at that time. Part III addresses the question of whether
Jews from Arab lands currently have any available remedies for these violations of their rights.
Finally, the Article concludes that a full accounting of the rights of Jews from Arab lands must
accompany any discussions aimed at providing a regional peace agreement for the Middle East, if

such an agreement is to have strength and legitimacy under international law ..

 

.

4. David Mattas and Stanley A. Urman, prepared by. “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress.” Justice for Jews from Arab Countries. 2012.

 

Historically, Jews and Jewish communities have existed in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region for more than 2,500 years.

 

Jews in substantial numbers resided in what are today Arab countries over 1,000 years before the advent of Islam.  Following the Muslim conquest of the region, for centuries, while relegated to second-class status, Jews were, nonetheless, permitted limited religious, educational, professional, and business opportunities …

 

"Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries – Background and Guidelines for Action."  The State of Israel.

 

To:  All departments and overseas representations

Cc:   Foreign Minister’s Office

Prime Minister’s Office

National Security Council

Ministry for Senior Citizens

National Council for Jewish Restitution

Ministry of Justice

From: Deputy Foreign Minister Bureau

 

Subject: Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries – Background and Guidelines for Action

    

 

LINKS

 

 

1. Ashrawi, Hanan. “Israel’s Cynical Definition of Refugee.” Huffington Post. September 6, 2012.

 

2. “Fact Sheet: Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands.” Jewish Virtual Library. September 2012.

 

3. “Middle East Refugees.”  Israel Science and Technology Homepage

 

4.. “Arab-Jewish Refugees: The other Middle=Eastern Refugee Problem.” Eretz Yisroel.org

 

5.. “The Forgotten Refugees Collection”.

 

6. “A Challenge to opponents of Jewish refugee status.” Video. September 25, 2012.

 

7.. “Arab Jews: A Forgotten Exodus.” Heart and Soul. BBC. October 15, 2012. Audio.

 

8.. “Justice for Jews from Arab Lands: Official Website.”

 

9. Cotler, Irwin, David Matas and Stanley A. Urman. “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress.” Justice for Jews from Arab Lands. November 5, 2007.

 

10.. Sharon, Jeremy. "Cotler to Canada:  Recognize Jewish Refugee Rights.". Jerusalem Post. November 11, 2012.

 

11. “Justice for Middle East Refugees.” The David Project. Israpundit. Videos. July 25, 2012.

 

12. "Exodus:  The Jews of Yemen." Yemen Post. January 21, 2013.

 

 

CHARIVARI

 

1. Wolfe, Gregory. “Whispers of Faith in a Post-Modern World.” Wall St. Journal. Jan. 11, 2013.

 

2. Day, Anna Therese. “Memories of Jews Linger in Rubble of Syria’s Second City.” Jewish Daily Forward. Nov. 27, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS ELECTION LOOMS: PAKISTAN, A NEAR-FAILING YET NUCLEAR, STATE, FACES TALIBAN TERROR, INDIA RIVALRY, AND AMBIVALENT U.S. POLICY

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Contents:                          

 

 

No Big Victory for Pakistani Democracy: John R. Schmidt, The National Interest, Apr. 22, 2013—Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party government recently became the first in the country’s history to complete a full five-year term in office. Every previous civilian government had ended before its time, some deposed by the army acting behind the scenes, others through outright military coups.

 

Is Pakistan a Failing State?: Gustav Ranis, Real Clear World, April 28, 2013—On May 11 Pakistanis are expected to go to the polls and celebrate transition in what's been a rare five-year civilian rule. The election may or may not usher in another period of civilian rule. Fundamental reform is required of the political system that functions under the shadow of military power and religious extremism. Otherwise, Pakistan is destined to drift as a failing state.

 

Losing Pakistan: An Insider’s Look at How the U.S. Deals With its Ally: Omar Waraich, Time World, April 14, 2013—One evening in June 2009, Richard Holbrooke paid a visit to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidential palace in Islamabad. It was one of his first visits to the region as the Obama Administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

How Pakistan's Best and Brightest Flock to Terror: Sebastian Rotella,  Real Clear World, Apr. 13, 2013

Fleeing Pakistan Violence, Hazaras Brave Uncertain Journey: Declan Walsh, New York Times, April 27, 2013

The Afghanistan-Pakistan Peace Talk Tipping Point: Shamila N. Chaudhary, Omar Samad, The Daily Beast, Apr 26, 2013

Pakistan Taliban Using Violence as Election Strategy: Affan Chowdhry, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 29 2013

 

 

NO BIG VICTORY FOR PAKISTANI DEMOCRACY

John R. Schmidt

The National Interest, Apr. 22, 2013

 

Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party government recently became the first in the country’s history to complete a full five-year term in office. Every previous civilian government had ended before its time, some deposed by the army acting behind the scenes, others through outright military coups.

 

During the current era in Pakistani politics, beginning with the death of military dictator Zia ul-Haq in 1988, three successive civilian governments (two led by Benazir Bhutto, the other by Pakistan Muslim League party leader Nawaz Sharif) were brought to premature conclusions due to army interference in the political process. In all three instances, the army persuaded the largely figurehead president of Pakistan at the time to dismiss the sitting government, taking advantage of a constitutional amendment introduced by Zia giving the president such authority.

 

When this amendment was repealed by Nawaz Sharif in 1997, at the beginning of his second term as prime minister, the army had no choice but to let him serve out his full five-year term or remove him from office through a coup. It ended up opting for the latter. The army chief who carried out the coup, Pervez Musharraf, ruled the country until the 2008 elections that brought the PPP-led government, headed by Asif Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, to power.

 

Many observers, including those inside Pakistan, have hailed the success of the Zardari government in serving out its entire term as a significant victory for Pakistani democracy. But though there are genuine grounds for optimism, it is important to recognize that the Zardari government did not survive because it did a better job of governing than its deposed predecessors. Each of those governments ran into serious economic trouble early on in their tenure and frittered away most of the popularity that had brought them to power. It is no accident that their removal by the army acting behind the scenes attracted strong popular support. The Pakistani people may be long suffering, but they are also impatient. Thus, the opposition party succeeded in easily winning the elections that were held after the army interventions. The 1999 Musharraf coup was, if anything, even more popular.

 

It appears that even if given a full term to carry out its electoral mandate, an elected Pakistani government is incapable of delivering anything remotely resembling good government. That may be due to the very nature of Pakistani political culture. The current Pakistani political system is dominated by wealthy landowners, popularly known as feudals, and their rich industrialist counterparts. Together they practice a distinctive form of patronage politics: their goal in seeking public office is to gain access to state resources, which can then be shared among their members.

 

When in power, feudal Pakistani politicians are so narrowly focused on the dispensing and consumption of patronage that they have little time or interest in dealing with the myriad systemic problems that plague the country. Their lack of interest in the long-term welfare of their country is reflected, for example, in the fact that hardly any of them pay income taxes. Their political default setting is to kick serious problems down the road. The situation is so bad that, despite the fact that Pakistan spends hardly any money on public education or health, and possesses no social safety net to speak of, it is still deeply and chronically in debt.

 

So how did the Zardari government manage to serve out its full five year term? The bottom line is that the army, although sorely tempted on several occasions, was not prepared to carry out another coup. Since early 2004, the army has had its hands full combating a major Pakistani Taliban insurgency in the tribal areas and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It apparently had little stomach for adding the running of the country to its current list of woes.

 

Even more importantly, the army’s last experiment in governance during the Musharraf era was widely perceived as an unmitigated failure, including within the army itself. Not only did Musharraf end up doing just as bad a job of governing as his civilian predecessors, his decision to ally with the United States in the war on terror proved to be highly unpopular with the Pakistani public. This has made the current army leadership, which places great stock in its public image, extremely reluctant to try its hand again anytime soon. In addition, ordinary Pakistanis seem to have finally recognized that, however incompetent their civilian rulers might be, the army is not the answer.

 

The current favorite to win the upcoming elections, scheduled for May 11, is the PML party of Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister whom Musharraf deposed in 1999. Nawaz unfortunately combines the worst instincts of a narrowly focused patronage politician with a ruthless authoritarian temperament. During his previous tenure in office, he made the mistake of firing two army chiefs within a single calendar year. This makes him the odds-on favorite for the title of future Pakistani prime minister most likely to be removed by an army coup. The army may have decided that it is prepared to live with bad governance, but it is unlikely to sit still at any renewed efforts by Nawaz to destroy its institutional independence.

 

The biggest wild card in the May 11 elections is the emergence of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by Imran Khan. The handsome, charismatic Imran is a former cricket star and by far the greatest sports hero in Pakistani history. His party, which had languished in the wilderness during the first decade after its founding, suddenly emerged on the national scene following massive rallies in Lahore and Karachi in late 2011 that attracted legions of young people. Imran promised to unleash a "tsunami" that would sweep away the corrupt and incompetent patronage-based parties that have dominated Pakistani politics since the death of Zia.

Despite the big crowds, however, it is unclear how well the PTI will fare at the ballot box. Recent public-opinion polls suggest that it enjoys a level of nationwide support comparable to that of the PML and PPP. But it lacks the elaborate and well organized patronage networks of the traditional feudal parties, which are highly effective in turning out the vote. This has long been the primary difference maker in the hardscrabble of Pakistani politics.

 

However well or poorly the PTI does on May 11, its emergence into the political mainstream illustrates that a significant number of Pakistanis, particularly among the young, have become fed up with patronage politics as usual. It is this, rather than the success of the Zardari government in serving out a full five-year term, that offers some small hope for the future of Pakistani democracy. This could either result in the political tsunami Imran talks about or generate only a small and temporary ripple in the Pakistani body politic—only time will tell.

 

Imran has already felt the need to bring feudal politicians into his ranks in the hope of tapping into their patronage vote banks. And even if he did someday manage to win power, it would be a herculean task for anyone to break the stranglehold on Pakistani political and economic life enjoyed by the landowning and industrial elite—much less implement anything resembling meaningful systemic change. Even the army, whose constant interference in Pakistani politics has made a bad situation that much worse, has never tried to destroy or otherwise dispossess the traditional landowning aristocracy.

 

If Pakistan were just another Podunk third world country choking to death on its economic and democratic failures, that would be one thing. But unfortunately, Pakistan is also a nuclear weapons armed state that both supports, and is at war with, a variety of radical Islamic groups. What happens there clearly matters. And in this respect even Imran Khan offers very little to root for. He is openly hostile to the United States, has flirted with fundamentalist Pakistani religious parties who share his antipathy toward the feudal political establishment, and appears to favor a conciliatory policy toward the Pakistani Taliban and other radical Islamic groups.

 

Unfortunately, there is probably very little that the United States or any outsider can do about all this. It can threaten or cajole, offer or renege, all of which it has done many times in the past, to little or no avail. Unfortunately but perhaps inevitably, it is the Pakistani people themselves who will determine what kind of political system they live under and what kind of figure they cut in the world. Viewed against this backdrop, the success of the Zardari government in finishing out its full five year term of office constitutes only very modest grounds for optimism. It could easily end up being little more than a speed bump on Pakistan's current one-way trip to Palookaville.

 

John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. 

 

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IS PAKISTAN A FAILING STATE?

Gustav Ranis

Real Clear World, April 28, 2013

 

On May 11 Pakistanis are expected to go to the polls and celebrate transition in what's been a rare five-year civilian rule. The election may or may not usher in another period of civilian rule. Fundamental reform is required of the political system that functions under the shadow of military power and religious extremism. Otherwise, Pakistan is destined to drift as a failing state.

 

I first entered Pakistan in September 1958, two weeks before the civilian government of Iskander Mirza gave way to Muhammad Ayub Khan who turned out to be a benevolent dictator – until he went astray by encouraging war with India in 1965. Indeed, Pakistan has had 40 years of military rule out of 65 years since independence.

 

The coming election will put to test the Pakistan People's Party leadership of Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded his murdered wife, Benazir Bhutto. Polls indicate that Nawaz Sharif of Punjab's Muslim League is likely to take over, though the uncertainty over the return of previous dictator Pervez Musharraf and the efforts of Imran Khan, the cricket legend, cast doubt on the outcome. The reception for Musharraf on his return from self-imposed exile abroad was underwhelming, and he was has been arrested on a court order on a charge of violating the constitution. But his ego remains intact. Khan had a tumultuous rally in Lahore recently, but even though the military may be supporting him, questions about the sustainability of his appeal are being raised.

 

Regardless of who takes over, Pakistan continues to teeter on non-governability. Its own version of the Taliban with ties to the Afghan Taliban, are complicated by the strong mysterious influence of the ISI, the country's intelligence service. Any prognosis of the political economy future of the system is hazardous. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, seems to be virtually in the hands of the local Taliban, and northern Waziristan, at the border with Afghanistan, is but one target under frequent attacks by militants. The Pakistan military continues to carry a big stick, but seems not particularly anxious to intervene in the election, partly out of concern about losing US aid, which could be automatically cut off in the case of a military coup. The strength of the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly and successfully challenged the executive branch, leading to dismissal of a prime minister, contributes to the signs of a failing state.

 

It should be noted that in the late 1950s and 1960s Pakistan was generally admired as a development paradigm and attracted the attention of development economists, in contrast to India which then lagged behind. But after 1990 when India's reforms began to take hold, the situation completely reversed, with India en route to middle-income status and Pakistan, in the absence of reform, exhibiting an economy which continues to be creaky and in the doldrums.

 

For decades, Pakistan has refused to tax its feudal landlords, leading to a 12 percent tax/GDP ratio and a high dependency on foreign donors, with 99 percent of the population reporting attendant corruption. Only 860,000 of the 183 million population pay tax. Amnesty offered in December 2012 to the richest tax evaders to pay a 40,000-rupee penalty on undervalued income and on assets of as much as 5 million rupees has had little response. The current account has turned to deficit with higher prices for imported oil accompanied by lower prices for exported cotton. Foreign-exchange reserves are consequently currently under $13 billion, below 2 months of import requirements, and the rupee has depreciated by more than 40 percent since 2007.

 

Pakistan's education lags behind Bangladesh's. Only 0.7 percent of the Pakistani GDP is spent on health. The literacy rate is at 53 percent and poverty at 24 percent, with a Gini ratio of .41, a measure of income disparity, with zero indicating no disparity. Population growth, though declining since the late 1980s, is still at the highest level in the subcontinent. Budget deficits are at 7.5 percent of GDP, above the government's target of 4.7 percent. Infrastructure is lagging, especially power, short by 4000 megawatts if blackouts lasting as long as 18 hours a day are to be avoided. Indeed, energy shortages are estimated to cut growth by 4 percent , bringing it down to an average of 3 percent from 2008 to 2012.

 

The neglected agricultural sector provides 23 percent of the GDP and 44 percent of the country's labor force, and non-agricultural activity in the rural areas has been lagging. Textiles and apparel provide 16 percent of the country's exports, and 40 percent of its employed labor force, with small and medium enterprises comprising 80 percent of the total non-agricultural employment. The official unemployment rate, as reported by the International Labor Organization is 6 percent, but this does not take into account the large percentage of the underemployed in both agriculture and the large urban informal sector.

 

To add to the problem, several provinces are restive and the overall system lacks what economist Simon Kuznets called organic nationalism, pulling together groups separated by language and culture. Fiscal decentralization with grants from the center is based on population size, favoring the large provinces and ignoring differential poverty and revenue-generating capacity.

 

The only favorable features are the size of remittances by Pakistani workers in the Gulf and elsewhere, currently at $13 billion, and the large number of NGOs, up to 12,ooo in all. Remittances end up in the hands of the rural population, allocated to consumption and housing, thus avoiding government controls. And NGOs, which do the bidding of wealthy international donors, pursue different goals, offer varying and at times contradicting advice, and tend to get in one another's way.

 

While foreign aid remains plentiful, there is a growing uncertainty of its usefulness in generating growth. Pakistan ranks third among recipients of US foreign aid, with more than $2 billion, and two-thirds of that goes to the military, not very productive.

 

On the economic front, the relationship with the US, still the major donor, is sufficiently frayed that the ideal arrangement – leaving decisions more in the hands of the recipient under self-conditionality rules – is unattainable. Instead, aid spending is inefficient, moving up and down with foreign-policy objectives of the donor, the importation of inappropriate technology, distorting income distribution and encouraging corruption in official elite circles. In 2012 foreign aid was $2.5 billion out of $240 billion nominal GDP or approximately 1 percent.

 

Pakistan's obsession with India has meant military resources deployed along the border and budgets heavily skewed towards a possible confrontation with Indiaover Kashmir. Indeed, Pakistan's economy is on a presumptive war footing which renders it difficult to pursue liberalization and diversification in the globalization context. Ironically, though, Pakistan has been more welcoming to business than its more successful neighbors. The World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" ranks Pakistan in 85th place, above China's in 89th place and India in 133rd place. But insecurity and misgovernance nullify the impact of that welcoming mat.

 

China remains a close ally and provides aid without visible strings attached. There is a marked contrast with India, which mainly plays the traditional aid game with traditional Western OECD donors. In the absence of fundamental change, political as well as economic, unlikely under present circumstances, there is little hope Pakistan can emerge from the category as a failing state.

 

Gustav Ranis is the Frank Altschul Professor Emeritus of International Economics at Yale University.

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LOSING PAKISTAN: AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT
HOW THE U.S. DEALS WITH ITS ALLY

Omar Waraich

Time World, April 14, 2013

 

One evening in June 2009, Richard Holbrooke paid a visit to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidential palace in Islamabad. It was one of his first visits to the region as the Obama Administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In that role, Holbrooke — who died in December 2010 — wanted to broaden and deepen engagement with the country many had come to see as the most dangerous place in the world. And Zardari had his own ideas about how Washington could help.

 

“Pakistan is like AIG,” Zardari told Holbrooke, comparing his country to the U.S. insurance giant that was bailed out in 2008. “Too big to fail.” Washington, Zardari keenly recalled, had given AIG “$100 billion. You should give Pakistan the same,” Zardari said. Holbrooke smiled throughout the meeting.

 

Sitting with Holbrooke was Vali Nasr, then his senior adviser. Nasr recalls the episode in his new book, The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat, a searing critique of how the Obama Administration has been too timid to transform American foreign policy. Holbrooke, writes Nasr, was troubled by Zardari’s display of dependence on the U.S. and the sense of entitlement that went with it. “Holbrooke didn’t like the image of Pakistan holding a gun to its own head as it shook down America for aid,” writes Nasr, now dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

 

Holbrooke did agree, however, with Zardari that Pakistan was important and the U.S. had a long-term interest in its stability. For the next year and a half, Holbrooke and his team pursued a policy of diplomatic engagement with Pakistan. It went beyond the traditional approach narrowly based on security concerns. The idea was to try and address Pakistan’s strategic calculus — an ambitious target that may have underestimated how far Pakistan was willing to go without changing its ways. “What Holbrooke wanted,” Nasr tells TIME in an interview, “was to engage big and try and change the course of this country and its relationship with Washington once and for all.”

 

But from the very start, President Barack Obama and the White House never really bought into the idea. “The White House tolerated Holbrooke’s approach for a while,” Nasr writes in the book, “but in the end decided that a policy of coercion and confrontation would better achieve our goals in Pakistan.” Washington was less interested in working with Pakistan, Nasr says, than pressuring it into compliance. That strategy, he says, has failed. And now, he warns, the U.S. risks pivoting away from the region at the cost of abandoning vital interests that remain there.

 

“When you look at Pakistan today,” says Nasr, “it is nuclear-armed, in near conflict with India, has a dangerous civil war with its own extremists, is now subject to one of the most brutal terrorism campaigns against its population, that is now coming apart along sectarian lines.” If the U.S. does not maintain influence in Pakistan, he says, it won’t be able to have a positive impact on the direction of the country. “Looking at it from an American perspective,” Nasr says, “we’re just going to be basically saying, ‘We’re going to sit on the sideline and look at this roller coaster go off this rail.’”

 

Holbrooke’s approach was ambitious. A strategic dialogue was established between the two countries. Nonmilitary aid was tripled. Washington began to reach out to civilian centers in Pakistan for the first time. “There was a discussion on energy and electricity and water and women,” says Nasr. “These were ways of laying out for Pakistan a longer road map with the U.S., and alternately trying to put on the table for Pakistan interests that would gradually wean it away from its strategic outlook and bring it in a new direction.” There would be no quick fix. It was a longer strategy aimed at slowly undoing decades of alienation and mistrust.

 

In the first two years, Nasr insists that there were rewards. The U.S. got more intelligence cooperation, he details in the book. “More agents, more listening posts, and even visas for the deep-cover CIA operatives who found [Osama] bin Laden.” Long-strained relations between Islamabad and Kabul improved enough for it to help U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis also finally moved against the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan, in military offensives that helped the war across the border. “The Pakistanis didn’t cooperate 100%,” says Nasr. “But they did cooperate 50%.”

 

But the Obama Administration didn’t have the patience to stick with it. As Nasr acknowledges, there was a rival school of thought that said, “It was too difficult, too time-consuming and wouldn’t work anyway.” When Holbrooke died, their view won out. Nasr resigned from the State Department soon after. In 2011, three major incidents brought the relationship crashing to its lowest-point ever: a CIA contractor, Raymond Davis, allegedly killed two people in Lahore; U.S. Navy Seals carried out a raid to get Osama bin Laden without informing the Pakistanis; and toward the end of the year, 26 Pakistani troops were killed in a cross-border incident.

 

The security relationship, Nasr says, worked better when there were other efforts alongside it. “The Pakistanis said, ‘O.K., you have security interests. We have economic interests and we have civilian interests,’” recalls Nasr. “We always got much further with the Pakistanis in those first two years when the conversation was not just about drones and terrorists, but it was also about energy and water.”

 

The CIA and the Pentagon saw the benefits of the cooperation, Nasr notes in his book. But at the same time, he writes, they applied constant pressure that “threatened to break up the relationship.” At one point, Holbrooke turned to him, shaking his head, and said: “Watch them [the CIA] ruin this relationship. And when it is ruined, they are going to say, ‘We told you, You can’t work with Pakistan!’ We never learn.”

 

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How Pakistan's Best and Brightest Flock to Terror: Sebastian Rotella,  Real Clear World, Apr. 13, 2013—Imagine a terrorist group that recruits tens of thousands of young men from the same neighborhoods and social networks as the Pakistani military. A group whose well-educated recruits defy the idea that poverty and ignorance breed extremism. A group whose fighters include relatives of a politician, a senior Army officer and a director of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission.

 

Fleeing Pakistan Violence, Hazaras Brave Uncertain Journey: Declan Walsh, New York Times, April 27, 2013—Stranded in a dingy hotel in the heart of this port city, waiting for the smuggler’s call, Hussain felt at once trapped and poised for freedom. Behind lay his hometown, Quetta, the city in western Pakistan that has become a killing ground for Sunni sectarian death squads that hunt Shiites.

 

The Afghanistan-Pakistan Peace Talk Tipping Point: Shamila N. Chaudhary, Omar Samad, The Daily Beast, Apr 26, 2013—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic initiative to host talks between Afghan and Pakistani leaders in Brussels this week was a timely step meant to reset tense relations between the two South Asian neighbors, and revive stalled talks with the Taliban as the 2014 deadline for the U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches.

 

Pakistan Taliban Using Violence as Election Strategy, Killing 46 Since Campaign Launch: Affan Chowdhry, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 29 2013—Pakistan’s latest milestone in its democratic development should be historic national elections on May 11. But already there is concern of prepoll rigging – except not the kind that involves stuffing ballot boxes.

 

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Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

ISRAELI POLITICS: LAPID AND SECULARS VS. HAREDIM, LIKUD RIGHT PRO-MORE SETTLEMENTS, PAL. JOURNALISTS SHUN ISRAELIS —SNAFU (“SITUATION NORMAL, ALL FOULED UP”)

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Contents:                          

 

 

Lapid and the Haredim: Susan Hattis Rolef, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2013—On Monday, April 22, Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered his maiden speech in the Knesset plenum, answering three of the six motions of no-confidence in the government presented by the Opposition. The speech turned into a direct confrontation between himself and the Ashkenazi haredi MKs – in particular MKs Meir Porush, Moshe Gafni and Yisrael Eichler.

 

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Wants to Accelerate Settlements: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, April 28, 2013—Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon is busy these days dealing with the problem of the cemetery in Ariel settlement in Judea and Samaria. There are only four remaining burial plots and he is trying to expand the cemetery.

 

Palestinian Journalists Declare War on Israeli Colleagues: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, April 26, 2013—How can anyone talk about resuming the peace process when Palestinians are being told by their leaders, on a daily basis, how bad and evil Israel is? If Israel is so bad and evil, then how can any leader go to his people and say that he is negotiating with them?

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Haredim See Lapid as a Force Majeur: Avishai Ben Haim, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2013

Netanyahu, Liberman Spar Over Peace-Deal Referendum: Aaron Kalman, Times of Israel, Apr. 29, 2013

Israel: The Olmert-Lapid Reckoning: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, Apr. 26, 2013

For Israel, Tranquil Days: David Ignatius, Real Clear Politics, April 28, 2013

Jew Hatred at UN Schools: Dan Calic, Ynet News, Apr. 26, 2013

 

 

 

LAPID AND THE HAREDIM

Susan Hattis Rolef

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2013

 

On Monday, April 22, Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered his maiden speech in the Knesset plenum, answering three of the six motions of no-confidence in the government presented by the Opposition. The speech turned into a direct confrontation between himself and the Ashkenazi haredi MKs – in particular MKs Meir Porush, Moshe Gafni and Yisrael Eichler.

 

I must admit that I was impressed by Lapid’s speech. First, there was the fact that Lapid, who is used to speaking with a teleprompter, had to do without this technological gadget, and did very well, speaking clearly and coherently, without letting the haredi MKs, who were constantly heckling him, budge him from his narrative. Furthermore, even though what he said was extremely provocative (from a haredi point of view), his language remained polite, and his tone calm and non-tempestuous, though every once in a while his intonation was surprisingly similar to that of his father, Tommy Lapid, who as we may recall was frequently impolite and tempestuous.

 

Secondly, Lapid expressed in the clearest and most direct form several basic principles most secular Israelis firmly believe in but only rarely express for fear of upsetting the haredim. The first is the principle that every person is responsible for providing for the children he brings to the world – or at least should do his best to provide for them, and not expect the state to do so. The issue came up when MK Meir Porush accused Lapid of “starving children” due to his proposal to drastically cut social security child support.

 

I was raised on the principle that it is the duty of parents to provide for their children. Where I came from, turning into a financial burden on the state was considered something to be ashamed of, and to be avoided at any cost. Inter alia, this means one should do one’s utmost not to bring more children into the world than one can provide for both in material and educational terms.

 

In the haredi world (at least in Israel) this principle is scorned. The number of children is a function of the fertility of their parents, and avoiding gainful employment for the purpose of religious studies (with or without a wink), is the bon ton. I remember feeling truly sorry for a haredi colleague in the Knesset Research and Information Center, who told me that none of his neighbors knew what he was doing for a living, because if they found out he would have difficulties finding decent matches for his children.

 

Another principle that Lapid reiterated (in response to an interruption by MK Gafni) was that it was none of the haredi MKs’ business to tell him whether it is OK to write Facebook posts on Saturday. There is no earthly reason why a secular Jew in Israel, including a finance minister, should have to apologize for not preserving the Sabbath, any more than a religious Jew should have to apologize for preserving the Sabbath.

 

Israel is not a state governed by halacha, Jewish law, it is a Jewish state in that it is the state of all the Jews who wish to live in it, and the only restriction on how they live is the law of the land, as legislated by the Knesset – not halacha. Nevertheless, no one stops people from living according to halacha, as long as this is not in breach of the law of the land – something that unfortunately many haredim in Israel have difficulty accepting.

 

Most observers agreed that in the Knesset debate on April 22 Lapid won a knockout victory over the Ashkenazi haredim, who should have known better than to get involved in this superfluous verbal battle (which also caused Lapid to decide henceforth to deliver important economic speeches outside the Knesset, without constant interruptions by the haredi MKs).

 

However, the main problem was the haredi reaction. During the debate MK Meir Porush accused Lapid of hating the haredim, while part of the haredi media accused him of anti-Semitism. MK Eli Yishai went so far as to say that if a politician in Europe dared to say about the Jews what the leaders of Yesh Atid say about the haredim, Israel would be up in arms to protest against the abominable manifestation of anti-Semitism.

 

This is pure demagoguery. If the Jewish citizens in any European country dared act the way the haredim act in Israel – i.e. refuse on principle, and en masse, to uphold obligations shared by every citizen or to go out and work, and at the same time demand full social security benefits – the politicians in that country would be perfectly justified to use harsh language to describe the phenomenon. But the Jewish citizens of other states do not act in this manner – not even the haredim.

 

The problem really is that even though most of the haredim participate in Israel’s democracy, they do not really accept the basic principles on which it is based. Back in the mid 1980s, MK Menachem Porush – father of Meir Porush – fought against the introduction of provisions into Israeli law that prevent lists that reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state running in the elections, because he feared that the fact that the haredi parties openly advocate Israel turning into a halachic state would be interpreted to mean that they reject Israel as a democratic state.

 

The provision nevertheless became law, and the lenient approach of the High Court of Justice on the issue has enabled the haredi parties (and the Arab parties, for that matter) to get away with some of their ideological positions, as long as they do not take concrete action to realize them.

 

Nevertheless, the situation we confront today is a direct consequence of this anomaly, which for too many years has been swept under the carpet. The problem is not hatred of the haredim, but the unwillingness of the public Yair Lapid represents to continue to let them make a mockery of some of the basic obligations of citizens toward the state of which they are citizens. Put in other words, the social contract between the democratic state and its citizens is not something that any major population group can pooh-pooh.

 

The writer is a retired Knesset employee..

 

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ISRAELI DEPUTY DEFENSE
MINISTER WANTS TO ACCELERATE SETTLEMENTS

Mazal Mualem

Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, April 28, 2013

 

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon in an interview with Mazal Mualem.

 

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon is busy these days dealing with the problem of the cemetery in Ariel settlement in Judea and Samaria. There are only four remaining burial plots and he is trying to expand the cemetery.

 

At his office at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Danon is still getting used to his new job. Nonetheless, one thing has been clear to him since his first day in office: he intends to help the settlements in Judea and Samaria, those he feels were harassed by former Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

 

Defense ministers are in charge of approving construction in the settlements and Danon hopes the Ariel cemetery problem will soon be solved given that unlike Barak, his successor Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon is committed to the settlement enterprise. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Danon promises to advance the approval of all the building plans which he claims were held up by Barak.

 

Danon, 42, came in fifth in the Likud primaries held last year (Nov. 26, 2012), ahead of senior government ministers, among them Ya’alon himself, his boss at the defense ministry who came in 7th. This achievement is the result of his activism in the political and media arenas and his support for the far right-wing Likud membership in Judea and Samaria. This is what landed him is current job. But anyone who knows Danon knows, too, that he is not there simply to warm his chair at the defense ministry.

 

Danon belongs to the group of young Likud Knesset members, along with others like Deputy Minister of Transportation Tzipi Hotovely and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, who form the hard core of the right wing. Like him, they, too, were elected to top slots in the Likud primaries and were upgraded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to positions of deputy ministers. As previously mentioned here, Netanyahu gave them cushy jobs to buy himself peace and quiet on the diplomatic front from this strong group that during his previous term caused him many headaches from within the Likud.

 

For now, Netanyahu’s political conduct appears to be sound. President Barack Obama's visit came and went quietly, as did the visits of Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

 

As a Knesset member for the Likud you fought against previous Defense Minister Ehud Barak throughout his term. You claimed he was harming the settlement enterprise for ideological reasons. Now that you’re at the defense ministry, have you found proof of this?

 

“Certainly. Barak delayed construction. The main problem is that all those involved in the settlement enterprise have gotten used to operating according to the winds blowing from the top. The new challenge is to convey the message that there are new winds blowing at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, both from the direction of Defense Minister Ya’alon and from mine. I regard the settlers as a boon, not a burden. We need to do as much as possible to strengthen the settlements — all by the book, of course.”

What exactly did he delay?

 

“At every settlement I visit people come up to me and tell of plans that were approved but were held up by Barak. This was the case with the Ariel College, as it was called at the time. Barak was forced to give his approval to the college becoming a university only under heavy pressure. And there are other such cases. I was amazed to discover that, as of the end of the week, there are only four remaining burial plots at the cemetery in Ariel. It’s a big place and some of the population is not young, and it’s really a distressing problem. Expansion of the cemetery was approved a long time ago, but Barak refused to sign the building plans. You have to understand — we’re not talking about illegal construction, but about providing basic civic services in the main settlement blocs. There’s also a neighborhood in the settlement of Elkana that has been approved but delayed by Barak, and many additional plans.

 

Construction in the West Bank could create tensions with the US just as the relationship has started to improve.

 

“I don’t think so. We’re talking about places that are not considered diplomatically sensitive. We respect the democracy in the United States and they have to respect our democracy and our commitment to our citizens. The Likud, as well as the HaBayit HaYehudi party, and even Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who launched his election campaign in Ariel, support the continued existence of the settlement blocks. The new government is a more national one, and the reason is that Barak is not a member of it.”

 

How will you react if it turns out that Netanyahu is leading a diplomatic move?

 

“I don’t see it happening right now. If it’s going on, it’s probably happening underground. Right now everyone is busy with Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. My assessment is that as far as the ruling coalition is concerned, there will be differences between words and deeds vis-à-vis a diplomatic move. In other words, as long as Netanyahu conducts negotiations, he won’t have a domestic problem, but if he decides on another settlement freeze, that’s already a different story. That will be a problem for HaBayit HaYehudi, as well. But for now we haven’t seen additional American pressure or any activity on the part of the prime minister.”

 

On another front, in recent days Danon has been leading a move within the Likud-Beiteinu Knesset faction to legislate compulsory national service for the Israeli-Arab citizens. The law would complement a proposed bill to draft the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jews, scheduled to come up for Knesset approval at the beginning of May. Danon, who will present his demand at the weekly Likud-Beiteinu meeting on Monday (April 29), is trying to enlist the support of additional Knesset members for the move, which is likely to stir a heated political and public debate. This is a loaded, explosive issue. Danon claims that the Likud, as a national democratic movement, cannot condone such an asymmetrical situation.

 

The demand to draft Israeli-Arabs into the army, along with drafting the ultra-Orthodox, was raised in the past by former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. That’s the reason his representatives torpedoed the deliberations of the Plesner Committee, established in May 2012 to formulate recommendations on the draft issue.

 

The Plesner Committee determined that one could not deal with the draft of the ultra-Orthodox with the same level of seriousness as that of the Arabs, that each requires totally different preparations.

 

“It’s possible, and how. I think it’s wrong to focus only on the ultra-Orthodox. We have a government that is changing the order of things, heading for big moves. It is not earth-shattering if we deal with this issue, too.” And Danon adds: “I don’t like the language and the style being used toward the ultra-Orthodox, while ignoring the fact that some 20% of Israel’s population, that do not contribute, are Arabs. This serves an agenda. I’m not saying the Arabs should be forced to join the Golani Brigade or the border police, but they should definitely do national service in hospitals, senior homes and public institutions.”

 

Whose agenda does this serve?

 

“Certainly not the Likud’s. We’re coming at this issue with an approach of real equality and not hatred of the religious. The minute you sever the link between the two things and threaten the ultra-Orthodox with imprisonment if they don’t enlist, and at the same time ‘display sensitivity’ toward the Arabs – that’s a problem. I’d like for the left-wingers who have become active in Yesh Atid party to display the same kind of ambition they display toward drafting the ultra-Orthodox also toward drafting the Arabs.”

 

Mazal Mualem started her journalistic career during her military service, where she was assigned to the Bamachane army weekly newspaper.

 

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PALESTINIAN JOURNALISTS DECLARE
WAR ON ISRAELI COLLEAGUES

Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, April 26, 2013

 

Palestinian journalists have declared an intifada against their Israeli colleagues. In recent weeks, Israeli journalists who cover Palestinian affairs have been facing increased threats from Palestinian reporters. On a number of occasions, the threats included acts of violence against the Israeli journalists, particularly in Ramallah.

 

Human rights organizations and groups claiming to defend freedom of media have failed to condemn the campaign of intimidation waged by Palestinian journalists against their Israeli fellow-journaists. It is one thing when governments and dictators go after journalists, but a completely different thing when journalists start targeting their counterparts.

 

An Israeli journalist had his microphone damaged during an assault, while another was thrown out of a press conference. Behind the two incidents were Palestinian journalists, angered by the presence of Israelis in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities. The threats and harassment came as more than 200 Palestinian journalists signed a petition, for the first time ever, calling on the Palestinian Authority to ban Israeli correspondents from operating in its territories "without permission."

 

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, has complied, issuing instructions requiring Israeli journalists to obtain permission from its Ministry of Information before entering Palestinian cities. Palestinian Authority officials and journalists later explained that the ban does not apply to some journalists working for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz and who report on "Palestinian suffering."

 

The Palestinian journalists campaigning against their Israeli colleagues have justified their action by saying that Israeli authorities do not allow them to work freely inside Israel. They also accuse the Israeli authorities of refusing to issue them with [Israeli] government press cards.

 

If anything, these claims represent a hypocritical approach. In recent years, Palestinian journalists have strongly opposed to "normalization" with Israelis, including meetings with Israeli colleagues. Some Palestinian journalists who violated the ban and met with Israeli counterparts were denounced as traitors and expelled from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.

 

So while Palestinian journalists are opposed to "normalization" with Israel, they are at the same time demanding that Israeli authorities grant them permission to work inside Israel. Even more, the Palestinian journalists are demanding that Israel provide them with press cards issued by none other than the Israeli government.

 

Won't the Palestinian journalists be violating their own rules and ideology once they accept press cards issued by the Israeli government? And if they enter Israel and meet with Israelis, won't they also be acting against their own boycott campaign? What is disturbing is that foreign journalists based in Israel have not come out against the campaign of intimidation against their Israeli colleagues. Could it be because these foreign journalists have also been facing threats and want to stay on good terms with Palestinian reporters, and will also agree to report only on "Palestinian suffering"?

 

Gone are the days when Israeli and Palestinian journalists used to work together and exchange information on a daily basis, in the days before the peace process started. Today, there is a new generation of Palestinian journalists who have evidently been radicalized to a point where any meeting with an Israeli is being viewed as a "crime." This is the result of anti-Israel incitement by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, especially over the past two decades.

 

Aware of the growing radicalism of Palestinian journalists, the Palestinian Authority, together with the American security detail, banned a large number of Palestinian journalists from covering the visit of US President Barack Obama to Ramallah last month. The biggest fear was that a Palestinian journalist would either throw a shoe at Obama or engage in a rhetorical attack against him and US policies.

 

If Palestinian journalists have been so radicalized that some are even willing to resort to threats and violence against colleagues, what must one say about the rest of the Palestinians who, for the past two decades, have also been exposed to messages of hate by their leaders? How can anyone talk about resuming the peace process when Palestinians are being told by their leaders, on a daily basis, how bad and evil Israel is? If Israel is so bad and evil, then how can any leader go to his people and say that he is negotiating with them?

 

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BOSTON TERROR SUSPECT TAKEN TO ‘ISRAEL’
Paula R. Stern

A Soldier’s Mother Blog, April 23, 2013

Well, not Israel, exactly – but to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where an Israeli doctor and the director of the hospital, Dr. Ilan Tabb and his staff are responsible for doing all they can to save the life of a man accused of murdering four and injuring close to 200.
 

Unfortunately, I have had a lot of experience with these types of injuries after years of treating people injured in terror attacks in Israel. We have a few Israeli doctors in the emergency room, and the director of the ER is also Israeli. But most of the physicians at the hospital are not Israeli, and they functioned exceptionally well. It was very similar to what I was used to in Israel in that we had to admit many injured people in a short period of time," Professor Tabb said. "The fact that we are treating both the victims and the suspected terrorist also reminds me of similar situations in Israel. In Israel we had an injured soldier and a terrorist lying on adjacent beds. When an injured person is admitted to the ER, the doctor or nurse treats him without asking questions.
 

 Having met many Israeli doctors, I can tell you that I understand their training. I know that they are asked and expected to treat everyone evenly. I know that many doctors have been challenged with saving the life of someone who has maliciously taken the lives of others. More times than you can imagine, the terrorist is evacuated with the wounded – and in some cases, given priority in treatment because the doctors treat based on severity of wounds, not on nationality. All efforts will be made to disarm the terrorist – any and all force is acceptable…until the terrorist is disarmed, and then, in the eyes of the doctor, even the most horrible of human beings becomes a responsibility, an obligation.

There have been several really dumb comparisons made – especially one by John Kerry related to the Boston bombers. When I was reading about the Israeli doctors treating the terrorist, I remembered a passage I had once read about the Eichmann trial.  I wonder what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would say about his doctors being Israelis. I doubt he could possibly understand the humanity behind the actions of the Israeli doctors. Tsarnaev won't understand – as Eichmann did not. I found the passage I remembered…it was spoken during a discussion between then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and the Director of the Mossad Isser Harel. The conversation was recorded and classified, and only recently released.

In the discussion, people are asking Harel about the time right after Eichmann was captured. Eichmann came from a culture that believed in death, as apparently Tsarnaev did. Neither would expect decency from their enemies, from those they had perceived as weak. I find it fitting that Eichmann was fairly tried in Israel, convicted, and punished according to the law. If ind it fitting and just that Tsarnaev will live his life, knowing that it was Jews that saved his life.

Harel told Ben Gurion and others…

 

He doesn’t understand our behavior, he thought that we would beat him and treat him cruelly. We are treating him in keeping with the laws of the State of Israel, from the day the arrest order for him was issued and given to the Justice Ministry he is being treated according to the law.

 

When the anger burns within you, it is easier to lose sight of the law, of what is just and what is right. There is justice in Eichmann not being executed in Argentina; of his being brought back to Israel to see what we have built here and to know that it is by our law, by our justice that he was sentenced to death. For the record, Israel has only executed one person in all of its 65 years of independence. One man.

There will be justice for  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because, like Israel, America will rise above the anger to do what is right, what is just. It is in the anger we overcome that we prove our humanity. There are those who will wish Tsarnaev had died rather than been captured but death is glory to the Islam that Tsarnaev says he and his brother were defending. The glory comes from becoming a martyr and as he survived, that martyrdom will be denied to this brother at least.  He will rot in jail – no glory, no honor. That is justice, the ultimate and true punishment. 

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Haredim See Lapid as a Force Majeur: Avishai Ben Haim, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2013—Finance Minister Yair Lapid's "we've finished taking orders from the haredim" speech in the Knesset will go down in the annals of Israel's relationship with its haredi population. Something like this had never happened before, and it is simply impossible to downplay its importance.

 

Netanyahu, Liberman Spar Over Peace-Deal Referendum: Aaron Kalman, Times of Israel, Apr. 29, 2013—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday defended the idea of a national referendum on any peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority, fending off challenges from within his faction.

 

Israel: The Olmert-Lapid Reckoning: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor Israel Pulse, Apr. 26, 2013—The announcement by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he plans to run for office in the next elections should be taken seriously. This is an opening strategic move designed to position himself, as early as the next few months, as an alternative leadership candidate before the Israeli public and the world.

 

For Israel, Tranquil Days: David Ignatius, Real Clear Politics, April 28, 2013—It's a measure of the relatively quiet time for Israel these days that the sharpest argument at a big national security conference here was between an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who wanted "autonomy" for his fellow believers and secular Israelis in the audience who shouted out denunciations of what one called his "apartheid" plan.

 

Jew Hatred at UN Schools: Dan Calic, Ynet News, Apr. 26, 2013—Created in 1949 specifically to deal with the "Palestinian refugees," UNRWA spends roughly $500 million each year on schools. It utilizes text books produced by the Palestinian Authority. The UN itself does not finance UNRWA. Primary financial support comes from US and European taxpayers. 

 

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Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

PENDANT QUE L’IMPASSE DE LA CRISE SYRIENNE PERDURE, L’ANTISÉMITISME EN FRANCE S’AMPLIFIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impasse dans la crise syrienne

Jacques Neriah

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, 22 avril 2013

 

Après deux longues années de guerre nous constatons que les structures du régime sont toujours solides pour pouvoir maintenir un conflit armé permanent malgré le fait qu’une grande partie du pays est tombée dans les mains des rebelles. 

 

Certains observateurs rappellent que la guerre civile syrienne a débuté en réalité en 1980, lors de la prise d’assaut sanglante de l’école militaire d’Alep par un groupe des Frères musulmans. La réaction du président Hafez el Assad fut le massacre tristement célèbre de 20 000 membres de la confrérie musulmane installés à Homs et Hama.

 

Aujourd’hui, en dépit de la guerre d’usure, la coalition qui entoure Assad fils demeure assez forte pour pouvoir gouverner et assurer à sa population une vie quotidienne plus au moins “normale”. Précisons que toutes les informations sur la crise syrienne proviennent de différentes sources et ONG souvent opposées ; celle connue sous le nom d’« Observatoire syrien des droits de l’Homme » est devenue privilégiée bien qu’elle soit manipulée par les Frères musulmans.

 

Avec les combats qui ravagent le pays, les Etats-Unis et l’Europe se trouvent devant un énorme dilemme, une mission quasiment impossible : d’une part, ils souhaitent la chute rapide du président Assad mais d’un autre côté, ils s’opposent à l’installation d’un régime islamiste qui sera pire que celui qui a succédé à Moubarak en Egypte ou à Ben Ali en Tunisie.

 

Israël fait face au même dilemme. Jérusalem souhaite mettre un terme à “l’Axe du Mal” dirigé par l’Iran mais en fait réalise qu’un nouveau régime islamiste, lié à Al Qaïda et possédant un arsenal militaire syrien considérable, serait un véritable cauchemar.

 

Pour l’heure, rien à l’horizon ne prédit un cessez-le-feu, un compromis pour mettre fin aux hostilités et arrêter l’effusion de sang, ou une capitulation de l’un ou de l’autre camp.

 

Certes, Assad réussit à survivre, mais il n’est pas en mesure de mater la rébellion. L’économie du pays est en ruine et les zones touchées par la guerre civile sont sous les décombres. Des centaines de milliers de Syriens se refugient dans des camps installés en Jordanie, au Liban et en Turquie.

 

Le régime d’Assad est mis au ban de la société des nations et condamné dans tous les forums internationaux. Assad a survécu grâce à ses propres structures du pouvoir et à sa force militaire, mais surtout en raison du soutien de la Russie, de la Chine, et plus particulièrement de l’Iran et du Hezbollah.

 

Au cours de ces deux dernières années, les rebelles n’ont toujours pas réussi à conquérir une seule grande ville ni un aéroport international. Assad a fait usage de toutes ses armes pour assurer le contrôle des sites et des infrastructures stratégiques. Il a utilisé sa force aérienne et son artillerie, notamment des missiles Scud. Selon certaines informations, il aurait mis en service même des armes non-conventionnelles dont des armes chimiques. 

 

L’Armée Libre syrienne (ALS) n’est point protégée par les raids aériens massifs que lance souvent Assad et elle se trouve en grande difficulté pour mettre un terme au flux d’armes en provenance d’Iran. La revendication de l’ALS d’imposer une zone exempte de vols aériens au nord du pays et l’extension d’une zone protégée par le déploiement de missiles Patriot au sud de la Turquie a été également rejetée par les Etats-Unis.

 

Le Secrétaire d’Etat américain John Kerry avait demandé à Bagdad d’arrêter l’acheminement d’armes iraniennes à travers l’espace aérien irakien mais toutes ses démarches furent vaines.

 

La grande rébellion populaire tant espérée contre Assad s’est estompée. Certes, l’ALS représente toujours une menace réelle au régime comme les islamistes et Salafistes proches d’Al-Qaïda, armée et financée par le Qatar. Des volontaires et mercenaires venus d’Europe, d’Afrique du Nord (Libye et Tunisie), du Liban, d’Irak, de Jordanie et d’Egypte et même d’Extrême-Orient, dont la Chine, sont omniprésents sur le sol syrien et provoquent frictions et affrontements quotidiens avec l’ALS. Dans ce contexte, on peut comprendre les hésitations et la prudence des puissances occidentales et leur reconsidération de fournir à l’ALS des armes et des munitions sophistiquées.

 

La coalition nationale syrienne (CNS) établie à Istanbul en 2011 par l’AKP, le parti islamiste turc – à l’instar du Conseil national de transition en Libye (CNTL) –a été et restera sans doute un organisme non représentatif du peuple syrien, malgré les efforts déployés par le Qatar, l’Arabie saoudite et les Etats-Unis pour le remplacer au régime d’Assad.

 

Le conflit syrien a suscité de vives tensions entre sunnites et chiites au Liban. Des affrontements armés ont eu lieu, surtout à Tripoli, entre les partisans de l’ancien Premier ministre Saad Hariri parrainés par l’Arabie saoudite et le Qatar et les militants chiites d’Assad appuyés par le Hezbollah. Cette situation explosive, a provoqué la démission du Premier ministre libanais Mikati et les pressions du Hezbollah paralysent la gestion du pays du Cèdre.

 

Quant à la Jordanie, bien que le royaume hachémite fût épargné à ce jour du “printemps arabe” et de l’agitation sociale, le roi Abdallah craint en effet que des éléments islamistes extérieurs et hostiles cherchent à exploiter les frustrations populaires pour déstabiliser le pays et renverser le régime. Le roi a eu la sagesse d’initier des réformes politiques et a réussi ainsi à calmer les esprits. La présence inquiétante de centaines de milliers de réfugiés syriens a aussi conduit le roi à demander une aide économique substantielle aux Etats-Unis. Méfiant à l’égard de la Turquie d’Erdogan et de l’Egypte de Morsi, le roi hachémite navigue très prudemment, conscient que son pays pourrait être mis demain sur orbite islamique.

 

Concernant le rôle de Bagdad, des responsables irakiens craignent aussi qu’un mouvement de protestation croissant inspiré par la rébellion syrienne se transforme en une révolte contre le régime. La guerre en Syrie pourrait ainsi déstabiliser l’Irak et provoquer des affrontements ethniques. Cela explique la volonté du Premier ministre Nouri al-Maliki d’ignorer le transfert d’armes iraniennes à la Syrie via son espace aérien et ses craintes de voir un jour un régime sunnite à Damas.

 

Le soutien inconditionnel de l’Iran au régime d’Assad a porté un coup sévère à sa politique panislamique. Le monde arabe est bien conscient des véritables manigances de Téhéran qui cherche à faire flotter l’étendard chiite par des moyens subversifs.

 

Enfin, l’impuissance des pays occidentaux dans ce conflit demeure flagrante en raison de leur incapacité d’apporter une assistance militaire aux rebelles, comme ce fut le cas en Libye. En dépit des considérations juridiques internationales, les Etats-Unis et l’Europe n’ont pu obtenir le feu vert du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies pour apporter une aide militaire ou lancer une opération conjointe et ont dû se plier devant l’opposition farouche de la Russie et de la Chine. L’Occident s’est contenté d’aider les rebelles par l’assistance des services de renseignements, de la formation et de l’aide financière, gelant ainsi les capitaux syriens en Europe et ailleurs, et en établissant une liste noire des criminels de guerre. La France qui avait récemment suggéré de livrer des armes aux rebelles, affirmant que seule la supériorité militaire pourrait vaincre le régime, n’a pas obtenu gain de cause.

 

Deux ans après la révolte, l’affrontement entre les forces loyalistes et les rebelles semble être stabilisée. Un statu quo angoissant se dessine sur le terrain, rappelant ainsi la guerre civile du Liban des années 1970.

 

Si cette prédiction s’avère exacte, alors le conflit syrien ne sera guère résolu dans un proche avenir. Il est très difficile d’établir un calendrier mais toutefois, si le régime tombait un jour cela changerait complètement la donne géopolitique au Moyen-Orient.

 

La France est désormais un pays très peu sûr pour les Juifs

Guy Millière

menapress.org, 21 avril 2013

 

On le sait, le nombre d'actes antisémites en France, l'an dernier, a connu un très net accroissement, et l'essentiel de cet accroissement a suivi les assassinats perpétrés par Mohamed Merah à Toulouse, dans l'école Otzar Hatorah.

 

Tuer des enfants juifs dans une cour d'école a pétrifié d'horreur de nombreux Français. Cela a, hélas, aussi empli de joie d'autres gens vivant en France, qu'ils aient la nationalité française ou non. Et ces gens emplis de joie ont considéré que ce qu'avait fait Mohamed Merah était un exemple à suivre. Ils ont, en conséquence, suivi son exemple autant qu'ils le pouvaient.

 

On le sait aussi, les dirigeants politiques français condamnent l'antisémitisme, mais ils le font en termes vagues, si vagues qu'on ne sait jamais très exactement ce qu'ils condamnent, sauf lorsqu'ils parlent de ce qui s'est passé sous le maréchal Pétain, donc il y a peu ou prou soixante-dix ans.

 

Et condamner en termes vagues, ou condamner ce qui s'est passé sous le maréchal Pétain ne permet pas vraiment de lutter contre l'antisémitisme tel qu'il existe et se dissémine aujourd'hui. Dire qu'il existe un antisémitisme islamique est plus que jamais politiquement incorrect, et vaut à qui s'y risque l'accusation de « racisme islamophobe ».

 

Nul ne dira donc que Mohamed Merah avait des motivations islamistes ou, si c'est dit, ce le sera en passant très vite, et en ajoutant que l' « esprit islamiste » n'a rien à voir avec l'islam, cela « va de soi ». Et nul ne dira que ceux que les actes de Mohamed Merah ont empli de joie se trouvent très largement dans ce qu'il est convenu d'appeler les « banlieues de l'islam ». Je ne le dirai donc pas.

 

On le sait enfin, tout en condamnant l'antisémitisme en termes vagues, les dirigeants politiques français font comme s'ils ne voyaient pas la haine du seul Etat juif sur terre qui est en train de monter dans le pays comme un cancer en voie de généralisation.

 

Cette haine atteint pourtant des degrés absolument répugnants. Laisser de côté le fait que la haine de l'Etat juif imprégnait Mohamed Merah et qu'elle est tapie derrière l'essentiel des actes antisémites qui se commettent aujourd'hui en France équivaut à nier l'évidence.

Tout comme laisser de côté le fait que la haine de l'Etat juif qui monte dans le pays est très largement imprégnée de la vision d'Israël et des Juifs qui prévaut dans le monde musulman, tout particulièrement depuis qu’y déferle la vague islamiste.

 

Laisser de côté que la haine de l'Etat juif atteint gravement la gauche extrême, qui, emportée par sa détestation des sociétés ouvertes et de la civilisation occidentale, se fait l'idiote utile de la vague islamiste. Cette gauche pratique dès lors de l'antisémitisme tout en faisant semblant de ne pas le savoir, ce qui équivaut à nier l'évidence encore, et d'une manière particulièrement obscène.

 

La gauche extrême gravement atteinte courtise ainsi les assassins de Juifs agissant au nom d'une cause islamique. Et elle en fait même ses idoles.

C'est ce qu'on a observé lorsque la municipalité de Bezons, en banlieue parisienne, a décerné voici peu le titre de citoyen d'honneur à Majdi Rahima Rimawi, coupable d'avoir tué le ministre israélien Rehavam Zeevi. C'est ce que l'on a vu lors des réceptions organisées pour glorifier Salah Hamouri, qui n'a pas réussi à tuer sa victime (mais qui avait tout fait pour)

 

C'est ce qu'on a vu cette semaine avec la soirée consacrée, le 17 avril dernier à Saint Denis, à Amir Jabar Sharif Sawalma et Allam Kaabi (appelés fraternellement par leurs prénoms sur les tracts et dans les communiqués des organisateurs), criminels membres du FPLP, l'organisation dont les égorgeurs de la famille Fogel en 2011 faisaient partie

Que des êtres abjects tels ceux dont je cite ici le nom puissent être « honorés » ou glorifiés de quelque façon que ce soit devrait être suffisant pour montrer qu'il y a quelque chose de profondément pourri en France, et que la situation atteint un degré qui devrait appeler un sursaut éthique.

 

Que ces êtres abjects puissent être affublés, comme cela a été le cas à Saint Denis, le 17 avril, du titre de « prisonniers politiques » constitue un crachat symbolique sur la notion même de «

 

L'enfant intérieur

Lysiane Gagnon

La Presse, 20 avril 2013

 

Un mélange de gauchisme juvénile et de «psychologie pop». C'est ainsi qu'on pourrait qualifier la réaction de Justin Trudeau à la tragédie de Boston. Une réaction que le premier ministre Harper n'a pas tardé à fustiger, et pour cause.

 

C'était la première fois que le nouveau chef libéral réagissait à chaud depuis son élection à la tête du PLC, lors d'une interview à la CBC, et le résultat a eu de quoi confirmer les craintes de ceux qui le trouvent léger et immature.

 

Son premier réflexe a été de compatir aux malheurs de l'auteur (alors inconnu) de l'attentat.

 

«Il faut regarder les causes profondes… Il n'y a pas de doute que c'est arrivé parce qu'il y a quelqu'un quelque part qui se sent complètement exclu. Complètement en guerre avec des innocents…  Et notre attitude doit être, d'où ces tensions proviennent-elles? Oui, il faut de la sécurité, mais nous ne devons pas cultiver la peur et la méfiance. Parce que cela finirait par marginaliser encore plus ceux qui se sentent déjà les ennemis de la société».

 

La théorie des «root causes», qui transforme le meurtrier en victime, est populaire dans bien des milieux même si, depuis le temps qu'elle roule, elle n'a jamais débouché sur des conclusions solides. On sait, exemples à l'appui, que ni la misère, ni l'exploitation, ni le racisme, encore moins le sentiment d'exclusion, n'expliquent le terrorisme. Il y a plein de gens qui se sentent malheureux et mal-aimés, et ils ne posent pas de bombes.

 

Mais surtout, ce n'est pas le genre de réflexion qu'on attend d'un homme qui veut être premier ministre, quelques heures après un désastre pareil. Qu'aurait-on dit si un politicien s'était d'abord soucié de la psyché blessée de Marc Lépine avant même que ses victimes eussent été enterrées?

 

Les chefs de gouvernement ne sont pas des thérapeutes et ce qu'on attend d'eux c'est qu'ils se tiennent debout et qu'ils prennent les moyens pour protéger la société, comme Obama l'a fait superbement cette semaine.

 

Et quelle formulation! «Il y a quelqu'un qui se sent exclu…». Qu'est-ce que ce langage puéril tout droit sorti des thérapies à l'eau de rose?

 

Justin Trudeau aurait-il un côté «nouvel âge» ? À entendre parler sa femme, dont il a déjà dit qu'elle était sa partenaire en politique comme dans la vie privée, le couple semble en tout cas baigner dans cette mentalité.

 

En février dernier, le Globe and Mail décrivait une conférence prononcée par Sophie Grégoire devant un groupe d'enseignantes ontariennes. Au dire du reporter, Mme Grégoire, qui enseigne le yoga, parlait comme «une guérisseuse nouvel âge» (a New Age healer) davantage que comme une épouse de politicien.

 

«La respiration est la pulsation intérieure divine», proclama-t-elle avant de psalmodier  une invocation en sanskrit et de proclamer, devant un auditoire en délire, que «le sacré féminin gagne du terrain».

 

Présentant son mari au lancement de la campagne au leadership, elle loue «la pureté de ses intentions…». «Il est intelligent, il a une équipe formidable, mais au-delà de tout cela, il y a la pureté qui coule dans son sang… Ce qui m'a vraiment attirée vers lui, c'est son enfant intérieur (the child within).

 

«Nous avons besoin de plus de bonté dans la société, et les gens sont non seulement prêts à élever leur pensée, mais aussi à raffiner leur niveau de conscientisation humaine…».

 

Compte tenu de la popularité des bouquins de croissance personnelle, on peut croire que cette philosophie plaira à bien des gens, mais d'autres y verront plutôt matière à inquiétude.

 

AS ISLAMIST TERROR SPREADS IN NO. AMERICA, AND IN W. EUROPE, NUMBER OF HOLOCAUST KILLING SITES RISES — YET HERE, P.C. “ISLAM” COVER-UP CONTINUES

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing

 

Contents:                          

 

 

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking: Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, Mar. 1, 2013—Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

 

Muslim anti-Semitism in Western Europe: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Tundra Tabloids, Feb. 20, 2013—European governments often avoid exposing Muslim anti-Semitism. In colonial times, Western racism far exceeded any other discrimination. With these guilt feelings, to accuse an immigrant minority group of having a high percentage of people who hate another minority – i.e., the Jews – is not done.

 

The Mysterious Motive Cover-Up on the Boston Attack Begins: Barry Rubin, Rubin Reports, Apr. 22, 2013—Now that the two (main at least) terrorists from the Boston Marathon attack have been killed or captured we enter a new phase, the phase in which the dominant Politically Correct (but Factually Incorrect) forces try to explain away the attack.

 

Boston Terror Suspect Taken to ‘Israel: Paula R. Stern, A Soldier’s Mother’s Blog, Apr. 23, 2013—Well, not Israel, exactly – but to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where an Israeli doctor and the director of the hospital, Dr. Ilan Tabb and his staff are responsible for doing all they can to save the life of a man accused of murdering four and injuring close to 200.

 

On Topic Links

 

Has the Netherlands Gone Mad on Jewish Issues?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Tundra Tabloids, Apr. 5, 2013

Will Europe Define Hizbullah as a Terrorist Organization?: Amb. Freddy Eytan, JCPA, Feb. 28, 2013

Lag Ba’omer to be Celebrated for Two Days This Year: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013

 

 

THE HOLOCAUST JUST GOT MORE SHOCKING

Eric Lichtblau

New York Times, Mar. 1, 2013

 

Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

 

The researchers have catalogued some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945. The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.

 

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.

 

“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”

 

The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

 

Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear. The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions.

 

The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopaedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.) The existence of many individual camps and ghettos was previously known only on a fragmented, region-by-region basis. But the researchers, using data from some 400 contributors, have been documenting the entire scale for the first time, studying where they were located, how they were run, and what their purpose was.

 

The brutal experience of Henry Greenbaum, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives outside Washington, typifies the wide range of Nazi sites. When Mr. Greenbaum, a volunteer at the Holocaust museum, tells visitors today about his wartime odyssey, listeners inevitably focus on his confinement of months at Auschwitz, the most notorious of all the camps. But the images of the other camps where the Nazis imprisoned him are ingrained in his memory as deeply as the concentration camp number — A188991 — tattooed on his left forearm. In an interview, he ticked off the locations in rapid fire, the details still vivid.

 

First came the Starachowice ghetto in his hometown in Poland, where the Germans herded his family and other local Jews in 1940, when he was just 12. Next came a slave labor camp with six-foot-high fences outside the town, where he and a sister were moved while the rest of the family was sent to die at Treblinka. After his regular work shift at a factory, the Germans would force him and other prisoners to dig trenches that were used for dumping the bodies of victims. He was sent to Auschwitz, then removed to work at a chemical manufacturing plant in Poland known as Buna Monowitz, where he and some 50 other prisoners who had been held at the main camp at Auschwitz were taken to manufacture rubber and synthetic oil. And last was another slave labor camp at Flossenbürg, near the Czech border, where food was so scarce that the weight on his 5-foot-8-inch frame fell away to less than 100 pounds.

 

By the age of 17, Mr. Greenbaum had been enslaved in five camps in five years, and was on his way to a sixth, when American soldiers freed him in 1945. “Nobody even knows about these places,” Mr. Greenbaum said. “Everything should be documented. That’s very important. We try to tell the youngsters so that they know, and they’ll remember.”

 

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MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM IN WESTERN EUROPE

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Tundra Tabloids, Feb. 20, 2013

 

European governments often avoid exposing Muslim anti-Semitism. In colonial times, Western racism far exceeded any other discrimination. With these guilt feelings, to accuse an immigrant minority group of having a high percentage of people who hate another minority – i.e., the Jews – is not done. This is the more so as there is also discrimination of Muslims in Western societies. Furthermore officially accusing large parts of the Muslim community of anti-Semitism could ‘upset’ social peace.

Thus detailed data on Muslim anti-Semitism in Western Europe is very limited. The few existing studies all point in one direction. In 2011 Mark Elchardus, a Belgian sociologist published a report on Dutch-language elementary schools in Brussels. He found that about 50% of Muslim students in second and third grade could be considered anti-Semites, versus 10% of others. It is logical to assume, in view of the age of these children, that their parents have imbued them with Jew hatred.

 

In the same year Günther Jikeli published his findings from the 117 interviews he conducted with Muslim male youngsters of an average age of 19 in Berlin, Paris and London. The differences in attitudes between the cities were minor. The majority of the interviewees voiced some, or strong anti-Semitic feelings. They expressed them openly and often aggressively.

 

In 13 Amsterdam trade schools a pilot project with Moroccan students was carried out about the Second World War and the Middle East conflict. The purpose was to fight their discriminatory attitudes and in particular, anti-Semitic expressions. The findings showed a decrease in such attitudes after the project. Before thirty-two percent of the Moroccans thought Jews were “as nice as other people.” Afterwards this increased to 50%.

 

A study in France in 2005 showed that anti-Jewish prejudice was prevalent particularly among religious Muslims. Forty-six percent held such sentiments compared to 30% of non-practicing Muslims. Only 28% of religious Muslims in France were found to be totally without such prejudice. These projects and much anecdotal information uncover that anti-Semitism among substantial parts of Muslim communities is much higher than in autochthonous populations. As it manifests itself from a very young age onward, only the extremely gullible will believe that it will disappear in coming decades.

 

A second important aspect is that some Muslims stand out compared to autochthonous anti-Semites in committing extreme anti-Semitic acts. This is particularly clear in France. The 1982 attack on the Jewish Goldenberg restaurant in Paris was carried out by Arab terrorists from abroad. Six people were killed.

 

In this new century, Muslims living in France committed vicious murders of Jews. In 2003, Sebastian Selam a Jewish disc jockey was killed by his neighbor Adel Amastaibou. In 2006, a young Jewish man Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days and killed by a Muslim gang. Its leader Youssouf Fofana shouted when the court trial began in 2009, “Allahu Akbar.” (God is Great) Last year, Mohammed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin killed a teacher and three children in front of their Jewish school.

 

In 2009 during Israel’s Cast Lead campaign in Gaza, the largest anti-Semitic riots in Norway’s history took place in Oslo. All participants were Muslim. Attackers wounded a Christian who attended a pro-Israel demonstration. Life-threatening projectiles were thrown at demonstrators.

 

Sweden’s third largest city Malmö, is often mentioned as “the capital of European anti-Semitism.” The perpetrators of many physical and verbal attacks there are all, or almost all, Muslims. A record number of complaints about hate crimes in this city in 2010 and 2011 did not lead to any convictions.

 

In Copenhagen, all main assaults on Jews were perpetrated by Arabs. The Jewish community complained in vain about the inaction of the authorities. In 2012 Stephan J. Kramer, General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said that the “willingness to be violent in the Muslim camp is comparable with that in the extreme right wing camp.”

 

Many European authorities must be blamed two-fold for their attitudes to the Jews in this matter. Firstly, they allowed immigrants into their countries in a non-selective way without examining the cultural differences, or considering how these people would be integrated into their societies. They should have known that actively promoting anti-Semitism was part and parcel of the cultures these people came from. Allowing them in unselectively can thus be considered an indirect type of state-promoted anti-Semitism.

 

Secondly, over the years it has become clear that while far from all Muslims are anti-Semites, a large percentage are, and from a young age. Some of them openly admit that they are willing to commit violent acts. Authorities in European countries have intentionally neglected to investigate this matter in depth. The non-selective immigration of Muslims has been the most troubling development for European Jewry in the last 50 years. This is not only the fault of part of the immigrants, but also of European authorities.

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld is a Board member and former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2000-2012).

 

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THE MYSTERIOUS MOTIVE
COVER-UP ON THE BOSTON ATTACK BEGINS

Barry Rubin

Rubin Reports, April 22, 2013

Now that the two (main at least) terrorists from the Boston Marathon attack have been killed or captured we enter a new phase, the phase in which the dominant Politically Correct (but Factually Incorrect) forces try to explain away the attack Can this be done? Will they really try? Well, yes. True, as one of my correspondents remarked it is much easier to obfuscate far distant Benghazi than the total shutdown and horror in the middle of a major American city. Yet the spin-masters are already at work.

 

The first step must be, in part, a stalling technique but it sets the pattern for what is to come.  As, in the words of a Reuters story, the “Boston Marathon bombing investigation turns to motive,” the motive must be obfuscated. The Reuters piece is a good start. The article spends seven paragraphs discussing the parents' claim that the two brothers were framed. This suggests that the mass media and politicians will not shrink from suggesting—perhaps I should say, gives fair hearing—to bizarre conspiracy theories and doubts. People shouldn’t believe these completely, is the theme, but you just can’t be too sure that two young Muslims would have any reason to harm Americans.

 

Indeed, there are now witnesses who heard the two terrorists’ mother claiming that September 11 was a U.S. plot to make people hate Muslims. That's where playing with that kind of fire leads. In the article, the word "Islam" is not mentioned, except to say that they once lived in one predominantly Muslim country and another place they lived, Dagestan, is "a southern Russian province that lies at the heart of a violent Islamist insurgency." Here, we have another technique, minimize Islam as a factor and turn it into background noise.

 

Obviously, this will not apply completely both because the elephant in the room is too big and there is still some journalistic integrity in places. Both the Washington Post and Mother Jones took a lead in exposing the You-Tube likes of one of the terrorists which showed a propensity for al-Qaida views to say the least. There are a lot of other quivers, however, in the arsenal of denial.

 

On “Face the Nation” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that he had no idea why the Tsarnaev brothers would target "innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did." The answer, of course, is that these people were not regarded as innocent at all but as soldiers in the alleged Christian-Jewish war on Islam, precisely the same thinking that has been produced by Islamists for decades. Might September 11, 2001, be a clue here?

 

Of course, for Patrick to say that at this point in the investigation is understandable on one level, a refusal by a government official to remark on an ongoing investigation and a relief from “the police are stupid” or “Trayvon looks like the son I didn’t have” remarks by someone else. Yet what if this claim is sustained week after week until the heat is off?…

 

Then there will be a frantic search for the “blame ourselves” theme. If the issue wasn’t such a tragic one, this would be humorous. Could America have acted more kindly toward these two brothers? Don’t underestimate how well this theme will play with those citizens who drink other flavours of Kool-Aid. In this pursuit no idiocy is unthinkable. Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, who is trying to be an Obama clone, explained: “There is no question that this happened because of someone who feels completely excluded, someone who feels completely at war…with society.” The solution, then, is not to “marginalize people even further who already feel like they are enemies of society rather than people who have hope for the future.” In other words, doing anything is more dangerous than doing nothing. To combat radical Islam is to hurt people’s feelings and that will produce more terrorism.

Actually, the brotherly duo and their family was treated extraordinarily well by the country they betrayed. They were allowed in…as permanent residents…They went to the best schools. What did they learn there about the greatness of America? Was the seed of rage fertilized by the demonization of American history as evil, greedy, racist, and imperialist? One of them even got a scholarship. It is vital to understand the profound difference between these two and the September 11 hijackers, men who came on a mission of sabotage and murder. They reached the U.S. shore as enemies, reliable agents of revolutionary retribution.

 

These two young men, however, had a free choice. They had to actively close their minds to everything good they experienced and to adopt an ideology of hate. Only a very powerful force could move them in that direction. We have seen this frequently in the United Kingdom and France….Their normality will be used to make them seem…normal, their motive inexplicable. But on the contrary it is their very apparent normality, their seeming assimilation into American life, which makes the situation so scary. Of course, a key argument is that Islam has nothing to do with this and that Islamism isn't directly behind it….. (for complete article)
 

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BOSTON TERROR SUSPECT TAKEN TO ‘ISRAEL’
Paula R. Stern

A Soldier’s Mother Blog, April 23, 2013

Well, not Israel, exactly – but to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where an Israeli doctor and the director of the hospital, Dr. Ilan Tabb and his staff are responsible for doing all they can to save the life of a man accused of murdering four and injuring close to 200.
 

Unfortunately, I have had a lot of experience with these types of injuries after years of treating people injured in terror attacks in Israel. We have a few Israeli doctors in the emergency room, and the director of the ER is also Israeli. But most of the physicians at the hospital are not Israeli, and they functioned exceptionally well. It was very similar to what I was used to in Israel in that we had to admit many injured people in a short period of time," Professor Tabb said. "The fact that we are treating both the victims and the suspected terrorist also reminds me of similar situations in Israel. In Israel we had an injured soldier and a terrorist lying on adjacent beds. When an injured person is admitted to the ER, the doctor or nurse treats him without asking questions.
 

 Having met many Israeli doctors, I can tell you that I understand their training. I know that they are asked and expected to treat everyone evenly. I know that many doctors have been challenged with saving the life of someone who has maliciously taken the lives of others. More times than you can imagine, the terrorist is evacuated with the wounded – and in some cases, given priority in treatment because the doctors treat based on severity of wounds, not on nationality. All efforts will be made to disarm the terrorist – any and all force is acceptable…until the terrorist is disarmed, and then, in the eyes of the doctor, even the most horrible of human beings becomes a responsibility, an obligation.

There have been several really dumb comparisons made – especially one by John Kerry related to the Boston bombers. When I was reading about the Israeli doctors treating the terrorist, I remembered a passage I had once read about the Eichmann trial.  I wonder what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would say about his doctors being Israelis. I doubt he could possibly understand the humanity behind the actions of the Israeli doctors. Tsarnaev won't understand – as Eichmann did not. I found the passage I remembered…it was spoken during a discussion between then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and the Director of the Mossad Isser Harel. The conversation was recorded and classified, and only recently released.

In the discussion, people are asking Harel about the time right after Eichmann was captured. Eichmann came from a culture that believed in death, as apparently Tsarnaev did. Neither would expect decency from their enemies, from those they had perceived as weak. I find it fitting that Eichmann was fairly tried in Israel, convicted, and punished according to the law. If ind it fitting and just that Tsarnaev will live his life, knowing that it was Jews that saved his life.

Harel told Ben Gurion and others…

 

He doesn’t understand our behavior, he thought that we would beat him and treat him cruelly. We are treating him in keeping with the laws of the State of Israel, from the day the arrest order for him was issued and given to the Justice Ministry he is being treated according to the law.

 

When the anger burns within you, it is easier to lose sight of the law, of what is just and what is right. There is justice in Eichmann not being executed in Argentina; of his being brought back to Israel to see what we have built here and to know that it is by our law, by our justice that he was sentenced to death. For the record, Israel has only executed one person in all of its 65 years of independence. One man.

There will be justice for  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev because, like Israel, America will rise above the anger to do what is right, what is just. It is in the anger we overcome that we prove our humanity. There are those who will wish Tsarnaev had died rather than been captured but death is glory to the Islam that Tsarnaev says he and his brother were defending. The glory comes from becoming a martyr and as he survived, that martyrdom will be denied to this brother at least.  He will rot in jail – no glory, no honor. That is justice, the ultimate and true punishment. 

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Has The Netherlands Gone Mad On Jewish Issues?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Tundra Tabloids, Apr. 5, 2013—In February the Dutch national media “forgot” to report on a mainstream TV broadcast in which a number of Dutch Turkish youngsters praised Hitler, the Holocaust and the killing of Jewish babies.

Will Europe Define Hizbullah as a Terrorist Organization?: Amb. Freddy Eytan, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Feb. 28, 2013—This is not the first time Europe has waffled when it comes to defining terrorism. Since the days of Maximilian Robespierre, the word Terreur has evoked horror and aversion and sparked philosophical and political debates.

 

Lag Ba’omer to be Celebrated for Two Days This Year: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013— Practically speaking, this means that bonfires will blaze from Saturday night until Monday, some even as early as Thursday night.

 

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THE (ON-GOING) DECLINE OF U.S. “HIGHER” EDUCATION — AND, ONCE AGAIN, CANADA MAY BE LEADING THE REVERSAL

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Contents:                          

 

 The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic WorldDavid Feith, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 5, 2013—It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don't know exactly—but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.

 
This is Columbia UniversityDavid Horowitz, National Review, April 2, 2013—Our educational system from kindergarten to the university level, which has long been under the academic thumb of a Left that is comfortable supporting Islamic supremacists and anti-American terrorists both at home and abroad.

Manitoba Student Union Defunds Anti-Israel GroupCanadian Jewish News, Apr. 15, 2013—The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) voted to strip funding and official club status from an anti-Israel group on campus last week.

The Moral Challenge of Divestment Comes to UCSDShlomo Dubnov and Asaf Romirowsky, Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013—Last week the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Associated Student Council passed an amended version of a resolution for divesture from companies dealing with the State of Israel, voting 20-12-1 in favor of divesting.
 

On Topic Links

 
Exposing Florida Atlantic U.: Anti-Semitism & Anti-Israel ExtremismAlan Bergstein, You Tube, Mar 7, 2013 (video)
‘Israel Lobby’ Threatening Free Speech at Berkeley?Lee Kaplan, Front Page News, Mar. 29, 2013
'Book Robbery' Hijacks HistoryAsaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Apr. 7, 2013
Pro-Gay & Anti-Israel? ‘Pinkwashing’ to the RescueCinnamon Stillwell  & Reut R. Cohen, Front Page News, Mar. 25, 2013
 
 

THE GOLF SHOT HEARD ROUND THE ACADEMIC WORLD
David Feith

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 5, 2013
 

It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don't know exactly—but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.
 
Here's what we do know: One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life—especially "diversity"—and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin's freshman class. That's where the dispute begins.
 
In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer's announcement: "I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons," said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills's telling. During Mr. Mills's next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin's "misplaced and misguided diversity efforts." At the end of the round, the college president told the students, "I walked off the course in despair."
 
Word of the speech soon got to Mr. Klingenstein. Even though he hadn't been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: "He didn't like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow."
 
The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that "I explained my disapproval of 'diversity' as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference," coupled with "not enough celebration of our common American identity."
 
For this, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, Bowdoin's president insinuated that he was a racist. And President Mills did so, moreover, in an address that purported to stress the need for respecting the opinions of others across the political spectrum. "We are, in the main, a place of liberal political persuasion," he told the students, but "we must be willing to entertain diverse perspectives throughout our community. . . . Diversity of ideas at all levels of the college is crucial for our credibility and for our educational mission." Wrote Mr. Klingenstein: "Would it be uncharitable to suggest that, in a speech calling for more sensitivity to conservative views, he might have shown some?"
 
After the essay appeared, President Mills stood by his version of events. A few months later, Mr. Klingenstein decided to do something surprising: He commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity. This week, some 18 months and hundreds of pages of documentation later, the project is complete. Its picture of Bowdoin isn't pretty.
 
Funded by Mr. Klingenstein, researchers from the National Association of Scholars studied speeches by Bowdoin presidents and deans, formal statements of the college's principles, official faculty reports and notes of faculty meetings, academic course lists and syllabi, books and articles by professors, the archive of the Bowdoin Orient newspaper and more. They analyzed the school's history back to its founding in 1794, focusing on the past 45 years—during which, they argue, Bowdoin's character changed dramatically for the worse.
 
Published Wednesday, the report demonstrates how Bowdoin has become an intellectual monoculture dedicated above all to identity politics. The school's ideological pillars would likely be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to American higher education lately. There's the obsession with race, class, gender and sexuality as the essential forces of history and markers of political identity. There's the dedication to "sustainability," or saving the planet from its imminent destruction by the forces of capitalism. And there are the paeans to "global citizenship," or loving all countries except one's own.
 
The Klingenstein report nicely captures the illiberal or fallacious aspects of this campus doctrine, but the paper's true contribution is in recording some of its absurd manifestations at Bowdoin. For example, the college has "no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation." Even history majors aren't required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history—the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality.
 
One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students take a yearlong freshman seminar. Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: "Affirmative Action and U.S. Society," "Fictions of Freedom," "Racism," "Queer Gardens" (which "examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces"), "Sexual Life of Colonialism" and "Modern Western Prostitutes."
 
Regarding Bowdoin professors, the report estimates that "four or five out of approximately 182 full-time faculty members might be described as politically conservative." In the 2012 election cycle, 100% of faculty donations went to President Obama. Not that any of this matters if you have ever asked around the faculty lounge.
 
"A political imbalance [among faculty] was no more significant than having an imbalance between Red Sox and Yankee fans," sniffed Henry C.W. Laurence, a Bowdoin professor of government, in 2004. He added that the suggestion that liberal professors cannot fairly reflect conservative views in classroom discussions is "intellectually bankrupt, professionally insulting and, fortunately, wildly inaccurate."…
 
In publishing these and other gems, Mr. Klingenstein and the National Association of Scholars hope to encourage alumni and trustees to push aggressively for reforms. They don't call for the kind of conservative affirmative action seen at the University of Colorado, which recently created a visiting professorship exclusively for right-wingers. Rather, Mr. Klingenstein and the NAS want schools nationwide to stop "silent discrimination against conservatives." Good luck.
 
In case you're wondering, Bowdoin's official statement on this week's report amounted to little more than a shrug. A serious response would begin with inviting Mr. Klingenstein to campus for a public debate with President Mills. No golf clubs allowed.

 
Mr. Feith is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal.
 

 
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THIS IS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
David Horowitz

National Review, April 2, 2013
 

People who ask how it is possible that a convicted killer — a participant in a failed plot to blow up a social dance attended by 18-year-old draftees and their dates; a murderess who abetted the cold-blooded massacre of three law-enforcement officers, including the first African-American on the Nyack police force; a woman whose actions left nine children fatherless and who has shown no genuine remorse for that — should be hired as an adjunct professor at an elite school like Columbia University haven’t been paying attention to what’s happened to our educational system from kindergarten to the university level, which has long been under the academic thumb of a Left that is comfortable supporting Islamic supremacists and anti-American terrorists both at home and abroad….
 
The prestige of Columbia derives from its scientific and professional divisions (Social Work and Education excepted), in which traditional standards drawn from the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution and including two sides to controversial questions are still observed. Over the past several decades, the liberal-arts divisions and the aforementioned professional schools have reverted to their religious origins, except that the doctrines being rammed down students’ throats without the benefit of opposing views are Marxist rather than Christian.
 
Conservatives have been lame in opposing this ominous development. They have abdicated responsibility at the trustee level, they have had little or nothing to say about it at the policy level, and they have been inattentive to it at the political level, despite the fact that 85 percent of college students attend state universities whose curricula and liberal-arts faculties are as monolithic, intellectually deficient, and politically perverse as Columbia’s.
 
For example, a course at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is described in the official catalogue in these exact words: “The goal of this seminar is to learn how to organize a revolution.” The course description goes on to explain that this would be an anti-capitalist revolution. Kathy Boudin would feel right at home there. In fact, her colleagues Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who organized the terrorist Weather Underground in which Kathy Boudin was a soldier, were not adjunct faculty members like Boudin but full-fledged professors (at Northwestern and the University of Illinois). Ayers, a Columbia graduate, is an iconic figure at Columbia’s Teachers College (a third professional school at Columbia that is an ongoing disgrace) and has edited its series of classroom guides on how to use subjects like Mathematics to teach “social justice” — which, as Ayers understands and articulates it, is indistinguishable from the principles of the Communist gulags that the Cold War disposed of.
 
But of course it is terribly outré to mention all this, and those of us who do are marginalized not only by the academic profession but by the editorial supporters of political bomb throwers at institutions that function as the arbiters of the intellectual culture — such as the New York Times, which played an active role in securing Boudin’s undeserved release from a federal prison. These are sad times for our country, and the hour is late.

 

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MANITOBA STUDENT UNION DEFUNDS ANTI-ISRAEL GROUP
Canadian Jewish News, Apr. 15, 2013

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) voted to strip funding and official club status from an anti-Israel group on campus last week. The move came a day after the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU), which represents both graduate and undergraduate students, repealed its support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, 14 months after becoming the first university student union in Canada to endorse it.

 

The UMSU vote on April 11 went against legal advice and bucked the trend among other student councils at other universities across the country, which in recent months have voted to divest from Israel, most recently at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus earlier this month. The UMSU motion, which passed by a vote of 19 to 15, prohibits Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) from receiving funding from the student union or using student union facilities for club activities.

The resolution references the Manitoba Human Rights Code and accuses the club of “discrimination” and “harassment.” Prior to the vote, the undergraduate student union’s attorney issued an opinion reading, in part, that “the actions of SAIA were well within the grounds of legally protected and acceptable political discourse.” The legal opinion warned that barring the group could expose the student union to legal liability, the National Post reported.
 

SAIA has branches on most major campuses in the country and organizes the annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Supporters of SAIA have said they’ll fight the decision. “We are shocked that UMSU would ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid without any evidence or basis for the accusations brought forward in the motion,” spokesperson Liz Carlyle said in a statement released by the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.
 

Judy Zelikovitz, vice-president of university and local partner services for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, commended and congratulated the local student activists who led the initiative in Winnipeg. B’nai B’rith Canada hailed the vote as “precedent setting” and called on other universities to follow suit.
 

Not all Canadian backers of Israel supported the move. Ezra Levant, a conservative television commentator and outspoken supporter of Israel, condemned SAIA, but warned that the vote set a dangerous censorship precedent on campuses and made the anti-Israel group look like the victim. However, Zelikovitz said the resolution does not harm free speech on campus. “It in no way infringes the right of students to organize or voice their opinions in open spaces on campus. Rather, the motion ensures that student union fees and resources are not misused to promote divisive and discriminatory agendas,” she said in a statement to The CJN.

The resolution barring SAIA was the brainchild of student council member Josh Morry, who said SAIA’s events were making Jewish students feel uncomfortable, although there haven’t been any incidents of violence during its five-year run on campus. “I didn’t have to prove that Israeli Apartheid Week has actually incited hatred, but that it is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of students on campus who are Zionists,” Morry told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.
 

The University of Manitoba has approximately 28,000 students, and Avi Posen, director of Hillel Winnipeg, said the number of Jewish students is “in the hundreds.” The UMSU decision comes after several student unions across the country endorsed the boycott movement against Israel recently, including at York University and U of T’s Scarborough and Mississauga campuses.
 

Meanwhile, the University of Regina Students’ Union repealed its endorsement of the BDS movement at a general meeting of the group on April 10. Although there was no official vote count, Sean Wilson, a student representative who spearheaded the campaign, estimated about 130 people voted to withdraw support of the motion, while around 70 voted against the idea.
 

“I knew that when people were faced with what [BDS] actually was, they’d vote in favour of repealing it,” Wilson said. “The fact of the matter is, us adopting BDS doesn't change anything overseas but it makes our Jewish students feel extremely uncomfortable and alienated.”

 

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THE MORAL CHALLENGE OF DIVESTMENT COMES TO UCSD
Shlomo Dubnov and Asaf Romirowsky

Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013

 
Last week the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Associated Student Council passed an amended version of a resolution for divesture from companies dealing with the State of Israel, voting 20-12-1 in favor of divesting. To date, UCSD is the most prestigious school to pass a divestment resolution, as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign being propagated across North America and Europe. This resolution marks three out of the ten universities in the California system that have introduced and voted on similar resolutions. It is anticipated that the Student Council of UC Santa Barbara will be voting on a similar resolution soon.
 
The UCSD students, in formulating their resolution, relied on the distortions of the BDS campaign in general: namely, a false characterization of Israel as a rogue human rights violator, the portrayal of the Jewish citizens of Israel as “colonial occupiers,” and the positioning of Arabs as indigenous residents of the land.

The students supporting the BDS movement have challenged the pro-Israel community as they have promoted the false notion that they are open to actual dialogue and debate that would promote equitable and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in reality, their motives are much more sinister. Rather than being interested in the “social justice” and “human rights” to which they so regularly give lip service, their actual intention is to weaken and destroy Israel, not to make it a partner in peace. As a result, the American Jewish community at large, many of whom embrace the “big tent” approach, still hold on to the desire to accept everyone’s views and self-affirmation in the name of being open and pluralistic.

Since Israel’s very existence is positioned by BDS proponents as antithetical to peace, and an obstacle to social justice for the Palestinians, many on campus are conflicted about fervently supporting the Jewish state. To avoid such dilemma, the strategy of some organizations that support Jewish students is to focus on internal campus life issues, such as Jews being offended if the divestment passes. These arguments are not strong enough in the battle against BDS.

But not all supporters of Israel fall into that moral trap. For instance, some faculty at UCSD, spear-headed by members of its SPME chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), were able to come together and issue a strong statement opposing the divestment initiative, stating that ”the most troubling aspect of the resolution is its characterization of Jewish citizens of Israel as ‘colonial occupiers’ while Arabs are described as indigenous to the land. In so doing, the resolution denies the profound emotional, cultural, and religious connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, a connection that spans 3000 years. This is a deplorable attempt to delegitimize an ancient people’s ethnic identity. Rather than advancing the prospect of reconciliation between Arabs and Jews, such claims regress to the very attitude that has been at the heart of the conflict and prevented a peaceful resolution thus far.”
 
So while the UCSD faculty understood the danger of BDS, the rest of the Jewish community – both on the UCSD campus and at large – lost the battle before it even came to a vote because of a lack of unified strategy and a common ideology. SPME commends the student groups for toning down some of the amoral language of the BDS bill yet it was clearly not enough. Consequently, these grassroots efforts led Associated Students President Meggie Le to express objection to the divestment resolution, but to no avail. Unfortunately, the BDS movement continues to gain momentum as it uses academic freedom to intimidate those who would speak up and question its true intentions.

It is critical to understand that the BDS campaign is contrary to peace, representing a form of misguided economic warfare. The movement is in direct opposition to decades of agreements between Arabs and Israelis, in which both sides pledged to negotiate a peaceful settlement and commitment to a two-state solution, even while only Israel has repeatedly made concessions for peace. There is no doubt that what we saw at UCSD is only part of a larger campaign to isolate Israel and silence its supporters. Until we internalize that the actions of those supporting the BDS campaign are, as former Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers observed, “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent,” we will be losing more ground in this uphill battle.
 
As such, SPME would welcome the opportunity to help students navigate through the matrix of the university governing bodies as we work together, faculty, community and students, to combat BDS more effectively and strategically.

Shlomo Dubnov is a professor of music at UCSD and an SPME board member. Asaf Romirowsky is the acting executive director for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)
 


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Exposing Florida Atlantic University: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Extremism: Alan Bergstein, You Tube, Mar 7, 2013
A university in Boca Raton, Florida tolerates the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activities of a radical hate group.

 

‘Israel Lobby’ Threatening Free Speech at Berkeley?: Lee Kaplan, Front Page News, Mar. 29, 2013—The title of a recent panel discussion at the University of California, Berkeley was ominous: “SHHHH! Don’t Talk About Palestine: Chuck Hagel, Judith Butler, and the Israel Lobby’s Threat to Free Speech on Our Campus.”

 

'Book Robbery' Hijacks History: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Apr. 7, 2013—'The Great Book Robbery' (watch here), a documentary that recently screened on a number of US college campuses, is the latest attempt by anti-Israel groups to rewrite and recast the historical events of 1948.

 

Pro-Gay and Anti-Israel? ‘Pinkwashing’ to the Rescue:Cinnamon Stillwell and Reut R. Cohen, Front Page News, March 25, 2013—What’s a pro-gay, anti-Israel activist to do when faced with the fact that the Jewish state is the only nation in the Middle East in which not only is it illegal to discriminate against homosexuality, but where homosexuality is celebrated with an annual gay pride parade? 

 

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Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Canadian Muslims: A Plea to West

 

Canadian Muslims: A Plea to West

Raheel Raza and Salim Mansur

Clarion Project, Apr. 24, 2013

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/canadian-muslims-plea-west

 

The recent discovery of terrorist plot to do a mass terror attack on a Via Rail passenger train out of Toronto by two Islamists, and their intent interdicted by joint Canadian and U.S. security agencies, eerily followed the hunt and capture of the two Chechen brothers — Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — involved in carrying out the Boston bombing.

 

The arrests of Chiheb Esseghaier, a 30-year old Tunisian studying in Montreal, and Raed Jaser, a 35-year old Palestinian landed immigrant resident in Toronto, for plotting the terror attacks on Via Rail, were preceded by reports of two Canadians (Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, a Muslim convert) involved in the terrorist attacks on an Algerian gas plant deep inside the Sahara desert on the Algeria-Libya border. The two were killed by security forces, while a third Canadian (Aaron Yoon, a Muslim convert) is being held in a Mauritanian prison as a suspected terrorist.

 

There was also report of a recent suicide bombing carried out in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in which a Canadian (Mahad Ali Dhore) of Somali origin, and a former student at York University in Toronto, was identified as one of the suicide bombers.

 

These stories confirm the pattern of penetration by Islamists into the West for executing mass terror attacks, as were the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the home grown Islamist terrorists attacks on the London public transit system in 2005.

 

There have also been failed plots, as in the case of the New York Times Square bombing attempt by Faisal Shahzad, an American resident of Pakistani origin, in May 2010, or the foiled plan of the Toronto 18 to carry out a series of mass terror attacks in southern Ontario in 2006.

 

Since 9/11 many Muslims around the world, including those who belong to Muslims Facing Tomorrow in Canada, have been warning our compatriots of the nature of Islamist threat worldwide, of the extent to which Islamism is a virulent ideology of warfare (jihad) and a radical reorientation of Muslim societies to comply with Sharia that repudiates modernity in all its form. This ideology has brought death and devastation within the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

 

The West needs to take seriously the war declared by Islamists against infidels, Zionists, Israelis and Muslims opposed to Islamism.

 

Islamism is an aberrant strain of Muslim thinking that can be traced back in Arab-Muslim history to the earliest years of Islam. Its defining characteristic is intolerance of others, including Muslims, and glorification of violence as a martyrdom exercise against all who disagree with Islamist rendition of Islam.

 

This aberrant thinking in pre-modern times was kept in check — with force when necessary — by Muslim rulers. But with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War One, this ideology was espoused by a marginal sectarian movement inside Arabia when the Wahhabis (with the Saudi tribe at its head) captured power and established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1926.

 

The success of the House of Saud came about in part with the support of Britain (the great power with imperial interests in the region). Later, this desert monarchy was embraced by the United States.

 

Wahhabism is the foster-mother of modern day Islamism; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is its citadel. Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, a multi-millionaire and a fanatic adherent of the Wahhabi creed.

 

The twentieth century founders of Islamist ideology were two Egyptians, Hasan al-Banna (1906-49) and Syed Qutb (1906-66), and the Indo-Pakistani Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903-79). Wahhabism was a small, thoroughly marginal and derided sect within the mainstream majority Sunni Muslim population until the House of Saud made it the dominant power-holder and expression of Islam by its control of the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

 

With the largesse of oil money at its disposal and the security arrangements provided to it by the Western powers, especially the United States, Wahhabism and the Islamist ideology of the three Sunni ideologues (al-Banna, Qutb and Mawdudi) were fused by Saudi petrodollars for export.

 

It is estimated that over $70 billion have been doled out by the Saudi government agencies and private citizens in funding mosque constructions across the Muslim world and in the West, and in financing Muslim organizations and youth clubs that spread Islamist ideology.

 

The result has been one of the most successful efforts to infect this virus within the Muslim world and beyond.

 

Muslim population of Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa together is less than a fifth of the global Muslim population, yet it is the Arab version of Islam, principally the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia that is the source of the rise of Islamism and the threat it poses to the West, while bringing ruin to Muslim societies.

 

Wahhabism also now dominates Sunni Islam, in general, through funding of leading Sunni institutions (Al-Azhar University in Cairo) and political movements (the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by al-Banna, and Jamaat-i-Islami founded by Mawdudi).

 

Petrodollars now spread Wahhabism in South Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus (Chechnya), the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. And, its most fanatical face can be found in the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

In the Middle East the rivalry between Wahhabism and Khomeinism is represented by the competing interests and hostilities of the Sunni powers, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, on the one side, and Iran with its Syrian  Alawite allies as well as the Lebanese Shi’i supporters of Hezbollah.

 

The Shi’ite version of Islamism is Khomeinism, the ruling ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979. (Islam has been historically divided between the majority Sunni Muslims and the minority Shi’i Muslims, who are estimated to be less than 15 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslim population.)

 

It is this rivalry in part that finds expression in the virulence against Israel and support for Palestinian extremist and radical politics emanating out of Tehran and the capitals of the Sunni Muslim states in the region.

 

It was inevitable that the upheaval inside the Muslim world would spill over into the West and elsewhere. The attack upon New York City in 2001 should have been a wake-up call for the West to take appropriate measures to nip the threat of Islamist terror.

 

 

The recent events relating to “home grown” Islamist terror are indicative of the extent to which the United States and Canada have underrated Islamism as war against the West.

 

As Muslims in Canada, we have repeatedly called upon our fellow Muslims to publicly disavow all relationships with Islamists and Islamism, to repudiate unconditionally the aberrant thinking and teachings of Wahhabism (and its related schools among Sunni Muslims) and Khomeinism and to cooperate — without any hesitation — with law enforcement and security agencies of our home country, Canada.

 

But our voice will not carry weight unless and until our government, our political parties and politicians at all levels of government — federal, provincial and municipal — take seriously the Islamist threat and denounce Islamism without any inhibition or equivocation.

 

We cannot any longer afford to allow our mainstream media, our educational institutions and our civil society associations to wallow in political correctness and, intentionally or not, give cover to the Islamists in our midst through public relation exercises, such as inter-faith dialogue.

 

As Muslims we understand much more than anyone else how multiculturalism has become a cover for Islamist penetration of the West. As Muslims, we have the inside knowledge of the extent to which Wahhabi teachings and Islamism have together undermined what was once a rich and tolerant culture within Islam.We recognize that after decades of Wahhabi subversion, this sounds apologetic and quaint.

 

Moreover, as Muslims, we found ourselves accepted in the West with immense generosity, kindness and without any discrimination by the majority of the population. Many of us carry deep physical and psychological wounds of bigotry and violence directed against us as Muslims by other Muslims driven to fanaticism by Wahhabi and Islamist teachings. As survivors of Muslim violence against Muslims, our gratitude in finding refuge and a new home in Canada and elsewhere in the West is immeasurable.

 

Our concern about the West’s security from Islamist threats is derived from experience. We, therefore, as Muslims urge the authorities in Canada, in the United States and in Europe, to take robust measures against those who have declared war against the West and those who directly or indirectly assist this warfare.

 

Only when it becomes certain that the West will not any longer tolerate the preaching and practice of Islamism will we witness increasing numbers of Muslims stepping forward publicly to repudiate those imams and religious leaders in our mosques and mosque-related institutions who have been instrumental in pushing Islamism among Muslim youth and radicalizing them for jihad or mass terrorist operations.

 

Sadly, although it is human nature, fear is an intangible reality that is holding the majority of Muslims in the West back instead of taking responsibility to spear-head the drive to defeat Islamism.

 

But this fear is also grounded upon the undeniable fact that the West has long embraced Saudi Arabia, continues to cultivate links with countries such as Egypt and Pakistan that are hotbeds of Islamism and has not shown the determination to contain and defeat Islamism as it once did in bringing about the defeat of Communism.

 

Finally, as Muslims in the West, we want to advise our compatriots that the Muslim world is presently in an upheaval of historic proportion, as Europe once was as Christendom was in the transition from the pre-modern to the modern world of liberal and secular values.

 

The internal struggle among Muslims will likely continue over several generations as the Muslim world painfully makes its transition. But the support of the West can be decisive in hastening this transition, and this can only occur when the Western public understands what is at stake and how it can make a positive difference.

 

The weeding out of Islamism and the Islamist threat lodged inside the West is the essential prerequisite – or first step — in defeating the global warfare or jihad of Islamists and in helping the Muslim world reconcile itself with modern values of science, democracy and human rights.

 

Raheel Raza is President and Salim Mansur is Vice President of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada.

CHARLES BYBLEZER: A Brief History of Palestinian Prisoners Releases

 

A Brief History of Palestinian Prisoners Releases

CHARLES BYBLEZER

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/A-brief-history-of-Palestinian-prisoners-releases-310960

 

Last Wednesday [Apr. 17], Palestinians worldwide held protests to mark “Prisoner Day,” an annual event meant to highlight the alleged plight of, and to celebrate, Palestinian criminals and terrorists imprisoned in Israel. The matter has gained notoriety over the past two years as the Palestinian Authority has made the release of prisoners a precondition for renewed peace talks with Israel.

 

“The Palestinian leadership gives priority to the prisoners issue and [to] ending their suffering,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed earlier this month. “We cannot be silent about their staying behind bars…. [We] have demanded the freeing of all prisoners.”

 

Abbas reportedly stressed the importance of the subject both during last month’s visit to Ramallah by US President Barack Obama, and in a recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, following which a PA official reiterated that “without the release of a significant number of prisoners… there can be no talk about resuming the peace process.”

 

While there is nothing unique about Palestinian preconditions to negotiations – which presently also include that Israel cease construction in settlements; accept the 1967 borders as a basis for talks; and cede territory from Area C in the West Bank, under exclusive Israeli jurisdiction as per stipulations in the Oslo Accords, to Palestinian control – demanding the release of prisoners, many with “blood on their hands,” is particularly perverse and revealing.

 

Abbas predictably assumed this position not long after the October 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner-swap deal with Hamas, in which 1,027 Palestinians – nearly 20 percent of all Palestinians either imprisoned or detained in Israel at the time – were exchanged for a single captive IDF soldier.

 

Hamas’ popularity ballooned following the deal, so Abbas felt compelled to demonstrate his own pro-terrorist bona fides in order to reinforce his standing as the “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

 

Contrary to popular belief, the Schalit deal was not particularly ground-breaking.

 

In fact, Israel conducted its first prisoner deal directly with a Palestinian terror faction in 1971, when Shmuel Rosenwasser, a night watchman abducted by Fatah forces on January 1, 1970, was exchanged for Mahmoud Hijazi, jailed for his involvement in Fatah’s first terrorist attack on the Jewish state in 1965. Since then, however, the cost of redeeming an Israeli life has increased incrementally, in parallel to the government’s slide further down the proverbial “slippery slope.”

 

On March 14, 1979, IDF soldier Avraham Amram, captured by PLO terrorists the year before during clashes in southern Lebanon, was traded for 76 Palestinians jailed in Israel. On November 23, 1983, six Israeli soldiers, held by Fatah, were swapped for 65 Palestinian prisoners, in addition to some 4,700 Palestinians and Lebanese incarcerated at Ansar camp in the aftermath of the First Lebanon War.

 

In 1985, the stakes were raised even further with the largely-forgotten Jibril Agreement, conducted with the PFLP, which saw Israel exchange 1,150 Palestinian prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, for three IDF soldiers. Many of the Palestinians exchanged in the Jibril Agreement would later form the backbone of the first intifada, which erupted in 1988 (overall, of the 238 prisoners who returned to the Palestinian territories after their release, nearly 50% were eventually re-jailed in Israel). For his part, Yassin went on to found Hamas, which, for obvious reasons, led to his re-arrest by Israeli authorities and a sentence of life imprisonment in 1989.

 

Unbelievably, though, Yassin was exchanged for a second time in 1997 – for two Mossad agents captured in Jordan during a failed attempt to assassinate current Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal – on condition that he renounce suicide bombings against Israel. A free man, Yassin retook the reins of Hamas and immediately dispatched suicide bombers to Israel; attacks which over the course of the next several years killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Israelis and ultimately necessitated Yassin’s targeted killing on March, 22, 2004.

 

Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon best described Yassin’s legacy: “Mastermind of Palestinian terror.”

 

Seemingly undeterred by the experience, Israel released at least 650 additional Palestinian prisoners between the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 2000; in accordance with various agreements such as the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (1995) and The Wye River Memorandum (1998), or simply as a “goodwill gesture” to the Palestinian leadership.

 

This policy continued into the millennium, with, for example, the exchange in 2004 of nearly 400 Palestinian and 30 Lebanese prisoners for Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three other IDF soldiers. (Although this deal was conducted with Hezbollah, the majority of prisoners released were Palestinian, of whom 364 returned to the Palestinian territories and 30% were ultimately rearrested for involvement in terror. In 2011, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan claimed that “231 Israelis were slaughtered by those freed in the Tannenbaum exchange.”) In 2005, Israel also released 500 Palestinian prisoners following a summit in Sharm e-Sheikh.

 

Notably, after Abbas emerged as leader of the PA, Israel twice attempted to entice him back to the negotiating table, as well as to prop up his new regime, by freeing 422 Palestinian prisoners in two installments, in August and December 2008 respectively.

 

But Abbas refused to talk, instead increasing the scope of his demands, and has since gone so far as to threaten Israel with the prospect of a third, albeit “peaceful,” intifada – likely to be spearheaded by Palestinians exchanged in the Schalit deal, many of whom have already returned to terror – unless his conditions are met.

 

To summarize, then, in four decades, Israel’s policy with respect to Palestinian prisoners has progressed (?) from exchanging one captive Israeli for one jailed Palestinian, to a few dozen, then a few hundred and, most recently, more than a thousand, to releasing Palestinians as part of supposedly reciprocal agreements, to unilaterally and unconditionally freeing Palestinians in hope of coaxing the Palestinian leadership into honoring its obligations. Finally, the blackmail has become simple extortion, with the PA demanding that Israel free Palestinians “or else.”

 

This descent into irrationality was inevitable, as the Palestinians’ decadeslong obsession with prisoners has never been predicated on the quest for justice, but rather is a manifestation of the consecration, and resultant pursuit, of terror which to this day pervades every aspect of Palestinian society. For Hamas, this is understood by most observers; but it no less true of the Abbas-led PA.

 

The so-called “moderate” Palestinian faction habitually names monuments, parks, and public squares – even day camps – after “martyrs” (i.e. terrorists), in addition to conducting ceremonies in their honor and broadcasting programs in its official media lionizing these Palestinian “heroes.” Naturally, the PA annually commemorates Martyrs’ Day.

 

Despite its perpetual financial crisis, the PA allocates more than NIS 200 million each year to paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and to the families of suicide bombers. Most despicably, the longer the prisoner’s sentence, which invariably is correlated to the severity of their crimes, the higher the salary received.

 

Incredibly, these dispensations, codified in Palestinian law in 2003, were increased by 300% in 2011 by none other than the West’s darling, former PA prime minister Salaam Fayyad. The PA also maintains a Ministry for Prisoner Affairs, headed by Issa Qaraqi, who in his ministerial capacity has repeatedly accused Israel of torturing Palestinian prisoners and even of stealing their organs.

 

This glorification of criminality is, quite simply, mind boggling, and precludes the possibility of any talk of “peace,” as any meaningful Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation is impossible under such circumstances.

 

It also instills significant doubt with regard to the genuineness of Palestinian national aspirations, which are so readily sacrificed to an Israeli agreement to free convicted criminals and terrorists.

 

The peace process itself is equally impugned when the international community entertains, or at least fails to condemn, such a grotesque Palestinian precondition to negotiations.

 

Lastly, it confirms, incontrovertibly, that in the absence of fundamental change on the part of the Palestinian leadership, Israel cannot benefit in any way by succumbing to the vile demand to release its enemies.

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

MKs Decry US Demand To Free Terrorists As Gesture: Yuval Bagno, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013
Hepatitis B No Match For Sci-gen’s New Vaccine: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Apr. 18, 2013
Israel At the Dawn of a New Age: Michael Ordman, Israpundit, Apr. 23, 2013

 

 

 

 

“Zionism is nothing more – but also nothing less – than the Jewish People’s sense of origin and destination in the land linked eternally with its name. It is also the instrument whereby the Jewish nation seeks an authentic fulfillment of itself.”Former foreign minister Abba Eban, quoted by Sofa Landver in “Aliya – the Revolution Has Just Begun” in the Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 17, 2013)

“After 2,000 years of bitter exile, Zionism – the national expression of the Jewish people gave voice and shape to a dream that never left the Jewish conscience: the return of world Jewry to its ancestral homeland. It is quite simply breathtaking to behold what people like Theodor Herzl, Eliezer Ben- Yehuda and Chaim Weizmann accomplished against all odds. It’s simply a miracle to behold.
   Seventy years ago, my grandfather left Canada to fight the Nazis in the Second World War. I’m deeply influenced by his contribution to combating an evil which sought to exterminate the Jewish people…that moment in history when the Devil almost drove a stake through the heart of humanity.
   The heavy spirit, the knotted stomach, and the paralysis of shock I felt as I learned details of the horrors of the Nazi era have been ingrained in my soul; they shook me to my core and have become part of my DNA….
   Yes, the horrors of the Holocaust are behind [us], but the hatred that caused it, has cast itself in a new form,…it targets the Jewish state. That Israel is still the subject of hatred is deeply disturbing and one of the forces that drives my support for the Jewish State.
In choosing not to stand idly by as the age-old hatred of the Jewish people has been transferred to the “collective Jew,” I have been speaking up against the new anti-Semitism that is so pervasive today….
   Canada will not accept the attempt to judge Israel by a different standard than any other state, we will not passively observe the effort to delegitimize and isolate it within the international community, nor will we stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory or its people. Canada stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.” Foreign Minister John Baird, in a speech to the Jewish National Fund’s annual Negev Dinner, at the National Gallery in Ottawa in Nov. 2012. (Full text of speech)

 

"I particularly say to the families of people who were lost in the [Mavi Marmara] incident: We understand these tragedies completely and we sympathize with them….I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you. It affects a community, it affects a country."  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday [Apr. 21], speaking of the Turks killed on the Mavi Marmara after they attacked Israeli soldiers attempting to board the ship, which was trying to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza in 2010. (Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2013

 

U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry's Moral Equivalency Tour (Jewish Press)

 

 

"As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy."Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, in remarks implying that the Boston terror attack was a justified response to Israel’s supposed influence on U.S. policies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

   "The United States completely rejects the provocative and offensive commentary by Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, regarding the recent terrorist attack in Boston, Massachusetts. The U.S. had previously called for Falk's resignation for his numerous outrageous statements, and these comments underscore once more the absurdity of his service as a UN Special Rapporteur."Erin Pelton, the U.S. spokesman at the UN, in a statement responding to remarks Richard Falk. (Hindustan Times, Apr. 24, 2013)
 

"I decided not to participate so I would not sit with Jews on the same platform." Yousuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and one of the most important Sunni clerics in the world, explaining why he boycotted an interfaith conference hosted by the International Union in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday [Apr 23]. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013)

 

“After the capture of the second Boston bombing suspect, President Obama gave a Friday-night speech to praise private citizens and law-enforcement officials. He called the bombers “terrorists”.… To put it kindly, the president is stuck in deep denial. Shadow-boxing against the truth, he can’t bring himself to say “Muslim terrorists.” To do so would, in his mind, feed a stereotype and fuel innate American prejudice. So reality must be avoided and important facts omitted about the extraordinary events in Boston….Those who think Islam matters are regarded as bigots. Obama’s not fooling anybody except himself. The ties between terrorism and radical Islam won’t disappear because he refuses to see them.”Michael Goodwin in an op-ed article for the New York Post.(New York Post., Apr. 22, 2013)

 

“Israel will make the decision that Israel must make to protect itself, to defend itself.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in Israel at the start of a week-long Middle East tour. (Associated Press, Apr. 22, 2013)

“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy-combatant status.”—U.S. Senators John McCain (Rep.-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (Rep.-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (Rep.-NH), and Rep. Peter King (Rep.) of Long Island, in a statement Sunday [Apr. 21]. (New York Post, Apr. 21)

 

“Executing prisoners in batches like this is obscene. It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse. [Iraq’s judicial system is] too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty, let alone dozens of executions at a time. The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone.”—Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights chief, in a statement released in Geneva on Friday [Apr. 19]

   “The Ministry of Justice had to carry out the punishment against those killers that have shed innocent Iraqi blood…[and would] continue to implement the measures of the judiciary against the terrorist murderers.”— Iraqi  Justice Minister Hasan al-Shammari, in a statement released after the [group of ] 21 prisoners, referred to by Ms. Pillay, were executed. There are reports that the Justice Ministry plans to execute about 150 in coming days — eclipsing the 129 prisoners executed last year, which was nearly double the 68 people hanged in 2011.
   “This statement [of Pillay’s] means nothing to us. The people that have been executed are criminals. The timing of the executions is up to the judiciary and government authorities, and they don’t have the right to interfere in our internal issues. Where were they when Saddam was killing hundreds of people each day? Now the human rights people are shedding their tears.”— Izzat al-Shahbandar, Iraqi  member of Parliament and a close aide to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. (New York Times, Apr. 20, 2013)

 

 “We urge the European Union and all partners who have not already done so to list Hezbollah as a terrorist entity and prosecute terrorist acts committed by this inhumane organization to the fullest possible extent. Canada is committed to fighting global terrorism and to holding perpetrators of terrorism — and those who provide them support — accountable for their actions. Preventing and countering violent extremism is a priority for Canada. We will not tolerate terrorist activity or those who support terrorist activity, at home or abroad.”Emma Welford, a spokeswoman for the Dep’t of Foreign Affairs, Canada. (National Post, Apr. 23, 2013)

 

“If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”a statement from the 10th edition of “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography”, a much-criticized textbook used in a high school in Tenessee. (Washington Times, Apr. 23, 2013)

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

EX-MI HEAD: IRAN HAS PASSED RED LINE(Jerusalem) Former Military Intelligence head, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, said Tuesday that "Iran has already crossed Israel's new 'red line'" regarding nuclear weapons development. Yadlin, who is the Head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said that in the summer, Iran will reach a distance of one or two months between a decision and a bomb." That is, it will be able to build a nuclear bomb within a month or two of deciding to do so. "This is a breakthrough range that will make it very difficult to stop Iran, when it decides to have a bomb. Israel's new red line – a problematic definition in itself – enables Iran to build a wide nuclear infrastructure without crossing the line," he explained. "It enables other nuclear activities that are not included in the red line, and makes it possible to reach a bad agreement even without crossing the line that was set." (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 23, 2013)

ASSAD ATTACKED REBELS WITH NERVE GAS, TOP IDF ANALYST SAYS(Tel Aviv) The IDF’s top intelligence analyst said Tuesday that the army was quite certain that President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons against rebel forces in Syria on March 19. “To the best of our understanding the regime used lethal chemical weapons.” said Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, head of the Research and Analysis Division at the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate. Speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv, Brun said further that based on the pictures of the victims — the size of their pupils, “and the foam coming out of their mouths” — the army believed that Assad’s troops had used the lethal nerve gas sarin as a weapon. Sarin, used by Saddam Hussein in aerial strikes against Iraqi Kurds in 1988 and in a Japan terror attack in 1995, is a nerve agent that cripples the respiratory system. It is hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide and is considered a weapon of mass destruction. (Times of Israel, Apr. 23, 2013)

 

AL-QAEDA PLOT AGAINST TORONTO PASSENGER TRAIN THWARTED(Toronto)
Canadian police have arrested two men accused of conspiring to carry out an "al-Qaeda supported" attack to derail a passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area, following a cross-border investigation that involved Canadian and American law enforcement. Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto, have been charged with "conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."  RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said the two were getting "direction and guidance" from al-Qaeda elements in Iran. (CBC News-Canada, Apr. 22, 2013 )

 

U.S. REPORTEDLY ASKS CANADA TO JOIN MISSILE SHIELD (Ottawa) The United States has reportedly asked Canada to join an anti-ballistic missile shield, resurrecting a potentially thorny political issue in this country. The request comes amid heightened concerns over North Korea, which has been levelling bellicose rhetoric at the United States of late. On Sunday, a South Korean news agency reported that North Korea has moved two short-range missile launchers to its east coast, indicating preparations for a test launch, according to Reuters. A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay would neither confirm nor deny the report that the U.S. had approached Canada about participating in a missile-defence shield. (Postmedia News April 21, 2013)

 

PALESTINIAN MURDERER GETS TWO LIFE SENTENCES(Jerusalem) The Judea Military Court sentenced Waal al-Arjeh to two life sentences plus 58 years on Tuesday for the murder of Asher Palmer, 25, and his infant son, Yonatan, in 2011, killed when Arjeh threw a stone through the windshield of their car. "It was thrown from an oncoming vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction," said the Palmer family's lawyer, Adrian Agassi, a former IDF military court judge. "At that velocity, it was like shooting a bullet." Arjeh, who had worked for the Palestinian Authority security forces, was the ringleader of a gang that developed this method of killing Jews, Agassi said. They had tried it many times before, and Arjeh had "carried out more attacks" after the deaths of Asher and Yonatan.  Asher's father, Michael Palmer, said that Asher and Yonatan's lives "were taken by people who did not know them, who had never even seen them, for the simple reason that they were Jews."  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 23, 2013)

B’NAI BRITH CANADA, AUDIT OF ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS(Ottawa) In 2012, the League for Human Rights, B’nai Brith Canada documented 1,345 antisemitic incidents across Canada, representing a 3.7% increase over the 1,297 cases recorded in 2011. Canada has seen a steady upward progression in antisemitic incidents in the past decade. Taking a ten-year perspective, incidents have more than doubled from the 584 cases in 2003. Just over half the incidents (730) took place as usual in the province of Ontario, with the next largest number being in the province of Quebec (337). There were 1,013 cases of harassment, 319 of vandalism and 13 of violence. Studies of victim reporting patterns indicate that only about one-tenth to one-third of victims will file a report with either the police or a community advocacy organization such as the League. (Full Report)

 

HATE-CRIME STATS DEFLATE ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA’ MYTH(Washington)A detailed analysis of FBI statistics covering ten full calendar years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals that, on a per capita basis, American Muslims, contrary to spin, have been subjected to hate crimes less often than other prominent minorities. From 2002 to 2011, Muslims are estimated to have suffered hate crimes at a frequency of 6.0 incidents per 100,000 per year – 10 percent lower than blacks (6.7), 48 percent lower than homosexuals and bisexuals (11.5), and 59 percent lower than Jews (14.8). Americans should keep these numbers in mind whenever Islamists attempt to silence critics by invoking Muslim victimhood.” (National Review, January 11, 2013)

 

'JORDAN OPENS SKIES FOR IAF DRONES FLYING TO SYRIA'(Amman, Jordan) Jordan has opened two corridors of its airspace to Israeli Air Force drones seeking to monitor the ongoing conflict in Syria, French daily Le Figaro reported on Sunday [Apr 21], citing a Western military source in the Middle East. Le Figaro quoted the military source as saying that the Israeli drones fly at night to avoid detection. The source added that "the Syrians have Russian air defense assets, but Israeli aircraft are difficult to detect and therefore virtually immune to anti-aircraft measures." According to the source, the unmanned aerial vehicles are carrying out surveillance, but "they are also armed and therefore can hit targets anywhere in Syria."  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)

 

JORDAN MP EXPELLED FOR SHAKING HAND OF ISRAELI PRESIDENT(Amman, Jordan) Muhammad Esa al-Doima, a member of Jordan's moderate Islamic Al-Wasat Al-Islamiy party, was expelled from his faction this week after it was published that he visited Israel on Independence Day and shook President Shimon Peres' hand. Al-Dumia has denied the allegations, but media outlets in the Hashemite Kingdom reported Monday that his expulsion has been finalized. (Ynet News, Apr. 22, 2013)

 

US STEPS IN, STOPS PA GOING AFTER ISRAEL AT UNESCO(Geneva) Following US intervention, the Palestinian Authority has agreed to postpone five resolutions condemning Israel that they were to present to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board in Paris, Israel Radio reported Wednesday. The resolutions would have condemned Israel's activity in the West Bank as well as its endangerment of Jerusalem's "Arab character", the radio said. As part of the agreement brokered by the US between the PA, Jordan and Israel, Israel has in return agreed to allow UNESCO experts to survey a number of sites in Jerusalem. Israel has also agreed to take part in UNESCO meetings about the Mugrabi Bridge, which runs from the Western Wall plaza to the Temple Mount and which has been a source of conflict between Israel and the Waqf Muslim religious trust.  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013)

 

SPAIN INTENDS TO OPEN A CONSULATE IN GAZA(Madrid) 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, to open a Spanish consulate in Gaza, accredited to the Hamas administration. 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. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)

 

RELATIVES OF FLOTILLA RAID VICTIMS REJECT COMPENSATION FROM ISRAEL(Istanbul) Relatives of the nine people killed in Israel’s 2010 deadly raid on a Turkish-led flotilla to Gaza, said Saturday [Apr. 20] that they would reject the compensation promised by Israel until it fully removes restrictions on the movement of goods and people in Gaza. The relatives also said that they would not drop their lawsuits against Israelis involved in the raid, potentially complicating the Washington-brokered reconciliation between the two governments that began last month when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to apologize. “Compensation and apology had always been government demands, not ours,” said Nimet Akyuz, whose husband, Cengiz Akyuz, was among those killed. “At this stage, we are going to see how sensitive and sincere the government really is about Gaza, the Palestinian situation.” (New York Times, Apr. 21, 2013)

 

EGYPTIAN JUSTICE MINISTER STEPS DOWN (Cairo) Egypt’s justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, submitted his resignation Sunday [Apr. 21], in a move that signaled strong disapproval of the President’s handling of a prolonged showdown with the country’s judiciary. Mr. Mekki said that he wanted to leave office in part because of protests against him. Mr. Mekki, a pro-reform judge under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, faces criticism from judges and activists who accuse him of siding with Mr. Morsi by keeping silent in the power struggle with the judiciary. Mr. Morsi’s Islamist backers recently accused Mr. Mekki of not doing enough to reform the justice system following the acquittals of former regime officials charged with corruption and nearly all policemen charged with killing protesters during the 2011 uprising. (National Post, Apr. 21 2013)

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'ERDOGAN INTENT ON GAZA TRIP DESPITE US, PA WISHES'(Istanbul)Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not likely to postpone his trip to the Gaza Strip planned for late May, despite US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas having asked him to cancel or delay the visit.  Abbas visited Istanbul over the weekend to ask Erdogan to cancel his plans to visit Gaza. The PA believes that a visit by Erdogan to Gaza would deepen Palestinian divisions, said Azzam al- Ahmed, member of the Fatah Central Committee and a close adviser to Abbas. But on Monday Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said any request to prevent Erdogan’s trip was “objectionable….Only the Turkish government decides when and where the prime minister or any other Turkish official travels to.” Arinc told reporters. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)

 

ISRAEL IS TOP CHOICE FOR TECH BY MULTINATIONALS(Tel Aviv) Over 250 multinational companies (MNC) have research and development centers in Israel, 80 of them Fortune 500 companies, with 66% being U.S. companies. During 2011, international tech companies bought out 83 Israeli start-ups, with the buyouts amounting to $5 billion. During the first half of 2012, there were 50 buyouts, at a total value of $3.5 billion (not including the purchase of NDS by Cisco).  Between 2002 and 2009, productivity by MNC units in Israeli grew by 121%, an average of 12% annually. This accounted for 15% of all business activity in Israel. (Times of Israel, Apr. 15, 2013)

 

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Mks Decry US Demand to Free Terrorists as Gesture: Yuval Bagno, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013—Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis promises not to cave to US demands that Israel release terrorists as a goodwill gesture to the PA.

 

Hepatitis B no Match for Sci-gen’s New Vaccine: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Apr. 18, 2013—The world’s only third-generation inoculation against this widespread virus comes from an Israeli pharmaceutical company.
 

Israel at the Dawn of a New Age: Michael Ordman, Israpundit, Apr. 23, 2013—Israel is the world’s third most innovative country, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology survey of 61 experts from 20 countries.  Israel’s agricultural technology is starting to eliminate hunger in Africa, India and China. 

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843

 

 

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