Tag: European Union

U.S. SENATORS DENOUNCE UN-FAIR, UN-ACCEPTABLE ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS

 

All 100 US Senators to UN: End ‘Unacceptable’ Anti-Israel Bias: United States Senate, Apr. 27, 2017 — All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter released Friday asking U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body.

The World’s Most UN-Fair Organization: Dan Calic, Algemeiner, Apr. 2, 2017 — Have you ever wondered why the United Nations is so anti-Israel?

The Unacceptable Behavior of the German Foreign Minister: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 26, 2017— German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel displayed unprecedented chutzpa and insensitivity during his official visit to Israel

World War II ‘Avenger’ Reveals his Heroic Nazi-Killing Past: Isabel Vincent, New York Post, Apr. 9, 2017 — On the day the Nazis ambushed his guerrilla camp in the dark forests outside Vilna, Benjamin Levin could feel the gunshots whizzing past.

 

On Topic Links

 

WATCH: Hillel Neuer Of UN Watch Rips Human Rights Abusers Condemning Israel: Israellycool, Mar. 22, 2017

Israel May Lose Europe in Jerusalem Sovereignty Battle at UNESCO: Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 27, 2017

UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum: Jewish Press, Apr. 18, 2017

Netanyahu’s Bold Move Against Europe: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 27, 2017

 

ALL 100 US SENATORS TO UN: END ‘UNACCEPTABLE’ ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS                                                                    

Anne Gearan                                    

 

Washington Post, Apr. 27, 2017

 

All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter released Friday asking U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body. The unanimous message notes that the United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations but does not threaten the withholding of U.S. dues. Still, it uses strong language to insist that the United Nations rectify what the senators said is unequal treatment of Israel on human rights and other grounds.

 

“Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing,” the letter said…“As both the U.N.’s principal founding member and its largest contributor, the United States should insist on reform,” the letter read. “We are deeply committed to international leadership and to advancing respect for human rights. But continued targeting of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. entities is unacceptable.”

 

The senators asked Guterres, who assumed leadership of the world body in January, to seek such institutional changes as the removal of a standing agenda item for the U.N. Human Rights Commission sessions that has been used as a forum to denounce Israel. The senators also want a change to the rules for membership on the human rights panel to broaden participation beyond what U.S. officials have said is often a narrow and self-interested group of countries.

 

The unusual unanimity expands on the fierce denunciation of U.N. treatment of Israel mounted by Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, this year. The letter praises Haley for that effort, which she has said is intended to show that the United States will not “put up with” the bashing of its close ally. The United States has long been Israel’s chief defender at the United Nations, including regularly vetoing measures at the Security Council that were critical of Israel.

 

In December, the lame duck Obama administration chose to abstain on such a resolution, allowing it to pass. The measure addressed Jewish home building in the occupied West Bank, and the U.S. action was a sign of President Barack Obama’s deep frustration with what he saw as Israeli action that threatened an eventual peace deal. The Trump administration opposes the measure and has been highly critical of the previous administration’s action. It cannot be quickly reversed, however.

 

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon thanked the senators Friday. “Once again, America has stood strongly by Israel, and stood up for truth and justice. It is time to finally put an end to the UN’s biased approach toward Israel,” Danon said through a spokesman.

 

The Senate letter reflects what the letter’s authors, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), said are encouraging signs that Guterres may be willing to change some U.N. procedures that Israel and the United States say amount to discrimination. Guterres yanked and disavowed a U.N. report last month likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid. His spokesman said the report had been published without Guterres’s permission. “If you continue to build on your recent action, we stand ready to work with you to eliminate the organization’s anti-Israel bias, and to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms,” the senators wrote.

 

On Sunday, Guterres told a pro-Israel audience that he cannot police all anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, but he said Israel should not be singled out for special scrutiny. “A modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the right of the state of Israel to exist,” the news service JTA quoted Guterres as saying at a meeting of the World Jewish Congress. “As secretary general of the United Nations, I can say that the state of Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.” “We’re glad every single senator decided to sign onto this letter,” Rubio spokesman Matt Wolking said. “That doesn’t happen often.”

 

The letter comes ahead of the first meeting between President Trump and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will visit the White House next week. “Since it is rare for all 100 senators to agree on an issue, this letter sends a powerful bipartisan message to the U.N. that its anti-Israel bias must end,” said Marshall Wittmann, spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

[Read the letter Senator’s letter here—Ed.]

 

 

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THE WORLD’S MOST UN-FAIR ORGANIZATION

Dan Calic                               

Algemeiner, Apr. 2, 2017

 

Have you ever wondered why the United Nations is so anti-Israel? Did you know that the UN Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined? Take a look at the rest of the world.

 

The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011, with close to 500,000 deaths. Hezbollah has built an arsenal of approximately 150,000 rockets in Southern Lebanon, which is a flagrant violation of UN resolution 1701. North Korea continues its rogue behavior, with provocative missile launches and grotesque human rights abuses. Iran launches missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” painted on them, and is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. And yet the UN is silent.

 

But the UN is not silent when it comes to Israel. Keep in mind that Israel is 8,000 square miles in size, roughly the size of New Jersey. Its population, including more than 1 million Arabs is just over 8,000,000. The Jewish population of Israel is approximately 6.5 million. Israel represents less than one tenth of one percent of the entire world.

 

So why does Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians garner so much attention from the UN? A closer look inside the make-up of the UN provides the answer. First, let’s examine the most anti-Israel body within the organization — the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Since 2006, the HRC has passed no less than 60 resolutions against Israel. That’s a sustained average of almost one every other month for the past 10 years. In 2016 alone, the HRC passed 20 resolutions. Incredibly 10 of those were passed on a single day. Meanwhile, in 2016, a total of 4 resolutions were passed against countries in the rest of the world. This seems almost absurd, until you look more closely at the HRC.

 

There are 47 member nations that comprise the HRC. Keep in mind that its focus is “human rights.” Yet look at some of its members — China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, UAE, etc. Shouldn’t members be beacons of protecting human rights? Yet these countries are some of the worst offenders. The actual structure of the HRC is quite telling. The council divides the nations of the world into five regions: Africa (13 members); Asia (13) Latin America/Caribbean (8); Western Europe (7); and Eastern Europe (6). The US is part of the Western Europe region.

 

Now here’s where the rubber meets the road. Every nation where Muslims make up 50% or more of the general population is in one of two regions: the African or Asian region. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that when those two regions vote as a block, their 26 votes comprise an automatic majority of the HRC’s 47 members. The US is home to the United Nations, and puts up roughly 22% of the UN’s yearly budget. Yet on the HRC, the US doesn’t even have its own region — it’s buried as a member of the Western Europe region, which has only 7 member nations. It can be easily out voted by the Muslim dominated African and Asian regions.

 

Once you understand how the HRC is structured, it’s clear why they ignore many other obvious problematic areas, and devote so much attention to Israel. Israel is in the heart of the Middle East, and has been a thorn in the side of the Arab Muslim world since the moment it was reborn in 1948. The existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land that most of the Muslim world considers holy represents a huge obstacle to their goal of “liberating” all of Israel and turning it into Palestine.

 

And the problem isn’t limited to the HRC. The UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. No other people, or nation, enjoy such a distinction. Plus, there are other anti-Israel UN agencies. UNESCO, for example, is in the business of revising history by passing resolutions reclassifying Jewish holy sites, such as the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount, as Muslims holy sites. This is in outright contradiction to documented historical fact.

 

There’s also the UNRWA, which is the only UN refugee agency created exclusively for one group of people: the Arab Palestinians. It runs schools in the Gaza Strip and in Judea and Samaria that openly teach students to commit jihad against Israel and the Jews. Then there’s the UN Security Council, which recently passed a resolution naming Israeli “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace. The resolution completely ignored Arab Palestinian terrorism.

 

The United Nations as an organization is charged with upholding dignity and security for all the nations of the world, big and small. Yet, is it acting with equal vigilance in enforcing these noble principles when it comes to Israel? The answer is a resounding no! One could make a strong case that the UN has a separate anti-Israel agenda from its overall mission, effectively making it the largest anti-Israel organization in the world (unofficially, of course).

 

However, now that Donald Trump is president and Nikki Haley is the US ambassador who sits on the Security Council, we are about to see Israel getting the support at the UN that it rightfully deserves. For example, a UN committee — ESCWA (Economic Social Commission of Western Asia) — recently released a report accusing Israel of practicing “apartheid.” After vigorous protest from the Trump administration and others, it has since been pulled from their website.

 

Moreover, Trump has indicated that the US may consider taking punitive action against the UN and some of its internal agencies — in the form of reducing or eliminating financial support — due to it’s anti-Israel activities. There have even been discussions about the US withdrawing from the Human Rights Council. We are in the early stages of a long overdue new era. It’s about time someone “Trumpets” support for Israel.

 

           

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THE UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR OF THE GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Isi Leibler                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 26, 2017

 

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel displayed unprecedented chutzpa and insensitivity during his official visit to Israel to participate in ceremonies on Holocaust Remembrance Day when he scheduled meetings with organizations who accuse us of engaging in war crimes.

 

Principal among these is Breaking the Silence, which virtually all sectors of the Israeli political mainstream, including the opposition, have condemned – not because they oppose or campaign against the government but because they are a primarily foreign-sponsored fringe entity engaged in a global campaign directed toward foreign governments to depict the IDF as war criminals.

 

It is not a “left wing” group. It consists of vicious self-hating Jews. It keeps its “sources” – primarily anonymous – confidential. It does not investigate or verify its findings with the IDF, which examines and prosecutes all irregularities brought to its attention, but instead sends emissaries abroad to undermine Israel’s image. There has even been public debate in recent months about the merits of introducing Knesset legislation to curb its global smear campaigns.

 

For the foreign minister of Germany to meet with such elements, especially during this sensitive visit, illustrates the depths to which some German leaders have sunk. Gabriel is a leader of the German Social Democratic Party in the coalition and no doubt feels that his anti-Israeli posturing may attract Left-inclined voters who despise the Jewish state. It is probably no coincidence that during an election campaign, Gabriel referred to Israel in a Facebook post as an “apartheid regime for which there is no justification.”

 

He was disingenuous when he refused to cancel the meeting, regarding it as “totally normal” on the grounds that “you never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries,” and considered it his obligation to also hear alternative viewpoints.

 

Nobody questioned the foreign minister’s right to talk to all sections of the public including those deeply opposed to the government, such as the far Left and Arab representatives. But one must draw the line between a foreign minister meeting those with opposing viewpoints and a fringe organization like Breaking the Silence, which has been almost universally condemned as a subversive group whose principal aim is not to criticize the government but to actively engage in global dissemination of false depictions of the IDF, the world’s most moral army, as an army committing deliberate war crimes.

 

Gabriel says, “Imagine if the Israeli prime minister… came to Germany and wanted to meet people critical of the government and we said that is not possible. That would be unthinkable.” Really? The proper analogy is not with “people critical of the government” but rather those seeking to undermine the essence of the country’s security. How would Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have reacted if on a state visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arranged for a meeting with representatives of a group extolling the virtues of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang or a foreign-sponsored fringe group despised by Germans of all political persuasion for engaging in campaigns to depict her police and military forces as war criminals? Gabriel’s analogy is even weaker when one takes account of the fact that Israel is under siege and its very existence is challenged by some of its neighbors while Germany faces no such threat.

 

Gabriel was utterly unfazed by Netanyahu threatening to cancel his meeting, stating that failure to meet the prime minister would not be a “catastrophe” and “would not change his ties with Israel.” It was especially sickening for a German government representative purporting to be participating in a Holocaust memorial event to behave in this manner. He stands and places a wreath at Yad Vashem and two days later effectively embraces a subversive group seeking to demonize the IDF, whose mission is to ensure our security and protect us from future holocausts and from the barbarians who seek our destruction.

Netanyahu is to be applauded for his response. It is disappointing that Isaac Herzog did not speak up and display a united front. He too has previously condemned Breaking the Silence as a subversive anti-Israel organization. That at least would have sent a message to the world that Gabriel’s meeting with this group was considered inappropriate by all sections of the mainstream in Israel.

 

By refusing to meet Gabriel, Netanyahu made a public statement. We don’t expect special treatment, but today, in the week we commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are strong enough to tell you to stay away if you behave with such contempt, that would be considered unacceptable by any self-respecting state. Above all, we would expect more sensitive behavior from a German minister, especially one who regards himself as a potential future leader of his nation.                                          

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WORLD WAR II ‘AVENGER’ REVEALS                                                                

HIS HEROIC NAZI-KILLING PAST                                                                                

Isabel Vincent                                                                                                      

New York Post, Apr. 9, 2017

 

On the day the Nazis ambushed his guerrilla camp in the dark forests outside Vilna, Benjamin Levin could feel the gunshots whizzing past. One of his comrades fell, and Levin grabbed him by the leg and dragged him from behind, looking for an escape. Blood-splattered, heart pounding, the Jewish resistance fighter ran straight into “a hurricane of bullets” and kept running until he could no longer hear them. He doesn’t know how he made it out alive, but offers one explanation: At just 14 years old, he was so short, the bullets went right over his head.

 

For several months before that 1941 attack, Levin and about two dozen others had been hiding in the Lithuanian woods, training and preparing attacks against the Nazis. They slept in makeshift bunkers carved from tangled scrub, drank green pond water that left a sandy film on their throats, and lived on a diet of bitter mushrooms and berries. “To this day, I don’t know how we survived,” says Levin, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on Passover Monday at a Westchester nursing home.

 

He is the last survivor of a group of Jewish vigilantes who called themselves the Avengers and vowed to kill as many Nazis as there were Jews who were exterminated. Like his commander, Abba Kovner, who famously exhorted Jews not to go “like sheep to the slaughter,” Levin fought back. His incredible story of heroism and wartime survival was documented by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation and is being told for the first time in The Post. “This story is important because it breaks the stereotype of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust,” said Mitch Braff, the founding director of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, which chronicles the wartime exploits of some 30,000 Jewish “partisans” who operated throughout the Third Reich. “They were responsible for thousands of acts of sabotage against the Nazis as they headed to the Eastern Front.”

 

Unlike the larger and more organized group of Jewish partisans founded by the Bielski clan in Poland, whose heroics were chronicled in the 2008 film “Defiance,” Levin’s group never comprised more than two dozen members. But they were a daring fighting force. During the war, Levin and his group destroyed 180 miles of railroad, blew up five bridges and destroyed 40 Nazi train cars. They took no prisoners, preferring to shoot enemies on the spot. They killed 212 enemy soldiers, according to the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation.

 

With his diminutive stature, Levin was recruited as a scout and saboteur for the small group, consisting of Jewish intellectuals and revolutionaries who had set up a clandestine base of operations in the Lithuanian forests in anticipation of the Nazi takeover of the country in July 1941. His older brother Shmuel, a fervent Zionist who was 18 when he joined the group, was one of its founders. Eventually, as hostilities escalated, his sister Bluma would also join.

 

Wiry and street smart, Levin could pass undetected among Lithuanian and Nazi soldiers to courier messages to different factions of the resistance, some of them working out of the Jewish ghetto in Vilna. Desperate Jews entrusted him with their valuables, which he exchanged on the black market for food and medicine. He also helped to blow up bridges, telephone poles and railroad tracks to slow the trains heading to death camps. The youngest member of the group, he learned to use his pistol from a fellow Avenger. Rozka Korczak was one of the few women leaders of the Jewish partisans, and its fiercest warrior. “At first, I saw this as a game,” said Levin in an interview with Shoah Foundation researchers. “I was reading a lot of books about conspiracy and the Russian underground. For me, it started out as a great adventure.”

 

And, while he says he can no longer remember how many Nazis he personally wounded or killed, Levin’s acts of sabotage were so numerous that more than 70 years after the end of World War II, Lithuania still has an outstanding warrant for his arrest. By his own account, Benjamin Levin grew up with “a wild streak.” He was smoking cigarettes by the time he was 8 and hanging out with a gang of young hoodlums on the streets, which caused no end of grief for his mother and father — prosperous Jewish merchants who operated a gourmet food store in the center of Vilna. Before the Nazi occupation, the city was an important hub of Jewish life, and home to more than 100 synagogues…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

WATCH: Hillel Neuer Of UN Watch Rips Human Rights Abusers Condemning Israel: Israellycool, Mar. 22, 2017

Israel May Lose Europe in Jerusalem Sovereignty Battle at UNESCO: Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 27, 2017—Israel fears Europe might abstain or support a resolution that would reject Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, which UNESCO’s executive board in Paris is likely to vote on at its meeting on Tuesday, diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post. Representatives from European nations and Arab states held consultations in Paris on Thursday to agree on a common text for Tuesday’s meeting.

UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum: Jewish Press, Apr. 18, 2017—Following all the exposure of incitement and anti-Semitism in the UNRWA schools, there was pressure on UNWRA to clean up the books and the curriculum they’re teaching from all the anti-Semitism. Khaled Abu Toameh reports that it won’t be happening, “UNRWA says it has no intention to change textbooks and will continue to teach according to Palestinian Authority curriculum.”

Netanyahu’s Bold Move Against Europe: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 27, 2017—On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopted a new strategy for managing Israel’s diplomatic relations with the West. Long in the making and increasingly urgent, Israel’s new strategy is very simple. Foreign governments can either treat Israel in accordance with international diplomatic norms of behavior, or they can continue to discriminate against Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURIM 5777: RAISE A GLASS AND CELEBRATE THE SAVING OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE FROM HAMAN

Purim 2017—5777: Baruch Cohen, CIJR, Mar. 10, 2017— The Book of Esther describes not just one, but all historical periods.

Purim Guide for the Perplexed: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Mar. 10, 2017— a. Purim’s historical background…

Is a Disbanded European Union Good for Israel?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2017— After the Brexit referendum, the breakup of the European Union through a collapse or voluntary disbandment can no longer be considered a fully absurd scenario.

Why Dutch Sentiment Has Turned Against Immigrants: Leonid Bershidsky, Japan Times, Feb. 28, 2017— Soon after she moved into her new neighborhood, Ijburg, on the eastern outskirts of Amsterdam, in 2005, Xandra Lammers started a blog about it.

               

On Topic Links

 

Purim Drink and Diplomacy: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 3, 2017

Anti-Semitism and Aliyah: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 8, 2017

The Future of the European Union?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Mar. 2, 2017

The Prospect for Russia's Jews: Maxim D. Shrayer, Mosaic, Mar. 6, 2017

 

    PURIM 2017—5777

                                      Baruch Cohen

        CIJR, Mar. 10, 2017

 

In Loving Memory of Malka – z”l

 

The Book of Esther describes not just one, but all historical periods. It remains forever new because enemies of the Jews will not allow it to grow old. The Book of Esther breathes love for Judaism, even as it tells of, and foretells, the everlasting attacks, hostility, and enmity against the Jews in diasporic lands.

 

Wherever the Jews have lived there have arisen new Hamans to enslave and persecute them. Purim gave the Jews courage in the darkest hours, and the hope that they would see the downfall of their enemies. The story of Purim in the Book of Esther is one that expresses the ties that united the Jews then, and today.

 

It is not strange that, since the festival of Purim is connected to a story about the indestructibility of the Jewish People, it will be celebrated forever by young and old. This book is one that unites all Jews, connecting ordinary people to those who attained the highest honors. Purim, a holiday that celebrates liberation, expresses something we Jews have not always had the opportunity to enjoy–the playful, light-hearted side of life.

 

In Purim, with its reading of the Book of Esther, its groggers decrying the mention of Haman’s name, and its costume-contests for the young, the Jew found a day, when we can revel and enjoy life together. Purim Sameach to all CIJR’s readers and friends!

 

Baruch Cohen, who celebrated his 97th birthday last October, is CIJR’s long-time Research Chairman           

                                                                       

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                                  PURIM GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED

         Yoram Ettinger

                                                                 Jewish Press, Mar. 10, 2017

 

Purim’s historical background: a. The 586 BCE destruction of the First Jewish Temple (on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount), and the expulsion of Jews from Judea & Samaria, by the Babylonian Emperor, Nebuchadnezzar, triggered a wave of Jewish emigration to Babylon and Persia, which eventually replaced Babylon as the leading regional power.*In 538 BCE, Xerxes the Great, Persia’s King Ahasuerus, who succeeded Darius the Great, proclaimed his support for the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple and the resurrection of national Jewish life in the Land of Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish Homeland.

 

Ahasuerus established a coalition of countries, which launched the Greco-Persian Wars of 499-449 BCE, attempting to expand the Persian Empire westward. However, Persia was resoundingly defeated (e.g., the 490 BCE and 480 BCE battles of Marathon and Salamis), and Ahasuerus’ authority in Persia was gravely eroded. An attempted coup – by Bigtan and Teresh – against Ahasuerus was thwarted by Mordechai, a retired Jewish military commander, who relayed critical intelligence to Queen Esther, his cousin (or niece).  Just like Joseph, who adopted an Egyptian name (Zaphnat Paa’ne’ach), so did Mordechai adopt a Persian name (derived from Marduk, a Mesopotamian god). Both Joseph and Mordechai reasserted their roots in the face of a clear and present lethal threat to the Jewish people.

 

b. Purim is the holiday that foiled an ancient 9/11.  The numerical value (e.g., the letter “a” would be 1, “b”=2, etc.) of the Hebrew spelling of King (מלך=90) Ahasuerus (אחשורוש=821) – who ordered the annihilation of Jews – is 911…., just like the dates of Kristallnacht (9.11.1938) and the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples in Jerusalem (9.11 – the ninth day of the eleventh Jewish month).

 

c. “Purimfest 1946” yelled Julius Streicher, the Nazi propaganda chief, as he approached the hanging gallows (Newsweek, October 28, 1946, page 46).  On October 16, 1946, ten convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged in Nuremberg.  An 11th Nazi criminal, Hermann Goering, committed suicide in his cell. According to a Jewish survivor, the late Eliezer Cotler, Julius Streicher’s library, in his ranch (which served as a camp for young Jewish survivors on their way to Israel), documented Streicher’s interest in Purim’s relevance to the fate of the enemies of the Jewish people. Streicher underlined, in red ink, each reference to the Amalekites and Haman…. (The origin of the Aryan race is claimed to be in Iran/Persia….). According to the Scroll of Esther, King Ahasuerus allowed the Jews to defend themselves and hang Haman and his ten sons.  According to the Talmud (Megillah tractate, 16a), Haman had an 11th child, a daughter, who committed suicide following her father’s demise.

 

d. Purim’s physical and spiritual clash of Civilizations between the values and worldviews of Mordechai and Haman, exemplifies an early edition of the clash among nations, communities and within each person: between right and wrong, liberty and tyranny, justice and evil, truth and lies, just like Adam/Eve vs. the Snake, Abel VS. Cain, Abraham vs. Sodom & Gomorrah, Jacob vs. Esau (grandfather of Amalek, the deadliest enemy of the Jewish people), the Maccabees vs. the Assyrians, the Allies vs. the Nazis, the West vs. the Communist Bloc and the Free World vs. Islamic rogue regimes and terrorist organizations. The numerical value of the Hebrew spelling of “blessed Mordechai” () and “cursed Haman” () is identical, 502, cautioning us that evil can be easily misperceived as benevolence.

 

e. Purim is celebrated on the 14th/15th days of the Jewish month of Adar.  Adar (אדר) is the root of the Hebrew adjective Adir ( glorious, awesome, exalted, magnificent.  It is, also, a derivative of the Akkadian word Adura (heroism). According to the Babylonian Talmud, Adar is featured as a month of happiness, singing and dancing. The zodiac of Adar is Pisces (fish), which is a symbol of demographic multiplication. Hence, Adar is the only Jewish month, which doubles itself during the 7 leap years, in each 19 year cycle. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day in non-walled towns, and in Jerusalem on the 15th day of Adar, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish People from the jaws of a holocaust in Persia.  It also commemorates the 161 BCE victory of Judah the Maccabee over Nikanor, the Assyrian commander…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

Yoram Ettinger is a Keynote Speaker at CIJR’s 29th Anniversary Gala: “Israel’s Contributions Biblical & Modern to Western Civilization,” March 26, 2017 (Montreal). For more information and registration click the following link—Ed.

 

                                                                                   

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       IS A DISBANDED EUROPEAN UNION GOOD FOR ISRAEL?

                                         Manfred Gerstenfeld

                                            Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2017

 

After the Brexit referendum, the breakup of the European Union through a collapse or voluntary disbandment can no longer be considered a fully absurd scenario. To create a framework of thought it is worthwhile to start analyzing what that could mean for Israel, even though Israel will not play any role in the process if it develops.

 

Particularly in the new century, the EU has taken increasingly hostile and occasionally antisemitic positions toward Israel on several issues. This led the Simon Wiesenthal Center to put the EU in third place in its 2015 list of worldwide promoters of antisemitic and/or anti-Israel incidents. It gave as reason: “The European Union has chosen to label products from the Golan Heights and disputed territories on the West Bank alone, ignoring the products of other occupied and disputed territories in the world such as Western Sahara, Kashmir, Tibet and products from areas controlled by terrorist Hamas and Hezbollah. This use of double standards against Israel typifies modern anti-Israelism and has been at the core of antisemitism for many centuries.”

 

The above example of discrimination is only one of the many justified criticisms Israel has of the EU. This hostility originates on a continent where the greatest mass murder of the Jews to ever take place occurred less than a hundred years ago. The Holocaust was not a German and Austrian project alone. Many other European authorities and individuals collaborated. Some elements of its impact continue to exist today. Today there is a large amount of indirect support of Israel-hatred and antisemitism coming from Europe. The European Commission has done nothing to develop selection procedures concerning immigration from Muslim countries with high levels of antisemitism. There is a testimony from the Dutch former EU commissioner Frits Bolkestein that when he raised the issue of Muslim immigration in a meeting of the EC around 2000, his colleagues considered him a racist. Nor has the EU, with all of its talk about the rise in antisemitism, tried to develop a unified reporting system for antisemitic incidents in its member countries.

 

One major argument which seemingly favored the existence of the EU from an Israeli viewpoint has been that some member countries could take stronger anti-Israel positions if they were not bound by common EU positions. In recent months, various actions taken by France have shown that this argument is weaker than often considered. Presidential elections are due there within several weeks. The presidency of Socialist François Hollande has been such a failure that for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, a sitting president is not running for a second term. He did the favor to two journalists, Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, of giving them access to regular private conversations during his time in office. In their recently released book, they list “impotence” as the main characteristic of the Hollande presidency.

 

Recently, Israel became an even more convenient scapegoat for the French authorities. In January, France organized a useless international conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The organizers knew that a few days later US President Donald Trump, who holds radically different views from his predecessor, would be inaugurated. France subsequently could not even obtain the adoption of the conference’s statement in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, as it was blocked by Britain. It is not far-fetched to assume that the French Socialists hope to attract Muslim voters, of which there are many, with their anti-Israel positions.

 

When the new Swedish government, dominated by the Social Democrats, was installed in 2014, one of its earliest actions was to recognize the non-existent Palestinian state. It well knew that if there were free elections among Palestinians in the West Bank, the genocide-promoting Hamas would most likely obtain a majority. The Swedish government did not feel the need to act in coordination with its EU partners on this issue. The Irish foreign minister, Charles Flanagan, has stated that his government constantly considers recognizing a Palestinian state.

 

Against this background, the disappearance of the EU would mainly present advantages for Israel. If the office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy would be abolished, a source of ongoing multilateral incitement against Israel would end. The disappearance of the European Commission’s Legal Service would also be very positive for Israel. It is responsible for the one-sided opinion that the West Bank is occupied territory according to international law and that the settlements are illegal. Many leading international legal experts contest this position.

 

Whether the EU remains as it is, whether some countries leave it, or whether it is abandoned altogether, should not be of particular interest to Israel. If the EU disappears, the Common Market will most likely remain. So will collaboration in research and a few other fields of interest to Israel. There will also be a common interest in continuing to jointly fight terrorism, mainly that committed by Muslims. When countries will need to guard their own borders, this may make them more sensitive to Israel’s problems.

 

Finally, there is one great advantage to the disappearance of the EU. The Israeli population is substantially bigger than that of 14 of the 28 EU member states. Another six have populations on the same order of magnitude. Only eight have much larger populations. Israel’s force in bilateral relations will greatly increase if compared to the current confrontation with the EU behemoth with its more than 500 million inhabitants.

 

Contents

 

        WHY DUTCH SENTIMENT HAS TURNED AGAINST IMMIGRANTS

                                                       Leonid Bershidsky

                                                  Japan Times, Feb. 28, 2017

 

Soon after she moved into her new neighborhood, Ijburg, on the eastern outskirts of Amsterdam, in 2005, Xandra Lammers started a blog about it. Ijburg is a curious place, an architectural wonder, built in the middle of a lake on reclaimed land and partly on water. She still keeps the blog alive, but curiosity has given way to frustration: It’s all about the unpleasantness of living next to Muslim immigrants.

 

“I used to vote Labor,” Lammers told me. “I was quite politically correct. But now I no longer am.” She is a determined supporter of Geert Wilders and his anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party, PVV, the front-runner in the Netherlands’ March 15 election. She is also a character in a book by nationalist writer Joost Niemoeller, called “Angry,” published last month and already on the best-seller list. The anger fueling the Wilders campaign is real and tangible in the Netherlands, but — like the anger of Donald Trump’s voters in the U.S. — it’s rooted in the existence of parallel realities in a society where efforts at social and cultural integration have run into major obstacles.

 

Lammers’ reality is stark. The owner of a translation bureau, she’s a native Amsterdammer, forced out of the city center by steeply rising real estate prices. When she and her husband bought their house on the water in Ijburg, she says the real estate agent didn’t tell her the neighborhood would become the arena of what she calls a “social experiment” — an effort by the city government to put middle class homeowners and social housing renters in one innovative urban development. Initially, Ijburg had a village feel: People with similar backgrounds bought the houses so they could stay in Amsterdam, and soon they all knew each other. Then the immigrants started moving in, brought over from suburbs where their cheap housing was demolished; 30 percent of Ijburg housing turned out to be earmarked for the social renters.

 

“We have to share the gardens in some blocks, elevators in others,” Lammers says. “So people started experiencing bad things — cars scratched, elevators urinated in. There’s now a mosque on my street, a radical one.” (The mosque’s Facebook page, removed since locals complained to the authorities, contained references to a radical preacher and to Islamic Brotherhood, an organization some countries consider terrorist). Some of Lammers immigrant neighbors soon found out what she was writing on her blog, and Moroccan youths started yelling “cancer whore” at her on the street, she says. According to the Amsterdam city government, Ijburg has one of the highest youth crime rates of all the city neighborhoods. Immigrants living in Ijburg have one of the lowest scores in Amsterdam on the Dutch government’s integration scale.

 

Niemoeller, who presented the first copy of his book to Wilders, says the anger he described had to do with a sense of displacement. In Amsterdam, the middle class can no longer afford to live in the city center because of gentrification and the growing influx of tourists, but the cheaper neighborhoods where they have moved have been rapidly filling with families from Turkey, Morocco, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. “The atmosphere on the street changes, and people feel they no longer belong,” Niemoeller says. “But there’s no place else to go.” Lammers says she can’t afford to leave her house and still stay in Amsterdam, where her small business operates.

 

Wilders became an anti-immigrant politician in part because he witnessed a similar change in his neighborhood. In the 1980s and 1990s, he lived in Kanaleneiland, an Utrecht neighborhood that, in those two decades, was transformed from nearly all-white to international, then to Muslim-dominated. Wilders has said in speeches that he was mugged and had to run for safety more than once. A longtime admirer of the Israeli far right, he blamed the changes on the nature of Islam. To him and his supporters, mosques are “hate palaces” and North African muggers are “street terrorists.”

 

Though Wilders supporters say the immigrants run the streets, they themselves don’t feel that way. Murat, a car mechanic who moved to the Netherlands from Turkey 30 years ago, lives in the city of Almere, built from scratch since 1980 on a drained swamp east of Amsterdam. Almere is multiethnic, with about 30 percent immigrant population — and a city council in which Wilders’ PVV is the biggest party.

 

“If I tried to write a book about all the times when I was stopped in the street by the police for nothing, just because I have dark hair, or pulled over in my car for no violation, the book would be this thick,” says Murat, spreading his palms about a foot apart. “If I could save enough money, I’d move back to Turkey, but good luck with that here.” Murat says his Turkish name prevents him from getting better-paying jobs, and there are facts to support this: Last year, a Dutch think tank sent out identical resumes under different names and found that a native-born Dutch person’s probability of being invited for a job interview was almost twice as high as a Moroccan immigrant’s.

 

Then there’s a third perspective — that of the “leftist elite” Wilders is fond of denouncing. Rob Wijnberg, founder of the investigative journalism website De Correspondent, has written columns reaching out to Wilders voters in search of a common ground. When I ask him about the Muslims in his neighborhood — he says there are many — he shrugs. “They’re just my neighbors,” he says.

 

There’s a factual basis for this worldview, too. The Netherlands is an exceptionally safe country. It has one-third the rape rate and one-fifth the murder rate of the U.S. Amsterdam is a safe city by European standards, too. I wandered in Ijburg after dark and saw no Moroccan teenage gangs hanging out on street corners. The streets were clean and largely deserted. In Utrecht, I walked around Kanaleneiland. The kids frolicking on the Anne Frank School playground were dark-skinned, and the Turkish mosque next to the shopping center lacked a minaret. I felt safe and comfortable.

 

The problem is bringing all the conflicting — and somewhat justified — worldviews together. It’s especially different in the Netherlands with its history of a pillared society, in which people of different religions and backgrounds never mingled. Marriages between Catholics and Protestants were frowned upon, but the general attitude was live and let live — “liberalism as apathy,” as Wijnberg puts it. In part because of this traditional attitude, when the immigrants arrived as guest workers in the 1950s to rebuild the Netherlands after World War II and then jump-start its industries, they just formed a separate pillar. They were especially easy for the Dutch to put up with because the government promised to send them back when their work was done. It never happened, of course — but neither really did integration.

 

“The Netherlands is a segregated society,” Wijnberg says. “It’s not just black versus white, it’s also higher-educated versus lower-educated. Because there are no churches, no schools, even no pubs to which to go together, the only place where we can bump into each other is probably a soccer game.” As in the U.S., Wilders supporters and their left-wing opponents read different newspapers and watch different TV channels. The idea of integration is less about melding the two sides than forcing one to adopt the other.

 

Wilders supporters are telling immigrants to adopt the host country’s culture — which, in the Netherlands’ case, includes gay marriage, widely available abortion and euthanasia — or leave. The immigrants say little, but they have closed the corner pub and replaced the traditional butcher’s with a halal one. The leftists want the Wilders supporters to be less xenophobic and more accepting of other cultures — just like them. “We are intolerant of people who are intolerant of our tolerance,” as political historian Hubert Smeets put it.

 

This being the Netherlands, a trading nation that prides itself on its ability to find a consensus, this tug of war will eventually result in some kind of compromise. Though Wilders probably won’t govern after the March election since no big party wants to form a coalition with PVV, Niemoeller expects his strong showing to shift the national consensus. “We have these almost mystical changes,” he says. “Our elite changed to a ’60s liberal mentality in one summer. We went from rejection to acceptance of euthanasia in one summer — nobody could see why. So maybe we’ll end up agreeing that Islam is a big problem in the same way.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Chag Sameach & Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents                                                              

 

On Topic Links

 

Purim Drink and Diplomacy: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 3, 2017— Purim combines two of my passions: politics and wine. With the holiday ten days away, I offer a reflection on the dangers of “daylight” in diplomacy, and suggestions how to stock your fridge with great new Israeli wines.

Anti-Semitism and Aliyah: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 8, 2017—Political correctness still seems to impel us to continue chanting the mantra that we are prohibited from relating to anti-Semitism as a cause for settling in Israel and insisting that the only motivation for aliyah today is to enable a committed Jew to lead a truly Jewish life in his homeland.

The Future of the European Union?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Mar. 2, 2017—The European Commission has published a document outlining five scenarios for how the European Union could evolve within the next ten years. The so-called White Paper on the Future of Europe, which will be presented at the Rome Summit on March 25, 2017 to mark the 60th anniversary of the European Union, is intended to be "the starting point for a wider public debate on the future of our continent."

The Prospect for Russia's Jews: Maxim D. Shrayer, Mosaic, Mar. 6, 2017—Why do you stay here?” “I have a son here,” he replied. And then he added: “God gave me as a Jew such a place in life—to live in Russia.” “What about the other Jews, why do they stay here?” “About the others I don’t know, but I imagine they too are needed here by nature and the Creator.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LABOR: TWO-STATE SOLUTION “NOT REALISTIC”, YET UN, FRANCE & WHITE HOUSE CONTINUE DEMAND FOR PALESTINIAN STATE

Plunging Into the Peace Gap: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Jan. 29, 2016 — Is it possible to oppose a two-state solution under the current circumstances but to be for it in principle?

Those Nice Israel-Bashers’ Achilles’ Heel: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 4, 2016— Why can’t Israel’s self-styled friends understand that the things they say about Israel are not in fact the sentiments of friends but of enemies?

France’s Ultimatum to Israel – Legally Flawed and Politically Imprudent: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Feb. 2, 2016— On  January 28,  2016, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in a statement issued after meeting with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, voiced a somewhat curious and ominous warning and threat, directed solely against Israel…

Israel is Not Isolated — it is Highly Sought After': Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom, Jan. 8, 2016 — On the face of things, Israel's standing in the international arena has never been worse.

 

On Topic Links

 

In Wake of Arab Terror Spree, UN Chief Castigates…Israel but Israel Responds: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 27, 2016

Hope is Not a Strategy: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 1, 2016

The Last Temptation of Barack Obama and John Kerry: Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, Jan. 11, 2016

So, I Guess it Wasn’t all Israel’s Fault After All: Gary Gambill, National Post, Jan. 11, 2015

                  

PLUNGING INTO THE PEACE GAP

                                          David M. Weinberg     

                                      Israel Hayom, Jan. 29, 2016

 

Is it possible to oppose a two-state solution under the current circumstances but to be for it in principle? The answer is yes, and that is the de facto position of both the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the declared policy of the official opposition Labor party, as expressed this week by Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog. It's time to take a moment and reflect on this complex Israeli consensus, and to calibrate diplomacy accordingly.

 

In a formal speech and candid radio interview for which he was savaged by the extreme Left, Herzog stated the obvious: A two-state solution is "not realistic" in the current reality between Israel and the Palestinians. Absent the ability "to do it now," Herzog pledged to continue to "yearn" for a two-state solution, but honestly admitted that a Labor government would not be birthing a Palestinian state any faster than a Netanyahu government would.

 

In the meantime, Herzog's plan for the West Bank involves increased security measures for Israeli cities and settlements (fences), souped-up separation from the Palestinians (more fences), and confidence-building measures all around (more economic assistance to the Palestinians; more focused/restrained Israeli settlement policy; and a crackdown on terrorist teachers, preachers and practitioners). Sound familiar? Essentially this is a gloss on Netanyahu's approach. The most that Herzog can say to distinguish himself from Netanyahu is to argue that he would be "more serious" in implementing the tough security and moderate settlement policies that both leaders have talked about…

 

Like Netanyahu, Herzog believes the Israel Defense Forces must remain in the West Bank and especially in the Jordan Valley to secure Israel's eastern frontier. And like Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Herzog seeks a regional security conference with Arab nations that share Israel's concerns, to discuss new paradigms for peace diplomacy that go beyond the narrow, struggling two-state construct. (See Gen. Giora Eiland's creative proposals for four-way land swaps and shared sovereignty arrangements with Egypt and Jordan, published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies; or the sober proposals of Professor Shlomo Avineri for "halfway" measures, published in Foreign Affairs; or the modest proposals of former peace negotiator Tal Becker for "tangible" progress, published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.)

 

In short, a fully demilitarized and truly democratic Palestinian state (in the West Bank, if not also in Gaza, and allied with or subsumed by Jordan) that lives peacefully next to Israel with both Jews and Arabs free to live unmolested on either side of the border may be an ideal solution to the conflict.  But until a sea change in the Palestinian political culture happens to make that an actual possibility rather than merely a fantasy, no rational Israeli government is about to consider significant withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. That's an Israeli consensus; rare, but real and valuable.

 

Unfortunately, the Obama administration and much of the international community still messianically thinks that immediate establishment of a Palestinian state must be diligently pursued via pressure on Israel, regardless of the circumstances or the complete lack of interest in implementing such a scheme on the part of the Palestinians. To this end, some are even considering a U.N. Security Council resolution in 2016 that would gut Resolution 242 ("negotiated" borders and security) and instead attempt to dictate the parameters of, and an imposed timetable for, Israeli withdrawal. Others already are seeking to pressure and isolate Israel via labeling schemes, reprimanding speeches and boycotts.

 

But for people claiming to be friends of Israel, this path must be rejected. The confidence that precipitous Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank will magically create peace is unfounded. It is a belief that must be called blind to reality and hostile to the security of Israel. It runs contrary to the experience-based views of the vast majority of Israelis and Israeli political leaders. It is not consistent with friendship for the Jewish state. What the world ought to be doing instead is helping to close the "peace gap." By this I mean helping Palestinian leaders bring their own constituency towards the levels of compromise and moderation that Israeli leaders have successfully achieved in Israel.

 

Consider the following: As the result of an intensive political-educational process, Israelis have shifted their views tremendously over the past 30 years. They've gone from denying the existence of a Palestinian people to recognition of Palestinian peoplehood and national aspirations; and from insisting on exclusive Israeli sovereignty and control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to acceptance of a demilitarized and peaceful Palestinian state in these areas. Israel has also withdrawn entirely from Gaza, and allowed a Palestinian government to assume authority over 95% of West Bank residents. Israel has made the Palestinian Authority three concrete offers for full-fledged Palestinian statehood in more than 90% of the territory of the West Bank (all rejected by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas).

 

By contrast, the Palestinians have utterly failed to move themselves away from rejectionism and toward peace with Israel. Many Palestinian political and religious figures still deny the historic ties of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, and refuse to accept the legitimacy of Israel's existence in the Middle East as a Jewish state. They continue to demand the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in pre-1967 Israel as a way of swamping and destroying the Jewish state.

 

They support and glorify Palestinian suicide bombers, missile launchers, shooters and stabbers, all of whom target Israel's civilian population. The Palestinian airwaves and newspapers are filled with viciously anti-Semitic and bloodthirsty propaganda. Palestinian leaders crisscross the globe and lobby every international institution to condemn, vilify, criminalize and isolate Israel. So there is an enormous gap between the two peoples in their readiness for peace. It is just not true that both Israelis and Palestinians are equally ready to accept one other and to compromise with each other. It is not true that both sides are ready to make difficult sacrifices for peace. There is no "balance" here…                                                                 

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

                                       

THOSE NICE ISRAEL-BASHERS’ ACHILLES’ HEEL                                        

                             Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 4, 2016

 

Why can’t Israel’s self-styled friends understand that the things they say about Israel are not in fact the sentiments of friends but of enemies? Whenever someone says “As a friend/candid friend/staunch ally of Israel…,” you know that what’s coming is a vicious kick to the head. Delivered, of course, purely in a spirit of friendship. The Canadian foreign minister Stéphane Dion, describing himself as a “steadfast ally and friend to Israel,” criticized both the Palestinians’ unilateral pursuit of statehood and the Israelis’ settlement construction. “Canada is concerned by the continued violence in Israel and the West Bank,” he said. “Canada calls for all efforts to be made to reduce violence and incitement and to help build the conditions for a return to the negotiating table.”

Dion seemed to be suggesting that Israeli terrorism victims were somehow asking for it and that Palestinian murder attacks were to be equated with Israeli self-defense. Doubtless he thought he was being studiously even-handed and therefore fair, wise and just. But in the battle between victim and aggressor, legality and illegality, truth and falsehood, even-handedness inescapably entails blaming the victim and tacitly endorsing illegality and lies.

A few days later the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did something similar. While condemning the current wave of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks upon Israelis, he claimed the perpetrators were driven by “alienation and despair.” “It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” he said. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed outrage at such an apparent justification for Palestinian violence, Ban appeared genuinely affronted. His words, he said, had been twisted. Palestinian attacks and incitement were reprehensible and he condemned them.

Yet having stated, “Nothing excuses terrorism,” he then repeated the excuse for Palestinian terrorism. “No one can deny that the everyday reality of occupation provokes anger and despair, which are major drivers of violence and extremism and undermine any hope of a negotiated two-state solution.” Well actually, no one who pays the slightest regard to reality could maintain such a thing. Whatever the provocation, it is not “human nature” to set out to murder as many innocents as possible, including women and children.

Ban’s apparently real bewilderment that anyone could possibly think he supports terrorism arises from two things. The first is his fundamentally false view of the Arab war against Israel. The “occupation” does not cause Palestinian violence. It is unending Palestinian violence that prolongs the “occupation.”

The Palestinians aren’t driven by despair at the absence of their state. How can this be so, when they have turned down repeated offers of such a state since the 1930s? Isn’t it more logical to assume that the relentless incitement – to which Ban himself alluded – which tells them falsely that Israel plans to destroy al-Aksa and that their highest calling is to kill Jews and conquer the whole of Israel has rather more to do with it? Moreover, this is not an occupation in the normally accepted understanding of the word. Israel has not occupied another people’s land, because the disputed territories never belonged to another people.

Nor is Israel there out of an aggressive colonial impulse. The Jews are entitled to hold and settle the territories under international law several times over, both as a legally permitted defense against continuous belligerence and from their never-abrogated entitlement to do so – as the only people for whom this was ever their national homeland – under the terms of the Palestine Mandate. These false premises about Israel’s “occupation,” however, are widespread.

This helps explain the distressing fact that most of the almost daily Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israelis aren’t noted at all in the Western media. Few realize that Israelis going about their everyday lives are routinely being murdered or wounded by stabbing, shooting, rock-throwing or cars driven into bus queues. This onslaught is not being reported because, to the Western media, it is the understandable response to occupation. The settlers have chosen to put themselves in harm’s way, goes the thinking, and other Israelis have also brought this upon themselves merely by being Israelis.

So to the West, these Jewish victims of terrorism just don’t exist. At the same time, the Western media never reports the near-daily Palestinian incitement of the mass murder of Israeli Jews. That doesn’t fit the narrative of Palestinian victims of Israel. For identical reasons, the media also ignores the victimization of Palestinians by other Palestinians. According to Palestinian Media Watch, last year the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights received 292 complaints of torture, maltreatment and physical assault in the West Bank and 928 in the Gaza Strip.

The West remains almost totally ignorant of the tyrannical abuse Palestinians inflict upon one another. But why is its Palestinian narrative thus hermetically sealed against the truth? Here’s the second reason for Ban’s bewilderment. Progressives subscribe to universalizing agendas. These by definition deny any hierarchy of cultures or moral values. So Palestinian society cannot be held to be innately hostile to human rights, and Palestinian terrorism is equated (at best) with Israeli defense against such attacks. Thus on Holocaust Remembrance Day, of all things, Ban equated anti-Semitism with anti-Muslim bigotry. But the two are not remotely comparable. Of course there are some who are irrationally bigoted against Muslims. But most anti-Islamic feeling is a rational response to Islamic violence and aggression. By contrast, anti-Jewish hatred is true bigotry as it is based entirely on lies, myths, and paranoid and deranged beliefs about Jews who have never posed an aggressive threat to anyone.

Ban and others committed to universalism think this equation is fair. In fact, it diminishes Jew-hatred and sanitizes Islamic aggression. Which is why progressives who think they are pure because their hearts so conspicuously bleed for the oppressed are not pure at all. They are morally corrupt. They aren’t driven by compassion for any kind of victim. What drives them instead is hatred of supposed victimizers in the “powerful” West. Their purported even-handedness thus camouflages a moral degeneracy…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
 

 

Contents

              FRANCE’S ULTIMATUM TO ISRAEL –

LEGALLY FLAWED AND POLITICALLY IMPRUDENT

Amb. Alan Baker

JCPA, Feb. 2, 2016

 

On  January 28,  2016, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in a statement issued after meeting with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, voiced a somewhat curious and ominous warning and threat, directed solely against Israel: If imminent efforts being organized by France to end the deadlock in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians end without result, France intends to “live up to our responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and recognize a Palestinian state.”

 

This curious, unprecedented, biased, and far from friendly ultimatum raises some pertinent legal and diplomatic questions regarding France’s capacity and standing, both in the context of the Israel-Arab peace process, as well as regarding France’s “responsibilities” as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

France, as a leading member of the EU, is party to the EU’s signature as witness to the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This agreement constitutes the internationally acknowledged backbone of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The commitments set down in this agreement, to negotiate the permanent status of the territories as well as other central issues such as Jerusalem, borders, settlements and refugees, are solemn Palestinian and Israeli obligations which France, together with its EU partners, as well as the United States, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and Norway are obligated to honor after placing their signatures on the agreement as witnesses.

 

By the same token, the UN General Assembly in its Resolution A/50/21 of December 4, 1995, supported by France, expressed its full support for the Oslo Accords and the peace negotiation process. In its capacity both as a signed witness to the agreement, as well as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it is incumbent on France, which voted in favor of the UN resolution endorsing the agreement and the negotiation process, not to attempt to undermine the same agreement and process, nor to prejudge issues that are still open and to be negotiated.

 

In threatening to unilaterally and arbitrarily recognize a Palestinian state, France is clearly prejudging the issue of the permanent status of the territory, which, as set out in the agreement itself, is a negotiating issue yet to be resolved.  In this context, France and its European colleagues cannot and should not act to undermine the Palestinian obligation set out in the Final Clauses of the agreement, according to which no step will be taken to “change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.” Thus, in acting to unilaterally organize an “international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the solution of two states,” France is attempting both to bypass and undermine a negotiating process called for by the UN in several resolutions since 1967, all supported and endorsed by France.

 

France is also undermining the various reciprocal commitments between the Palestinian leadership and Israel, including a letter from Yasser Arafat to Yitzhak Rabin dated September 9, 1993, in which Arafat declared that “all outstanding issues relating to the permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.”

 

As such, by engaging in a parallel, un-agreed process with the declared aim of imposing upon one side – Israel – the outcome of an international conference, France is, in fact, acting ultra vires all accepted norms and principles of conflict-resolution. Since all the agreed issues between Israel and the Palestinians, including borders between them, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, security and cooperation, as well as the permanent status of the territory, require reciprocal negotiation, France cannot deceive itself and the international community into believing that these issues can be imposed arbitrarily by any conference or international or regional organization…                                                                                                          

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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ISRAEL IS NOT ISOLATED — IT IS HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER

Shlomo Cesana                               

                                                 Israel Hayom, Jan. 8, 2016

 

On the face of things, Israel's standing in the international arena has never been worse. The media and other outlets, mainly from the left side of the political spectrum, are telling us that the world actively wants us to settle the conflict with the Palestinians and that the international arena is getting behind the Palestinian demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders. They constantly remind us that there are no international embassies in Israel's capital — Jerusalem. They note that the U.S. and the EU consistently condemn Israeli construction and sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Certain organizations talk about imposing sanctions on Israel and blast our policies as a matter of routine. But does all this truly reflect Israel's standing in the world? Is Israel really as isolated, rejected and unwanted as they say, because of its current policies toward the Palestinians? Well, we asked Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely these questions, who didn't seem the least bit perturbed.

 

"Israel is not isolated or rejected," she says, speaking to Israel Hayom at her office in Jerusalem. "Quite the opposite, actually. The media has a focus problem — they always focus on the problems and the familiar rather than highlighting positive achievements. If you ask the average Israeli about our relations with the world, they will recite the very narrow view of the ties with Europe — a very vocal relationship primarily because of the EU's tendency to condemn the building of every home beyond the Green Line. The average Israeli is also aware of the Israeli-American relationship over the last year, which revolved around the deep conflict surrounding the Iranian issue. But that is a mistake."

 

With the help of a few charts, Hotovely presents a very different picture — of flourishing commerce and active diplomatic relations with 80% of the world's nations, all suggesting that Israel is not at all isolated, neither diplomatically nor economically. "Today, Israel is holding the U.S.'s hand on one side — a very strong ally — and on the other side the hands of India, China and Japan," she says, underscoring Israel's international dealings.

 

"In my capacity as deputy foreign minister I have traveled to Japan and to Vietnam, and I discovered a very different discourse there than the one in Europe," she goes on to say. "In the East, the discourse is about what Israel contributes to the world, and not about what Israel does wrong. Israel can indeed contribute greatly: It can provide solutions to enormous problems in the fields of air pollution, farming, water management and medicine, to name a few. "Our experience suggests that Israel is not a leper; it is highly sought after. There is a lot of warmth coming in Israel's direction from countries that, for years, were aligned with the Arab world. These countries have become fans of Israel, and, as I said, seek our friendship. In the Far East Israel is seen as a superpower. A country unparalleled in its work ethic. They want to learn from Israel about entrepreneurship."

 

Q: So the problems are mainly in Europe? A: "In Europe there has also been a shift. The French know that global terrorism tops their agenda right now. Suddenly the Palestinian issue has become negligent, though they will never stop obsessing about it. These days, when you meet the prime minister at the climate change summit in Europe, the main topic of conversation is how to fight terrorism and how to use Israel's cyber know-how to fight radical Islamism. "So with all due respect, the notion of what the world is concerned with, and what is at the center of the world's focus, is anachronistic. It is the old way. We have now entered a new era in international discourse. It is all about global solutions in medicine, agriculture, cyber warfare and technological innovation."…                                                                                                                          

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

On Topic

 

In Wake of Arab Terror Spree, UN Chief Castigates…Israel but Israel Responds: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 27, 2016—Ban Ki-Moon had it right when he began his remarks to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Jan. 26. In the first session of 2016, Ban said that this new year started the same way that 2015 ended, with “unacceptable violence.” We’re with you there.

Hope is Not a Strategy: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 1, 2016—Our government is playing games with itself. And losing. On Wednesday Chaim Levinson reported in Haaretz that for the first time in nearly two years, last week the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria approved new building plans for a small number of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The Last Temptation of Barack Obama and John Kerry: Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, Jan. 11, 2016—Despite all sense and reason, the president and his secretary of state will have one more go at Middle East peace.

So, I Guess it Wasn’t all Israel’s Fault After All: Gary Gambill, National Post, Jan. 11, 2015—A friend of mine recently lamented that the Western media was downplaying the brutal string of Palestinian stabbings that has claimed 25 Israeli lives since September. I nodded in assent, but couldn’t help recalling the closing scene of the film Casablanca. With religious and ethno-sectarian violence rampant in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and across the Arab world claiming several tens of thousands of lives every year, fuelling an unprecedented wave of global Sunni Islamist terror, Israeli-Palestinian troubles “just don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

 

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

ISRAEL-A COUNTRY LIKE ANY OTHER? FROM BLOOD LIBEL TO A-S POSTCARDS, TO IRAN’S BOMB

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

Can Israel Be a Country Like Any Other?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013 — The mistaken concept that Israel will become a country like all others has already had a long shelf-life in parts of Zionist history.

The Return of the Blood Libel: Can Art Stop the Hemorrhaging of Hate?: Bernard Starr, Algemeiner, Nov. 25, 2013 — One of the most bizarre accusations against Jews dates back to the Middle Ages, and continued well into the nineteenth century.

In the Long History of Picture Postcards, a Long History of Anti-Semitic Hate: Salo Aizenberg, Tablet, Dec. 12, 2013 —  The first anti-Semitic postcards were issued in the 1890s at the same time that postcards in general were becoming popular.

Strike Iran Now to Avert Disaster Later: Norman Podhoretz, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2013— Not too many years ago, hardly anyone disagreed with John McCain when he first said that "the only thing worse than bombing Iran is letting Iran get the bomb."

 

On Topic Links

 

The New Face of European Antisemitism: Daniel Schwammenthal, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2013

European Anti-Semitism and the Fear of Muslims : Timon Dias, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 21, 2013

Chagall’s Mirror: Karen Sue Smith, America Magazine, Nov. 28, 2013         

 

                                                                                     

 

 

CAN ISRAEL BE A COUNTRY LIKE ANY OTHER?

Manfred Gerstenfeld         

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013                                                                                                                                       

The mistaken concept that Israel will become a country like all others has already had a long shelf-life in parts of Zionist history. One tiny but typical example was when Jewish prostitutes in pre-Israel Palestine began their profession, there were ambiguous feelings in society. Some were primarily ashamed, others emphasized that it was another sign of Jewish “normalcy” on the way to statehood.

Israel’s independence established many institutions, similar to other countries. This includes a government, Parliament, Supreme Court, an army, security forces, a central bank and so on. Another normalization of the Jewish people’s reality has been the ingathering of close to half of the world’s Jewish population into Israel.
Further contributions to making Israel “normal” may come in the future, including internationally recognized borders. If the peace negotiations progress somewhat, the idea that Israel will become a “normal” country is likely to become more prominent again. This notion means that Israel will become fairly similar to Western democracies. Many Israelis admire the relative quiet as well as the hedonism of the West, and wish they could live that way too.

However, such “normalization” has its limits. One is that all nations are intrinsically unique. To this one should add that some are more unique than others.  That is the case with Israel. It is one of only a few countries comprised mostly of immigrants. This is largely true for the United States, Australia, Canada, Argentina and so on, yet the main influx of people in those countries came much earlier. A far larger difference is that Israel’s immigrants have ancestors who prayed long ago for a return to Zion, where Jewish generations had lived far more than a millennium before.

A crucial element in Israel’s uniqueness is that its history is radically different from that of any other country. The Jewish people’s long sojourn in the Diaspora represents a development without precedent. In recent history, the same is true for the Holocaust. This strongly enhances Israel’s uniqueness not only today, but also for the foreseeable future. Interrelated with this is Israel’s current reality. The Jewish people’s past has far more bearing on the present than through a few historical remnants. The Jewish tradition, much of which consists of religious elements, also influences the state. So does the centuries- long Jew-hatred in many parts of the world. Historical anti-Semitism – religious or ethnic – has primarily mutated into anti-Israelism. No other nation faces similar delegitimization. Even beyond this, there are genocidal threats coming out of parts of the Muslim world.

There are other factors which contribute to Israel’s uniqueness. They derive from the combination of both a language and a religion not shared by anyone else. Many nations have a language which is not spoken by others. Greece, for example. However, the dominant Orthodox religion of Greece is not unique. This expressed itself clearly during the Yugoslav war when the Greeks – contrary to most European Union citizens –identified largely with the Serbs who are also Orthodox. Related to the desire for unachievable major “normalization” is the promotion by some of an absurdity: Israel should “assimilate into the Middle East.” This superficial concept raises many questions and hardly any valid answers.

What should Israel do to “blend into” the Middle East? Should it glorify the few Israelis who intentionally murdered Palestinian civilians, as the Palestinian Authority lionized the many murderers of Israeli civilians? Should Israel indiscriminately bomb Palestinian villages after terror attacks? Should it deal with Arab parties’ demonstrations like the Egyptian military does with the Muslim Brotherhood? Should Israel develop chemical weapons like Syria? Should it execute common criminals like so many Arab states do? Many essential characteristics of the countries surrounding Israel are so incompatible with Israel’s basic norms and values that this “blending into the Middle East” is yet one more pipe dream…

Finally, the idea that Jews should adopt the dominant culture of their surroundings is an ancient one. It goes back way beyond the desires and behavior of Europe’s many assimilated Jews during the centuries. Already two millennia ago in the last independent Jewish state, that of the Maccabees and in the period immediately thereafter, there were Jews who revered and imitated Roman culture. The contributions by these Hellenists to Jewish history are minimal, if any. The same may also happen with the legacy of those who dream about a “normal” State of Israel.

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THE RETURN OF THE BLOOD LIBEL:

CAN ART STOP THE HEMORRHAGING OF HATE?                              Bernard Starr                                            

Algemeiner, Nov. 8, 2013  

 

One of the most bizarre accusations against Jews dates back to the Middle Ages, and continued well into the nineteenth century. The Nazi propaganda machine revived the myth in the 1930s. Jews were charged with engaging in ritual murders of Christian children and using their blood in the preparation of Passover matzos. There are at least 150 recorded persecutions of Jews for this ritual murder charge – and probably many others that were not recorded. A particularly notorious occurrence took place in Hungary in 1882. One day in the village of Tiszaezlara, a young Christian peasant girl, Eszter Solymosi, did not return from an errand. After she had been missing for a few days, local Jews were charged with ritual murder. Violence and pogroms erupted and quickly spread throughout the region. A number of Jews were imprisoned, some for more than a year. Two months after the girl’s disappearance, a body was found in the local river. The authorities identified it as that of the fourteen-year-old Eszter, but her mother denied that it was her daughter, although clothing on the corpse was later identified as Eszter’s. Forensic examination of the body revealed that there was no neck incision, thus ruling out a ritual killing. Eventually, the thirteen accused Jews were acquitted.

 

You might shake your head at this grim piece of history, and then be comforted that those hate-driven persecutions were rooted in a primitive bygone era. But think again. To this day, the girl’s gravesite draws anti-Semitic pilgrimages. In April 2012, many news sources reported that Zsolt Barath of the extreme-right Hungarian Jobbik party sought to reopen the 1882 blood libel case. He questioned the acquittal in a speech in Parliament: “The Jewry and the leadership of the country were severely implicated in the case.” Barath attributed the acquittal to “outside pressure.” Despite a reported Jewish revival in Hungary and a forthright statement by the Deputy Prime Minister of a commitment to fight anti-Semitism, the rise of the far right, with its anti-Semitic platform, is troubling. That’s what inspired Ivan Fischer, conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, to compose his opera, The Red Heifer, which premiered in Budapest in October, 2013. It tells the story of the 1882 blood libel case and exposes the irrationality and anti-Semitism of the ugly episode. For Fischer, the opera represented the artistic expression of an idea that had been percolating in his mind for 25 years…

 

 While some Jews may be reluctant to resurrect an ancient source of pain and suffering – thus fanning the fires of hatred – Fischer, a Hungarian Jew who lives in Berlin, is committed to confronting anti-Semitism head-on. The “blood libel” has deep historic roots in the antagonism between Christianity and Judaism that began in the first century when the emerging Christianity struggled to separate from Judaism and establish an independent identity. At first Paul, the recognized founder of Christianity, sought to make his brand of Judaism the new world Judaism, with Jesus at the helm. He hoped that it would be easily available to everyone. That didn’t happen, and divorce became the dedicated path. Still, Christianity faced a bumpy road, since it was founded on Jewish prophesy, and there was the pesky fact, documented in the Gospels, that Jesus remained a dedicated Jew throughout his life.

 

As late as the fourth century, even after the Council of Nicaea established a unified Catholic Church, much of the Jewish/Christian populace didn’t grasp the difference between the two religions. Many Christians continued to worship in synagogues, as evidenced by the homilies of St. John of Chrysostom, which castigated Christians for continuing to embrace Jewish practices. Several Church policies helped to finalize the divorce: the charge that Jews collectively were responsible for killing Jesus, the promotion of the idea that Jesus rejected Judaism, implying that he was a Christian from birth or that he later converted to Christianity, and the popularization of the blood libel charge that demonized Jews.

 

At the same time, Christian art, perhaps inadvertently, reinforced the distance between Christianity and Judaism by virtually eliminating any Jewish connection or identity for Jesus, his family, and close followers. Throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, wealthy patrons and Church officials thirsted for art that was thoroughly and exclusively Christian. Images are powerful in framing the way we see reality. In this case, the Christianized images of Jesus strengthened the illusion that Jesus and Jews were of different ethnicities and religions. This is particularly evident in artworks that depict Jews – the “others” – as dark and menacing. In contrast, they pictured Jesus and his family and followers as blond and fair-skinned Northern Europeans, immersed in regal settings and surrounded by Medieval and Renaissance saints and Christian artifacts. Further protecting these distortions, which could not be substantiated in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry, the Church discouraged Christians from reading the New Testament on their own for a thousand years – and forbade the bible from being translated into native languages.

 

It’s regrettable that many forces converged to obfuscate the common ground of Christianity and Judaism. Perception of similarities or historic ties can have dramatic impact, as Hungarian politician Csanad Szegedi discovered. In 2012, Szegedi, sometimes attired in a fascist uniform, espoused virulent ant-Semitism as the number-two official in Hungary’s notorious far-right Jobbik party. Then he discovered his Jewish roots. His mother and maternal grandparents, he learned, were Jewish. In a stunning transformation, Szegedi is now a practicing Jew. Not only does he celebrate Shabbat and attend synagogue, he is studying the Talmud and is making an effort to follow Jewish dietary laws and the 613 commandments in the Torah. For religious instruction he connected with the orthodox Jewish Hasidic Chabad sect in Hungary; with Chabad, he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

 

Stories like this make us wonder what would happen if Christians and Jews would recognize the firm common foundation that both religions stand on. What if Jews would look at Jesus and see a faithful Jew (even if not accepted as Messiah), and Christians would look at an orthodox Jew and see Jesus? Would this shift in perception spawn a significant step toward the reconciliation and mutual respect that Pope Francis recently endorsed? Toward this end, I am organizing an important art exhibit – “Putting Judaism Back in the Picture: Toward Healing the Christian/ Jewish Divide” – that embraces the two sides of the Jesus story: Jesus the dedicated Jew and Jesus whose life and teachings inspired a new religion. The exhibit will feature new renditions of Medieval and Renaissance paintings that portray Jesus’ Jewish heritage and place him and his followers in their natural habitat and dress (see examples at the exhibit website). To illustrate the two sides of the Jesus story, it will also include works that integrate Christian and Jewish elements – for example, as in Mark Chagall’s crucifixion paintings…If art can help heal ancient wounds perhaps Ivan Fischer would then compose an opera of celebration rather than of shame.

 

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IN THE LONG HISTORY OF PICTURE POSTCARDS,

  A LONG HISTORY OF ANTI-SEMITIC HATE  

Salo Aizenberg 

Tablet,, Dec. 12, 2013

 

The first anti-Semitic postcards were issued in the 1890s at the same time that postcards in general were becoming popular. In fact, there was a convergence between the start of the Golden Era and the Dreyfus Affair. In this famous incident that began in 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a patriotic French [Jewish]army captain, was falsely accused of passing military secrets to the German military attaché in Paris…Dreyfus was convicted in 1895 in a sham trial that featured “secret” evidence that Dreyfus’ lawyer was not allowed to examine; the army invoked national security as a reason to keep the documents hidden. Even after the army became aware of the real spy and of the fact that some of the evidence against Dreyfus had been forged, Dreyfus was reconvicted in a second trial held in 1899 (after he had spent four years in harsh prison conditions on Devil’s Island). Fortunately, Dreyfus was pardoned by the French president 10 days after his second conviction, but he was still not exonerated. Only in 1906 did the court declare him completely innocent.

 

The Dreyfus Affair reached deep into French politics and society, splitting the nation between those who supported nationalism, the church, and a military that spared no effort to continue the cover-up; and intellectuals, progressives, and a small handful of brave politicians and army officials who wanted to learn the truth and promote an equal society. Underneath the drama was the unmistakable anti-Semitic nature of the affair and its influence on the fate of the entire nation. The Dreyfus Affair was also important as one of the factors that influenced Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, to determine that anti-Semitism could not be eliminated and that the Jews needed their own homeland…

 

The postcards shown in Hatemail cover multiple nations, every stereotype, and every form of hatred. They depict Jewish men, women, and children with large noses, grotesque feet, deformed bodies, ugly faces, and poor hygiene; money-hungry Jews; rich, crafty, cheap, and cunning Jews; Jews in control of the world; Jews as animals and demons; and Jews as cheaters. They show Jews being ridiculed, mocked, attacked, excluded, and expelled. The reader will not be spared the full extent of the hatred; I believe many will be shocked at what is shown in this book…Germany, France (including its North African territories that had significant Jewish populations), Great Britain, and the United States were the leaders. Austria, Hungary, and Poland were also key participants…Each country’s postcards had a distinct style of anti-Semitism.

As mentioned, Germany ranked first in anti-Semitic postcards, producing images that immediately cut to the heart of the matter: Jews are filthy animals that deserve to be persecuted, expelled, and excluded from society. French postcards were a close second in their vileness. Images of Jews in control of the world or as evil or ugly money grabbers are the main motifs in French anti-Semitic postcards. Those from other nations, especially Great Britain and the United States, were sold almost exclusively as “humorous” souvenirs—but the anti-Semitism was still palpable. British anti-Semitic postcards generally avoided the worst forms of imagery, instead focusing on large nosed Jews as conniving and money-hungry. American anti-Semitic postcards are the least virulent, focusing almost entirely on images of Jews being greedy. American postcards also ridiculed the physical features of Jews, drawing not only large noses, but also large hands and awkward mannerisms…

 

The more than 250 examples depicted here are only a small sample of the many thousands of different types that were printed, but they will take the reader through the many permutations of hatred for Jews and help us to better understand a phenomenon that still exists throughout the world today.

                Contents

STRIKE IRAN NOW TO AVERT DISASTER LATER

Norman Podhoretz

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2013

 

Not too many years ago, hardly anyone disagreed with John McCain when he first said that "the only thing worse than bombing Iran is letting Iran get the bomb." Today hardly anyone disagrees with those who say that the only thing worse than letting Iran get the bomb is bombing Iran. And in this reversal hangs a tale.

 

The old consensus was shaped by three considerations, all of which seemed indisputable at the time. The first was that Iran was lying when it denied that its nuclear facilities were working to build a bomb. After all, with its vast reserves of oil and gas, the country had no need for nuclear energy. Even according to the liberal Federation of American Scientists a decade ago, the work being done at the Iranian nuclear facilities was easily "applicable to a nuclear weapons development program." Surprisingly, a similar judgment was made by Mohamed El Baradei, the very dovish director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

 

The second consideration was that the prospect of being annihilated in a retaliatory nuclear strike, which had successfully deterred the Soviets and the Chinese from unleashing their own nuclear weapons during the Cold War, would be ineffective against an Iran ruled by fanatical Shiite mullahs. As Bernard Lewis, the leading contemporary authority on Islam, put it in 2007, to these fanatics "mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already [from the Iran-Iraq war] that they do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. . . . They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights."

 

Nor were the rulers of Iran deterred by the fear that their country would be destroyed in a nuclear war. In the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who brought the Islamist revolution to Iran in 1979: "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. . . . I say let this land [Iran] go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." (The quote appeared in a 1981 Iranian collection of the ayatollah's speeches. In later editions, that line and others were deleted as Iran tried to stir up nationalistic fervor amid the war with Iraq.)

 

And here, speaking in particular of a nuclear exchange with Israel—that "cancer" which the mullahs were and are solemnly pledged to wipe off the map—is the famous "moderate" Hashemi Rafsanjani, in an Al-Quds Day sermon at Tehran University on Dec. 14, 2001: "Application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world." Mr. Rafsanjani, an earlier president of Iran, is the sponsor and mentor of its current president, that other celebrated "moderate," Hasan Rouhani.

 

The third consideration behind the old consensus was the conviction that even if the mullahs could be deterred, their acquisition of a nuclear capability would inevitably trigger a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. Because the Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere throughout the region were all terrified at the prospect of being lorded over and held hostage by an Iran ruled by their ancestral enemies the Shiites, those regimes would rush to equip themselves with their own nuclear arsenals…

 

Just as almost everyone agreed that Iran must be prevented from acquiring a nuclear capability, there was a similarly broad agreement that this could be done through a judicious combination of diplomacy and sanctions. To be sure, there were those—myself emphatically included—who argued that nothing short of military action could do the trick. But we were far outweighed by the proponents of peaceful means who, however, willingly acknowledged that the threat of military action was necessary to the success of their strategy.

 

Yet as the years wore on, it became clear, even to the believers in this strategy, that the Iranians would not be stopped either by increasingly harsh sanctions—or by endless negotiations. One might have expected the strategy's proponents to conclude, if with all due reluctance, that the only recourse left was to make good on the threat of military action. Yet while they continued to insist that "all options are on the table," it also became increasingly clear that for Western political leaders as well as the mainstream think tanks and the punditocracy, the stomach for the military option was no longer there, if indeed it had ever been.

 

And so began the process of what Col. Allard calls "learning to love the Iranian bomb." The first step was to raise serious doubts about the old consensus. Yes, the Iranians were determined to build a bomb, and, yes, the mullahs were Islamist fanatics, but on further reflection there was good reason to think that they were not really as suicidal as the likes of Bernard Lewis persuaded us. That being the case, there was also good reason to drop the idea that it would be impossible to deter and contain them, as we had done even with the far more powerful Soviets and Chinese…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link –ed.]

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

 

                                         Contents

 

The New Face of European Antisemitism: Daniel Schwammenthal, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2013— This past weekend [Nov. 9-10]was the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi pogrom against German Jews, and European commentary focused predictably on the traditional anti-Semitic threats from the far right.                                                          

European Anti-Semitism and the Fear of Muslims : Timon Dias, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 21, 2013— The European Union is singling out Israel for sanctions.

Chagall’s Mirror: Karen Sue Smith, America Magazine, Nov. 28, 2013 — The Jewishness of Jesus has seldom been rendered more clearly in art than in the crucifixion scenes of Marc Chagall.

 

 

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AS EUROPEAN “SICK MEN” FACE INCREASING DIVISION, ANTISEMITISM RISES, & APPREHENSIVE EUROPEAN JEWRY LOOKS TO FUTURE

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

Why Hollande’s France is the Sick Man of Europe: Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail, Nov. 25, 2013— France is in a funk. François Hollande is the most unpopular president in the history of French polling. The country's economy is now considered "the sick man of Europe" and French voters still see the cure as worse than the disease.

France Fights Back Against German “Sick Man of Europe”: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph, Dec. 6, 2013 — The overriding strategic story in Europe today is the breakdown of Franco-German condominium.

Could Spreading European Anti-Semitism Drive Jews From Homelands?: Liam Hoare, Forward, Nov. 25, 2013 — As the gnashing of teeth about the fate of American Jewry in the wake of the Pew Research Center survey continues, a newer and far more troublesome study of European Jewry ought to keep the supposed problem of defining Jewishness by the food you eat and the jokes you tell in some sort of perspective.

An Israeli Umbrella Group For World Jewry: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2013 —  There are many competing organizations that position themselves as representing the Jews of Europe.

 

On Topic Links

 

Greece's Dismal Demographics: Nikos Konstandaras, New York Times, Dec. 9, 2013

Dutch FM: Europe Judges Israel by a Different Standard Than Other Middle East Countries : Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2013

European Bias: Robert Horenstein, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2013

                                                                                     

 

 

WHY HOLLANDE’S FRANCE IS THE SICK MAN OF EUROPE

Konrad Yakabuski

Globe & Mail, Nov. 25, 2013

 

France is in a funk. François Hollande is the most unpopular president in the history of French polling. The country's economy is now considered "the sick man of Europe" and French voters still see the cure as worse than the disease. Any attempt to adjust, even minimally, France's statist economic model and cradle-to-grave social safety net is met with paralyzing howls of protest. The country is effectively ruled not from the Elysée (the presidential palace) or the National Assembly, but by opposition politicians on the far left and far right. Barely 18 months into his five-year term, Mr. Hollande is a canard boiteux (lame duck) whose party may get rid of him before voters get a chance to.

No wonder Mr. Hollande, a Socialist who lucked into the presidency in 2012 after voters had tired of Nicolas Sarkozy's hissy fits, prefers foreign to domestic affairs. He has distinguished himself and his country by taking courageous stands against the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons (well before U.S. counterpart Barack Obama), urging allies not to be duped into relaxing sanctions against Iran and intervening militarily against Islamic terrorists in Mali. Unfortunately, such actions won't win Mr. Hollande many votes at home. Nor will it fix France's broken economy. Just as Spain, Ireland and other bailed-out euro-zone countries are stabilizing, Europe's second-largest economy risks derailing the continent's recovery. France's private sector contracted again in the third quarter and warnings about the country's economic decline have grown louder by the day.

 

France's credit rating just got downgraded again by Standard & Poor's. And while markets shrugged off the news, the rating agency's stiff rebuke of Mr. Hollande's economic policies has sparked an even more bitter debate than usual (by French standards) about the country's future. That debate intensified last week after the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a scathing report blasting France's stubborn refusal to get with the program: "Over several years, many European countries have accelerated the adoption and implementation of essential reforms. This adjustment has not happened in France."

 

Government spending now accounts for an astounding 56 per cent of France's gross domestic product, compared to a bit more than 40 per cent in Canada. So far, Mr. Hollande has sought to meet European Commission-mandated deficit targets by raising taxes – to the tune of €30-billion ($43-billion) in 2012 alone. Not only does he keep missing the deficit targets, he keeps putting off critical spending reforms. The result is a further deterioration of France's competitiveness and a tax revolt the likes of which the country has never seen. It started after Mr. Hollande imposed a 75-per-cent levy on income above €1-million. The country's top court declared the tax unconstitutional, so Mr. Hollande simply shifted the burden to employers. No matter, the wealthy are voting with their feet. In July, France's former ambassador to Iraq and Tunisia was arrested trying to smuggle €350,000 in cash out of the country. He is just one of a new breed of so-called "cash commuters" seeking to escape Mr. Hollande's confiscatory tax policies by any means possible.

 

Such evasion is rightly condemned by politicians on the left. But many, including Mr. Hollande's ex-wife, 2007 presidential candidate Ségolène Royale, have repudiated the President by siding with the farmers who forced Mr. Hollande to scrap implementation of a carbon tax on transport trucks. Protests spread across the country this month as merchants and restaurant owners joined the farmers to fight an increase in the value-added tax. The latter is meant to offset cuts in payroll taxes (now nearing a punishing 50 per cent) – cuts that almost everyone agrees are needed to get French firms hiring again. The country's unemployment rate stands above 11 per cent, and four out of every five jobs added in 2012 were temporary contracts. Mr. Hollande's economic policy is full of contradictions. (He appointed an anti-globalization crusader as his minister of industrial renewal.) And he is dogged by open dissension among members of cabinet jockeying to replace him on the Socialist ticket in 2017. The best hope lies in Interior Minister Manuel Valls, even though he is considered a populist heretic by the Socialist elite. Mr. Sarkozy, meanwhile, is considering a comeback – which suddenly doesn't sound so crazy.

 Contents

  

   FRANCE FIGHTS BACK AGAINST GERMAN “SICK MAN OF EUROPE”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Telegraph, Dec, 6, 2013                                                                                                                                         

The overriding strategic story in Europe today is the breakdown of Franco-German condominium. The two great nations have together run the EU on a foundation of equality since the 1950s, always finding some way to bridge the chasm between North and South. It was stretched a little after France lost Algeria – a French Department, not a colony – and with it lost population parity. But that hardly mattered as long as Germany wished to tuck behind France, usually letting Paris take the lead. It was stretched a great deal further with the Reunification of Germany, driven home a few years later when a Brandeburg "Ossi" who spoke fluent Russian – but no French – became Chancellor.

 

The formalities go on. Angela Merkel and François Hollande still meet to celebrate the Élysée Treaty of 1963: "Convinced that the reconciliation of the German people and the French people, ending a centuries-old rivalry, constitutes a historic event which profoundly transforms the relations between the two peoples.

 

Recognising that a reinforcing of cooperation between the two countries constitutes an indispensable stage on the way to a united Europe, which is the aim of the two peoples … "

 

Yet it is a loveless marriage now. The two have been quarrelling over Libya, Mali, Syria, and much else besides. Nothing is quite as toxic as the fundamental clash over monetary union, and the deflationary bias of macroeconomic policy. Hollande campaigned on a growth ticket, pledging to end austerity overkill and to pull the eurozone out of depression. And yes, it is a depression. Output is still 3pc below the 2008 peak almost six years later, and industrial output is 12pc lower. As you can see from this Krugman chart, it is worse than the 1930s. Nor is there much evidence that this will change soon.

 

Instead, Hollande is subject to almost daily strictures from Germany on the need for reform. The language is polite – mostly – and much of the German critique is correct. France desperately needs reform. The encephalitic state is 55pc of GDP. The tax wedge is one of the highest in the world. But the French know that. The unsolicited advice is mixed up with a lot of ideology, Teutonic pedantry, and disguised self-interested. It is starting to grate on the nerves…

 

We now have some remarkable comments from Jacques Attali, former head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and one of luminaries of the French cultural Left. In a series of interviews in the French media and now in the German magazine Focus, he has lashed out at Germany as the real "Sick Man of Europe", describing its low unemployment rate as a "joke", the by-product of paying low-skilled workers €5 an hour or less. "Germany is an ageing country with catastrophic schools and falling productivity, and most of its export products are being copied," he said. German firms are mostly also-rans in the cutting edge fields of biotech and information technology. Within a decade, China and others will have pirated much of their mid-tier engineering range. He goes on to say that the country faces a demographic disaster as the ratio of pensioners to workers goes through the roof. See this exchange in French. The national savings are inadequate, not that saving even more will do them any good under the current deformed structure. It will merely dig them deeper into the same hole. The banking system is largely Kaputt, and in worse shape than French banks (I don't agree on that).

 

Mr Attali says the Germans are deluding themselves if they think their austerity formula has in any way solved the eurozone crisis. He makes an explicit parallel between the social and political upheavals in France today with events in Germany in 1933. Again, I don't agree. Marine Le Pen is not remotely like the Nazis, and Hollande is not remotely like Chancellor Bruning. The key years were the deflation era of 1931 and 1932, not the reflation year of 1933 under Hjalmar Schacht. In any case, today's events feel much more like 1935 in France itself under Laval as the deflation decrees kept coming (to keep France on the fixed-exchange Gold Standard). But obviously he can't say that as a loyal French socialist.

 

My point is not that Jacques Attali is right or wrong. What interests me as an political anthropologist is that he is saying such things, and that they are no longer hushed up by the French media as violations of the Élysée Treaty spirit. We are watching the historic French nation come out of slumber and subservience at long last, as it was always bound to do once its (justifiable) Gallic pride was hurt and interests were deeply threatened. This is the new fact on the ground. My own view is that Germany has another five years or so of illusory hegemony in Europe before it all gives way to demographic fundamentals. The younger Entente of France and Britain will take the lead again, buttressed by the high fertility Nordic bloc.

 

This is why I regard the Brit-Brit internal debate over EU exit and the costs and benefits of withdrawal as stale, narrow, and ill-informed. The CBI's attempt to put a figure on it is laughable. The great EU fight over the locus of democracy, and whether or not the ancient nation states are or are not the proper foundation of European societies. A penny here or there is a squalid distraction. Even if it could be shown that the EU enhances British GDP – and it cannot be shown because there are too many political and economic variables – it would not make the slightest difference. The strategic landscape is changing before our eyes. The EU no longer exists in its old form. The contours seem frozen in the imagination of British Euro-sceptics and British europhiles (usually even more provincial). They are both arguing over 20th Century issues that no longer have any meaning. Sorry to offend everybody at once. Bad habit, to be sure.

 

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COULD SPREADING EUROPEAN

ANTI-SEMITISM DRIVE JEWS FROM HOMELANDS?                        Liam Hoare                                              

Forward, Nov. 25, 2013  

 

As the gnashing of teeth about the fate of American Jewry in the wake of the Pew Research Center survey continues, a newer and far more troublesome study of European Jewry ought to keep the supposed problem of defining Jewishness by the food you eat and the jokes you tell in some sort of perspective. Conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, known as the FRA, “Discrimination and hate crime against Jews in E.U. Member States: experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism” surveyed 5,847 individuals 16 years old and over who considered themselves Jewish, residing in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The headline figures were frightening enough. Across Europe, 66% of Jewish people see anti-Semitism as a problem in their respective countries today — as high as 90% in Hungary and 85% in France. The perception, moreover, is that over the past five years, the level of anti-Semitism has increased, with 76% of respondents saying it had gone up a lot or a little.

 

Where this increase has taken place might be surprising. But first, some more numbers. Thirty-eight percent of Jews now avoid, all the time or frequently, wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public; 60% of Swedish Jews and 51% of French Jews act this way. Forty-eight percent of Jews in Hungary and 46% in France have considered emigrating because they do not feel safe living in those countries as Jews, with 90% of French Jews stating that the Arab-Israeli conflict affects their feelings of safety. Immediately discernible from the statistics, though, is that the number of people who fear becoming a victim of anti-Semitism is greater than those who have experienced it as verbal insults, harassment or a physical attack. While 21% have been the actual victim of an anti-Semitic incident in the past 12 months, 46% worry about the possibility of such an assault. There is also tremendous regional variation between fear and experience. In France, for example, an astonishing 70% fear becoming the victim of a hate crime. In the United Kingdom, however, the fear is not as heightened, with 28% of respondents worrying about becoming a victim of verbal assault, and 17% the victim of a physical assault — still high numbers, to be sure.

 

The reason for this disparity between perception and experience, however, is not groundless panic or hysteria; it comes because of new manifestations of anti-Semitism, principally dissemination via the Internet and new media. When asked where anti-Semitism against Jewish communities occurs, 75% of European Jews pointed toward anti-Semitism on the Internet above all else, followed by 59% for anti-Semitism in the media. Internet anti-Semitism today is considered a greater problem than the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, and expressions of hostility toward Jews on the street and in other public places. The perception is that the level of anti-Semitism on the Internet over the past five years has increased, as discussion forums and social networking sites are now the main places where European Jews are most likely to have seen or heard anti-Semitic comments. While 75% reported seeing or hearing anti-Semitic comments on the Internet in the past 12 months, 51% saw or heard them in a social situation, 47% among the general public and 42% at a political event.

 

And what exactly are they hearing? Forty-eight percent of respondents have seen or heard someone make the statement that Israelis behave “like Nazis” toward the Palestinians; 38% that Jews have too much power in the economy, politics and the media; 37% that Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes, and on and on. Small wonder, then, that European Jews fear that they, their friends or their families might become victims of an anti-Semitic attack, if all this is a regular part of European discourse. That the threat has gone online, as well, rather complicates the question of what is to be done. The FRA suggests that E.U. member states consider enhancing “the legal basis for the investigation and prosecution of hate crime and crime committed with anti-Semitic motives on the Internet.” In so doing, states should establish “specialized police units that monitor and investigate hate crime on the Internet and put in place measures to encourage users to report any anti-Semitic content they detect to the police.”

 

One problem, however, is that the FRA’s own survey also showed an entrenched disbelief in the ability of national police forces to deal with anti-Semitism. When it came to reporting anti-Semitic incidents, only 8% of respondents reported harassment to the police: 17% reported physical violence, and 22% cases of vandalism. When asked why they did not report the offense, 47% said that nothing would happen or change by reporting the incident. Thus, if anti-Semitism on the Internet is to be considered a hate crime equal to verbal or physical confrontation, there must be other avenues to reporting it. To that end, it would be a decent idea for E.U. member states to foster closer cooperation between police forces and Jewish community organizations.

 

The other issue, however, is the question of whether one can — or should — police the Internet at all. A case of anti-Semitic harassment or intimidation online is one thing, but to monitor the discourse is quite another. By way of example, 21% of European Jews report hearing or seeing the statement that the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated in the past 12 months. In Belgium, France, Germany and Hungary, it is a crime to deny or minimize the Holocaust, but it is inherently impractical to police the Web for signs of it, never mind the question of one’s right to make a statement as abhorrent as that the Holocaust never even happened. The struggle against anti-Semitism in Europe is unwinnable to the extent that it is ineradicable. It is a virus for which there is no cure — it can only be contained. What makes the FRA survey disheartening in particular is the knowledge that the Internet has become for European Jews the main context for encountering anti-Semitism. It only makes the struggle that much harder.

 

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AN ISRAELI UMBRELLA GROUP FOR WORLD JEWRY                      Sam Sokol

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 11, 2013

 

There are many competing organizations that position themselves as representing the Jews of Europe. Between the European Jewish Congress (a subsidiary of the World Jewish Congress), the European Jewish Parliament, the European Jewish Association, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and all of the national umbrella groups such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews and France’s CRIF, sometimes it seems as if there are too many to keep straight. However, last September another group, based in Israel, was added to the list of organizations claiming to represent European Jewry in some capacity: the Jerusalem-based Israeli-Jewish Congress. IJC CEO Michel Gourary, a Belgian immigrant to Israel, sat down over coffee with The Jerusalem Post to explain why Diaspora Jewry needs another group to represent it, and what differentiates the IJC from its contemporaries.

 

Why do we need an IJC when we have all these competing groups? First of all, we are an Israeli-Jewish congress, based in Israel, consisting of Israelis. We are not competing with any European organization, not at all. Our role is to say that we have many Israelis who are concerned by the fate of the Jewish communities abroad, especially in Europe, because Europe is at the frontline of all the anti-Semitic attacks and all the delegitimization attacks against Israel. Basically, we came out and actualized the idea of the Israeli Forum, an initiative that I was part of about 15 years ago. The Israeli Forum, like the IJC, said very clearly that we would like to show that we have Israelis who are concerned about the Jewish communities abroad, because we are one people. [We are here] to reinforce and build a bridge between Israel and the Diaspora.

 

You mostly focus on Europe? For the moment yes, but in November we have a partnership with the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. We are a partner of the GA. Why? Because we say we are with all the Jews. Why especially Europe for the moment? Because Europe is the frontline of a lot of problems regarding anti-Semitism [such as the proposed] ban on circumcision and ritual slaughter, and delegitimization of Israel. You have approximately 700,000 Israelis who already have European citizenship, or who are entitled to get it, so we say this is the most natural link that we have [to European Jewry]. We are now in the 21st century. What we said 20 years ago about Zionism and about emigrants and dual citizenship has changed.

 

Do you know how many French citizens who are also Israeli citizens are voting in the French parliamentary elections? 70,000. Do you know how many Italian people voted for a representative of Italy? 11,000. You have at least two countries in Europe, France and Italy, that have deputies representing their citizens living in Israel. Imagine all the kinds of leverage you can have in the global world. One idea we are exploring now with MKs is that at some stage the Knesset can have two or three or four members representing Jews or Israelis living abroad. A few years ago, I asked the French ambassador what France was doing to combat the missile attacks on French citizens in the South. He said, ‘You made a mistake, they are Israelis.’ ‘Mr. Ambassador,’ I said, ‘you have 10,000 French citizens living in the South.’ He said, ‘Wow, you are right,’ and that changed everything…

 

What is the main challenge facing European Jewry? Is it the ritual- slaughter issue, anti-Semitism, attacks on Israel’s legitimacy or attempts to ban circumcision? It is all of these together, but something even more pernicious. If one country in Europe is banning shechita [ritual slaughter] it could cause a domino effect.

 

Freedom of religion in Europe is not equally and evenly implemented. In only 13 countries out of the 28 do you have legislation against the denial of the Holocaust. It’s incredible. In some countries you have certain parameters for the restitution of looted assets. In some countries you receive only a certain percentage, in some countries it’s only public assets, it some countries it’s only private assets – but there is no EU regulation of all that. Shechita is also the same. Poland can ban it, but you also have some calls to do it in Denmark and the same in Holland. It can be the domino effect.

 

What is your view of the future of European Jewry? The question has to be asked of the Jews there and their leaders. You have some leaders who say no, they don’t see any future there, like the head of the Jewish community in Rome. Some don’t say it openly, but when I meet them I think some of them believe there are dark clouds on the horizon. There are too many dark clouds on the heads of the Jews in Europe. Meaning? There are too many challenges and because of that, we have to strengthen relations with Israel.

 

                                                                                             Contents

On Topic

 

Greece's Dismal Demographics: Nikos Konstandaras, New York Times, Dec. 9, 2013 — The Greeks are in a struggle for survival. And the odds are piling up against us.

Dutch FM: Europe Judges Israel by a Different Standard Than Other Middle East Countries : Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2013 — Europe judges Israel by a different standard than other countries in the region because it is seen as a “European country” that should be judged by European standards, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Monday.

European Bias: Robert Horenstein, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2013— The EU consistently singles out Israeli policies for condemnation while totally ignoring more egregious Palestinian behavior.

 

 

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ANTISEMITISM — ANTI-ZIONISM, ANTI-ISRAELISM, JUDEOPHOBIA — RISES GLOBALLY, NO END IN SIGHT

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Tsunami of Anti-Semitism: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2013—Participants at the fourth conference of the Global Forum for Combating anti-Semitism, held under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry this week in Jerusalem, will be provided with data highlighting the accelerated global erosion of the status of Jews and Israel.

 

Why are Human Rights Organizations Silent About Arab and Muslim Anti-Semitism?: Elder of Ziyon, May 9, 2013—Given the daily antisemitic incitement in the Arab and Muslim worlds, this is yet another indication that “human rights” organizations have a significant blind spot and are anxious to judge Arabs and Muslims by quite different standards than they judge Westerners.

 

The European Union – Hypocrisy, Hostility and Blatant Prejudice: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, July 18, 2013—The current dispute between the European Union and Israel emanates from the publication on June 30, 2013, of guidelines by the European Commission on the eligibility of Israeli entities, in territories administered by Israel since June 1967 as a result of the Six-Day War, for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.

 

On Topic Links

 

Ramadan Series ‘Khaybar’ Is a Battle Cry Against Jews: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2013

Countering Antisemitism in the Month of Ramadan: Rashad Hussain, JTA, July 17, 2013

Anti-Semitism Is Why The Arab Spring Failed: Ahmad Hashemi, Times of Israel, April 9, 2013

The Letter Netanyahu Should Send to the EU: Steven Plaut, Front Page Magazine, July 19, 2013

 

TSUNAMI OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2013

 

Participants at the fourth conference of the Global Forum for Combating anti-Semitism, held under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry this week in Jerusalem, will be provided with data highlighting the accelerated global erosion of the status of Jews and Israel. In the post-Holocaust era, many had predicted, mistakenly, that the world’s oldest hatred would recede, even anticipating that anti-Semites would soon become an extinct species. Instead, defaming Jews has emerged as the greatest global political growth industry – a virtual tsunami. In fact we are witnessing a resurrection of the medieval paranoia which effectively blamed Jews for all the disasters of mankind.

 

The most concentrated venom is relentlessly directed against “the state of the Jews” (anti- Israelism) which is now the principal vehicle employed to demonize Jews. It dominates debates at the UN and other international organizations where rogue states and barbaric regimes seek to delegitimize the state of the Jews. The bias and double standards against Israel became so intense that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided to explicitly define such behaviour as anti-Semitic.

 

The escalation of Jew-hatred in recent years has been greatly accelerated by the economic meltdown and surge in unemployment throughout Europe. Such an environment breeds xenophobia which, since time immemorial, was always directed against Jews, exploiting them as scapegoats.

 

The era of the Internet and electronic global communications has been a boon to Jew-baiters, enabling them to globally disseminate their hatred instantly and effectively. New varieties of Judeophobia have emerged and integrated with the traditional anti- Semitism which had been temporarily muted due to revulsion at the horrors of the Holocaust.

 

The new blend fuses traditional right-wing religious, racial and economically inspired hatred of Jews with leftist varieties which now dominates indigenous Western anti-Semites. Ironically, the Left bases its demonization of the Jewish state on bogus Israeli human rights violations while avoiding condemnations of Arab anti-Semitism and abdicating its traditional long-standing role of purporting to champion rights of the oppressed and condemning human rights violations – an area in which the Arab world excels.

 

The greatest outpouring of anti-Jewish hatred emanates from the newly empowered Muslim countries, with their combined population of 1.6 billion. In conjunction with their diasporas in Western countries, they frenziedly promote a devilish brew of unique Islamic anti-Semitism combined with the traditional Western varieties. They depict Jews as vampires; descendants of apes and pigs; evil creatures disseminating AIDS; the masterminds behind 9/11; etc. Their incitement is at least as potent as the worst Jew-hatred promoted during the Nazi era. In addition, the jihadist component has been the principal element stoking the escalation of global violence, terror and murder against Jews.

 

We also witnessed the emergence of Jewish anti-Semites, who are now increasingly promoted to the forefront by our enemies as representing “decent” Jews. They legitimize Holocaust inversion as a vehicle to besmirch their kinsmen – comparing Israelis to Nazis and Palestinians to Jews during the Holocaust.

 

The hatred has reached epic levels in Europe, the continent whose soil was drenched in Jewish blood only 70 years ago and ironically today commemorates an annual Holocaust Memorial. Incredibly, European Jewish communities probably face greater anti-Semitism today than prior to the Holocaust. Then, at least liberals and much of the Left were willing to condemn the Nazis and speak out on behalf of Jews. Today, under the guise of promoting human rights, the Left is usually heading the anti-Jewish pack.

 

This is cogently summarized in the introduction to Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld’s new book Demonizing Israel and the Jews, where he states, “today well over 100 million Europeans embrace a satanic view of the state of Israel. They believe that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians…. This current widespread demonic view of Israel is an imitation of the diabolical beliefs about Jews which many held in the Middle Ages, and those promoted more recently by the Nazis and their allies.” Opinion polls confirm that nearly 50% of Europeans regard Israel as a greater threat to the peace and stability of mankind than North Korea, Iran or Syria.

 

There is also increasing anti-Jewish street violence in European cities, much of which is passed off as hooliganism. In many cities Jews are advised not to wear kippot (Jewish skullcaps) or other signs of Jewish identification. In France, the aggressive approach of sectors of Islamic migrant communities has resulted in murders. Attitudes in the UK have also dramatically changed as reflected in the frenetic and shameful hostility and bias toward Israel and the Jews expressed by the bulk of the media.

 

These attitudes even permeate the British judiciary, with one judge acquitting a group which had vandalized products designed for Israel on the grounds that it was engaging in justified opposition to the “occupation.” More recently a judge, upholding the right of UK Teachers Union to boycott Israel, condemned the plaintiff for behaving inappropriately by suggesting that was relevant to the Jewish religion. The UK Protestant churches have reverted to their former hostility to the Jews, with some even challenging Israel’s legitimacy. Even Germany, despite its special relationship with the Jews, has been displaying signs of growing anti-Semitism and Holocaust fatigue.

 

Other European countries are witnessing a resurgence of xenophobia and neo-Nazism. The situation in Hungary is especially stark; Jobbik, the Nazi party whose supporters proudly chant “Heil Hitler” and other Nazi slogans, gained 17% of the vote. In Greece its neo-Nazi counterpart “Golden Dawn” recently polled 12% of the vote.

 

Belgium, Holland and the Scandinavian countries, especially those hosting substantial Muslim immigrant communities with electoral clout have also registered major upsurges in anti-Semitism.

In these communities, many Jews are in denial. Leading somewhat cloistered lives and not personally encountering anti-Semitism, they refuse to acknowledge the intense hostility saturating their societies.

 

The greatest impact is on the younger Jewish generation whose parents grew up in an environment in which they took pride in their Judaism and association with Israel. But in a climate in which the media and society continuously bombard them with defamatory reports about Israel Jewish pride and dignity is undermined and increasing numbers of younger Jews seek anonymity. Some even engage in anti-Israel rhetoric to attain social acceptability.

 

Such a pariah lifestyle is not an environment likely to inculcate a positive Jewish identity and there is now serious concern about the long-term survival of many established Jewish communities. Some read the writing on the wall and recognize that there is no future for their children in Europe, and contemplate emigration or encourage their children to leave…..

Contents

 

 

WHY ARE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
SILENT ABOUT ARAB AND MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM?

Elder of Ziyon, May 9, 2013

 

In 2003, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued a joint statement on antisemitism:

 

Recognizing anti-Semitism as a serious human rights violation, we also recognize our own responsibility to take on this issue as part of our work. It should not be left to Jewish groups alone to highlight this issue and to appeal to the international community to address it. We are firmly committed to joining their ongoing efforts and to helping to bring problems of anti-Semitism into the overall human rights discourse.

 

Now, in 2013, if you look through the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International websites, it is difficult indeed to find any condemnations of Arab or Muslim antisemitism. While they condemn anti-semitism in Western countries, I cannot find a single mention of the phrases “Arab anti-Semitism” or “Muslim anti-Semitism” on either of their sites. Their typical mentions of antisemitism are usually together with Islamophobia.

 

Given the daily antisemitic incitement in the Arab and Muslim worlds, this is yet another indication that “human rights” organizations have a significant blind spot and are anxious to judge Arabs and Muslims by quite different standards than they judge Westerners.

 

In the past two days I posted crazed Jew-hating diatribes shown on Lebanese TV, in a popular Egyptian newspaper. Also recently we saw two accusations of the medieval blood libel in Egypt, a newspaper series insulting Judaism in Jordan, as well as examples of antisemitism in the Iraq media, Saudi Arabia newspaper, a Palestinian Arab “human rights group”  and “peace activist,” and pan-Arab media, and many more. It is endemic. But worse than that, the hatred is mass produced. In 2001, a hugely popular 30-part Ramadan TV series aired in the Arab world based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was rerun in Egypt this year.

Iran released an antisemitic movie last year.

A purely anti-Semitic TV series (“Khaybar”) is being filmed now in Egypt and Morocco to be shown in Arabic TV will be used to incite hundreds of millions of people against Jews during Ramadan to the Arab world. The filming of the series gets regular coverage in Arab media, and they make clear that it is meant to demonize Jews. The director doesn’t even attempt to hide the purpose of the film. Naturally, “human rights” organizations are silent about that as well.

 

So where are the condemnations from the mainstream defenders of human rights who have said that antisemitism is a serious human rights violation?  Or is it simply too touchy a subject for them? Simply put, human rights organizations do not insist that Arabs and Muslims adhere to the same standards that the rest of the world must.

 

I think there is another reason why this issue is roundly ignored by the mainstream human rights organizations. They want to believe that if only Israel would offer more concessions, then peace is possible. They want to frame the Arab-Israeli conflict in terms of human rights and international law and fairness and other Western constructs. The Arabs happily take advantage of this blind spot and speak only in those terms to Westerners as well, so the cycle of self-deception is complete.

 

Publicizing the rampant Jew-hatred in the Arab and Muslim worlds, however, will show that the hate transcends any other claims. The Arab goal isn’t human rights. They want to destroy the Jewish state and have Jews revert to the second-class status (at best) that they held in the Middle East for the past 1400 years. The idea that Jews aren’t meekly submissive to their more numerous cousins is what causes this pure hate, not land disputes or “settlements.”

 

Once this realization sinks in, the Western liberal mind would despair. Peace, it would appear, isn’t possible in such a toxic environment. But since peace is imperative, the thinking goes, all evidence to the contrary must be downplayed. Pretend it is a political problem with a political solution, and don’t let anything get in the  way.

 

The irony is that soft-pedaling Arab and Muslim antisemitism does no one any favors. HRW, Amnesty, Oxfam and all the other human rights organizations can help the cause of peace immensely by shining light on this oldest hatred. Publicizing the issue is necessary  for ridding the Muslim world of their hate – or at least opening up a debate about it, a debate that is all but silent. (I have rarely seen a talkback in Arabic condemning an article that denies the Holocaust or accuses Jews of drinking gentile blood on Passover.)

 

Peace is literally unthinkable when the Jewish people are viewed as evil incarnate. Human rights organizations have clout. Shining light on this problem is essential, and it is not an obstacle to peace – it is a prerequisite. Right now, the human rights organizations have a chance to prove that they mean what they say. The Khaybar TV series is coming, and it is pure incitement against Jews. Denouncing this as a human rights issue – which it is, according to Amnesty’s and HRW’s own words – can show that these organizations are serious about their own stated purposes.

 

Elder of Ziyon is one of the world’s most popular pro-Israel bloggers.

 

Contents

 

 

THE EUROPEAN UNION –
HYPOCRISY, HOSTILITY AND BLATANT PREJUDICE

Amb. Alan Baker

JCPA, July 18, 2013

 

The current dispute between the European Union and Israel emanates from the publication on June 30, 2013, of guidelines by the European Commission on the eligibility of Israeli entities, in territories administered by Israel since June 1967 as a result of the Six-Day War, for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards. The current commission notice reflects a number of decisions taken recently by EU bodies on how past EU-Israel agreements are to be applied.

 

On December 10, 2012, the EU Foreign Affairs Council determined that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

 

The EU statement added that the determination also conforms to the EU’s long-standing position that “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied territories, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.”

 

Pursuant to the European Commission’s June 30 notice, the EU published a directive to its 28 member states, effective July 19, 2013, forbidding funding, cooperation, scholarships, research funds, or prizes to anyone residing in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The regulation requires that any agreement or contract signed by an EU country with Israel include a clause stating that the settlements are not part of the State of Israel and therefore are not part of the agreement.

 

The directive includes a territorial clause stating that all agreements will be valid only within Israeli borders recognized by the European Union, meaning the borders prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. It forbids cooperation by European Union members with private or governmental bodies located beyond the “Green Line.” The European Commission notice states that its aim is “to ensure the respect of EU positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

 

This directive complements intensive activity by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, devoted almost exclusively to the issue of Israel’s settlements, and repeated calls to EU foreign ministers to fully enforce EU legislation regarding the labelling of products from Israeli settlements, with a view to preventing such products from benefiting from lower tariffs, and to rendering them easily visible to European consumers and importers. As stated by Ashton: “Our consumers have the right to an informed choice; this initiative will help support our retailers to provide this. The correct labelling of products is necessary to ensure our consumers are not being misled by false information.”

 

As such, the publication of the commission notice is the culmination of a concerted policy initiative led by Ashton, with active and substantive encouragement by the EU member governments and the official EU representation to Israel, directed against Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], the aim of which is to press the Israeli government into making territorial and political concessions, by harming the products coming from the settlements.

 

This unprecedented and hostile EU fixation with Israel and its settlements, to the almost total exclusion of the other pressing issues in the Middle East, Europe, and throughout the world, is based on a series of long-standing and deliberately misleading and flawed legal and political assumptions regarding the illegality of Israel’s settlements and the status of the pre-1967 armistice lines as Israel’s border.

 

These assumptions are all the more misleading and misguided in that they totally negate or deliberately flout the historic and legal rights granted by the international community, including Europe, to Israel and the Jewish people in a series of international agreements and commitments. The assumptions totally ignore the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in the area, as protected by international declarations.

 

Similarly, they negate the very positions supported by the European states that endorsed UN Security Council Resolution 242 from 1967 calling for “secure and recognized boundaries,” and negate the EU’s own commitments as signatory and witness to the Oslo Accords, to honour the content of those accords, and not to predetermine and undermine specific negotiating issues including the final status of the territories, borders, settlements, Jerusalem, and other issues.

 

As such, the present EU policy, including the commission notice, specifically undermines the negotiating process by taking sides, and by pre-determining the negotiating issues of settlements, Jerusalem and borders. As such, this fixation prejudices and obviates any claim by the EU to impartiality, and precludes the EU from performing any function within the negotiating process.

 

The legality of Israel’s settlements stems from the historic, indigenous and legal rights of the Jewish people to settle in the area, granted pursuant to valid and binding international legal instruments recognized and accepted by the international community. These rights cannot be denied or placed in question.

 

They include the declaration unanimously adopted by the League of Nations, including the major European states, in the 1920 San Remo Declaration, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel as well as close Jewish settlement throughout. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. This was subsequently affirmed internationally in the League of Nations 1922 Palestine Mandate instrument, and accorded continued validity, up to the present day, by Article 80 of the UN Charter which determines the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations).

 

The “1967 borders” do not exist, and have never existed. The 1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arab neighbours, establishing the armistice demarcation lines, clearly stated that these lines “are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.” Accordingly, they cannot be accepted or declared to be Israel’s border.

 

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) called upon the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve “secure and recognized boundaries.” The European state members of the Security Council approved that resolution.

 

The EU assumption regarding the illegality of Israel’s settlement policy is legally flawed, and ignores authoritative sources regarding the provenance and interpretation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949). This article prohibits the mass transfer of population into occupied territory, as practiced by Germany during the Second World War. It was neither relevant, nor was it ever intended to apply to Israel’s settlements.

 

According to the authoritative and official commentary by the International Committee of the Red Cross, published in 1958, as well as opinions by prominent international jurists, Article 49 relates to deportations of over 40 million people subjected to forced migration, evacuation, displacement, and expulsion. The vast numbers of people affected and the aims and purposes behind such a population movement speak for themselves. There is nothing to link such circumstances to Israel’s settlement policy. One may further ask if this is not a misreading, misunderstanding, or even distortion of that article and its context…..

 

Contents

 

On Topic

Ramadan Series ‘Khaybar’ Is a Battle Cry Against Jews: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2013— Arab TV satellite channels are airing a series this year called Khaybar, referring to the Muslim massacre of the Jews of the town of that name in northwestern Arabia in 628 CE. After the attack, some Muslims, including Muhammad, took surviving women as wives. The Muslim conquerors charged the Jews a 50 percent tax on their crops and in 637, after Muhammad’s death, the Caliph Omar expelled the remaining Jews from Khaybar.

 

Countering Antisemitism in the Month of Ramadan: Rashad Hussain, JTA, July 17, 2013—During Ramadan, Muslim communities around the world experience a month of fasting, devotion and increased consciousness of their faith. They also remember those who are suffering around the world and seek an end to the forces of hatred that lead to violence against people of all faiths.

 

Anti-Semitism Is Why The Arab Spring Failed: Ahmad Hashemi, Times of Israel, April 9, 2013— About two years ago, when the so-called pro-democracy movement, better known as the “Arab Spring,” began in the region, many commentators hailed it as “a great step forward,” “a turning point in the contemporary Arab world history”, and a “fourth wave of democratization.” I remember those days very well because my colleagues at Iran’s foreign ministry were very excited. Like most Iranians, they supported the toppling of the old tyrants in the Arab world.

 

The Letter Netanyahu Should Send to the EU: Steven Plaut, Front Page Magazine, July 19, 2013—Editor’s note: The letter below was formulated on behalf of the Israeli Prime Minister by Steven Plaut: Dear Leaders and Commissioners of the European Union: As Prime Minister of Israel I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world about how Israel should solve the Middle East conflict, namely by agreeing to “return” the “occupied Palestinian” lands to the “Palestinians.”

 

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EUROPE: UNENDING CRITIQUES OF ISRAEL, IGNORING MUSLIM HUMAN RIGHTS CRIMES

 

Lest We Forget: Dieppe, August 19, 1942
Sunday, August 19 marks the 70th anniversary of the tragic World War II Dieppe raid, codenamed Operation Jubilee, which was aimed against the heavily-fortified German-occupied port town on the northeastern French coast.
EU politicians ignore Muslim world’s crimes
Western countries are signatories of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. This agreement aims to prevent future genocide, which is the greatest crime in the world.
EU "Upgrades" Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached
The European Union has upgraded trade and diplomatic relations with Israel in more than 60 activities and fields, including agriculture, energy and immigration.
2012 Brussels Declaration
The International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights [was held] on July 9, 2012 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, sponsored by the International Civil Liberties Alliance.

On Topic Links

________________________________________________________________________

 

LEST WE FORGET: DIEPPE, AUGUST 19, 1942
Frederick Krantz

 

Sunday, August 19 marks the 70th anniversary of the tragic World War II Dieppe raid, codenamed Operation Jubilee, which was aimed against the heavily-fortified German-occupied port town on the northeastern French coast.

 

          Largely a Canadian operation—5,000 of the 6,000 troops ferried to the chalk-cliffed Dieppe beach were Canadians, of whom 913 were killed, and 1,946 taken prisoner—Dieppe proved an almost complete disaster. The Germans, already aware of an earlier, postponed July invasion date, were alerted to the actual attack by a German convoy in the Channel, which had intercepted the approaching Allied troop-carrier and destroyer-escort flotilla. 

 

   The raid was poorly planned and led.  British general Montgomery, who had initially supported it, urged, unsuccessfully, that it be cancelled; the leading field officers were inexperienced and, in several key cases, simply incompetent.  All 29 tanks brought along, unable to navigate the “dingle”, the pebbly shale of the beach area, were destroyed. The destroyers’ small guns lacked sufficient suppressive firepower; air-cover was ineffective, with many Allied planes shot down.

 

   Andrew Roberts, in his recent The Storm of War, notes “the intelligence was faulty, the planning flawed, and the results little short of catastrophic.”

 

   Many explanations have been adduced for the raid, none entirely satisfying.  Some historians argue it was in part a sop to Russian pressure for a “Second Front” (Churchill had been exposed to Stalin’s  demands, and rants, on this score in Moscow earlier in August ).

 

   Others think it was a kind of experimental rehearsal for the “real” thing, (Overlord, in Normandy in June, 1944,), with important lessons learned—the need for massive preparatory air and naval firepower, avoidance of landing in a fortified port.   Yet others reject this as a poor post hoc rationale for an unmitigated disaster.

 

   Some–noting the clearly insufficient preparation and supporting force—explain Dieppe as a consciously sacrificial operation (for its Allied planners, not for the troops), a dramatic initiative meant to mollify an increasingly critical  British and American public and media  demanding  aggressive Allied military action in Europe.

 

   Recent scholarship has even noted the possible role of the Dieppe raid as a diversionary “feint” enabling commandos to land behind the beach-head in order either to capture secret German radar, or one of the recently-revised German “Enigma” code-machines frustrating secret  Allied radio intercepts.

 

   Seven surviving Canadian veterans, several of whom passed WWII as German prisoners of war after Dieppe, attended the recent, solemn seventieth anniversary memorial gathering in the French town. As 95-year-old Donatien Vaillancourt, of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, observed, “The Germans were waiting for us for three days. They knew we were coming. They were all in position…” .

 

   Measured against the  millions of military, let alone civilian, deaths of World War II, Canada’s losses at Dieppe  pale into relative insignificance.  Yet the brave men who fell, and those few still with us, played their part in defeating the Nazi-German murderers, and they deserve to be remembered. (Top)
__________________________________________________________________________________

 

EU POLITICIANS IGNORE MUSLIM WORLD’S CRIMES

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Ynetnews 17 August 2012

 

Western countries are signatories of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. This agreement aims to prevent future genocide, which is the greatest crime in the world. It also includes the commitment to act against incitement to genocide by a state. Such a transgressing nation may then be referred to an international court. However, hardly any European politicians reacted to the recent renewed calls for the annihilation of Israel by Iranian leaders. This goal can only be achieved by the genocide of Israel’s citizens. Conclusion: Many European politicians do not care much about major international laws when they are in Israel’s favor.

 

Furthermore, the European Union refused once again to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The EU however, does care a bit about human rights. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, keeps herself disproportionately busy by condemning Israel if it does something against her liking.

 

One key element of European multiculturalism is to look away as much as possible from criminality in the Muslim world, even if it is major. There are many manifestations of this. A journalist from a foreign broadcasting organization in Israel told me: "I have seen foreign correspondents with tears in their eyes when they saw Palestinian olive trees destroyed by Israelis. The same people made a major effort to explain away terrorist murders of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists."

 

In the morally degraded European political environment, the rare politician who addresses Muslim states’ transgressions of the Genocide Convention merits mention. A Dutch Parliamentarian, Wim Kortenoeven, who has recently left the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, put forward some frank questions to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 

 He wrote, "Do you share the opinion that the calls by President Ahmadinejad and other Iranian functionaries concerning the annihilation of Israel and thus genocide against its inhabitants, are a transgression of Article 3 of the Convention of Prevention and Punishment of Genocide? If not, why not?"

 

Kortenoeven also asked whether the minister took these calls for genocide seriously and added: "If not, why not?" He furthermore wanted to know how the Dutch government reacted to the latest Iranian call for genocide and what concrete actions the minister intended to undertake. He also inquired whether the minister was willing to request from states whose ambassadors had heard the speech of Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to publicly disassociate themselves from this call. He asked the minister if he was not willing to do so, to explain why.

 

 Kortenoeven furthermore inquired whether the size of the Iranian Embassy in The Hague was proportional to actual relations between Iran and the Netherlands? If not, would the minster be willing to expel these non-essential functionaries? His questions were accompanied by detailed background material.

 

The Israeli government could have acted forcefully in the Iranian matter in two directions. It could have tried to get more questions asked in Western parliaments regarding the points raised by Kortenoeven. Additionally, it could have exposed the huge failure of the European Union and its member states to address many of the major crimes in Muslim countries.

 

 Such Israeli action is all the more important as Europe finds itself at a critical junction. Its most visible element is the crisis concerning the Euro. Every few days additional problems emerge whereupon new stopgap measures are announced. The European leadership is clueless about these problems’ magnitude and how to solve them.

 

 This is leading to an even greater distrust by many Europeans in the democracy-deficient European Union and in their own politicians. People’s fear about their future grows. In the short term, many worry about keeping their jobs. In the long term, they fear for the nature of the society they will live in.

This psychological climate has both risks and opportunities for Israel. The crisis in societal institutions has always been dangerous for Jews and is now so for Israel also. One threat comes from the entrance of populist parties into national parliaments. Some are neo-fascist, or even neo-Nazi, such as the Hungarian Jobbik and the Greek Golden Dawn.

 

Others have anti-Semites in their ranks, such as the German Pirate Party which is likely to enter Parliament in the next election. Others attack Jewish ritual customs, such as ritual slaughter or circumcision. On the other hand, at a time when there is increasing disaffection with Europe, one can also mobilize Israel’s friends to show how many European bodies mistreat Israel. This requires thought and a clear agenda. Otherwise, one is dependent upon individual initiatives by a few ardent supporters, such as Kortenoeven.

 

The Israeli government has taken economic measures to anticipate and diminish fallout from the world’s growing economic crisis. There is however, far more to be considered than plain economics.(Top)
__________________________________________________________________________________

 

EU "UPGRADES" RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL, 
STRANGLING STRINGS ATTACHED

Soeren Kern

Gatestone Institute, August 3, 2012

 

The European Union has upgraded trade and diplomatic relations with Israel in more than 60 activities and fields, including agriculture, energy and immigration.

 

 The upgrade, which comes amid a barrage of unending criticism of Israel's policies, in fact appears aimed at increasing Israel's economic dependence on the European Union, with the objective of enhancing the bloc's leverage over the State of Israel. Authored by EU delegations to the Palestinian Authority, the document includes severe recommendations meant to strengthen Palestinian control over East Jerusalem and coerce Israel to change its policy in the West Bank. The document is unprecedented in that it deals with internal Israeli issues.

 

But the wide-ranging boost to bilateral relations, which was announced at the annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels on July 24, is unlikely to end the deep-seated hostility European officialdom harbors towards the Jewish state.

 

As a whole, the package stops short of the full upgrade in relations that were frozen after Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip in January 2009, but is highly significant nonetheless. Among other measures, the European Union will remove obstacles impeding Israel's access to European government-controlled markets and enhance Israel's co-operation with nine key EU agencies, including the European Police Office (Europol), the EU's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

 

Notably absent from the package is the Agreement on Conformity, Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA), a trade agreement that seeks to eliminate technical barriers to trade in industrial products, with the objective of increasing European access to Israeli markets, and vice-versa.…

 

In any event, the official EU statement announcing the upgrade in bilateral relations is also replete with condescending criticism of Israel, which the EU accuses of perpetrating a wide range of human rights abuses in the "occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)" and within Israel itself.

 

Among other items, the statement refers to Israel's obligation to protect the rights of the Arab-Palestinian minority, stressing the "importance to address it as a core problem in its own right." The document also condemns the "excessive recourse by Israel to administrative detention."

 

The EU urges Israel "to refrain from actions which may…curtail the freedom of association and freedom of speech (of civil society)" and it calls on Israel to prosecute "settler extremists" for their "continuous violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians."

 

The statement "stresses Israel's obligations regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian population" and condemns "developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible, such as, inter alia, the marked acceleration of settlement construction, ongoing evictions of Palestinians and the demolition of their housing and infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including East Jerusalem, the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population and serious limitations for the Palestinian Authority to promote the economic development of Palestinian communities, in particular in Area C."…

 

The statement comes amid a wave of official EU criticism of Israel that is often one-sided, disproportionate and bordering on obsessive. In July, for example, the European Parliament passed a highly biased resolution accusing Israel of literally dozens of offenses against the Palestinian population, Palestinian institutions and even Arab Bedouins.…The resolution even accuses Israel of "creating an institutional and leadership vacuum in the local Palestinian population."

 

In June, EU "Foreign Minister" Catherine Ashton, who has a well-earned reputation for making statements that seek to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state, criticized Israeli policies that "are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible." Since assuming her post in December 2009, Ashton has never criticized Palestinian obstructionism and their setting impossible preconditions for entering genuine peace talks with Israel. (In March, Ashton [in]famously equated the killing of three children at a Jewish school in France with "what is happening in Gaza.")

 

In May, the EU's 27 foreign ministers unanimously condemned "the ongoing evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem, changes to the residency status of Palestinians…the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities…the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population…of jeopardizing the major achievements of the Palestinian Authority in state-building…the continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians…" But nowhere does the document call on the Palestinian Authority to recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, a move that arguably more than any other would advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

 

In January 2012, the EU published a document called "The EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem" which makes an urgent plea for the EU to adopt a more "active and visible" implementation of its policy towards Israel and the peace process. Authored by EU delegations to the Palestinian Authority, the document includes severe recommendations meant to strengthen Palestinian control over East Jerusalem and coerce Israel to change its policy in the West Bank.…

 

The report includes a radical proposal for "appropriate EU legislation to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity." Under the proposal, the European Commission would use legislation to force European companies to stop doing business with companies involved in settlement construction and commercial activities. Recommendations include the preparation of a "blacklist" of settlers considered violent in order to consider later the option of banning them from entering the European Union.…

 

In December 2011, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz obtained a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel, which recommended that the European Union…The document is unprecedented in that it deals with internal Israeli issues. According to European diplomats and senior Foreign Ministry officials quoted by Ha’aretz, the document was written and sent to EU headquarters in Brussels behind the back of the Israeli government.…

 

While the EU continues to exert pressure on Israel, Jerusalem has been unable to extract meaningful concessions from Brussels. For example, the EU has once again rejected an Israeli request that the bloc designate the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

 

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently launched a new diplomatic push to convince the EU to outlaw Hezbollah following the murders of five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver on July 18. Israel blames Hezbollah for the suicide bombing at Bulgaria's Burgas airport.

 

Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently heads the EU presidency, said there is "no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization," and claimed that there is "no tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism."

 

Lieberman has also failed to persuade Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, to "intervene" on Israel's behalf in a controversy regarding Tunisia's desire to include a clause in its new constitution making normalized relations with Israel a criminal offense.

 

As these examples and many others indicate, Israel should be under no illusion that the recent "upgrading" of bilateral relations with the European Union will end European hostility toward the Jewish state. Quite to the contrary; Israel should be expecting an increase in European meddling in its internal affairs.(Top)

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

2012 BRUSSELS DECLARATION

International Civil Liberties Alliance

Liberties Alliance, July 9, 2012

 

[The International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights [was held] on July 9, 2012 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, sponsored by the International Civil Liberties Alliance. Representatives of 18 countries, the majority being from Europe but with the participation of Coptic Christians from Egypt as well as former Muslims, met to discuss the ongoing Islamization of Europe and the Western world and how to preserve our basic civil liberties….Among the highlights of the conference was the presentation and signing of the 2012 Brussels Declaration, a foundational document to defend freedom of speech and civil liberties: —Ed].

 

“To Preserve Free Speech, Civil Liberties, Human Rights and Democracy, against all efforts to injure and usurp those universal principles, we call upon leaders in all nations to support this 2012 Brussels Declaration to Safeguard Individual Liberties and Human Rights:

 

Reasserting that Human rights and liberties are universal, individual, equal, inalienable, and self-evident irrespective of philosophical, cultural or religious considerations, as a matter of long-held principle;

Considering that any honest defender of Democracy has the right and the duty to uphold and defend free speech, civil liberties and human rights;

 

Affirming the irrefutable fact that sharia law as articulated and applied is incompatible with and destructive to free speech, civil liberties and human rights and as such is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy (as stated in the 13 Feb 2003 judgment of the ECHR);

 

Acknowledging that the declaration known as “Cairo Declaration of Human Right in Islam” also commonly referred to as the “Cairo Declaration” curtails all human rights under sharia law and sharia normative behavior restrictions (CDHRI Articles 22, 23, 24) on the pretense that “All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah” (CDHRI Article 1);

 

Observing that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being the creator of Cairo Declaration and its current main proponent has, by its continuous and single-minded activity, proven to be the principal international politico-religious organization working to restrict free speech, civil liberties and human rights and to enforce sharia in the world;

 

Asserting that any official endorsement or promotion of the Cairo Declaration or any cooperation with OIC that leads, by the test of consequences, to more enforcement of sharia anywhere in the world identifies its perpetrator as an active opponent of Democracy, freedom of speech, civil liberties and human rights;

 

Noting that such an identification renders illegitimate any attempt by the perpetrator to discuss or negotiate matters involving freedom of speech, civil liberties and human rights in any local, national or international forums;

 

The signatories solemnly require of their governments and civil society:

 

To commence a process, to be known as the Brussels Process, to implement the content of this declaration through education and policy initiatives at all levels of government and sectors of civil society, in order to safeguard the future liberties and rights of our nations and our children, so that all members of the human family may prosper as free individuals.

 

To decline any invitation to participate in any local, national or international forum to discuss civil liberties, free speech or human rights, if the organizers – individual persons or organizations – are known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcement…

 

To protest against any kind of participation in a local, national or international meeting dedicated to civil liberties, free speech or human rights’ discussions or negotiations by any known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcements…

 

To initiate a thorough inquiry before any bilateral or multilateral cooperation about civil liberties, free speech or human rights related matters, in order to clearly identify any participants who are proponents for the Cairo Declaration or sharia law, or who have cooperated or collaborated with the OIC or its associated organizations.

 

To reject and forbid any public funding for promotion of the Cairo Declaration or of any sharia societal implementation and enforcement…

 

To stop any cooperation with all known proponents of the Cairo Declaration at a national or international level, when that cooperation has as its aim or result, a restriction of civil liberties, free speech or human rights in a democratic country, until those proponents repudiate the Cairo Declaration.

 

To extend cooperation and support in all forums to former proponents of the Cairo Declaration who repudiate the suppression by the OIC and sharia law of civil liberties, free speech and human rights, and who assert that human rights and liberties are universal, individual, equal, inalienable, and self-evident irrespective of philosophical, cultural or religious considerations.

 

To engage with civil society and official organizations that work to safeguard individual liberties from suppression by shariah law,…[and] to encourage dialogue, education and understanding on individual liberties and human rights, as these terms have been commonly used historically in Western nations as understood before the Cairo Declaration.(Top)

On Topic Links

EUROPE’S DEBT CRISIS: “A PROMISE TO MAKE A PROMISE” AND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF A FRACTURED, SINKING EU

EUROPE AT THE BRINK
Editorial
Washington Post, December 10, 2011

[Last Friday’s] summit of 27 European Union leaders did not lack for drama. With the future of the euro currency and the EU itself on the line, all but four of those present agreed to German demands for closer fiscal integration, and three of the holdouts said they would think about it. Only Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, fearing the impact on London’s financial sector, rejected the deal. A new Europe is at hand, in which Germany rules, France reigns and Britain loses out.

Or so it is breathlessly reported. What matters, though, is the problem the leaders failed to solve: the economic crisis that plagues their continent and threatens the world, the United States very much included.

Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece have piled up more debt than they can service, and investors refuse to buy additional bonds except at crippling interest rates. One or all of those countries could default—with disastrous repercussions for German, French and other banks that hold trillions of euros’ worth of existing paper. Unless a solvent entity appears on the scene with enough cash to convince investors that money lent to Europe will be paid back, the euro, and Europe itself, are at risk.…

At the summit, the vast majority of Europe, with no real alternative, agreed to adopt balanced-budget amendments like Germany’s and accept multilateral enforcement of those rules. German Chancellor Angela Merkel beamed in triumph. In the short run, though, fiscal tightening risks exacerbating the recession that Europe already faces. In the long run, it’s not clear how the treaty is to be implemented. What we have is a promise to make a promise.…

On Nov. 30, the European Commission’s point man for the euro crisis, Olli Rehn, warned: “We are now entering the critical period of 10 days to complete and conclude the crisis response of the European Union.” As you will notice, that was 11 days ago.

EUROPE DIGS STILL DEEPER
David Warren

Real Clear Politics, December 11, 2011

When you’ve dug yourself into a hole, so far down you can’t see the sky any more, the answer is to dig faster.… This is the primeval advice upon which Europe’s politicians are now working: to dig their own grave, gratuitously deep. At 5 a.m. Friday, euro time, they reached a deal to solve the mess created by the imposition of a single paper currency on various incompatible sovereign economies. They will impose uniform budgetary practices throughout the eurozone, thus further binding countries left with too little room to manoeuvre. Or rather, as many as 23 of the 27 members of the European Union resolved upon this grand Summit gesture. All will, according to plan, adopt common labour-market regulations, common corporate tax rates, and so on. All for the sake of saving not themselves, but their common currency.…

The count of  participating eurozone signatories is uncertain, because several half-signatories have reserved the right to consult their respective parliaments.… Britain has definitely opted out, and generally, the British, Scandinavians, and Central Europeans (i.e. east of Germany) would rather watch [German leader Angela] Merkel and [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy dig, than fetch their shovels. Which means, they would rather take their risks that the European Commission will not try to punish them.…

At core…we have an attempt to overwhelm Nature. The eurozone will try to create a uniformly “hard” paper currency, by means of budgetary discipline imposed upon countries that have never entertained the possibility of such a thing, over the likely objection of their entire electorates. “Put not your faith in man…your trust in princes.” (I am quoting from one of Europe’s founding documents.) Place not your confidence in politicians. Economic arrangements which depend upon the goodwill and continuing good behaviour of the political class, must fail.…

And failure is the great liberator. Had the politicians simply ignored their problem, and hoped for it to go away, it would have begun to solve itself by a more gentle and piecemeal collapse of the euro. Greece, and other countries in similar straits, would have begun eurodeflating of their own accord, having no choice; their debts would be resolved in accelerating markdowns. The Greeks and others would have to adapt to the consequences of past profligacy. They could forget about their pensions. There would be riots, of course, but no one, not even Greeks, can riot forever.

Country by country, the euro would have had to be abandoned, usually for experiments in the reintroduction of currencies that could be hyperinflated. Once everyone had had a taste of that, the idea of discipline would be more universally subscribed. This would be, politically, very hard to watch, but such was the old pluralistic genius of Europe. One sovereignty goes down, but another remains standing. They learn what does and doesn’t work, from each other.…

Instead, now, the politicians are working to guarantee the catastrophe will be pan-European. The insupportable euro will now, most likely, come down all at once. And it will take the various other pan-European institutions with it. They may not realize yet, but they are working assiduously towards a future where the European Union solves all of its problems, by ceasing to exist.

BRITAIN SHOULD PITY THOSE STILL TRAPPED
IN THE EURO NIGHTMARE
Janet Daley

Telegraph, December 10, 2011

So we are isolated, are we? Cut off, locked out of the room, left on the sidelines, cast out of the inner core—and any other baleful metaphors you can think of. Well, Britain has stood alone before, as I recall, and we defended the idea of democracy in Europe then, too. But we need not get romantically heroic about it. We just have to ask ourselves: what is it exactly that we are outside of? A burning building? With only our triple-A credit rating and our competitive financial industry to console us?

What just happened, after all? We jumped off a bus that was hurtling toward a brick wall. When it eventually crashes, the driver(s) of the bus—who will survive, this being a metaphorical bus—will probably blame us, claiming that if it had not been for our failure to co-operate, the wall might have evaporated. The crash, when it comes, will be truly dreadful, and all the more tragic because a delusional European elite refused to accept its inevitability.

Before the mythology that David Cameron’s envious political rivals are desperately constructing becomes received wisdom, let us consider what that splendid new solution to the euro problem (from which we are so piteously excluded) entails.… This putative treaty (if it really is a new treaty, it will need ratification, which will require referendums in some states) so triumphantly proclaimed by Merk and Sark is very much a work in progress. According to the German Chancellor, what there is at the moment is an agreement to “work towards” a number of goals intended to have the effect of stabilising the euro and preventing forever the recurrence of the sort of sovereign debt crisis in which we are now mired.

The three most significant objectives are: 1) a golden rule on deficit limits for all member states, 2) automatic penalties (presumably in the form of sanctions) for countries that break that rule, and 3) a requirement that member states submit their budgets to the EU authorities for approval before they can be considered by their own national parliaments. That is what Mrs Merkel calls stabilisation. You may call it something else.

Just as a matter of interest, is this what those eastern European countries that have so recently been liberated from Soviet domination dream of: the freedom to submit their tax and spending plans to a claque of unelected commissars in Brussels? And what did Merk and Sark have to offer the bankrupt countries of the south in return for this surrender of their self-determination and democratic legitimacy? Not a lot. Would there be, to put it bluntly, more money made available from their richer European partners, or a promise to purchase more of their debt? Well, yes and no. Mrs Merkel spoke of an increased fund to come “from the eurozone countries”—a promise that may or may not wash with German taxpayers. But more significantly, she spoke only of the European Central Bank giving its “expertise” to the European Stability Fund. Expertise? So no hard cash, then. (This is hardly surprising: the ECB made it clear only last week that it may bail out banks, but it is not in the business of bailing out countries.)

Yes indeed, Britain is on the outside: left out of this idyll of anti-competitive regulation and tax harmonisation. I can remember when the greatest Eurosceptic nightmare was a “United States of Europe”. They should be so lucky. The United States of America has nothing like this ferociously imposed central control over the budgets of its member states. Nor does it require tax harmonisation among them. The states of the American union have independent tax systems: apart from federal income tax, the taxes that US citizens pay are determined by the states they are in. Some of those states have high property and death taxes—others (like Nevada, where the revenue from gambling pays for almost everything) have low ones. Some have sales taxes and specific duties which others do not. Hence the great American tradition of driving across state lines in order to buy cheaper alcohol.

Those states which have competition on their immediate borders from others with, say, lower retail taxes, lose custom. But most importantly, some state governments impose much lower business taxes than others. By lowering their corporation taxes, once-poor states have managed to encourage inward investment and become not-poor. This internal competition increases prosperity in the private sector and incentivises efficiency in the public sector. Which is precisely the opposite of what tax harmonisation will do to EU member states. If Ireland, for example, is forced to give up its lower rate of corporation tax (because the EU regards that as an “unfair” competitive advantage), it will lose the capacity that it might have had to recover under its own steam.

Without being able to devalue their currencies, or to slash their taxes in order to attract investment and commercial activity, the poor countries of Europe will be locked permanently into disadvantage and dependence. They will be forced to accept austerity programmes while being deprived of any of the fiscal mechanisms for improving their own economic condition. And if they behave in what the EU decides are incorrigibly delinquent ways, they may even have their elected governments replaced—so the democratic mechanisms for political change will go, too.

If Britain is at all culpable for the nightmare implosion that is to come, it is only that we did not argue hard enough against it, and on behalf of the principles in which we believe: the integrity of democratic nationhood and the value of free markets. What Europe needs to hear is the case for a managed, systematic winding-down of the machinery: there may still be enough time, before the bus hits the wall, to persuade the less vainglorious forces that this idea of security through uniformity is not only doomed but sinister. It will not lead to permanent peace, but to endless conflict and patent injustice.

Behind the scenes, there are functionaries who are, even now, working on the contingency plans. Somebody has to face the reality of what will happen when it all blows up. It is a pity that it cannot be the people we elected, rather than faceless minions who are accountable to no one.… In the long term, the whole euro project is dead.

THE TECHNOCRATIC NIGHTMARE
David Brooks

NY Times, November 17, 2011

During the first half of the 1990s, I lived in Brussels and wrote about the European Union, among other subjects, for The Wall Street Journal. This was the heyday of European integration. Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand and Jacques Delors were in power, negotiating the Maastricht Treaty and organizing the common currency. There was a lot of excitement among the civil servants who saw themselves as the architects of a new Europe. But there were some oddities.

The European leaders would come together for a summit and issue a joint communiqué. But then if you sampled the coverage in each of the national medias, you felt as though you were reading about 12 entirely different events. Europe was unifying legalistically and economically, but there was no common language or common conversation. At one meeting, leaders embraced “federalism,” but that word meant one thing in Britain and another thing in Germany.

Then there was the elitism. Off the record, Europe’s technocrats would say the most blatantly condescending things: History had taught them that Europe’s peoples were not to be trusted and government should be run from the top by people like themselves.

As a consequence, European integration was opaque, and consisted of a long series of complicated fudges. When the European Union leaders were compelled to seek popular approval to get the Maastricht Treaty ratified, they sponsored a forlorn rally in a Brussels park. There were EU flags and booths and speakers. But the crowd was bored and sparse. At one point, everyone was asked to sing the new European national anthem to the tune of “Ode to Joy.” Dead silence. No one knew the new words that had been written to go with that masterpiece.

The European Union is an attempt to build an economic and legal superstructure without a linguistic, cultural, historic and civic base. It was the final of the post-World War II efforts—the United Nations was among the first—to build governments that were transnational, passionless and safe.… But now the inherent flaws are undermining the project. The nations of Europe have been running different kinds of economies and different kinds of democracies, reflecting their diverse histories, values and cultures. If you jam diverse economic cultures into a single currency, you’re bound to get an explosion.

At this moment of crisis, it is obvious how little moral solidarity undergirds the European pseudostate. Americans in Oregon are barely aware when their tax dollars go to Americans in Arizona. We are one people with one shared destiny. West Germans were willing to pay enormous subsidies to build the former East Germany. They, too, are one people. But that shared identity doesn’t exist between Germans and Greeks, or even between French and Germans. It was easy to be European when it didn’t cost anything. When sacrifices are necessary, the European identity dissolves away.

The mess threatens to bring down the European project and European economies. It threatens to send the world into another global recession.… On a superficial level, the fault lies with the current European leadership, their addiction to inadequate patches and fudges. But the real problems emerge from the technocratic mind-set, from the arrogant gray men who believe they can engineer society, oblivious to history, language, culture, values and place.

And the final curse is that while building Europe in this way was a mistake, Europeans cannot now simply reverse course. If the euro was immediately dissolved, the Deutschmark would surge, nearly every other currency would plummet and the imbalances would create a global catastrophe.

In the short term, the European Central Bank, the stable European nations and even the U.S. will have to take extremely big and painful action to stabilize the situation. But, after that, it’ll be a time for chastening. It’ll be time to discard the technocratic mind-set that created this inherently flawed architecture and build a Europe that reflects the organic realities of those diverse societies.…

HOW THE U.S. CAN HELP EUROPE: JUST SAY NO
Jim Demint

Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2011

If the United States wants to help Europe find a way out of its current debt crisis, we must be a strong, world economic leader, not merely the lender of last resort.

American taxpayers sent $40 billion to Greece last year, through the International Monetary Fund, to stave off an economic collapse. But the bailout did not prevent Greece’s day of fiscal reckoning. It only delayed it. Austerity measures are still needed throughout Europe’s socialized economy and the debt contagion has not been stopped. Financial chaos has spread from Greece to Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain, and it now threatens the very future of the 17-member euro zone.

Undeterred, President Obama last month told the press after breaking from a closed-door meeting with European leaders, “the United States stands ready to do our part to help them resolve this issue.” He would do better to focus his attention stateside. The most dangerous threat to the U.S. economy is not across the pond. It’s in the swampland of Washington, D.C.

The very problems that have roiled Europe’s economy are coming to a slow boil in the U.S. Just as European leaders must limit deficit spending, reform unfunded entitlement programs, and resolve the underlying systemic problems in their financial systems, so must the politicians in Washington. Yet the Obama administration is burning taxpayers at each end of the dollar by bailing out failed socialist policies abroad and, at the same time, forcing them into place here at home. Although every country’s finances are unique, the U.S. is unquestionably in the danger zone.

Greece’s economy reached its tipping point and was bailed out when government debt topped 137% of its gross domestic product. Despite all the measures that have been taken to aid it, Greece’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is even higher now, at 160%. Ireland was bailed out at 74% of GDP and is now at 80%. Portugal was bailed out at 94% of GDP and is now expected to top 100%. The bailouts have arguably made the European debt crisis worse, not better. Total U.S. debt, including entitlement liabilities, reached 100% of GDP when Congress increased the debt ceiling in August. Our $15 trillion debt now rivals the size of the entire U.S. economy.

When he first took office, President Obama promised to cut the federal deficit in half by 2013. But instead he’s increased it by more than $4 trillion. Indeed, under his direction, the U.S. government spent about $1 trillion on a stimulus that failed to create the jobs promised, will spend trillions more creating a European-style health-care entitlement with ObamaCare, and has more Americans on welfare than ever before. With President Obama in the White House, liberals have succeeded in their longstanding quest to make America more like Europe. Problem is, their idealized version of Europe’s collectivist government is now in shambles. If the U.S. continues to mimic our European allies we’ll fall to pieces, too.

It is under these circumstances that high-level members of the Obama administration, including the president himself, are negotiating with international leaders over how best to solve the European debt crisis. [Last] week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner met central bankers and European leaders days ahead of the emergency EU summit in Brussels. The International Monetary Fund, which the U.S. funds at a higher percentage than any other nation, is expected to aid the rescue. The only question is how big a role the IMF and U.S. taxpayers will play.

This year the U.S. sent about $67 billion to the IMF, which represents 17.7% of the IMF’s yearly budget—nearly three times more than any other nation. On top of that, taxpayers provided an additional $108 billion credit line to the IMF in 2009. In 2010, the IMF sent nearly $40 billion in assistance to Greece, which did nothing to prevent the country’s economic collapse in 2011. [Last] Monday, the IMF approved another $2.95 billion worth of bailout funds for the struggling country. If this is what President Obama meant when he said the “United States stands ready to do our part,” it’s time for him to part ways from his European friends seeking the same kind of assistance that has been provided to Greece. American policy makers must send an unmistakable signal that the era of bailouts is over once and for all.…

Members of the Obama administration must focus all of their efforts on strengthening the U.S. economy…rather than on continuing to borrow from China to pay for Europe’s out-of-control debts. President Obama and Mr. Geithner have lectured European leaders on the need for them to take decisive action to stabilize their economies. They should practice what they preach and set a positive example for the world to follow. Lending isn’t leading. Balancing the budget would be.

(Mr. DeMint is a senator [R] from South Carolina.)