Thursday 28 February 2008

Vandals strike memorial to Austrian Jews

The JTA reports:

"An artwork remembering the suffering of Austrian Jews under the Nazis was destroyed days after it was installed.

Artist Peter Wagner had planted the 70 wooden stakes last week alongside a road in the town of Oberschutzen, near a controversial memorial that serves as a reminder of Germany's annexation of Austria on March 12, 1938.

According to the Kurier newspaper, Wagner's project was called "zone38 -- 70 years after the annexation," and was dedicated to the memory of the Jews of the Oberwart district."

Ancient Mayas and the Jews

"Being unaware of the existence of Jews, the ancient Maya ascribed all their misfortunes to the dark forces of nature."

Source: from a lecture on history of religion (lecturer unknown)
Via: Simply Jews

This is what came later:
The Manual of Inquisitors by Nicholas Eymerich

Tuesday 26 February 2008

"Contemporary antisemitism is not explicitly or obviously antisemitic", David Hirsh

David Hirsh's speech at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism
From Engage. The whole speech is well worth reading in full.

"In my view the main manifestation of antisemitism in the near future is going to be conspiracy theory.

The kind of antisemitism which really worries me is the kind which is difficult to spot. Governments can imprison those who commit racist assaults and they can ban hate-speech. But we cannot shut down the Guardian newspaper or my trade union or the Green Party.

Why not? Because contemporary antisemitism is not explicitly or obviously antisemitic.

We can respond that according to the EUMC working definition this or that piece in the Guardian is in fact antisemitic, irrespective of what people think. But the counter-response will be "of course, you wrote it". (…)

We should not base our strategy on the assumption that the powerful in the world - or in America - will be prepared to oppose antisemitism. We should not act as though the "lobby" rhetoric was true. It isn’t. Moshe Postone tells us that antisemitism can appear to be anti-hegemonic. But we shouldn’t act as though antisemitism was in fact anti-hegemonic.

We don’t aim to change the mind of Ilan Pappe or Saemas Milne but we do aim to change the mind of those who may be influenced by them. Yesterday John Mann said that the boycotters are afraid of us. And I think they are. They’re not afraid of being denounced as wild-eyed leftists or as antisemites or as self-haters. They love that.

But they are afraid of coming up against people who have a chance of influencing their own followers or of sewing doubt amongst those who they aim to influence. This is a difficult job. Thursday’s Guardian is a case-study in how difficult the job is.

The contemporary way of doing antisemitic conspiracy theory was given a stamp of professorial legitimacy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in 2006. They created a vocabulary which one could use to express conspiracy theory and which did not seem to be antisemtic.

Conspiracy theory is nearly always, today, articulated using the Livingstone Formulation, which claims that Jews play the antisemitism card in bad faith in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israeli human rights abuses. In this way, anyone who raises a worry about contemporary antisemitism already stands accused of doing so maliciously; and they stand accused of doing so as part of a common plan with others. Livingstone’s formulation also denies the distinction between criticism and demonization.

Thursday’s Guardian had the rhetoric and the images of antisemitic conspiracy theory running through it, from the front page to the inside pages, to the leader. Antisemitism of this sort is not explicit, is not obvious, and is not self-aware. It is necessary to analyze and interpret a text to know whether it is antisemitic.

The substance of the exclusive story was that a civil servant had written the word "Israel" on the margin of a document in relation to Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. The word "Israel" was removed before the draft document was made public. That’s it. That’s the story.

The front page headline is: ‘Labour kept criticism of Israel secret’ and it is illustrated by Israeli flags and Union Jacks; when you click the link on the website, it becomes ‘How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret’. A sub-headline informs us: ‘Israel’s weapons - a diplomatic no-go area’. And the leader brings together all of the soundbites and imagery of contemporary antisemitic conspiracy theory: censorship; suppression of the word ‘Israel’; cravenness of the Labour government (before the ‘lobby’); secret deliberation; an act of concealment; exploiting the loopholes; Israel regularly kicks up a fuss over far more minor matters; the blue pencil; decisions reached in secret; ‘Israel’ the banned word; how easily the tribunal can be influenced into concealing public material.

The central task that the Engage website has set itself is to rebut and de-code this kind of antisemitism so that it can be understood for what it is. We should not underestimate either how important or how difficult this task is.

We are involved in a political argument. We aim to change people’s minds. Our central task is to make sure that the intelligentsia is able to recognize antisemitism. It should go without saying that as well as being able to recognize antisemitism, we should also know how to recognize other racisms too."

Monday 25 February 2008

Campaign to rehabilitate Captain Barros Basto, the 'Portuguese Dreyfus'

Help restore the posthumous reputation of Portuguese Jewish army officer Artur Carlos Barros Basto (1887-1961) by signing the petition created by the Oporto Jewish Congregation and written by Jorge Neves:

Cry justice for the 'Portuguese Dreyfus', by Michael Freund (2003)

A few months ago, in the northern Portuguese village of Amarante, I stood before the simple and unadorned grave of a largely forgotten Jewish hero of the 20th century, Captain Arthur Carlos de Barros Basto.
His name might not be familiar to you, but his story is worth recounting, nonetheless, because it is one of heartbreak and heroism, and its final chapter remains to be written.
Historians such as the late Cecil Roth labeled him the 'Portuguese Dreyfus' after French General Staff officer Alfred Dreyfus, who was convicted of treason on trumped-up charges in 1894 and drummed out of the military.
But in one important respect Barros Basto's story is even more compelling, because, unlike his French counterpart, he has yet to receive the exoneration and acclaim he so richly deserves.
This year marks six decades since the Portuguese armed forces summarily decided to expel Barros Basto from their ranks, citing unspecified reasons of "good and welfare" for its decision.
The truth of the incident is far more troubling.
Captain Barros Basto was one of the Anousim, a descendant of Jews whose ancestors had been forced to convert to Catholicism during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. According to his biographers, Dr. Elvira Mea and journalist Inacio Steinhardt, Barros Basto was a decorated soldier who commanded a Portuguese infantry company in World War I, fought in the trenches of Flanders, and took part in the allied offensive to liberate Belgium.
After returning home from the war he decided to embrace the faith of his forefathers, and underwent a formal return to Judaism before a rabbinical court in Spanish Morocco in December 1920.
Based in the northern Portuguese city of Oporto, Barros Basto launched a public campaign to convince other Anousim to emerge from centuries of hiding and rejoin their people. This dashing war hero traveled among the villages and towns of the area, bedecked in his military uniform, holding Jewish services and seeking to inspire others to follow his example.
He succeeded in building the beautiful Mekor Haim synagogue, which still stands in Oporto, and opened a yeshiva that operated for nine years, teaching young Anousim about their heritage. Singlehandedly he produced a Jewish newspaper and was responsible for the publication of numerous books on Jewish history, law and lore in Portuguese.
But his open profession of Judaism, and the thousands of people whom historians say he inspired, did not sit well with the government, or the Church authorities of the time. They sought to quell his nascent movement by bringing false charges of moral debauchery against him.
Though the local prosecutor filed charges against Barros Basto, the case was dropped after two years, in 1937, for lack of evidence. Nevertheless, in 1943, Portugal's Ministry of Defense expelled him from the army, unjustly humiliating him and bringing about an end to his efforts to reawaken Portugal's Anousim.
He died in 1961, a broken man.
And so, whereas Dreyfus was eventually pardoned in 1899 and restored to the French army in 1906 with full honors, Barros Basto went to the grave without justice ever being served.
When I first learned of his story on a visit to Portugal last fall, I was livid with rage. How could it be that so many years have passed without the injustice done to this valiant, heroic figure being rectified? And so, earlier this year I launched a public campaign under the auspices of Amishav, the organization I direct in Jerusalem, seeking to persuade the Portuguese government to clear Capt. Barros Basto's name.
In a meeting with the Portuguese ambassador to Tel Aviv I asked that his government acknowledge Barros Basto's innocence and apologize for the hurt this chapter has caused to both his family and the Jewish people. Similar appeals were sent to the Portuguese government and its representatives abroad.
American Jewish organizations such as the Conference of Presidents, the Orthodox Union and the Religious Zionists of America have all joined the campaign, writing to the Portuguese ambassador to Washington about the Barros Basto case.
And US Congressman Gary Ackerman, a member of the House International Relations Committee, has also spoken out, urging the Portuguese to resolve the matter.
Thus far, however, there has not been any progress. The stain on this noble man's name has yet to be removed.
In a time when Israel finds itself targeted by terror it may seem incongruous to be concerning ourselves with such a symbolic cause. But symbols still have meaning, and it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to right this historical wrong.
Barros Basto was a courageous figure who stood up for the Jewish people, defying the powers that be to help his brethren. When anti-Semitism victimizes such a person, be it in 1943 or 2003, how can we possibly remain silent?
More pressure must be brought to bear on the Portuguese government to address this matter, and so the issue may be laid to rest once and for all. Contact your local Portuguese embassy or write to Portugal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: and ask them why they have not yet resolved this important case.
Captain Arthur Carlos de Barros Basto risked his career and reputation on behalf of his people, the Jewish people. The least we can do in return is see that the dignity so unjustly taken away from him is restored.

Sunday 24 February 2008

Israel on trial in Brussels - a prelude to Durban II?

The latest in a long list of initiatives in Europe to demonise Israel

A so-called peoples' tribunal is convening in Brussels this weekend to put Israel on trial for crimes purportedly committed by the Israeli army during the 2006 Lebanon war.

The name of Pierre Galand, President of the French-speaking Belgian Secularist association (Centre d'Action Laïque, a member of the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU), the world union of Humanist organisations), features on the tribunal committee sponsorship list. He is a long-time rabid critic and demoniser of Israel.

This is how NGO Monitor described Pierre Galand in 2004:

"There are very few radical NGO activities in the United Nations or in Europe in which Pierre Galand does not actively participate. His rhetoric of hatred, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism (disguised, as in the case of many other members of the political NGO community, in the language of human rights and sympathy for Palestinian victimization), includes references to Israeli "aggression", "war crimes", "colonization", "apartheid", etc. while referring to Palestinian terror as "heroic" and in need of international protection."

In 2001, Pierre Galand attended the UN anti-racist conference in Durban in his capacity as European Chairman of the Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), a Brussels based association of NGOs cooperating with the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. At the conference, he called for the reactivation a peoples' tribunal to judge Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, and announced that he had the support of the Rossel and Danièle Mitterrand (the widow of French President François Mitterrand) Foundations, and that Nobel Prize winners would be associated with the tribunal. He had Desmond Tutu in mind.

The peoples' tribunal has finally come into being seven years later in Brussels this weekend. But the sponsorship committee list falls short of Mr. Galand's grandiose expectations. There is no trace of any foundation or Nobel prize winner. No religious leaders, no scholars, no universities either. And no trace of his fellow secularists, free thinkers, humanists, rationalists, atheists either. The media have kept mum about the event.

Altough the pseudo-tribunal is a farce, it would be unwise not to denounce it. It is a dire warning of what Durban II is likely to turn into - another exercise in the demonisation of Israel, with some Europeans taking the leading role. It proves that a small group of single-minded individuals and NGOs (Amnesty International and HRW will, according to the programme, participate) with a anti-Israel agenda are capable of collecting substantial funds and resources to put together an event like the one taking place in Brussels.

For them, the only rogue state in the world is Israel. They are not intent on bringing the Sudanese government on trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity, or worse: genocide, committed in Darfur.

"Inside the Durban debacle", by Michael J. Jordan, Salon:

"During one street rally, they saw a placard that read "Hitler Should Have Finished the Job" and heard someone yell "Kill the Jews." Nearby, a man was reportedly spotted selling the most notorious and conspiratorial of anti-Semitic tracts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Inside the U.N. conference grounds and within its tents, the rhetoric and agitprop were also white hot. Fliers were found with Hitler's photo above the question: "What if I had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed." A press conference held by the Jewish caucus was cut short by a rowdy group of Iranian women, one of whom screamed, "Six million dead and you're holding the world hostage!"

Israel's supporters, it should be noted, usually hold their own in the media and intellectual debate. But at the Durban conference, the Jewish side came armed with little more than position papers, books and other workshop materials, and was overmatched. Thrown on the defensive, they responded by quickly printing and handing out T-shirts of their own, one with a peace sign inside the Jewish Star of David under the slogan "Fight Racism, Not Jews" and a second with Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote: "When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews."

And certainly they had their high-profile defenders. When U.N. officials appeared ready to tolerate inflammatory anti-Israel language making its way into a final conference report, U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., the top Democrat in the U.S. delegation, said sharply, "What you have here is the paradox of an anti-racism conference that is itself racist." Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor sitting in Congress and a co-founder of its human rights caucus, blasted delegates from Western nations who he said were privately disgusted with the proceedings but refused to speak out."

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Over half the Dutch would vote for a Jewish prime minister

Considering the biased way in which the Israeli-Arab conflict is reported in the European media (although they are careful to state that criticism is only levelled at the government and not at the people of Israel or the Jews, the confusion is inevitable), it is not surprising that only 53% of the Dutch would vote for a Jewish PM.

Manfred Gerstenfeld comments in TJP:

"A poll taken earlier this month found that only 53 percent of the Dutch would consider voting for a Jewish prime minister. In the rankings, Jews figured far behind women (93%), homosexuals (78%) and blacks (75%), but well before Muslims (27%) and people over 70.

… a report by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) on the steep rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands was not even mentioned by most major dailies, according to Elma Drayer, a prominent Dutch columnist writing recently in the daily Trouw. She stressed that, on the other hand, there was huge interest in improving the chances of survival of a chestnut tree that the late Anne Frank could see from her hiding place. Drayer drew attention to the tendency of many Dutch to embrace dead Jews while keeping their distance from living ones. …

Much has been written about how Jews have supposedly successfully integrated into the Netherlands. This poll, however, proves again that the widespread social anti-Semitism so prevalent before WWII has far from disappeared. Nowadays, moreover, the main characteristics of classic anti-Semitism have mutated into a "new anti-Semitism" which expresses itself in the double standards applied in Dutch circles to Israel, compared to their criticism of other countries.

One former senior Dutch cabinet minister told me recently: "If I were a Jew, I would not want my children to grow up here. I would tell them to emigrate to the United States, Israel or Australia. In view of the present mood and developments in the Netherlands, Jews should realize that there is no future for them here as they will continue to be less and less welcome." …

People can learn much from the Netherlands poll. The Dutch should ponder what it means that so many of them are still discriminating against Jews - of which there are so few, who so much resemble other Dutch, and whose ancestors came to the Netherlands 400 years ago."

Sunday 17 February 2008

Zan Studio: Palestinian artists show Pope as US warrior

Where is the outrage when Palestinian artists of the Zan Studio of Ramallah depict the Pope in such a disrespectful way?

The IHT reports:
"Police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on Tuesday for planning to kill a cartoonist who drew one of the cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper two years ago that roused a storm of protest in Muslim countries.
Fifteen Danish newspapers reprinted his drawing on Wednesday in protest against the alleged murder plot.
Several hundred Muslims gathered in central Copenhagen on Friday to protest against publication of the cartoon. Most Muslims consider depictions of the founder of Islam offensive.
Social workers said the arrests, the reprinting of the cartoon and protests against its appearance might have fuelled the riots.
Publication of the cartoons two years ago led to protests and rioting in Muslim countries in which at least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked."

See: Zan Studio of Ramallah - anti-Israeli artists invited to Belgium

Thursday 14 February 2008

List of French Jews accused of controlling and destroying France

Whereas the publication of a list targeting 160 Italian Jewish university professors accused of lobbying in favour of the "Zionists" has caused widespread indignation (see Engage and Bennauro) and led to the closing down of the site and for an investigation to be launched, there is also a long list of French Jews accused of "controlling and destroying France" - and guilty of lobbying for Israel - which did not make the headlines.

The list is careful not to designate them as French Jews, but only as Jews: Jewishness being their nationality.

It was posted on 14 January on the French people, make yourselves heard! (Français, exprime-toi!) blog and is entitled "List: Jews who control and destroy France" ("Liste Juifs qui dominent et détruisent la France"). Two days later, a further 17 names were added.

It lists Jews, half-Jews and maybes, and comprises scholars, politicians, journalists, comedians, writers, artists etc.! Several blogs have asked for the list to be removed but without success so far.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

For sale: The Manual of Inquisitors by Nicholas Eymerich

A copy of The Manual of Inquisitors, written in the 14th century by Nicholas Eymerich and published in Portuguese by Edições Afrodite in 1972, recently came up for sale for Euro 40.

Interestingly, it was classified under: "Portuguese-Jewish culture, Marranism, History". As the juxtaposition of culture/persecution reveals, Jews were routinely treated with the most horrendous cruelty in Europe. And to illustrate the point, this is how the booksellers casually present the book: "This volume contains some basic texts for the study of the Inquisitorial Institution. At its base there is the text of the Manual of the Inquisitors, whose first printed publication was of 1578 (but two centuries before it was already famous and celebrated) and it is presented as an important work in all the legal literature that was in force in the Peninsula. Initially it is a result of the work of Friar Nicolau Emérico (1320-1399) of the Order of the Preachers and the grand inquisitor of Aragão, where he became famous for his great competence in the subject and where he began building his Directorium Inquisitorum". How extraordinary: "famous for his great competence in the subject"!

Biographical details from
Nicholas Eymerich (c. 1320 - 4 January, 1399) was a Roman Catholic theologian and inquisitor general of the Inquisition of the Crown of Aragon in the later half of the 14th century. He is best known for authoring the Directorium Inquisitorum.

He entered the local monastery of the Dominican Order on 4 August, 1334.In 1357, Eymerich replaced Nicola Roselli as the Inquisitor General of Aragon, as Roselli had been raised to a cardinal. A year after obtaining the position, Eymerich was given the honorific Chaplain of the Pope as a recognition of his diligence in pursuing heretics and blasphemers. However, the zeal he displayed as inquisitor general earned him many enemies, including King Peter IV of Aragon. Peter IV sought to have Eymerich removed from office in 1360 when the inquisition interrogated the Franciscan spiritualist, Nicholas of Calabria.

A further example of Eymerich as inquisitor general is his sentence of the Jew, Astruc Dapiera in 1370. Dapiera was a native of Barcelona accused of sorcery. He was sentenced to publicly repent in a cathedral, and then to life imprisonment. Eymerich also ordered the piercing of heretics' tongues with a nail so they could not blaspheme. He was the first inquisitor to get around the Church's prohibition against torturing a subject twice by interpreting directive very liberally, permitting a separate instance of torture for a separate charge of heresy.

His epitaph describes him as praedicator veridicus, inquisitor intrepidus, doctor egregius.

Eymerich's most prominent and enduring work was the Directorium Inquisitorum, which he had composed as early as 1376. It defined witchcraft, and described means for discovering witches. In compiling the book, Eymerich used many of the magic texts he had previously confiscated from accused sorcerers. The Directorium Inquisitorum was to become the definitive handbook of procedure for the Spanish Inquisition until into the seventeenth century.

Thursday 7 February 2008

Zan Studio of Ramallah - anti-Israeli artists invited to Belgium

A major Palestinian cultural festival - Masarat/Palestine - is taking place this year in Brussels and Wallonia (Flanders does not participate). In the run up to the festival, the city of Mons (where the SHAPE is based) held an exhibition of works by Zan Studio of Ramallah, an "artistic association of young graphic designers", to be repeated later this year. The choice is shocking because Zan Studio militates against the existence of Israel. The organisers could have picked Palestinian artists who think otherwise (see interview below). Zan Studio’s modest artistic talents do not explain the choice either. Why then were they chosen? Israel is celebrating its 60th birthday, but not in Brussels, the capital of Europe!

Basel Nadr, a founding member of Zan Studio, gave an interview to a Belgian NGO and explained his total rejection of Israel. His views are frightening:

"For us, and for the vast majority of Palestinians, Israel, within the 1948 borders, is a colony, and the people, or their descendents, who live there, are colonialists. The creation of Israel is, for us, an unlawful dispossession that began in 1948."
(This is an outright exaggeration – to put it mildly. A recent survey by the Near East Consulting indicates that 72% of Palestinians support a peace settlement with Israel and 69% should change its position regarding Israel.)

"I observe that [Israeli] art is comparable to that of Europeans, Westerns. It serves to prove that they have no links with the land they occupy, its history, its evolution."

"At present, I am opposed to most cooperation projects … For exchanges between artists to take place, we need to be on the same footing or to cooperate in the fight against Zionism. Many of the present initiatives are based on the false idea that peace is possible prior to our recovering all our rights. That’s unacepptable."

The political posters on the Zan Studio website reflect their implacable hostility to Israel, to the U.S. and to the West. All the usual stereotypes are trotted out. One poster accuses Israel of being a criminal State for its supposed incarceration of children, it shows a chained teddy bear with a lock marked "Made in Israel". Another depicts the well-rehearsed half orange/half grenade, labelled "Product of Israel". And, surprise surprise, the Coca Cola can poster, the Johnson's baby shampoo poster, the Picasso’s Guernica poster, and this one.

The festival is being sponsored by the French Community of Belgium. See:
Palestinian festival sparks controversy - Belgium
Wallonia-Brussels presents Masarat/Palestine 2008
Also in Brussels in February 2008:
International citizens' tribunal to try Israel in Brussels
and Solomonia:
Palestinian clowns to tour Belgium
The above poster was sponsored by three Belgian NGOs

Wednesday 6 February 2008

The Archbishop and anti-Semitism, by Stephen Pollard

This piece was posted by Stephen Pollard on his blog:

"Credit where it's due. Rowan Williams, who previously I had thought at best a waste of space and, sometimes, a lot worse in his attitude towards Israel, has made a remarkably strong attack on antisemites and the elision of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

Last week he delivered the Wiener Lecture in the House of Lords. The topic was blasphemy, but his focus was also on how societies should be judged by how they treat 'the other', and especially their Jews:

"Yet again, we should remember some of the history of anti-Semitism. Some of the passionate polemic against Jewish people in the New Testament reflects a situation in which Christian groups were still small and vulnerable over against an entrenched religio-political establishment; but the language is repeated and intensified when the Church is no longer a minority and when Jews have become more vulnerable than ever.

It is part of the pathology of anti-Semitism (as of other irrational group prejudices) that it needs to work with a myth of an apparent minority which is in fact secretly powerful and omnipresent. It is the pattern we see in the workings of the Spanish Inquisition, searching everywhere for Jewish converts who might be backsliding; it is the myth of the Elders of Zion and comparable fantasies of plots for world domination; it is the indiscriminate attribution (not only by certain Muslims) of all the evils of the Western world to an indeterminate 'Zionism'.

A rhetoric shaped by particular circumstances has become so embedded that the actualities of power relations in the real world cannot touch it. There are many instances where the habit of imagining oneself in terms of victimhood has become so entrenched that even one’s own power, felt and exercised, does not alter the mythology.""

Monday 4 February 2008

Tarik Ramadan: "Boycott Israel at the International Book Fair of Turin"

Hopefully, the organisers of the Turin International Book Fair will not cave in to Tarik Ramadan's demand. Posted by Bennauro at Israele senza se e senza ma (Israel without ifs or buts):

"The Union of Arab Writers has written a letter of protest at the designation of Israel as a guest of honour for the next edition of the Turin International Book Fair, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reports. The letter slams Israel's invitation to the event, timed to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.

Yesterday the imperious voice of the self-styled Swiss intellectual, Tariq Ramadan, Hassan al-Banna's grandson, has called for the boycott of the Book Fair. "Whoever has a clear conscience should boycott the Fair and with it whatever comes from Israel" said the islamic reformer, "one of the world’s top 100 intellectuals," as Prospect magazine calls him (ADNKronos).

I would rather agree with writer Paul Berman who, in a much-discussed article in the New Republic last year (June 4), entitled "Who’s afraid of Tariq Ramadan?" accuses Ramadan of being Janus-faced, of presenting himself as a reformer of Islam when he is in fact a die-hard "Islamist".

"A master of Taqqya" I might add.

Barred by the Homeland Security Department in 2004 from entering the United States, where he planned to teach at dhimmified Notre Dame, Mr. Ramadan struggled to look like a "moderate" muslim when, in a televised debate with now French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Ramadan refused to condemn the stoning of women for adultery as prescribed by Islamic law, offering only to institute a temporary moratorium on the practice. Here is the exchange (20 November 2003):

Sarkozy: A moratorium.... Mr. Ramadan, are you serious?

Ramadan: Wait, let me finish.Sarkozy: A moratorium, that is to say, we should, for a while, hold back from stoning women?

Ramadan: No, no, wait.... What does a moratorium mean? A moratorium would mean that we absolutely end the application of all of those penalties, in order to have a true debate. And my position is that if we arrive at a consensus among Muslims, it will necessarily end. But you cannot, you know, when you are in a community.... Today on television, I can please the French people who are watching by saying, "Me, my own position." But my own position doesn't count. What matters is to bring about an evolution in Muslim mentalities, Mr. Sarkozy. It's necessary that you understand....

Sarkozy: But, Mr. Ramadan....

Ramadan: Let me finish.

Sarkozy: Just one point. I understand you, but Muslims are human beings who live in 2003 in France, since we are speaking about the French community, and you have just said something particularly incredible, which is that the stoning of women, yes, the stoning is a bit shocking, but we should simply declare a moratorium, and then we are going to think about it in order to decide if it is good.... But that's monstrous--to stone a woman because she is an adulterer! It's necessary to condemn it!

Ramadan: Mr. Sarkozy, listen well to what I am saying. What I say, my own position, is that the law is not applicable--that's clear. But today, I speak to Muslims around the world and I take part, even in the United States, in the Muslim world.... You should have a pedagogical posture that makes people discuss things. You can decide all by yourself to be a progressive in the communities. That's too easy. Today my position is, that is to say, "We should stop."

Sarkozy: Mr. Ramadan, if it is regressive not to want to stone women, I avow that I am a regressive.

Ladies and gentlemen, this man has called for the boycott of Israel at the International Book Fair of Turin..."

The Daniel Pearl Standard - a responsible journalism

Daniel Pearl was murdered by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan six years ago. His father pays homage to his memory in the WSJ and points to the role played by the media in "fermenting hate and inhumanity". Judea Pearl pleads for a responsible journalism and proposes the Daniel Pearl standard.

"One of the things that saddens me most is that the press and media have had an active, perhaps even major role in fermenting hate and inhumanity. It was not religious fanaticism alone.

This was first brought to my attention by the Pakistani Consul General who came to offer condolences at our home in California. When we spoke about the anti-Semitic element in Danny's murder she said: "What can you expect of these people who never saw a Jew in their lives and who have been exposed, day and night, to televised images of Israeli soldiers targeting and killing Palestinian children."

At the time, it was not clear whether she was trying to exonerate Pakistan from responsibility for Danny's murder, or to pass on the responsibility to European and Arab media for their persistent de-humanization of Jews, Americans and Israelis. The answer was unveiled in 2004, when a friend told me that photos of Muhammad Al Dura were used as background in the video tape of Danny's murder.

Al Dura, readers may recall, is the 12-year-old Palestinian boy who allegedly died from Israeli bullets in Gaza in September of 2001. As we now know, the whole scene is very likely to have been a fraud, choreographed by stringers and cameramen of France 2, the official news channel of France. France 2 aired the tape repeatedly and distributed it all over the world to anyone who needed an excuse to ratchet up anger or violence, among them Danny's killers.

The Pakistani Consul was right. The media cannot be totally exonerated from responsibility for Daniel's murder, as well as for the "tsunami of hate" that has swept the world and continues to rise."

Mr. Pearl is a professor at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (, which is committed to the promotion of East-West understanding, tolerance and humanity.