Wednesday 29 September 2010

Irish Nobel laureate to 'examine' Israel war crimes in London soon

More European anti-Israel initiatives.

- Irish Nobel laureate and boat activist denied Israel entry

More to come.  Mairead Maguire is one of the "personalities" who has confirmed her participation as jury member to "examine" international corporate complicity in Israel’s violations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and war crimes. (See: Anti-Israel "Russell tribunal" coming to London from ... Belgium)

"The second international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will take place in London, on 20, 21 and 22 November 2010. It will examine International corporate complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.

After establishing the responsibilities and obligations of corporations under international law, this session will assess the conduct of a series of companies regarding different aspects of Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinian People. The Tribunal will also seek to uncover the system that allows corporations to act in such unlawful ways, and to show in what ways States and international organisations could be held accountable for this.

During this session, the jury will be examining cases on:
■Corporations providing tangible services and infrastructure that support illegal Israeli settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
■Foreign banks and other financial institutions providing financial services to illegal settlements and Israeli banks etc. trading abroad who provide financial services to illegal settlements.
■Foreign companies that manufacture products inside the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank and Israeli companies that export agricultural and other products from the settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank,
■Foreign companies involved in the export of arms and the infrastructure of war, occupation, colonisation and repression in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israeli companies that export arms and repressive hardware/knowledge abroad

Sunday 26 September 2010

Anti-Israel "Russell tribunal" coming to London from ... Belgium

A top Belgian personality, Pierre Galand, President of the Belgian secular movement, advisor to the Rector of the Free University of Brussels, anti-Israel militant and the initiator of the Tribunal Russell on Palestine will be chairing a fund-raising event at the Molière Theatre in Brussels to bring the "Tribunal" to London. (Special NGO Report: "Pierre Galand (Belgium) Using Political NGOs to Promote Demonization & Anti-Semitism in the UN & EU")

Professor Eric David, also of the  Free University of Brussels, will be there too.  Eric David is the spiritual father of the calamitous and now defunct Belgian Universal Jurisdiction Law, a.k.a. "a law against justice"... and a top Israel-basher.  (Last week: Jewish students denounce Free Brussels University biased debate on Dieudonné)

From the "Tribunal" blog: "Russell Tribunal on Palestine-What's next?

Less than a week after the Barcelona session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, we now have to use the little energy we have left to start thinking about the future.  And the future is London.

The Barcelona session focused on EU obligations and failings. The London session will focus on corporations profiting from the occupation but also on labour rights in Palestine-Israel and the role third party States play in letting those violations take place.

We do not have a definitive date yet for this session but it should hopefully happen towards the end of 2010. [In fact 20, 21 and 22 November.]

The Barcelona session, thanks to the efforts of everyone was a huge success. Those 3 days were fantastic, media interest in Spain at least was very impressive, the feedback I receive everyday from participants is incredibly encouraging and the findings/conclusions of the jury are groundbreaking. (to read conclusions, click here:

Our goal is for the London session to be even better.  For this, we need the support of everyone. The first step is going to be to raise around £60K [approx. 94,290.2 USD]. You can help by donating online here
do also contact me [?] if you know any organisations, foundations, charities, unions, wealthy individuals...that you think might be able to contribute.  Again, our hope is that we will raise those £60K at a "grassroot" level. This is our tribunal. The tribunal of the people.

I'll very much appreciate if you could put me in touch with people, organisations, foundations, charities that you think might be able to help and support our work.  Thanks a million for your help and support."

[1] On the Belgian Universal Jurisdiction Law, see : The Suit Against Sharon in Belgium: A Case Analysis, Manfred Gerstenfeld's interview of Irit Kohn (JCPA)
NGO Monitor's report by Anne Herzberg: NGO "LAWFARE" - Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict Resort to National Courts: Criminal Prosecutions Belgium: Ariel Sharon and the Limits of Universal Jurisdiction, p.p. 23-27

Rotterdam: top official has links to anti-Israel and anti-US radical Turkish organization

A top official in Rotterdam, Bilal Taner, is in contact with a Turkish radical-Islamist organization, which is fiercely anti-Israeli and anti-American, openly supports the Hamas terror organization and glorifies martyrdom for Jihadists.

The warm personal connection with Rotterdam senior adviser Bilal Taner was recently clarified when he was extensively congratulated in an orthodox-religious manner on the Haksöz Haber website for the birth of his daughter. This website serves as a platform for radical Islamists, anti-Israeli and anti-American authors. The radical Turkish movement reject societies which are not based on the Koran.

The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism wrote in a 2005 report that "Haksöz is a Turkish-language Jihad website which glorifies martyrdom, calls for resistance against the occupation in Iraq and the Palestinian territories and shows torture scenes in Iraq". The website shows photos of dead Hamas members with titles such as "to the light of the Koran" and "The martyrs light our way."

The movement supports the armed struggle of Hamas, Which is called a terrorist organization by the EU. In the German-language American Jewish Committee 2006 report "Antisemitism - Made in Iran" (Antisemitismus - Made in Iran) it says: "The goals of Haksöz include uniting Muslims in the battle against Israel and the United States".

The orthodox-religious congratulations to 'our brother in Rotterdam' is signed by prominent members of the Turkish Hasöz Haber movement. Several of the congratulations to the Rotterdam policy official come from important activists who were passengers on the Mavi Marmaris, one of the ship in the flotilla which recently tried to break through the Gaza blockade. The attempt ended in a bloody encounter with the Israeli navy where several people were killed. The dead activists are honored as martyrs by Haksöz.
Read the whole piece here (Islam in Europe and De Telegraaf)

Friday 24 September 2010

Jewish students denounce Free Brussels University biased debate on Dieudonné

"The biggest swindlers of the planet are the Jews. [...] It is necessary to be Jewish to have freedom of expression in France. Death will be more comfortable than surrender to these dogs."

What is so amazing is that the Free University of Brussels believes that Dieudonné - who is not even Belgian - deserves a debate on freedom of expression.  And that the debate is of such importance to the University that a Vice-Rector, Marc Van Damme, acted as a "moderator" ...  The whole episode is even more preposterous because the organisers were expecting that the "debate" would pull crowds of students, but eventually very few people turned up ... How sad and how ridiculous.

BRUSSELS (EJP)---Jewish students organizations this week denounced the decision by a university in Brussels to give a platform of expression to Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a French controversial comic who has been condemned on several occasions for anti-Semitism.

The Union of Jewish students in Belgium (UEJB) and the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) reacted to the organization this week at the Free Brussels University [the "free" means that it is non-confessional, i.e. not Catholic] of a debate on freedom of expression during which a film titled "Is it allowed to discuss with Dieudonne?" was shown to the public.

In this one hour and a half film, made by a journalist and sympathizer, Dieudonné declares that "the biggest swindlers of the planet are the Jews". He continues: "It is necessary to be Jewish to have freedom of expression in France. Death will be more comfortable than surrender to these dogs".  The film also shows Dieudonné’s friendly relations with the leader of the French extreme-right in France, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad.

In a statement, UEJB and EUJS slammed the "partiality" of the moderator, the university’s vice-rector Marc Van Damme, as well as the little place left for the lone contradictor, Joël Kotek, a professor of history at the ULB, who denounced Dieudonné’s racist hatred. The Jewish students said they were shocked by the "tense atmosphere of intimidation with regard to the Jews and the State of Israel which characterized the interventions of a large part of the public". 

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Flemish leader sparks row over Belgium's Nazi past

"It is better to shed light on a society's past without hiding reality," De Wever wrote in a column in De Standaard daily entitled "Flemish Nazis." He accused Walloons of "judging by virtue of a moral superiority that is out of place and based on collective ignorance."

BRUSSELS (AFP)---The leader of the Flemish nationalist party opened a wartime wound in an already divided Belgium on Wednesday, accusing French-speaking Belgians of historical amnesia over collaboration with Nazis.

Smack in the middle of tense coalition talks with French-speaking parties, Bart De Wever sparked a row by charging in a Flemish newspaper column that research on francophone collaboration during World War II was "particularly brief."

Contrary to French-speaking Wallonia, he wrote, Flanders had owned up to its collaborationist past, making it impossible for the Flemish region to "sweep under the rug the 'New Order' temptation as if it had just been a fling."

The head of the N-VA party even used one of Belgium's cultural legacies, comic books, to drive home his point by drawing a parallel between the wartime activities of two iconic artists, one francophone, the other Flemish. Little attention has been paid to the fascist leanings of "Tintin" creator Hergé, he argued, while the family of Flemish comic book writer Willy Vandersteen admitted last week that he made anti-Semitic drawings in 1942.

"It is better to shed light on a society's past without hiding reality," De Wever wrote in a column in De Standaard daily entitled "Flemish Nazis." He accused Walloons of "judging by virtue of a moral superiority that is out of place and based on collective ignorance." [...]

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Casa Sefarad-Israel on anti-Semitism in Spain

Source: Spain, Israel and the Jews blog

The Pew Research Center published a report about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Spain, Poland, Russia, Germany, France, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The report dates from 2008 and showed that 46% of the Spaniards had unfavourable views towards the Jews.  Worried about the results of the report, the Spanish Government made the Casa Sefarad-Israel (an institution centred on the study of Jews and dedicated to foment Spanish-Israeli relations) to take on the issue. Finally, a new report was published, which found the following results:

1) 58.4% of the Spaniards think that the "Jews have much power because they control the economy and the media". Among university students this attitude encompasses the 62.2%, and among people "interested in politics" this attitude encompasses the 70.5%. All of this means that anti-Semitism in Spain is highly worrying and intolerable, due to its level and to the fact that it's higher among educated and informed people.

2) 34.6% of the Spaniards have unfavourable or totally unfavourable opinions about the Jews. This attitude encompasses 34% of the far-rightists (who rate the Jews with 4.9 points in a scale from 1 to 10) and 37.7% of centre-left-wingers (who rate the Jews with 4.6 points in a scale from 1 to 10). This case is unique in Europe because far-rightists show less unpleasantness towards the Jews than centre-left-wingers.

3) Among those who admit to be "unpleasant towards the Jews", 17% of them attribute this attitude to the "Middle East conflict"; 29.6% of them attribute this attitude to "their religion", "their customs", " the way they are", etc.; others among them attribute this attitude to "general unpleasantness", "the power" and "the money"; 17% of them attribute this attitude to reasons they don't know. This means that only a small percentage of the Spaniards show unpleasantness towards the Jews due to "the State of Israel and its policies".

- European Parliament: Spanish representative derides US "Jewish lobby"
- 'The Spanish are not anti-Semitic', they don't know the facts ...
- 46 per cent of Spanish have a negative/very negative view of Jews

Monday 20 September 2010

22nd century - a Europe without Jews ?

In 2080 there will only be 600,000 Jews left in Europe.

Is is estimated that at present there are just over one million Jews in Europe. Every year a significant number of them leave Europe to settle in Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia. (Take the steady flow of departures from France to Israel in 2005: 2,951, 2006: 2,801, 2007: 2,715, 2008: 1;867, 2009: 1,909).  It is anticipated that by 2080 only 600,000 Jews will be living in Europe. It seems that the world will see a 22nd century Europe without Jews.

André Kaspi, a French historian teaching the history of North America at the Sorbonne, writes in his book about American Jews ("Les Juifs américains"):

"After the Holocaust, there were 11 million Jews in the entire planet. Sixty years later, the total rose to 13 million, or 0.20% of world population. In 2080, it is forecast that there will be 15.5 million Jews in the world, assuming an average fertility rate. In addition to the 4 or 5 million that it is assumed will be living in the United States; 10.5 million in Israel, i.e. 67.8%; and 600,000 in Europe. "

Given this demographic trend, a number of controversies which agitate so many Europeans and European Jews - a slowly vanishing population - seem irrelevant.

Sunday 19 September 2010

Ethics: Norway divests from Israel, invests in North Korea

Norway has for "ethical" reasons divested from Israel and denied Israeli companies the right to participate in bids. Aftenposten (16/09) reports that Norway now is investing – albeit indirectly – in North Korea. An official states that this is ethically unproblematic.

Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews
Aftenposten reports that Norway has invested NOK 60 million in the Egyptian telecoms company Orascom, which is the sole concessioneer of 3G mobile networks in North Korea. The company’s venture in North Korea is named Koryolink, and will pay North Korea NOK 2,5 billion over the next three years.

This is yet another case of double standards – one for Israel and one for all other countries. There are two reasons Norway can indulge in this kind of politics: 1) Nobody much cares what Norway does or does not do. Most people are unable to place Norway on the map. 2) Israel has a lot of enemies and they are very much in favor of imposing double standards upon her.

Here is the reason for why Norway will be unable to keep this up indefinately: 1) A lot of people realize that it is counter-productive to base politics on the lobbying efforts of special interest groups. 2) This site, and others as well, are amassing evidence against the government, clearly pointing out how its policies versus Israel is morally flawed as well as undemocratic – it lacks support in the electorate. Sooner or later the balloon will pop, and Humpty Dumpty will fall of the wall.

Friday 17 September 2010

Chomsky ventures into the quagmire of Holocaust deniers - again

Source: Rue 98 (Chomsky se risque encore dans le bourbier des négationnistes by Pascal Riché)

A petition to free Vincent Reynouard, a French negationist,  who is serving a prison sentence and to abrogate the Gayssot Act was initiated by two foremost "experts" on the famous Jewish/Zionist Lobby: Paul-Eric Blanrue and Jean Bricmont (Jean Bricmont is Belgian, he is a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain).  The petition has so far been signed by 1,000 people - not a great success.  The initiators are proud that it has Noam Chomsky's backing.  This is the letter he wrote :

"I understand that Vincent Reynouard has been condemned and jailed under the Gayssot law, and that a petition is being circulated in protest against these actions. I know nothing about Mr. Reynouard, but regard the Gayssot law as entirely illegitimate, inconsistent with the basic principles of a free society as these have been understood since the Enlightenment.

The law in effect grants the state the right to determine historical truth and to punish departure from its edicts, a principle reminiscent of the dark days of Stalinism and Nazism. If the justification of the Gayssot law is to ban "horrendous views", or to protect the right to "live free from fear of an atmosphere" of prejudice and racism, then it should be obvious that, if such laws were applied impartially, they would criminalize a vast range of public discourse, which, however despicable one may find it, should certainly be permitted in a free society, and indeed is, with no question being raised.

Accordingly, I would like to register my support for the petition protesting the application of this law in this (or any) case.
September, 5th 2010."

Pascal Riché notes: "This time Noam Chomsky is much more prudent than in his defense of Robert Faurisson in 1980. When the professor of literature at the University of Lyon was prosecuted for denying the existence of gas chambers, Chomsky signed a petition defending the right of expression of the French academic, author of "historical research thorough an independent investigation into the issue of the Holocaust"."

Read the whole piece in French HERE.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Belgian NGO incites children to shoot at Israeli soldiers at the Ghent Fair

At the famous and very popular Ghent Festivities, which took place in July, a Flemish NGO had an anti-Israel stand where the big attraction was aimed at children. Young children were invited to shoot at figurines representing Israeli soldiers placed on boats floating in a small aquarium. The weapon for shooting/killing Israelis was a coin and the money thus raised will serve to fund a new hate flotilla. This incitement campaign aimed at children in view of tens of thousands of people didn't seem to meet with the disapproval of the fair organisers, the city authorities, the police or the public.  One can imagine what would have happened if kids had been asked to aim at Muslim soldiers ! We understand that the same NGOs is now looking for a larger fish tank to be exhibited at a fair to be held shortly at another Flemish city ... It has became a tradition to demonize Israel at  Ghent festivals.

Unsurprisingly, no NGO was there to draw attention to the plight of the Roma in Europe ...  In July the great and the good were not yet interested in their fate.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Norwegian politician backs vicious anti-Israel art (Cliff Hotel - an Odyssey)

Kjetil Finne's comment is interesting: "When the entire Western world believes it is uncomplicated to use the mullah-cartoons, surely I must be able to use the star of David".  What motivates and enrages him and many others in Europe is the spurious belief that the one billion plus Muslims are powerless and being threatened by Israel, the Jews and the West ...
Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews

A Norwegian politician is helping Norwegian artist Kjetil Finne display his art at the offices of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Finne’s art is based on the Cliff Hotel, which is claimed by a Norwegian woman employed at the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority.

It’s not one piece either, but an entire collection. NRK reports:

"The exhibition “Cliff Hotel – An Odyssey” is a strong attack on the Israeli occupation and confiscation of Palestinian property. It sets out from Cliff Hotel, which in its time was an assembly point for foreign intellectuals, authors, artists and journalists. Israel used the socalled absentee law against the owners of the hotel and his Norwegian wife. […]

The exhibition “Cliff Hotel – An Odyssey” contains photographs from the occupied West bank, manipulated with Jewish symbols and political quotes.

Monday 13 September 2010

Europe Reverts to Type - The EU's response to anti-Semitism? "No comment." (WSJ)

"As part of his defense, Mr. De Gucht insisted he was only offering his "personal point of view," and not those of the European Commission as a whole. He shouldn't be so modest. He has his constituency. It's why he remains in office. It's why Europe's future is beginning to look increasingly like Europe's past." (Bret Stephens is right - De Gucht enjoys widespread support in the EU as Belgian newspaper stated:  De Gucht broke taboos re the Jewish Lobby and Jewish irrationality)

"But whatever Mr. De Gucht's motives, the more interesting phenomenon has been the European non-reaction. "No comment," says a spokesman for German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. "Our position on anti-Semitism is very clear but we have no comments on other people's statements," says a spokesman for Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. "High Representative [Catherine] Ashton is confident [De Gucht] didn't mean any offense, and that he apologized," says a spokeswoman for the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. "He made personal comments for which he expressed his personal regret and there is no further comment to make," says a spokesman for the European Commission."

Source: Wall Street Journal (Europe Reverts to Type - The EU's response to anti-Semitism? "No comment."Bret Stephens)

If a top European mandarin mouths off about Jews and the rest of Europe's political class acts like it's no big deal, does that make them cowards, accomplices—or just politically astute? Probably all three.

Earlier this month, Karel De Gucht, the European Union's trade commissioner and a former foreign minister of Belgium, gave an interview to a Flemish radio station in which he offered the view that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were sure to founder on two accounts: first, because Jews are excessively influential in the U.S; second, because they are not the sorts to be reasoned with.

"Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill," Mr. De Gucht said, dispensing with the usual fine-grained, face-saving distinction about the difference between a "Jewish" and an "Israel" lobby. "This is the best organized lobby, you shouldn't underestimate the grip it has on American politics—no matter whether it's Republicans or Democrats."

Yet again ... EU Commission President "vigorously" condemns anti-Semitism

What should José Manuel Durão Barroso be doing - condemning anti-Semitism or condemning anti-Semites ?  Who are the anti-Semites the Commission constantly pledges to fight Or is it just a question of nice but empty words ?  (See: European Union invites extremist Muslim representatives to interfaith dialogue)

EJP : In a Jewish New Year greeting, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said Europeans need to condemn anti-Semitism.

"For us all, fellow Europeans, remembrance means to vigorously condemn any forms of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination on the basis of belief," Barroso writes in a letter to Rabbi Levi Matusof on behalf of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE). "Be assured of my commitment and determination in pursuing that cause," he adds.

Barroso’s comments come only days after European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht made remarks on the Jews perceived as anti-Semitic, in an interview with the Belgian Flemish radio. De Gucht launched a diatribe about the power of the ‘Jewish lobby’ in the U.S. and appeared to indicate that Jews are irrational when it comes to the Israel and the Middle East conflict "because there is a belief among most Jews that they’re right."  A European Commission spokesman said last week that President José Manuel Baroso will not sanction Commissioner Karel De Gucht for his comments on Jews he made in a radio interview, despite calls that he be fired. "On the basis of the reassurances given by Mr De Gucht to President Barroso, the president considers that the incident is closed," the spokesman said. Earlier, the Commission stressed that De Gucht’s remarks were "personal comments" that in no way reflected the position of the EU regarding the Israeli-Palestinian talks and the Middle East peace process.

Sunday 12 September 2010

The double standards and selective silence of the Red Cross

Yet another European NGO engaging in Israel and Jew bashing.

Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews

The Norwegian Red Cross has never managed to visit Hamas’ hostage Gilad Shalit, who is rotting in a underground cell somewhere in Gaza. The closest the Red Cross has come was in March, when their general secretary Bernt G. Apeland called for Norwegian Jews to be investigated for war-crimes. Some of them, the Red Cross suspected, might have served in the IDF. [Red Cross suggests Norwegian Jews be tried for war-crimes]

Only the month before NTB reported that Norwegians had signed up to fight for the Somali outfit Al-Shabaab. Yet this information did not prompt the Red Cross into calling for investigations. This is a typical example of the double standard which is imposed upon Israel – when Norwegian Jews are suspected of having served in the IDF during the Gaza operation, the Red Cross calls for the Jews to be investigated for war-crimes. Yet when it is verified that Norwegian Muslims are partaking in Jihad for Al-Shabaab, the Red Cross has no comment. In March 2010 this site wrote Bernt G. Apeland of the Red Cross and pointed this double standard out for him. We received no reply. [Letter to Bernt G.Apeland of the Norwegian Red Cross]
Now NRK is again telling us of how Scandinavians are being recruited to fight for Al-Shabaab. Perhaps it is time to send Mr. Apeland another e-mail.

Contrast with this treatment by the Red Cross of Hamas operatives:
Israelis to protest Hamas outside of Red Cross Jerusalem compound : A protest movement called "The Wheels of Justice," composed of residents of Jerusalem, will stage a vigil outside of the East Jerusalem headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday to protest the presence of three wanted Hamas leaders in the building. The protest will be continued on a weekly basis, said movement leader David Ish Shalom, until Israeli security forces move to arrest the three men. The fugitives in question, Ahmad Atoun, Khaled Abu Arafa, and Muhhamad Totach, are all representatives of Hamas’ Change and Reform list in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and have camped out in the Sheikh Jarrah building since the June 30 arrest of Hamas MP and former Al Qassam Brigades leader Muhhamad Abu Tir.
Read the whole piece HERE

Paris: Belgian citizen planned terror attack against Jews

Arutz Sheva: French officials said Saturday night that Egyptian authorities recently arrested an Islamic Jihad terrorist who planned to conduct an attack at an IDF fundraising event in Paris. A top official in the French security services said that the terrorist held Belgian and Tunisian citizenship. The terrorist was arrested in Sinai after he emerged from a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza border. Egypt deported him to Belgium, which in turn deported him to France, where he is now being held.

Suicide bomb belts used by Palestinian terroritst/human bombs.

Friday 10 September 2010

European Parliament: Spanish representative derides US "Jewish lobby"

Source: Z-Word (A Spanish Socialist, by Eamonn McDonagh)

Emilio Menéndez del Valle represents Spain’s ruling PSOE party in the European Parliament and was formerly his country’s ambassador to Jordan and Italy. He has an op-ed in yesterday’s El País about the Israel-Palestine negotiations in which he doesn’t hold back on the power of the Jewish lobby in US politics ["poder del lobby judío en EE UU"] and goes so far as to say that America’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been kidnapped by Jewish power. Another brave socialist speaks out about Jewish power. Well done, Emilio.

One particular part of his article deserves special attention. He says that Israel’s claim to be recognized as a Jewish state is a :

"… contradictio in natura given that 20% of the population of Israel is Arab, not Jewish."

So without a uniform national identity among its inhabitants states can’t claim to represent a single national identity. Irony can’t be Menéndez del Valle’s strong point because judged on this basis his own country, the Kingdom of Spain, doesn’t come out very well as it obliges a large minority of its citizens (Catalans, Basques, Muslim inhabitants of the colonial enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and, at least to some degree, Galicians as well) to accept Spanish national identity in spite of the fact that they don’t feel themselves to be Spanish in any way and that they see the Spanish state as robbing them of their right to self-determination.

My advice to Mr. Netanyahu would be that Israel should drop its demand to be a recognized as a Jewish state when the Kingdom of Spain dissolves itself and is replaced by a confederation of independent Iberian nations.

- 35% of Spaniards do not like Jews
- WSJ: anti-Semitic riff by EU Commissioner met with "collective yawn" in Europe

Thursday 9 September 2010

35% of Spaniards do not like Jews

35% of Spaniards have a bad opinion of Jews. The percentage represents 17 million Spaniards. And 11% -  almost 5.2 million people - believe that Israel "must disappear" - more than five million Spanish people want Israel wiped off the map.

Those who commissioned the survey indicate that the 35% figure is "less than expected". Their comment is understandable in the light of previous surveys that put Spain as the most antisemitic country in Europe and with the deluge of anti-Israel info poured on Spaniards on a daily basis, the numbers could have been worse. But they are very bad.

Still it is hard to follow Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, when he indicated at the presentation of the report: "Public opinion in our country is not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel". Well, in arithmetic terms, there is not a majority that holds such obnoxious views but, when in your own country 5 million human beings (so to speak) argue that Israel should disappear and another 17 million say that do not want Jews there is no cause for celebration. Do they really represent the quintessence of tolerance and respect ?

Source: Jorge Marirrodriga @ Sobre Israel opinamos todos (Millones de tolerantes)

- Anti-Semitism in Spain
- 'The Spanish are not anti-Semitic', they don't know the facts ...
- Spanish paper calls Holocaust denier Irving 'expert' on WWII
- Spain's Jewish problem, by Michael Freund
- The anti-Israel hysteria, by Pilar Rahola  

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Tony Blair speaks of European leaders' double standards towards Israel

"Israel lost 1000 citizens to terrorism in the intifada. That equates in UK population terms to 10,000."

"A constant conversation I have with some, by no means all, of my European colleagues is to argue to them: don’t apply rules to the Government of Israel that you would never dream of applying to your own country. In any of our nations, if there were people firing rockets, committing acts of terrorism and living next door to us, our public opinion would go crazy. And any political leader who took the line that we shouldn’t get too excited about it, wouldn’t last long as a political leader. This is a democracy. Israel lost 1000 citizens to terrorism in the intifada. That equates in UK population terms to 10,000. I remember the bomb attacks from Republican terrorism in the 1970’s. There weren’t many arguing for a policy of phlegmatic calm.

So the issue of de-legitimisation is not simply about an overt denial of the State of Israel. It is the application of prejudice in not allowing that Israel has a point of view that should be listened to.

One thing I state repeatedly in interviews about Gaza – despite disagreeing with the previous policy on it – is to say to western media outlets: just at least comprehend why Israel feels as it does. In 2005 it got out of Gaza i.e. ceased occupying it, took over 7000 settlers with it and in return got rockets and terror attacks. Now I know all the counter-arguments about the unilateral nature of the withdrawal, the 2005 Access and Movement agreement and the closure of the crossings. But the fact remains: there is another point of view and you can’t describe it as illegitimate.

This is then hugely heightened by the way things are reported. Here the televisual images – whether in Lebanon, Gaza or indeed any field of conflict – in Afghanistan for example, are so shocking that they tend to overwhelm debate about how or why conflict began. Because Israel – like the US or the UK – has superior force and because in such situations the horrible tragedy is that the innocent die – these images arouse anger, sympathy and a disgust that at one level is completely understandable but at another obscures the difficult choices nations like ours face, when they come under attack."

- Tony Blair welcomes re-start of direct peace talks during Herzliya speech
- Blair: Delegitimization of Israel is affront to humanity

WSJ: anti-Semitic riff by EU Commissioner met with "collective yawn" in Europe

Will Brussels Boycott De Gucht?

The European trade commissioner explains why the 'average' Jew is so irrational.

A decade ago, the European Union enforced a cordon sanitaire around Austria's government after a close election led the Christian Democrats to enter a coalition with Jörg Haider's Freedom Party. Mr. Haider had gained notoriety for praising the "employment policies" of Nazi Germany, so the EU establishment put diplomatic relations with Austria into deep freeze over his party's inclusion in government.

How times change. Last week, the European Commission's own trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, gave vent to his own anti-Semitic riff on Belgian radio. This time, the official reaction seems to be a collective yawn.

The former Belgian foreign minister told VRT radio Thursday that the Mideast peace talks are doomed—thanks to the stubbornness and excessive power of Jews. "Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill," Mr. De Gucht said. "That is the best organized lobby, you shouldn't underestimate the grip it has on American politics—no matter whether it's Republicans or Democrats."

To make sure that listeners understood that he wasn't attacking only certain Jewish organizations, Mr. De Gucht offered his thoughts on the "average" Jew. "Don't underestimate the opinion . . . of the average Jew outside Israel," he said. "There is indeed a belief—it's difficult to describe it otherwise—among most Jews that they are right. And a belief is something that's difficult to counter with rational arguments. And it's not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East."

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Brussels: 60.000 demonstrators against Israel and only 60 to support Roma !

Against Israel (Brussels, 11/1/2009)
"Some of the other protests that took place this weekend in Europe included a march of 60,000 in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday." (Palestine Monitor) (Nazification d'Israël et déferlement antisémite dans les rues de Bruxelles)

For the Roma (Brussels, 4.9.2010)
"Around 60 people gathered on Saturday in front of the French embassy in Brussels to protest against French policies towards Roma." (LLB)

Against stoning (Brussels, 28/08/10)
"Around  350 people demonstrated on Saturday afternoon in front of the Brussels Court House against the condemnation to death by stoning of the Iranian Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani." (7sur7)

- Photos of an anti-Israel demonstration in Brussels  (31/1/2008)

Monday 6 September 2010

Adam Levick looks at antisemitc cartoons by two friends: Ben Heine and Carlos Latuff

Source: Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

In his essay "Anti-Semitic Cartoons on Progressive Blogs", Adam Levick refers to a cartoon by Ben Heine published on Daily Kos (he was eventually barred from posting on the site):

"In a post entitled "Zionism was and remains a racist ideology," Daily Kos blogger Ben Heine - who also participated in the Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Competition [see "Welcome Home" cartoon below]- shows Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman as Adolf Hitler. Any pretense that this cartoon only vilifies Lieberman can be refuted by the word Zionism colored in blood in the background, along with the vicious-looking skull in Lieberman's hand wrapped with the Israeli flag. Though the image, and accompanying text, was removed from Daily Kos, merely citing "copyright reasons," the post attracted 564 comments, many of them defending the cartoon. One such comment suggested that "the artist was not claiming Jews are Hitler. He was [merely] comparing the behavior of Avigdor Lieberman to Hitler.""  (Heine's blog: "The Artwork That Ate  Israel" note the clever use of the word "Ate Israel" or "Hate Israel")

Ben Heine's "mighty pen against IsraHell's war crimes"

Following his ousting from Daily Kos, due of course to the dirty tricks of the racist Zionists, Latuff promptly came to Heine's rescue.  Heine wrote, with his usual arrogance, on (2007) :
"This is a drawing by the talented Brazilian cartoonist and friend of mine Carlos Latuff.  Latuff actually drew this image to take my defence after my portrait of Avigdor Lieberman was censored at Daily Kos, one of the most popular North American Websites, considered to be progressive, which I now think is not so true... [Adam Levick on Latuff: "Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian political activist and cartoonist with a staggering portfolio of political cartoons, many of which openly express antisemitic themes. He advances the narrative that Israel is a unique and immutable evil in the world. His work includes imagery clearly indicating moral equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany, which he has explicitly acknowledged to be his view. The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism noted that Latuff's "portrayal of [former] Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is reminiscent of the antisemitic Julius Streicher's [Nazi publication] Der Sturmer."[...] Latuff participated in the 2006 Iranian International Holocaust Cartoon Competition, and won second place for his cartoon comparing Israel's West Bank barrier with the Nazi concentration camps. Ian Black, writing for The Guardian, a daily not known for its philo-Semitic tendencies, noted that Latuff was among those cartoonists "drawing, without inhibition, on judeophobic stereotypes in the service of the anti-globalisation movement Latuff also has employed antiblack racist themes in criticizing President Barack Obama."]  

Here is what Carlos Latuff wrote : "Ben Heine is another artist who dares to produce art on behalf of the Palestinians, encouraging their resistance and exposing Israeli atrocities. And, as any pro-Palestine artist, he's been targeted by Zionists, with all those notorious allegations of "anti-Semitism" and stuff. Not a big surprise. Harassment of critics is a standard procedure by Israeli apartheid supporters. But, as I said to Ben, who's a good friend of mine and a brother-in-arts, slurs and defamation against him are nothing if compared with the suffering Palestinians are facing for decades. Be sure Ben will keep raising his mighty pen against IsraHell's war crimes. He's a friend of Palestine."
James Bond = James Heine by Latuff - Ben Heine's page on deviantArt.

Heine submitted this drawing "Welcome Home" at the Teheran Holocaust cartoon contest:
- Ben Heine 'rectifies' the Israelly flag
- Ben Heine cartoon - Student website bans anti-Semitic group
- Ben Heine insults Christians and Jews 

Sunday 5 September 2010

Belgian newspaper: De Gucht broke taboos re the Jewish Lobby and Jewish irrationality

Is EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht only saying out loud what everybody at the EU is thinking in private  but keeping silent for fear of being called an antisemite ? 

- EU Commissioner derides 'Jewish Lobby' in the US
- EU Commissioner warns of 'Jewish lobby' grip on US politics

Belgian newspaper Le Soir ran an article about this subjet: "Karel De Gucht brave les tabous" (Karel De Gucht breaks the taboos - note the plural and the "the").  In the paper version the introduction to the article reads as follows (translated) :

Essential background :
- Former Foreign Affairs Minister speaks of the weight of the American Jewish lobby and of the conviction Jews have of being always right about the Middle East.
- Jewish organisations make grave accusations.
- Is it appropriate to say in public what everybody thinks in private ?

The journalist, Maroun Labaki who covers EU affairs for Le Soir, goes on to write that Karel De Gucht's words are unusual coming from a high-ranking European politician because it is not "politically correct" to say such things and because of the fear of being accused of antisemitism.  They therefore use less explicit formulations ...

He further hints that such could be the views of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs too.

Le Soir (like the other main francophone Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique) is notoriously anti-Israel.  In the same issue, writing on Thilo Sarrazin who said that Jews share a common gene, the paper has four other pieces on how crazy Israelis are about Jewish genes (superior of course) and also reports on terrible racism in some quarters of Israel society.  The paper makes Israelis look bad for not making a big fuss about Dr. Sarrazin's "racist" "pamphlet" ... Needless to say that Le Soir is making a terrible fuss about this story.

And by the way, De Gucht has expressed regrets - he did neither offer an apology nor take back his accusations.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Appeal to probe Amnesty’s Israel biases

Amnesty’s “biased agenda ignores systemic human rights violations by the regimes in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Gaza, and many other countries, and violates the core principle of universality in human rights.”

Yet another European NGO engaged on an anti-Israel campaign.

International human rights’ groups denounces ‘scum state’ comments, but defends work. 

A group of prominent political, academic and Middle East commentators from the international board of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor called on Monday for an “independent evaluation of biases in Amnesty’s activities and publications, particularly related to Israel.”

The head of Amnesty International’s Finnish branch, Frank Johansson [photo], sparked outrage last week when he termed Israel a “scum state” on his blog, a statement he has since removed following The Jerusalem Post’s disclosure of his anti-Israel remarks.

When asked about the NGO Monitor statement seeking an independent inquiry, Susanna Flood, a spokeswoman for Amnesty in London, wrote on Tuesday by e-mail to the Post, “Amnesty International had no need to seek an ‘independent evaluation’ to determine that Frank Johansson’s comments, made in his personal capacity, were inappropriate.”  The NGO Monitor statement was signed by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz; Ruth Wisse, that university’s Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature; Yehuda Avner, a former ambassador to the UK and Australia; Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies’s Committee on Foreign Affairs; Elliott Abrams, a former US deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy; UCLA’s Prof. Judea Pearl, president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation; Mideast expert and commentator Tom Gross; and Douglas Murray, director of the London-based Centre for Social Cohesion think tank.

Friday 3 September 2010

EU Commissioner derides 'Jewish Lobby' in the US

"This is part of a dangerous trend of incitement against Jews and Israel in Europe that needs to be stamped out immediately. The libel of Jewish power is apparently acceptable at the highest levels of the European Union. This should worry everyone who seeks a more tolerant Europe."

Context: EU Commissioner warns of 'Jewish lobby' grip on US politics
EJC demands apology from De Gucht, a former Belgian Foreign Minister; says remarks are part of "a dangerous trend of anti-Semitism in Europe."

The European Jewish Congress has demanded a retraction on Friday from a the European Union official who made anti-Semitic comments on Belgian radio.
Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, was asked about the chances for peace in the Middle East on Belgian Flemis public radio VRT on Thursday, and answered with a tirade about the power of the "Jewish Lobby" in the US. He also insinuated that Jews are irrational when it comes to Israel and the Middle East.

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor [photo] responded: "This is part of a dangerous trend of incitement against Jews and Israel in Europe that needs to be stamped out immediately."

"Once again we hear outrageous anti-Semitism from a senior European official," Kantor said. "The libel of Jewish power is apparently acceptable at the highest levels of the European Union. This should worry everyone who seeks a more tolerant Europe."

Kantor added that the EU commissioner's remarks are part of a new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. "It has somehow become acceptable to attack Jews through Israel, even at the highest levels. The old anti-Semitic libels are remade to fit 21st century hostility to the Jewish state."

De Gucht is one of the most senior officials in the European Union, and was formerly Belgian Foreign Minister. The EJC has called for an immediate retraction and apology from De Gucht.

Article by Lahav Harkov, Jpost

Thursday 2 September 2010

EU Commissioner warns of 'Jewish lobby' grip on US politics

Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, one of the highest ranking officials at the EU, warned this morning on Belgian (Flemish) radio that the Jewish lobby (not pro-Israel lobby) had a grip on US politics. Belgium holds at the present the presidency of the EU. The belief that the US is controlled by Jews is widespread in Europe ...

Source: Luc Van Braekel (Karel De Gucht over de Joden)

One should not underestimate, for instance, the [power] of the Jewish lobby, at Capitol Hill, the American parliament. It is the best organised pressure group there. In other words, one should not underestimate the grip the Jewish lobby has on US politics. Be it with the Democrats or the Republicans, there is little difference.

One should not underestimate the opinion - outside the lobby - of the average Jew who does not live in Israel. There is indeed among most Jews a faith [geloof] - I cannot think of a better way to put it - that they are right. And faith is something difficult to disprove with rational argumentation. It doesn't depend on them being religious or not. Even secular Jews [vrijzinnige] share the same faith of being right. It is therefore not easy, even for a moderate Jew, to talk about what's happening in the Middle East. It's a very emotional issue [for them]."

Dialogue israélo-palestinien: De Gucht sceptique