Category Archives: Middle East
At a time when the most egregious lies about Israel are being devoured eagerly by most of the world, here is a voice of reason. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, writing in The Times this week, said:
If Israel goes down, we all go down
By José María Aznar
For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.
In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.
In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.
In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN.
Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.
Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.
Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.
Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.
For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.
The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfilment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.
The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East.
Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.
Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down.
To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.
The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith.
To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.
This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.
It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.
What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defence of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.
Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.
José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.
Is it any wonder that so many people dislike Israel, when they are bombarded with false information about the Jewish state?
The story below, courtesy of Honest Reporting Canada, is a prime example of the strange…let’s call it carelessness which seems to permeate so much of the new coverage about Israel.
More often than not, the errors and lies are allowed to stand – below is a rare instance of one such ‘mistake’ being corrected:
CBC National Corrects Gaza Infant Mortality Rate Error
June 16, 2010
By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director
Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,
Did CBC falsely imply that Israel was responsible for the death of Gaza babies?
Respected Mideast professor and director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center (GLORIA) asked this very question regarding a June 1 CBC National report which saw Chief Correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, erroneously refer to the Gaza Strip as having “an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world.”
Writing on his blog “Rubin Reports,” Professor Rubin expounded on this misstatement:
“Here’s an example of the insanity and profound anti-Israel bias currently gripping mass media.
On June 1, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) anchorman Peter Mansbridge stated that the Gaza Strip “has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates” The obvious implication: it is Israel’s fault because of its sanctions.
In fact, the Gaza Strip has a lower infant mortality rate than Turkey, which has been a modern republic with full independence for about 80 years, and Iran, which enjoys the “benefits” of the kind of Islamist government which Hamas and the current Turkish government applaud.
According to the CIA World Factbook, regarded as a definitive source, the Infant Mortality Rate in the Gaza Strip is 17.71 deaths per 1000 births, about the same as Mexico and below that of Brazil, Romania, and many other countries. In neighboring Egypt, the number is 26.2, in Turkey, 24.8, and Iran, 34.7.
The kind of coverage given to living standards in the Gaza Strip seems an example of what sometimes seems a principle of Western journalism: Third World suffering is only of interest if it can be blamed on the West. Third World suffering is the world’s lead news story only if it can be blamed on Israel.”
HonestReporting Canada (HRC) communicated our concerns to senior editors at the CBC requesting that a review be conducted and that an on-air correction be issued promptly to remedy this error.
In a written response that was sent to HRC by the CBC, a senior editor said that the mistake was more than just problematic: “In an effort to give viewers a clearer picture of the Gaza Strip, the introduction to the report that night from Washington included statistics about Gaza’s area, population, unemployment and infant mortality rates. However, in one instance, we inadvertently included inaccurate information. In fact – and as Mr. Rubin pointed out – according to the CIA World Factbook, a highly regarded source for such information, Gaza is about half way in a ranking of over 200 countries or regions, (109 out of 224) with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 per thousand live births, a little over four times Israel’s. We regret the error. The Friday night (June 11) editions of The National included an on-air note offering viewers correct information.”
Ms. Hiscox stated the following: “Earlier this month we reported the Gaza Strip has an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world, but according to the CIA World Factbook, Gaza ranks 109 out of 224 regions in the world, with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 deaths per thousand live births.”
While we appreciate and commend the fact that the CBC was quick to investigate this matter and to take the appropriate action in correcting this mistake, with that said, there was no indication given about how this error had occurred and how it had gotten past the trained eyes of the CBC’s most veteran editors. Many questions still remain unanswered such as: What was the source of this original erroneous information? It certainly wasn’t the CIA World Factbook, was it Amnesty International’s (AI) error, as this CBC report attributed various statistics as being derived from AI?
Was this just gross incompetence or intentional subterfuge? And finally, since when did the Palestinians achieve statehood? Why is it that this CBC report included a graphic which referred to the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestine” instead of the Palestinian territories?
We trust that this intervention will serve as a teachable moment for the CBC’s reporters and editors who are keenly aware that their Mideast reporting is being vigilantly watched and scrutinized.
Let’s say it like it is: Jewish blood doesn’t make good headlines.
Nobody gives a damn when young Israeli soldiers are attacked and all but killed by ‘aid workers’ and ‘peace activists’. The only story that sells is when Jews fight – or to be accurate, fight back.
Thus the world media is revelling in the latest clash between Israel and Hamas – and yes, it is between these two factions. Every single person present on that flotilla supported Hamas and its openly stated aim of destroying Israel.
For more detailed and accurate reporting than you’ll get anywhere else, here’s a briefing from the excellent Honest Reporting:
Connected to Terror: Who is Behind the Flotilla?
The organizations and passengers behind the Gaza flotilla have been variously described as “peace activists” and ”humanitarian organizations”. This could not be further from the truth. The primary objective of this flotilla was not to deliver aid packages to Gaza but to spread anti-Israel propaganda in cooperation with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
Playing a central role in the flotilla is the Turkish IHH organization, which besides its legitimate philanthropic activities is also, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a supporter of radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.
Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging ‘direct action’, which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM’s extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike’s Place, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with ”giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas.”
An Al-Jazeera report from May 28, translated below by PMW, shows activists on board before departing for Gaza, chanting Intifada songs aimed at Jews and praising martyrdom. Chants include “Intifada, intifada, intifada! Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” relating to a seventh century massacre of Jews in Khaybar by early Muslims.
“Peace” Activists Used Deadly Violence
Despite claims that the activists on board were only prepared to resist the IDF peacefully, the reality was quite the opposite. Upon boarding the Marmara, owned and operated by the extremist IHH, Israeli naval personnel were attacked by activists who had prepared themselves with weapons including knives and clubs. This, despite the following statement from a Free Gaza spokesperson:
We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.
Is the clip below showing an IDF soldier being attacked with a crowbar “symbolic resistance”?
In addition, IDF forces apprehended two activists holding pistols. The activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. This goes some way to explaining the number of casualties as live fire was exchanged as IDF forces found themselves under severe threat as evidenced by the number of injured Israeli soldiers and the types of injuries.
One soldier suffered a serious head injury, two others were injured by gunshots and one more was stabbed. A total of seven soldiers were wounded – four soldiers were moderately wounded, of which two were initially in critical condition, as well as an additional three soldiers who were lightly wounded.
A First-Hand Account
Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai gives a first-hand account of the incident:
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows….
During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.
Read the full account here.
See the IDF video footage taken from above the boarded vessel, showing Israeli soldiers under attack by clicking on the image below.
See more at the IDF’s YouTube channel.
Propaganda Not Humanitarianism
If there was any doubt that these organizations were unconcerned with universal human rights, this was confirmed by the rejection of a request from the family of Gilad Shalit for activists to pressure Hamas to allow international organizations to bring letters and food packages to the kidnapped soldier in exchange for the family’s support for the international expedition’s attempt to dock in Gaza.
In fact, Israel offered to transfer the supplies on the flotilla to Gaza from Ashdod port through official channels, an offer that was rejected in favor of confrontation on the part of the anti-Israel activists. As flotilla organizer Greta Berlin stated: “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”
The flotilla was clearly warned by the Israeli Navy in advance of the boarding and the offer repeated by the IDF.
A Legitimate and Legal Operation
IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.
Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.
Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.
Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.
Indeed, according to the San Remo Manual that governs international humanitarian law, it is permissible under rule 67(a) to attack neutral vessels on the high seas when the vessels “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”
White House sources have this morning confirmed that Barack Obama is receiving psychiatric care. The problems apparently started a week ago, after the President’s closest aides observed his behaviour becoming increasingly erratic.
But it was after Obama became delusional that alarm grew among his staff. Specifically, one aide has confirmed: ‘It’s all rather embarrassing, actually. The President clearly believed himself to be in charge of, well, planning permission – in Jerusalem.’
It was then that White House staff had to face the fact that Obama was seriously ill.
‘At first I thought he was just stressed,’ states one source who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, ’But then he got on to the phone to the Israeli Ambassador to America and began issuing bizarre instructions’.
Specifically, confirms the aide, Obama ordered the Israeli government to halt work on an apartment building near Sheikh Jarrah.
‘It was embarrassing, to say the least’, confides another aide, ‘There we are with people being killed on the streets of Iran, and there’s Obama marching around the Oval office, screaming down the phone to Tel Aviv about this new block of flats and demanding that it not go ahead!
And the aide continues: ‘It was apparent to everyone there that Obama was delusional. We had no choice but to organise the appropriate help for him.’
Rumours suggest that Obama has been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist, at the White House, and that a medication regime is being set up. Although details of the diagnosis remain under wraps, it’s rumoured that Obama is experiencing some form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Specifically, his staff are hoping that the treatment will help to reduce the American President’s apparent fixation on Israel.
‘His behaviour is troubling, no doubt about it, ‘ stated a member of the secret service, ‘Sometimes, in the early hours of the morning, our boys will come across the President wandering around, muttering and mumbling about ‘that bloody Bibi’. We sure hope he gets better soon.’
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has conveyed his ‘heartfelt wishes for Obama’s speedy recovery’ during a phone call with the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.
He is reported to have said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear of Obama’s difficulties. We will of course disregard his irrational demands over what Israelis can and can’t do in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem. As far as I am concerned, it never happened and I won’t mention it ever again. Our thoughts are with Obama and his family at this time.’
We will update this news story as soon as we get more details – watch this space!
Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe, offers some historical context:
Late last week, the Obama Administration demanded that the Israeli government pull the plug on a planned housing development near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The project, a 20-unit apartment complex, is indisputably legal. The property to be developed – a defunct hotel – was purchased in 1985 and the developer has obtained all the necessary municipal permits.
Why, then, does the administration want the development killed? Because Sheikh Jarrah is in a largely Arab section of Jerusalem and the developers of the planned apartments are Jews. Think about that for a moment. Six months after Barack Obama became the first Black man to move into the previously all-White residential facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he is fighting to prevent integration in Jerusalem.
It is impossible to imagine the opposite scenario. The administration would never demand that Israel prevent Arabs from moving into a Jewish neighborhood. And the Obama Justice Department would unleash seven kinds of hell on anyone who tried to impose racial, ethnic or religious redlining in an American city. In the 21st century, segregation is unthinkable – except, it seems, when it comes to housing Jews in Jerusalem.
It is not easy for Israel’s government to refuse any demand from the United States, which is the Jewish State’s foremost ally. To their credit, Israeli leaders spoke truth to power, and said “no”.
“Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. “This has been the policy of all Israeli governments. There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city’s east. This is the policy of an open city.”
There was a time not so long ago when Jerusalem was anything but an open city. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded eastern Jerusalem, occupied the Old City, and expelled all its Jews – many from families that had lived in the city for centuries.
“As they left,” the acclaimed historian Sir Martin Gilbert later wrote in his 1998 book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, “they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and… the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing.”
For the next 19 years, eastern Jerusalem was barred to Jews, brutally divided from the western part of the city with barbed wire and military fortifications. Dozens of Jewish holy places, including synagogues hundreds of years old, were desecrated or destroyed. Gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were uprooted by the Jordanian army and used to pave latrines. Jerusalem’s most sacred Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum.
It wasn’t until 1967, after Jordan was routed in the Six-Day War, that Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty and religious freedom restored to all. Israelis have vowed ever since that Jerusalem would never again be divided.
And not only Israelis. US policy, laid out in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, recognizes Jerusalem as “a united city administered by Israel” and formally declares that “Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.”
US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have agreed. In former President Bill Clinton’s words, “Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all.”
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said much the same thing. To a 2008 candidate questionnaire that asked about “the likely final status Jerusalem,” Obama replied: “The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement…. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided.”
In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Council, he repeated the point: “Let me be clear… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Palestinian irredentists claim that eastern Jerusalem is historically Arab territory and should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In reality, Jews have always lived in eastern Jerusalem – it is the location of the Old City and its famous Jewish Quarter, after all, not to mention Hebrew University, which was founded in 1918.
The apartment complex that Obama opposes is going up in what was once Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish neighborhood established in 1891. Only from 1948 to 1967 – during the Jordanian occupation – was the eastern part of Israel’s capital “Arab territory”. Palestinians have no more claim to sovereignty there than Russia does in formerly occupied eastern Berlin.
The great obstacle to Middle East peace is not that Jews insist on living among Arabs. It is that Arabs insist that Jews not live among them. If Obama doesn’t yet grasp that, then he has a lot to learn.
This article first appeared in the Boston Globe on July 22, 2009.
Fatah leaders have declared that the group will never agree to recognise Israel’s right to exist – and that it will continue to wage war against the Jewish homeland.
“Fatah does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, nor have we ever asked others to do so,” said senior Fatah member Rafik Natsheh, a close associate of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Natsheh scorned reports that Fatah had called on Hamas to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist: “It’s all media nonsense. We don’t ask other factions to recognize Israel; we ourselves do not recognize Israel.”
Fatah runs the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Authority does recognise Israel; if it didn’t it would be ‘unable to serve the Palestinian people,” Natsheh explained. However, Fatah does not have such constraints.
Fatah will never stop attacking Israel. Natsheh stated: “Let those who are deluding themselves hear: this will never happen.”
A second senior Fatah member, Azzam el-Ahmed, agreed that Fatah would not drop its call to wage war on Israel.
Natsheh and Ahmed gave interviews in advance of the Fatah general assembly in early August, in which the organization will meet to discuss its goals and to hold elections. The meeting will be the first in approximately 20 years.
A Bangladeshi journalist and peace activist is being punished for refusing to condemn Israel. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was charged with sedition, treason and insulting Islam in 2003.
Choudhury, 44, has worked hard to oppose Islamic extremism through his articles, in particular those for the Weekly Blitz which he started in 2003. He has also called for interfaith dialogue and for normalizing relations between Muslim countries and Israel.
Yet this week will see Choudhary back in court, charged with ‘insulting Islam’. It is possible he will be sentenced to death for this ‘sedition’.
In a letter which was made public at the weekend, Choudhary says:
“According to my lawyers in Bangladesh, the government is determined to conclude the trial as soon as possible.No one knows what will be the verdict. But, of course, seeing the past track record, we cannot hold any hope for a good result because the court is not applying its judicial mind, but trying to appease the Islamists.”
Choudhary has already suffered violence for his views. In 2006, his newspaper offices were bombed, after he publicly expressed sympathy for the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam.
And in October of that year, he was attacked in his office by a mob that included prominent members of the then-ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which historically has aligned itself with Islamist parties in the country.
In March 2007, US House Resolution 64 referred to Choudhury and protested his ongoing “harassment and intimidation” as well as his incarceration in 2004 for 17 months without legal recourse, during which he was placed in solitary confinement and “suffered harsh interrogation techniques and received no treatment for a debilitating case of glaucoma.”
The House resolution called for the Bangladeshi government to “immediately drop all pending charges against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury… and take steps to protect Mr. Choudhury.”
Is freedom of speech absolute? Here’s a candid answer: not for readers of my blog. I’ve been pondering ‘freedom of speech’ because I stand accused of ‘blocking opinions differing from your own’. My accuser? A regular poster on Jew With A View that I’ve now had to, reluctantly, bar from posting full stop. Nor do I claim to be ‘right’ in all I say. Indeed, if I make factual errors, I hope someone will correct me and I am most grateful when they do! Hell, I’m appreciative when anyone takes the time to post a comment, and I hope regulars especially, know this Let’s call the person I’ve banned Reader X. He knows who he is. He’s posted many long comments on this blog and that was fine, though I passionately disagree with him. But as he seems a reasonably decent soul, and as he’s taken the trouble to express his views, I’ve welcomed his thoughts. But here’s the thing. Everyone has the right to their own opinions. But nobody has the right to their own facts. That’s where a line exists, and it can’t be crossed if one still wants any form of rational discourse. The discrepancy between these two was illustrated vividly back in 2007 when Oxford University decided to allow known Holocaust Denier David Irving, and his fellow weasel BNP head Nick Griffin, to speak at the Union debate. The move was publicly condemned by Jewish and Muslim students alike, along with anti facism activists and numerous politicians – several of whom cancelled membership of the Oxford Union as a result. But Oxford Union was unrepentant. These two racist twits had, it declared, the right to ‘freedom of speech’. If Irving and Griffin wish to go around peddling their mad and subjective belief that six million Jews did not perish, that is their right to do so – within the confines of their homes and in hushed conversations with their fellow neo Nazis. But once they start publicly twisting and misrepresenting objective facts in their bid to deny history, then no. A thousand times, no. They don’t have any unconditional, inalienable ‘right’ to do that. Nor did Oxford Union have any ‘duty’ to help them. I have the right to declare a disbelief in gravity. Does Oxford Union have any obligation to provide a platform for me to unveil my copious notes and ideas in ‘support’ of this idea…? No, of course not – and nor would Oxford dream of doing so! Yet when it suits, countless individuals and institutions play the ‘freedom of speech’ card in order to promote all manner of absurd, irrational and sometimes dangerous beliefs. Which brings us to Reader X. He has repeatedly stated: ‘I insist that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation’. Nor do I accept that Reader X has any ‘right’ to use my blog to condone bigotry. Last week I posted a story about how a top Obama aide cheerfully shared a platform with a man who then claimed that Hurricane Katrina was G-d’s ‘punishment’ towards Gay people, and that Jews are seeking to ‘control the world’. Most sane people recognise this bigotry towards Gays and Jews for what it is: appalling. Likewise, they understand that it is not OK for a top Obama aide to share a platform with and thus legitimise someone expressing such spite. But what did Reader X think? ‘It’s good that Obama is prepared to talk to lots of people.’ Er, right… In particular, Reader X has condemned my apparent unwillingness to allow dissenting opinions on Israel. So let’s clarify. If someone wants to criticise Israeli policies, they are free to do so. If someone wants to post condemnation of specific decisions made by Israel or particular Israeli politicians, they are free to do this too. If their posts are based on facts and – this is key – an accurate understanding of the situation. But when someone makes it clear that they don’t even know the term ‘palestinian’ always referred to Palestinian Jews, and when they then try and ‘prove’ their case by anecdotal evidence, and when all they do is regurgitate weary old Arab propaganda that has been disproven time and again – then no, I don’t have any obligation to publish this person’s misconceptions. And finally, Reader X, I reserve the right to reject your blatant hypocrisy. For example, you have often stated that you trust the UN. Thus if the UN condemns Israel for something, it is ‘good enough‘ for you – note, I’m using your own words here. Yet at the same time, you ignore that the UN also stated in a resolution that Hezbollah should have disarmed. But you don’t care what the UN says about this. Indeed, only recently you tried to submit a post claiming that Hezbollah has nothing to do with terrorism! Finally, and most egregiously, Reader X, you showed how little value you attache to Jewish life, any Jewish life, by your response to the recent update on murdered and tortured French Jew Ilan Halimi. Responding to this post, what did you say? You spoke of Palestinians in prison in Israel – and did not say a single word about the way that this young French man was abducted, tortured, set alight and killed by French Muslims. Muslims who admitted to being obsessed with killing Jews and who actually phoned the victim’s parents and quoted to them from the Quran. Now of course, you’re not obliged to respond to the Ilan Halimi post at all. But to submit a response to it that totally ignores his death? That is in poor taste and again, just reveals your hypocrisy. You care so much for Palestinian Arabs – yet don’t give a damn when Jewish blood is spilled. And if at any time you decide to adopt a fairer approach, then you are most welcome to post here again. But, until and unless that time arrives, you’ll have to take your right to condone terrorism and bigotry and exercise it on other blogs - ’cause you ‘aint doing it on this one!
I make no apologies for this stance. Only one person has total free speech in this particular arena – and that’s me!
Is freedom of speech absolute?
Here’s a candid answer: not for readers of my blog.
I’ve been pondering ‘freedom of speech’ because I stand accused of ‘blocking opinions differing from your own’. My accuser? A regular poster on Jew With A View that I’ve now had to, reluctantly, bar from posting full stop.
Nor do I claim to be ‘right’ in all I say. Indeed, if I make factual errors, I hope someone will correct me and I am most grateful when they do! Hell, I’m appreciative when anyone takes the time to post a comment, and I hope regulars especially, know this
Let’s call the person I’ve banned Reader X. He knows who he is. He’s posted many long comments on this blog and that was fine, though I passionately disagree with him. But as he seems a reasonably decent soul, and as he’s taken the trouble to express his views, I’ve welcomed his thoughts.
But here’s the thing. Everyone has the right to their own opinions. But nobody has the right to their own facts. That’s where a line exists, and it can’t be crossed if one still wants any form of rational discourse.
The discrepancy between these two was illustrated vividly back in 2007 when Oxford University decided to allow known Holocaust Denier David Irving, and his fellow weasel BNP head Nick Griffin, to speak at the Union debate.
The move was publicly condemned by Jewish and Muslim students alike, along with anti facism activists and numerous politicians – several of whom cancelled membership of the Oxford Union as a result.
But Oxford Union was unrepentant. These two racist twits had, it declared, the right to ‘freedom of speech’.
If Irving and Griffin wish to go around peddling their mad and subjective belief that six million Jews did not perish, that is their right to do so – within the confines of their homes and in hushed conversations with their fellow neo Nazis.
But once they start publicly twisting and misrepresenting objective facts in their bid to deny history, then no. A thousand times, no. They don’t have any unconditional, inalienable ‘right’ to do that. Nor did Oxford Union have any ‘duty’ to help them.
I have the right to declare a disbelief in gravity. Does Oxford Union have any obligation to provide a platform for me to unveil my copious notes and ideas in ‘support’ of this idea…?
No, of course not – and nor would Oxford dream of doing so! Yet when it suits, countless individuals and institutions play the ‘freedom of speech’ card in order to promote all manner of absurd, irrational and sometimes dangerous beliefs.
Which brings us to Reader X. He has repeatedly stated: ‘I insist that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation’.
Nor do I accept that Reader X has any ‘right’ to use my blog to condone bigotry.
Last week I posted a story about how a top Obama aide cheerfully shared a platform with a man who then claimed that Hurricane Katrina was G-d’s ‘punishment’ towards Gay people, and that Jews are seeking to ‘control the world’.
Most sane people recognise this bigotry towards Gays and Jews for what it is: appalling. Likewise, they understand that it is not OK for a top Obama aide to share a platform with and thus legitimise someone expressing such spite.
But what did Reader X think? ‘It’s good that Obama is prepared to talk to lots of people.’
In particular, Reader X has condemned my apparent unwillingness to allow dissenting opinions on Israel. So let’s clarify.
If someone wants to criticise Israeli policies, they are free to do so. If someone wants to post condemnation of specific decisions made by Israel or particular Israeli politicians, they are free to do this too. If their posts are based on facts and – this is key – an accurate understanding of the situation.
But when someone makes it clear that they don’t even know the term ‘palestinian’ always referred to Palestinian Jews, and when they then try and ‘prove’ their case by anecdotal evidence, and when all they do is regurgitate weary old Arab propaganda that has been disproven time and again – then no, I don’t have any obligation to publish this person’s misconceptions.
And finally, Reader X, I reserve the right to reject your blatant hypocrisy. For example, you have often stated that you trust the UN. Thus if the UN condemns Israel for something, it is ‘good enough‘ for you – note, I’m using your own words here.
Yet at the same time, you ignore that the UN also stated in a resolution that Hezbollah should have disarmed. But you don’t care what the UN says about this. Indeed, only recently you tried to submit a post claiming that Hezbollah has nothing to do with terrorism!
Finally, and most egregiously, Reader X, you showed how little value you attache to Jewish life, any Jewish life, by your response to the recent update on murdered and tortured French Jew Ilan Halimi.
Responding to this post, what did you say? You spoke of Palestinians in prison in Israel – and did not say a single word about the way that this young French man was abducted, tortured, set alight and killed by French Muslims. Muslims who admitted to being obsessed with killing Jews and who actually phoned the victim’s parents and quoted to them from the Quran.
Now of course, you’re not obliged to respond to the Ilan Halimi post at all. But to submit a response to it that totally ignores his death? That is in poor taste and again, just reveals your hypocrisy. You care so much for Palestinian Arabs – yet don’t give a damn when Jewish blood is spilled.
And if at any time you decide to adopt a fairer approach, then you are most welcome to post here again.
But, until and unless that time arrives, you’ll have to take your right to condone terrorism and bigotry and exercise it on other blogs - ’cause you ‘aint doing it on this one!
.(hat tip Elder Of Ziyon)
When Reuters decided it needed a picture of Palestinian children behind prison bars, what did it do? It used this photograph:
And the caption reads: Palestinian children stand at a gate to the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip during a protest against the Israeli blockade July 13, 2009.
So what’s the problem with it…?
The superb Elder Of Ziyon blog explains:
But which bars to choose? Well, obviously, the most photogenic ones. I know – the Egyptians have some nice blue ones! Let’s go there, to the big gate that stops us from going to Egypt and stops Egyptian goods from being imported to Gaza – and tell the world that we are protesting the Israeli blockade!
This is not an isolated example. Rather, it is typical of the inaccuracy and yes, downright deception which characterises reporting on Israel. If pressed, no doubt Reuters will feign surprise and claim ignorance over the fact that their report blames Israel for something Egypt is doing. Who do they think they are kidding?
This is not just bad journalism.
This is immoral.
David Miliband must have enjoyed himself today. For finally, Britain’s Foreign Secretary got to announce an arms embargo on Israel. Never mind that Britain itself sent soldiers thundering into two foreign countries. The embargo might only have been declared today, but ever since Israel retaliated against Hamas at the end of last year, Britain has been waiting eagerly for this day to arrive.
Indeed, during Operation Cast Lead, nowhere was condemnation of Israel louder than in Britain. It’s a matter of public record that Muslims across the country bombarded their MPs with demands for Britain to sever all ties with the Jewish nation. Three British politicians, including Louise Ellman, received death threats purely because they had the guts to remind both parliament and the media that Israel had endured eight years of terrorism before finally responding.
The British media, led by the Guardian, threw out journalistic ethics entirely, dispensed with context, and swapped fact for fiction as they repeatedly ignored Hamas terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Forget the obscene suicide bombings that Hamas had routinely unleashed on Israel. Forget the roll call of women, children and babies who had died at the hands of Hamas operatives. Forget the fact that when Israel left Gaza, it did so because this departure was deemed – by the international community – to be a necessary condition for DEcreased terrorism.
Forget all that. Nobody gave a damn. Israel had gone into Gaza to get rid of Hamas terrorists and that was all the media and the government cared about. What – Jews, defending themselves? How dare they.
During this period I attended a meeting at the House of Commons, organised in fact by a Christian group whose members were distraught at the way Israel was being demonised. There, we were told by a small number of politicians, that the atmosphere in parliament was ‘poisonous’. An out and out hate-fest was going on, and the few souls who spoke up for Israel were being shouted down and ‘bullied’ on a daily basis.
And so, here we are some months later, and finally the British government has done what it was longing to. In other words, punished Israel, publicly, for fighting its own War On Terror. Britain has revoked five export licenses, in what it calls in Brit-speak, a ‘gesture’.
I’m making a gesture right now, as it happens. It involves the middle finger of my right hand and I’m sure you can imagine to whom I’m directing it.
Because let’s face it, Britain’s hypocrisy here is staggering. How many civilians have died because of British troops, in Afghanistan and Iraq? Only yesterday, reports surfaced of British soldiers’ sadism in these countries. And yet here sits the holier-than-thou British government, judging Israel for trying to protect her own citizens?
Writing about the British government’s arms embargo against Israel, because of Gaza, Melanie Phillips notes:
It says Israel’s actions were “disproportionate.” What is it talking about? The actual evidence showed that the proportion of civilians killed in Gaza was very small – far smaller than might have been expected given the tactics Hamas was using of embedding itself within the population.The claims of large numbers of civilians and children killed were fabricated by Hamas and recycled by the Israel-bashers of the UN and media. Far from being “disproportionate,” Cast Lead was a carefully targeted operation which, given the circumstances, was astonishingly successful in its aim of confining its attack to terrorist operatives.The false flag of “disproportionality” is hoisted only by those who find it “disproportionate” that Israel should ever defend itself against the Palestinians by military means at all. Israelis are expected instead passively to die under rocket and bomb attack – or perhaps live in shelters for ever. That’s proportionate.
Alan Dershowitz is apparently either unable, or unwilling, to talk straight when it comes to Obama‘s hypocrisy re Israel. And it is truly a terrible thing to read Dershowitz’s pathetic rationalisations of the suicidal ‘compromises’ Israel is being pressured to make at the behest of the Obama administration.
Melanie Phillips says it best:
The American lawyer Alan Dershowitz is one of the most prolific, high-profile and indefatiguable defenders of Israel and the Jewish people against the tidal wave of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feeling currently coursing through the west. So a piece by him in the Wall Street Journal giving expression to the rising anxiety being felt about Obama by American Jews naturally arouses great interest.
But just like the majority of American Jews, getting on for 80 per cent of whom voted for Obama, he is a Democrat supporter who is incapable of acknowledging the truth about this President. For most American Jews, the horror of even entertaining the hypothetical possibility that they might ever in a million years have to vote for a Republican is so great they simply cannot see what is staring them in the face — that this Democratic President is lethal for both Israel and the free world.
And in this article Dershowitz shows that he too is just as blind. Acknowledging the anxiety among some American Jews about Obama’s attitude to Israel, Dershowitz concludes uneasily that there isn’t really a problem here because all Obama is doing is putting pressure on Israel over the settlements, which most American Jews don’t support anyway.
But this is totally to miss the point. The pressure over the settlements per se is not the reason for the intense concern. It is instead, first and foremost, the fact that Obama is treating Israel as if it is the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Obama thus inverts aggressor and victim, denying Israel’s six-decade long victimisation and airbrushing out Arab aggression.
The question remains: why has Obama chosen to pick a fight with Israel while soft-soaping Iran which is threatening it with genocide? The answer is obvious: Israel is to be used to buy off Iran just as Czechoslovakia was used at Munich.
Indeed, I would say this is worse even than that, since I suspect that Obama – coming as he does from a radical leftist milieu, with vicious Israel-haters amongst his closest friends — would be doing this to Israel even if Iran was not the problem that it is.
In any event, the double standard is egregious. Obama has torn up his previous understandings with Israel over the settlements while putting no pressure at all on the Palestinians, even though since they are the regional aggressor there can be no peace unless they end their aggression and certainly not until they accept Israel as a Jewish state, which they have said explicitly they will never do.
On this, Obama is totally silent. So too is Dershowitz. That’s some omission.
Next, Obama is pressuring Israel to set up a Palestine state – within two years this will exist, swaggers Rahm Emanuel. But everyone knows that as soon as Israel leaves the West Bank, Hamas – or even worse – will take over. The only reason the (also appalling) Abbas is still in Ramallah, enabling Obama to pretend there is a Palestinian interlocutor for peace, is because the Israelis are keeping Hamas at bay.
Yet Dershowitz writes: “There is no evidence of any weakening of American support for Israel`s right to defend its children from the kind of rocket attacks candidate Obama commented on during his visit to Sderot.”
So what exactly does he think would happen if Israel came out of the West Bank and the Hamas rockets were down the road from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (literally: many in the west have absolutely no idea how tiny Israel is). It’s not a question of Israel’s ‘right to defend its children’.
If Obama has his way, Israel would not be able to defend its children or anyone else, because Obama would have removed its defences by putting its enemies in charge of them.
It is astounding that Dershowitz can’t see this. Then there was Obama’s appalling Cairo speech — which I wrote about here – in which he conspicuously refrained from committing himself to defending Zionism and the Jewish people from the attacks and incitement to genocide against them, but committed himself instead to defending their attackers against ‘negative stereotyping’.
On this, Dershowitz has nothing to say. Worse still, by falsely asserting that the Jewish aspiration for Israel derived from the Holocaust, Obama effectively denied that the Jewish people were in Israel as of right and thus endorsed the core element of the Arab and Muslim propaganda of war and extermination.
On this, Dershowitz has nothing to say. Obama drew a vile – and telling – equivalence between the Nazi extermination camps and the Palestinian ‘refugee’ camps. On this, Dershowitz has nothing to say. Obama`s statement that the Palestinians ‘have suffered in pursuit of a homeland’ was grossly and historically untrue, and again denied Arab aggression. On this, Dershowitz has nothing to say.
Equally vilely, Obama equated genocidal terrorism by the Palestinians with the civil rights movement in America and the resistance against apartheid in South Africa. On all of this, Dershowitz has nothing to say. Dershowitz also grossly underplays the terrible harm Obama is doing to the security not just of Israel but the world through his reckless appeasement of Iran.
In the last few weeks, this has actively undercut the Iranian democrats trying to oust their tyrannical regime, and has actually strengthened that regime. All the evidence suggests ever more strongly that Obama has decided America will ‘live with’ a nuclear Iran, whatever it does to its own people. Which leaves Israel hung out to dry.
But even here, where he is clearly most concerned, Dershowitz scuttles under his comfort blanket – Dennis Ross, who was originally supposed to have been the US special envoy to Iran but was recently announced senior director of the National Security Council and special assistant to the President for the region. It is not at all clear whether this ambiguous development represents a promotion or demotion for Ross.
Either way, for Dershowitz to rest his optimism that Obama’s Iran policy will be all right on the night entirely upon the figure of Dennis Ross is pathetic. Ross, a Jew who played Mr. Nice to Robert Malley’s Mr. Nasty towards Israel in the Camp David debacle under President Clinton, is clearly being used by Obama as a human shield behind which he can bully Israel with impunity.
American Jews assume that his proximity to Obama means the President’s intentions towards Israel are benign. Dazzled by this vision of Ross as the guarantor of Obama’s good faith, they thus ignore altogether the terrible import of the actual words coming out of the President’s mouth.
The fact is that many American Jews are so ignorant of the history of the Jewish people, the centrality of Israel in its history and the legality and justice of its position that they probably saw nothing wrong in Obama saying that the Jewish aspiration for Israel came out of the Holocaust because they think this too.
Nor do they see the appalling double standard in the bullying of Israel over the settlements and what that tells us about Obama’s attitude towards Israel, because – as Dershowitz himself makes all too plain — they too think in much the same way, that the settlements are the principal obstacle to peace. Many if not most American Jews have a highly sentimentalised view of Israel. They never go there, are deeply ignorant of its history and current realities, and are infinitely more concerned with their own view of themselves as social liberals, a view reflected back at themselves through voting for a Democrat President.
Whatever else he is, however, Dershowitz is certainly not ignorant. Which makes this lamentable article all the more revealing, and depressing.
My, how easily the world condones the notion of this new, racist Palestinian state as championed by Obama.
The plan supported by his administration will lead to a new Palestinian Arab nation – in which Jews and maybe also Christians are banned from living.
At the same time, of course, Israel is being told she must kick out Jews in Judea and Samaria, to make way for this new, ‘Judenfrei’ Palestinian Arab state.
The world either doesn’t care, or doesn’t recall, that 80% of what was Palestine is already taken up by Jordan – which is already Judenfrei, as no Jews are permitted to live there.
Has anyone, ever, read any pieces in the international press condemning Jordan for this racism…?
I know I haven’t.
Thus while the world yells in rage the second Israel lifts a finger to respond to Palestinian terrorism, Israel is held to a far higher standard than either Jordan, or any Muslim country, or the new Palestinian state which is being carved out of Israel by the Arabs and Obama.
In other words, land is being taken from Jews, to form part of a Palestinian Arab, Judenfrei state.
And the world nods and smiles and mutters ‘about time’ as it sits back and watches this happen.
So when a few of my regular readers and even blogger friends chastise me for claiming that Obama is less than fair to Israel, well, they can chastise all they want.
What – am I as a Jew now meant to praise an American leader who seeks to turn the only middle eastern democracy into the size of a postage stamp?
Am I expected to cheer the idea of a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel that will serve as a base for yet more terrorism?
The world is, again, either forgetting or ignoring what happened when Israel left Gaza. Israel gave the Palestinian Arabs what they were demanding – and what happened? Increased terrorism.
A new Palestinian Arab state beside Israel will just be Gaza redux. So excuse me if I’m not throwing a party and cracking open the champagne at the prospect.
And just to illustrate how Palestinian Arabs truly feel on these issues, here’s a fascinating glimpse into their hopes for this new state, courtesy of Arutz Sheva:
A survey conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development among 1,200 Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, found that many felt Jerusalem should not be shared with Jews and Christians.
When asked to what extent they agreed with a statement made by Barack Obama that Jerusalem should be “a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims,” less than 17% said they agree, while 20 percent said they “somewhat agree.” More than 42 percent said they disagree with the statement, while 17 percent “somewhat disagree.”
More than 45 percent of those surveyed disagreed with a second statement of Obama’s in which the president called on the Arab world to reject violence and killing as a means of struggle.
Twenty-two percent did not give an answer, while the remainder said they “agree” or “somewhat agree” with the statement.
Roughly 300,000 Jews reside in Judea and Samaria, and approximately 250,000 more live in Jerusalem neighborhoods now being demanded by the Palestinian Authority.
The PA demands that any future Arab state in Judea and Samaria be rid of the current Jewish minority.
Jews are currently allowed full access only to the latter site, while the Tomb of the Patriarchs is split into Jewish and Muslim sections, and Jews are allowed to visit Joseph’s Tomb only intermittently.
I think we can all envisage the rage and the threats 0f violence if Muslims were not allowed total access to their holy sites! Yet many of them would ideally ban Jews and Christians from Jerusalem. Talk about rank hypocrisy.
Jerusalem was holy to Jews and Christians before Islam even existed.
So to those who complain when Jews dare to use words like ‘Judenfrei’ and ‘Judenrein’ in connection with Obama’s plans for a new Palestinian Arab state, I say: tough.
It’s the ugly policy that you should be protesting – not the accurate words Jews use to describe it.
The excellent Elder Of Ziyon blog offers this information about Jordan’s bans on both Jews and Israelis:
In 1933, a number of prominent Arabs in Transjordan asked Great Britain to allow Jews to settle there, to help its ailing economy, and Zionists were enthusiastic about the idea. But since the British saw the riots that were happening in Palestine at the time they didn’t want to worry about more problems of that type, so they created a law banning Jews from living there.
This policy was ratified — after the emirate became a kingdom — by Jordan’s law no. 6, sect. 3, on April 3, 1954, and reactivated in law no. 7, sect. 2, on April 1, 1963.
It states that any person may become a citizen of Jordan unless he is a Jew. King Hussein made peace with Israel in 1994, but the Judenrein legislation remains valid today.
So, yes, Jordan really has a law banning Jews – not Zionists, but Jews – from becoming citizens. And the original source of this law was none other than Great Britain.
Here’s the law: (h/t british18)
The following shall be deemed to be Jordanian nationals:
(1)Any person who has acquired Jordanian nationality or a Jordanian passport under the Jordanian Nationality Law, 1928, as amended, Law No. 6 of 1954 or this Law;
(2)Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954;
(3)Any person whose father holds Jordanian nationality;
(4)Any person born in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of a mother holding Jordanian nationality and of a father of unknown nationality or of a Stateless father or whose filiation is not established;
(5)Any person born in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of unknown parents, as a foundling in the Kingdom shall be considered born in the Kingdom pending evidence to the contrary;
(6)All members of the Bedouin tribes of the North mentioned in paragraph (j) of article 25 of the Provisional Election Law, No. 24 of 1960, who were effectively living in the territories annexed to the Kingdom in 1930.
But what if a Jew wants to become a naturalized citizen? Well…
Any Arab who has resided continuously in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for not less than 15 years may acquire Jordanian nationality, by decision of the Council of Ministers taken on a proposal by the Minister of Internal Affairs, if he renounces his nationality of origin and the law of his country permits him to do so..
‘Judenfrei‘ and ‘Judenrein’
Nazi terms used to designate an area free of Jewish presence. The words bear slightly different connotations; while Judenfrei merely refers to “freeing” an area of all of its Jewish citizens, Judenrein (literally “clean of Jews”) demands that any trace of Jewish blood be removed as an impurity.
Some of the locations declared Judenfrei
Establishments, villages, cities, and regions were declared Judenfrei after they were ethnically cleansed of Jews.
- Gelnhausen, Germany – reported Judenfrei on November 1, 1938 by propaganda newspaper Kinzigwacht after its synagogue was closed and remaining local Jews forced to leave the town.
- German-occupied Luxembourg – reported Judenfrei by the press on October 17, 1941.
- German-occupied Estonia – December, 1941 . Reported as Judenfrei at Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942
- German-occupied Belgrade, Serbia – August, 1942
- Vienna – reported Judenfrei by Alois Brunner on October 9, 1942
- Berlin, Germany – July 16, 1943
Check out also ‘Jordan’s Identity Crisis’ over at Elder Of Ziyon:
Here’s an interesting piece from Arutz Sheva:
Israel: Don’t Blow It Again
by Lee Kaplan
The recent news reports that the IDF Navy boarded the latest ISM boats sailing from Cyprus to Gaza show that the new Netanyahu administration is at least displaying some common sense regarding the International Solidarity Movement.
However, even the Israeli media plays the fool in describing these people on board as “peace activists”.
The most amusing thing about this group, on their seventh voyage to Gaza, is how they claimed in their email communiques that the IDF Navy jammed all their phones, communications and navigation equipment – and then in the next sentence went on to explain their exact position moment to moment at sea and the latest news from their leaders on the boat.
But, then again, lying for activists in the ISM is old hat. Even more amusing are the ranting of “US Presidential candidate” Cynthia McKinney. Israel National News readers should watch this video where McKinney claims 5,000 US citizens were executed with bullets to the head by the Bush administration during the Katrina storm. Yeah, sure, Israel should listen to this world famous politician.
The ISM “peace activists” on board then revealed more lies; they were carrying tons of cement for Gaza, but when captured only had one “symbolic” bag of cement. They also claimed to be carrying tons of medical supplies that just weren’t there. Between screams of “violations of international law” these clowns were busy working again to aid Hamas.
They called on the Red Cross to help them. Funny how they don’t cite international law, nor ask the Red Cross to help get Gilad Shalit released from the Free Gaza group’s Hamas buddies.
But the biggest clown of all on these boat trips is Huwaida Arraf. Ms. Arraf, for some unknown reason, is untouchable by the Israeli justice system even though she is an Israeli-US dual citizen through her father, a former Israeli Arab.
To date – despite admitting at ISM conferences at Duke University and Georgetown over the last few years, and even in a letter to the Washington Post, that she and the ISM work closely with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the PFLP, and despite her rushing into the Church of the Nativity to aid terrorists held up inside, and despite her training international anarchists to come to Israel and assist terrorist groups in fomenting riots and assaults on Israeli soldiers and Border Guards, and despite her interfering with an Israeli soldier in a closed military zone, and now, despite her sailing seven trips illegally to Gaza to bring supplies to Hamas, for which she was given a medal by Ismail Haniyah - the Israeli foreign ministry and justice department still hasn’t made up their minds to prosecute this woman under Israeli law, as an Israeli national, and make her serve jail time.
The ISM is run by the Palestinian Arabs with Saudi money and Iranian help. Its purpose is to roil the war with the Jews until Israel is gone. Everything the ISM does has been with the okay of the Palestinian Fatah leadership. That is, until Fatah began cooperating a little with the Israelis and the ISM leadership felt its fortune should now lie with Hamas.
In America, constant repeat offenders eventually are prosecuted and punished by the law. By what stretch of logic should the foreign ministry in Israel consider not prosecuting and imprisoning Huwaida Arraf?
At the same time, one has to wonder what Ms. Arraf’s relations are with the US State Department. She was an employee of State working in Jerusalem when her husband, Adam Shapiro, another US State Department employee at the time, and Yasser Arafat founded the ISM during the standoff at the Mukata.
The Israeli justice ministry and security services have a slam-dunk case against this woman, and removing her from the international media circus will only serve to hasten an end to the conflict that is supposed to lead to two states (Arraf and company want one state, with Israel destroyed). Arraf already has a battery of Communist lawyers in Israel rushing to her defense. But let’s face it, her rap sheet is so long she can’t possibly beat it this time if any competent prosecutor takes her case; and she does belong in an Israeli jail.
To all this I say: Hear O Israel! Don’t blow it again with the ISM and the Gaza flotilla. Prosecute and punish Huwaida Arraf and send a message that on the next voyage there will be more people on board prosecuted.
Oh, yes, and take their boats and sell them to recover the costs of the IDF Navy having to go out so many times and stop them. The Israeli taxpayers deserve a break for that one also.
Next stop should be to outlaw the ISM altogether as a terrorist support group, which it is.
If Israel can take out the terrorist leadership with Apache helicopters, she should be able to take out Huwaida Arraf simply by enforcing the laws on the books against an Israeli citizen who is violating them.
American Arab journalist Joseph Farah is one of the few commentators who talks straight about what Obama is trying to do to Israel. Here he makes it clear what Obama is really doing:
Barack Obama is taking what he and his administration refer to as “a more balanced approach to Middle East policy.”
Let me explain what that literally means in real terms.
It means the U.S. government is now using its clout with Israel to insist Jews, not Israelis, mind you, but Jews, be disallowed from living in East Jerusalem and the historically Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria, often referred to as the West Bank.
I want you to try to imagine the outrage, the horror, the outcry, the clamoring, the gnashing of teeth that would ensue if Arabs or Muslims were told they could no longer live in certain parts of Israel – let alone their own country.
Of course, that would never happen with “a more balanced approach to the Middle East.”
It’s the 1930s all over again. This time, it’s the enlightened liberal voices of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who are telling Jews where they can live, how they can live and how far they must bend if they want to live at all. I know you haven’t heard it put like this before. I don’t really understand why.
There is simply no other accurate way to explain the machinations behind the latest demands on Israel from the West and the rest of the world. Israel is being reduced to “Auschwitz borders.” Jews have already been told they can no longer live in the Gaza Strip.
Now they are being told they can no longer choose to live in any of the areas being set aside by international elites for a future Palestinian state.
Again, I ask: Why would internationalists seek to create, by definition, a racist, anti-Jewish state that doesn’t even tolerate the mere presence of Jews? Can anyone answer that question for me?
Obama and Clinton – and, thus, by definition, you and me, the taxpayers of the United States – have determined they will yield to the racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic demands of the Palestinian Authority that no Jews be allowed to live in their new state.
I like to think that in any other part of the world, this kind of effort at ethnically cleansing a region would be roundly condemned by all civilized people. Yet, because most people simply don’t understand the clear, official plan by the Arab leaders to force out all Jews from the new Palestinian state, the policies of capitulation retain a degree of sympathy, even political support, from much of the world.
Think about what I am saying: It is the official policy of the Palestinian Authority that all Jews must get off the land! Why is the United States supporting the creation of a new, racist, anti-Semitic hate state? Why is the civilized world viewing this as a prescription for peace in the region? Why is this considered an acceptable idea? Is there any other place in the world where that kind of official policy of racism and ethnic cleansing is tolerated – even condoned?
Why are the rules different in the Middle East? Why are the rules different for Arabs? Why are the rules different for Muslims? Why are U.S. tax dollars supporting the racist, anti-Semitic entity known as the Palestinian Authority?
That’s what we do when we forbid “settlement construction,” repairs, natural growth, additions to existing communities. This is “balance”?
Are there any impositions upon the Arabs and Muslims suggesting they can no longer move to Israel? No.
Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslims suggesting they cannot buy homes in Israel? No.
Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslim suggesting they cannot repair their existing homes in Israel? No.
Are there any impositions on Arabs or Muslims suggesting the cannot build settlements anywhere they like? No.
Now, keep in mind, there are already quite a few Arab and Muslim states in the Middle East. Many of them already forbid Jews to live in them. Some prohibit Christians as well.
But now, the only Jewish state in the world, and one that has a claim on the land dating back to the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is being told Jews must keep off land currently under their own control, but destined for transfer to people who hate them, despise them, want to see them dead and will not even accept living peacefully with them as neighbors.
All the while, Israel continues to hold out its naïve hand of friendship to the Arabs and the Muslims – welcoming them in their own tiny nation surrounded by hateful neighbors.
Arabs and Muslims are offered full citizenship rights – and even serve in elected office. They publish newspapers and broadcast on radio and television freely. But, conversely, Jews are one step away from eviction from homes they have sometimes occupied for generations. Gaza is about to happen all over again.
I hope my Jewish friends remember this well. Many of them voted for Barack Obama. Many of them voted for Hillary Clinton. These are not your friends.
These are the same kinds of people who turned away ships of Jewish refugees from Germany in the 1940s. These are the same kinds of people who appeased Adolf Hitler at Munich. These are the same kinds of people who made the reformation of the modern state of Israel so difficult.
I say: “No more ethnic cleansing. No more official anti-Semitism accepted. No more Jew-bashing. No more telling Jews where they can live, how they can – and if they can live.”
Original article at
This just in from (IsraelNN.com):
U.S. President Barack Obama’s policies have left an Israeli attack on Iran the only option in preventing the Muslim country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton wrote in The Washington Post today.
In an article headlined “Time for an Israeli Strike?” Bolton answered his own question by stating: “Israel’s decision of whether to use military force against Tehran’s nuclear weapons program is more urgent than ever… Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities.”
A long-time supporter of Israel and a harsh critic of the U.N., Bolton claimed that the Iranian nuclear threat “was never in doubt“ during the American presidential campaign, but is even more certain following the apparent failure of the resistance movement in Iran.
Bolton also wrote:
“With no other timely option, the already compelling logic for an Israeli strike is nearly inexorable. Israel is undoubtedly ratcheting forward its decision-making process. President Obama is almost certainly not.”
He chastised the Obama administration for strategic and tactical flaws by continuing its effort to negotiate with Iran. Bolton declared that American officials think Iran will be more anxious than ever to be “accepted” following the alleged rigged victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in last month’s election.
“Tehran isn’t going to negotiate in good faith,” Bolton maintained. “It hasn’t for the past six years with the European Union as our surrogates, and it won’t start now… Second, given Iran’s nuclear progress, even if the stronger sanctions Obama has threatened could be agreed upon, they would not prevent Iran from fabricating weapons and delivery systems when it chooses, as it has been striving to do for the past 20 years. Time is too short, and sanctions failed long ago.”
Bolton expressed fears that President Obama’s “Plan B” would allow Iran to proceed with its nuclear program for peaceful purposes while publicly stating it has no military objectives.
“Obama would define such an outcome as ‘success,’ even though in reality it would hardly be different from what Iran is doing and saying now,” the former ambassador continued.
“Anyone who believes the Revolutionary Guard Corps will abandon its weaponization and ballistic missile programs probably believes that there was no fraud in Iran’s June 12 election.” – John Bolton
Bolton wrote that negotiations with Iran would place Israel in “an even more dangerous trap.”
“Failure to stage a pre-emptive attack on Iran means that the world must be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons, which some, including Obama advisers, believe could be contained and deterred. That is not a hypothesis we should seek to test in the real world. The cost of error could be fatal.”