Friday, 25 February 2011

Fashion: John Galliano arrested for alleged anti-semitic remarks and assault

Source: Vogue (Galliano Arrested?)

British fashion desigver John Galliano has been arrested for an alleged assault, reports on international news agency ATP, via the BBC, suggest this morning.

The Christian Dior creative director was reportedly apprehended in Paris for assault as well as alleged anti-Semitic remarks.

AFP: Le couturier John Galliano interpellé à Paris pour insultes antisémites

Young Socialists poster show Sarkozy as Hitler

This poster by the Movement of Young French socialists.  Young.  Parisian. Sophisticated.  Socialists. Comparing the President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy to Adolf Hitler.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Italian novelist Umberto Eco opposes boycotts of Israel

Eco told reporters that unlike McEwan, he faced no pressure from colleagues to stay away from the Israeli book fair, and he does not support boycotts. "I consider it absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist to identify a scholar, a private citizen, with the politics of his government," Eco said.

Source: Forbes/AP

JERUSALEM -- Renowned Italian writer Umberto Eco said at an Israeli book fair Wednesday that boycotting scholars for their governments' policies is akin to racism.

It was his response to British writers who called on prominent British novelist Ian McEwan to reject an Israeli literary prize this week as a way of protesting Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

McEwan, who wrote the celebrated 2001 novel "Atonement," accepted the Jerusalem Prize at the book fair's opening ceremony earlier this week but peppered his acceptance speech with tough criticism of Israeli policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Eco told reporters that unlike McEwan, he faced no pressure from colleagues to stay away from the Israeli book fair, and he does not support boycotts.

"I consider it absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist to identify a scholar, a private citizen, with the politics of his government," Eco said.

Eco, 79, is the author of best-selling books including "The Name of the Rose" and "Foucault's Pendulum." He is one of Italy's most widely read novelists.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Brussels: Guardian journalist attempted to arrest Avigdor Lieberman

This is how The Guardian writes about its own journalist. 

Israeli foreign minister accused of apartheid in attempted citizen's arrest
Avigdor Lieberman targeted in Brussels by journalist David Cronin, who previously tried to arrest Tony Blair for war crimes

An Irish journalist has attempted a citizen's arrest of the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, outside a meeting of the EU-Israel Association council in Brussels.

"Mr Lieberman, this is a citizen's arrest. You are charged with the crime of apartheid. Please accompany me to the nearest police station," David Cronin told the Israeli minister as he entered the press room of the European council.

Cronin, a freelance journalist who has written for the Economist, the Inter Press Service news agency and the Guardian's Comment is Free, was restrained by security guards and escorted from the building, shouting "Free Palestine".

It is not the first time Cronin, a member of the Brussels press corps since 1998, has attempted such a manoeuvre. Last March he placed his arm on Tony Blair and announced that the former prime minister was under citizen's arrest for his role in the invasion of Iraq.

On that occasion, his press pass was revoked but returned after a warning. The reporter was released without charge after the latest incident . However, Cronin reports that the head of security for the council has informed him that this time the pass will be permanently revoked.

"He told me: 'If you come into my house, you have to behave yourself.' It's a price I'm willing to pay though. Apartheid – the domination by one racial group over another – has been recognised as a crime by the UN since 1973. Israel is an apartheid state, both in the occupied territories and in Israel itself."

Cronin, the author of a new book on EU-Israel relations, returned last week from a tour of Israel and the Palestinian territories organised by the Jimmy Carter Centre and bookshops in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Yoel Mester, a spokesman for the Israeli mission to the EU, said the ambassador will not be pressing for tighter security for future visits of Israeli dignitaries. "This was utterly uncivilised, in bad taste. But Israel, like the EU, is very supportive of free speech. It's just a shame that some people take advantage of that freedom sometimes."  He characterised the 39-year-old journalist as "obviously obsessed with Israel; judging by what he's written, a dedicated anti-Israel activist".

- Guardian journalist shouts anti-Israel slogans at Avigdor Lieberman press conference at EU

Guardian journalist shouts anti-Israel slogans at Avigdor Lieberman press conference at EU

BRUSSELS (EJP)---A Irish journalist shouted “Free Palestine” ,“Israel apartheid state” and “Apartheid is a crime” at the start of a press conference by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with EU officials in Brussels on Tuesday.

Approaching the minister, he shouted: “Mister Lieberman this is a critizen’s arrest. You are charged with the crime of apartheid”.

The man, David Cronin, who writes for several newspapers including The Guardian, The Irish Times and European Voice, was immediately removed from the EU Council press room by security guards.

He reportedly provoked the same kind of incident at a press conference by EU Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair at the European Parliament last year.

If he is a journalist accreditated to the EU, his press card will be confiscated,” one EU official told EJP.

In November, he published a book titled “Europe’s Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation.”

Lieberman attended in Brussels the 10th meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council, the body governing the relations between the two sides.

At the press conference were also Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, whose country currently chairs the EU, and Stefan Fulle, EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargment and Neighborhood Policy.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Spain, Jews and Israel: 25 years after formal relations, Daniel S. Mariaschin

"While many leaders may appreciate Jewish contributions to Spain, an understanding of the larger Middle East picture is less apparent. Given the choice, Spanish governments have too often chosen to view the Israel-Palestinian issue through a narrow lens, which more often than not does not appear to be objective. The continuing impression is that too often the relationship is with the Arab world to the exclusion of Israel."

(EJP) The history of the Jews and Spain was rocky for centuries, with Spain giving Jews a “choice” of expulsion, forced conversion or death in 1492. But a new chapter opened 25 years ago when Spain and Israel established diplomatic relations on January 17, 1986. It was the first time that Spain recognized the State of Israel, and it was a watershed moment for both nations.

What has happened since? The relationship between Spain and Israel, and Spain and Jews has hit a rocky, but hopefully not irreversible, patch.

In what could be a more than problematic development, Spain upgraded its diplomatic relationship with the Palestinian Authority this last fall, perhaps foreshadowing its recognition of a Palestinian state. That possibility, outside of bilateral negotiations, would undermine and jeopardize an already precarious peace process by removing Israel from the equation.

Another disturbing sign of trouble: the Pew Research Center’s 2008 Global Attitudes Project found 46 percent of Spanish residents held an unfavorable view of Jews. Just three years earlier, 21% held an unfavorable view of Jews in a similar survey. These shocking numbers propelled Spain to the top of the list of European nations with a poor view of Jews.

To be sure, this is a distressing development. But the poll cannot be used only to define the relationship between Spain and Jews and Spain and Israel.  These broadly held attitudes must also be viewed as a teachable moment.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

2012 presidential race - anti-Semitism in France under the spotlight

There is nothing surprising in these latest "developments" in France.  Many Europeans believe that Jews are "immigrants" who on the whole have been successful.  Revealingly, Europeans forget that Jews have lived in Europe for many centuries.  But many Jews also agree and are proud to say that they are "well integrated"... thus accepting that Jews are not quite "native" to Europe.  That's the main difference between US and European Jews lies. French historian André Kaspi reckons that by 2080 there will be 600.000 Jews left in Europe.

Source: France 24 (Anti-Semitism in France under the spotlight, by James Creedon)

FRENCH PAPERS, Tues., 15/2/2011: An old French debate has reared its head: is there still a residue of anti-Semitism in France? Le Monde points out that the most popular Google searches for certain politicians like Dominique Strauss-Kahn and François Hollande is their name followed by the world “Jew”. What does this reveal about France’s subconscious?
French right politicians savage IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Sarkozy's undeclared rival for 2012 presidential race

PARIS (AFP-EJP)--  French President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing allies have launched a full-frontal assault on his potential -- but undeclared -- rival in next year's presidential election, IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn's stint at the helm of the International Monetary Fund in Washington does not officially end until September 2012, several months after the scheduled date of France's vote. But the French political world is buzzing with speculation that the man popularly known here as DSK will bring a premature end to his tenure and throw his hat in the ring. And opinion polls suggested he would win the vote if he runs. [...]

In recent days, its leading lights have launched virulent attacks on Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist former Finance Minister whom, ironically, Sarkozy backed to become IMF chief.

They dismissed the silver-haired IMF boss as a rich "champagne socialist," a man who has been away too long to still be in touch with France, and a cosmopolitan type who is not "the image of... the France we love."

It was that last charge, by the leader of the UMP in parliament Christian Jacob, that most angered Strauss-Kahn's Socialist allies, who saw in it veiled anti-Semitism.

Socialist deputy Pierre Moscovici said it "resembles a little the rhetoric of the extreme-right between the two world wars" who used such terms to attack French Jewish Socialists. [...]

Sunday, 13 February 2011

5th anniversary of murder of young French Jew Ilan Halimi

"... they tortured Ilan with particular cruelty simply because he was Jewish" (Nidra Poller)

Ilan Halimi (11 October 1982 - 13 February 2006)

"This young Parisian Jew was kidnapped by a gang of thugs on January 21st and held captive for three weeks. On February 13th, early in the morning, he was found on the edge of a railway station, naked and handcuffed, his body covered with burn marks from acid and cigarettes. He had been savagely tortured and stabbed in the neck. He was not dead yet when discovered, but he died a few minutes later.

Little by little, information emerged about the crime. There were at least fifteen thugs, maybe more. They had used a girl to seduce Halimi into the trap where he was captured. They knew he was a Jew and they had chosen him for that reason. In his pocket they found the phone number of a rabbi and he was the first person they called, telling him: "We have a Jew. The family has to pay. If the family cannot pay, it will be the synagogue." In succeeding days, they called the rabbi again, howling sentences full of hatred. Later, they called the family, asking for $600,000, before lowering the price to $5,000. They spoke to the mother, to Halimi’s sisters, uncle, and father. When they were not asking for money, they were reciting suras from the Quran. In some of the conversations it was possible to hear Halimi screaming in the background. The thugs sent a videotape showing the young man naked, humiliated, handcuffed, just like on a Zarqawi videos from Iraq. [...]" The Murder of Ilan Halimi, by Guy Millière

Ilan Halimi rests in peace in Israel.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The cry of my conscience about my family's Nazi collaboration, Alexandre Jardin

"To burn down a synagogue and liquidate a few Jews, all you need is a handful of violent sadists. But to perpetrate this on a large scale, a moral discourse must be used of a sort that mobilises a great many decent people, who will be even more efficient. My grandfather, a man steeped in Christianity, was one of those people. [...] And all of a sudden, a large section of the press – accustomed to the notion that crimes are the deeds of bastards – were up in arms."

I have read Alexandre Jardin's book.  It is an important book.  It goes a long way to help us, Europeans, understand Europe's deep-seated hostility towards the Jews and especially against Israel today.  As he says : "Vive la France! The one to come, that is."  I agree.

Source: The Guardian

France is a curious country. You can talk about anything here: about paedophilia, about the most shameful passions, but not about our families' dishonour during the second world war – because that particular past just won't pass. Especially if you argue that to have taken part in the worst atrocities of the Nazi occupation one didn't necessarily have to be a monster.

My novels have been read by hundreds of thousands of people in France over the past quarter of a century. I'm reputed to be a lightweight author, drunk on smiley sentimental literature. And then, at nearly 46 years of age – the age at which my father died – I confessed what my immoderate mirth was hiding all along and published a difficult, irrevocable book: Des gens très bien (Very Nice People). This 300-page crime novel, all of a sudden, sparked a crisis.

Why? Because it speaks of the blindness of my family and of our whole nation. Because it evokes the guilt of the upright, morally endowed people who collaborated with nazism and who, definitively, allowed the extermination of the Jews. Because it says that my grandfather was both a fundamentally decent chap and an accessory to utter evil – something our modern brains have a hard time grasping. Because it cries my shame at possessing the genes of a man who collaborated at the highest level.

At 17 I understood that on the day of the Vél d'Hiv roundup, when around 13,000 Jews were arrested in Paris (almost all of whom were exterminated), my grandfather Jean Jardin was the chief collaborator to the most collaborationist of French statesman (Pierre Laval, head of government under Marshal Pétain). At the time, he was the chief of staff in Vichy for the man who wished for "German victory". He was Laval's eyes, his right hand, his mouthpiece – if not his conscience.

Friday, 11 February 2011

EU fumbles as Egypt and the Middle East erupt in violence and unrest

Source: Newsletter of the European Coalition for Israel (a Christian initiative promoting European-Israeli cooperation)

The European Union has found no clear line of policy as Egypt and the rest of the Middle East seem to be sliding deeper into chaos and unrest. The same EU leaders who for years have hailed the Egyptian leader Mubarak as a strong ally and friend have switched allegiance overnight and are now pressing for an immediate toppling of the president without having any clear idea of what may follow if Islamic fundamentalists take over the country.

The hypocrisy and naivety of the EU and the Western world is nothing new. The Iranian revolution had support from Europe. Also the developments in Turkey, where Islamic forces have taken over the government, have been supported by EU pressure for more democracy. Only a few years ago EU support for the Fatah-ruled Palestinian territories was steadfast and any accusation of corruption or mismanagement of funds was clearly rejected by the European Commission. Everything changed overnight when Hamas came to power. Then the EU suddenly blamed it all on ’the corruption of the previous government’. EU policy in the Middle East has sadly proved to be a complete failure.

(The commissioner responsible at the time, Chris Patten, who fervently opposed any transparency in the EU funding of the Palestinian territories, is today an active campaigner against Israel and one of the initiators of the letter written to the EU mentioned in the last issue.)

Today the same EU leaders who criticise Mubarak for non-democratic rule are apparently happy to support the Muslim Brotherhood which openly promotes a world caliphate.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

When European leaders criticise Islam Israel-bashing comes next

After British P.M. David Cameron speech about multiculturalism (i.e. Islam), British Foreign Minister William Hague has harsh words against Israel.  This pattern is repeated time after time.

"The British and other European governments would be well-advised to put more real effort into improving the situation on the ground instead of just taking the backseat and leaving Israel, the only democracy in the region, alone. Talk is cheap, but action is what we need." (Ronald Lauder)

(EJP) --- The World Jewish Congress expressed disappointment about comments made this week by British Foreign Minister William Hague on the Middle East and Israel, calling them "one-sided".

In an interview with The Times in London, Hague said Israel should tone down what he tered its "belligerent" language amid the revolutionary tide sweeping the Arab world, when he was asked to comment recent statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the situation in Egypt.

In a meeting earlier this week with a visting delegation of European parliamentarians, Netanyahu spoke of the possibility that the Islamists in Egypt would exploit the situation in order to gain governance over the country and lead it backwards, in fact warning that Egypt could become a new Iran. He said Israel had to be prepared for "any outcome" in Egypt and "to reinforce its might".

William Hague was quoted by the British newspaper as saying that "this should not be a time for belligerent language".

"It's a time to inject greater urgency into the Middle East peace process," he added.  He also demanded that the Obama administration give a timetable for bringing "greater urgency into the peace process" and for a peace settlement to be based on the borders prior to 1967.

On Wednesday World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder issued a strong statement on Hague’s comments. "Putting undue political pressure on Israel alone, completely neglecting its vital security interests, is counterproductive and unhelpful,” he said, criticizing Europe's political leaders "who on an almost daily basis go around the Middle East lecturing the Israelis about what they should do, and that they should do it now."

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

In Auschwitz, Turkey minister accuses EU of 'racism'

Of course, the proper place to say this for a "moderate" Turkish minister was at a Holocaust commemoration at Auschwitz, and then to provide a clarification ... no offence intended.

The EU risks being besieged by a racist mentality "that emulates the fascist methods of the 1930s," said Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis, speaking at a Holocaust commemoration event in Auschwitz.

A claim by a Turkish minister that the EU risks falling victim to "the facist methods of the 1930s" has drawn a request for clarification, the European Union said Thursday.

Ankara's minister for European Union affairs and its chief negotiator in enlargement talks with the bloc, Egemen Bagis, said at a Holocaust commemoration at Auschwitz this week that the union was at risk from racism.

"The EU, founded in order to eliminate the threats of that period to peace, is today at risk of being overtaken by a racist mentality that... emulates the fascist methods of 1930s," he said.
Read more HERE

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Belgian employer's gift to aliyah employees

Four diamond industry workers' decision to make aliyah from Belgium prompts their employer to make surprise call – open Israeli branch. 'Great opportunity for all of us to make aliyah and continue working in field we love and know,' says one employee

Four Jewish diamond industry workers from Belgium decided to make aliyah in spite of their employer's efforts to convince them to stay. When he realized that he was about to lose them, he decided to open an Israeli branch so that they would continue to work for him in Israel.

The four worked at an international company, a Belgian and South African partnership – working in Antwerp for over 30 years. The company deals with producing diamonds in South Africa and Botswana. The foursome were considered dedicated employees who contributed a lot to the company. They decided to make aliyah together, and last weekend they arrived on special Jewish Agency flights with 200 other olim from France and Belgium.

One of these olim is Ilan Engel (32) who decided to follow his Israeli-born wife to Israel. She returned to Israel with their daughter a year ago, and they will be living in Bat Yam.

Two other employees decided to make aliyah to be with their children and grandchildren in Givat Shmuel and Raanana. The fourth, Julie Aharon (23), single, will be living in Tel Aviv. The company's owner tried to convince the four of them to stay with the company and even promised to give them a raise if they were to reconsider their aliyah decision. When he understood that they were enthusiastic Zionists he surprised them with an announcement: "I'll open an Israeli branch for you."

Monday, 7 February 2011

Belgian students call for boycott of Israel at Brussels tourism fair

BRUSSELS (EJP)---Some 60 pro-Palestinian activists wearing a T-shirt calling for a boycott of Israel circled a Belgian stand promoting Israel at the annual tourism fair in Brussels on Saturday.
The very anti-Israel Belgian Francophone TV channel even covered the event and reported that many of the protesters were students from the Free University of Brussels.  Belgian Jewish leaders, as usual, keep a low profile ... and say nothing.

T-shirt with Carlos Latuff's drawing. See Brussels : IDF child killer Christmas demonstration

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Portuguese 15th c. anti-Semitism compared to Israeli cruelty towards Palestinians

Israel-bashing has become such a sport and Israel-bashers' resources are endless and fanciful.  Joseph Dana [1], a great expert, has come up with a historical comparison that no Portuguese has ever dreamt of.  And in the process he even manages to get his facts wrong.

"Attacking children and youth is one of the most perverse forms of collective punishment. In the 15th century, King Manuel of Portugal [wrong again, it was not King Manuel but his predecessor and cousin, King John II - see below - picture] ordered the first born [wrong] child of almost two thousand Jewish families be banished to the remote island of São Tomé in order to collectively punish [wrong] the Jews for not converting to Christianity upon their arrival to Portugal from Spain. Eventually, Portugal forcibly converted its Jewish population, but over [it is either "almost" as written above or "over" as written here, not both in the same paragraph] 2000 children were banished to the island. [...]

The Portuguese banished Jewish children to a remote island, Israel banishes Palestinian children to remote concrete jails."

Click to enlarge (Pidgins and Creoles: References survey, by John A. Holm)

[1] "Dana’s writing has been published in the Nation, Electronic Intifada, The National, Alternet, Huffington Post, Haaretz and Al Jazzera English. His reporting from the West Bank has been feature in the New York Times." (from his blog)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Spain: more anti-Israel indoctrination in schools

Also: Amnesty International Promotes Anti-Semitism Among Children

Source: Spain, Israel and the Jews

Two Galician associations known as Cosal and Buserana will adhere to the Rumbo a Gaza (literally, Road to Gaza) campaign, officially intended to send another flotilla to the Gaza Strip. They'll also try to gain public support through "informative" activities in schools. Chicha Martínez, member of both of the associations, explained in Cee's municipal plenary room that an agreement was reached in order to perform their activities in schools of Corcubión, Cee and Muxía municipalities, and that the number of schools to visit will grow during the next days.

Martínez's conference in Cee's municipal plenary room was completed with a documentary about the Gaza flotilla stopped by the Tzahal the night between Sunday, May 30, and Monday, May 31, 2010.

First of all, sending another flotilla to the Gaza Strip would be opposed to U.N.R.W.A.'s official policy. Martin Nesirsky, a U.N. spokesperson, explained last July that even the U.N.R.W.A. considers that routes for supplies to enter by land through Israel's border are well established, and that those routes are the way to send the humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Secondly, it should be noted that the last Gaza flotilla seemed to be an act of provocation rather than a humanitarian campaign, if we attend to the evidence that demostrate the pre-planned violence by the activists and I.H.H.'s ties with international terrorism.

Finally, we must ask ourselves about the supposed democratic and legal legitimacy of the arrangement between the aforementioned Galician associations and Corcubión's, Cee's and Muxía's municipal authorities. This is not about teaching schoolchildren lessons on universal human values, democracy or ethics. What Cosal and Buserana associations are trying to do is to gain support by indoctrinating kids into an specific political ideology.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Cairo: Belgian anti-Israel journalist captured, beaten, accused of spying

Serge Dumont is Jewish and his real  name is Maurice Safatti.  He works for the notoriously anti-Israel Belgian newspaper Le Soir and is their correspondent in Israel.  His articles are much appreciated by anti-Zionist blogs such as France Palestine Solidarité. See HERE. Here is what we wrote about him in 2008 : Belgian newspaper Le Soir claims that Israel prefers Western immigrants and which is typical of his style.  We hope that he is safe and that he will be released as soon as possible.

European newspapers are reporting that a Belgian correspondent in Cairo has been beaten, detained and accused of spying.

The papers say Serge Dumont was covering a demonstration in support of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak when he was taken by unidentified people in civilian clothes to a military post, where he was accused of espionage.

Dumont, whose real name is Maurice Sarfatti, reports for newspapers in Brussels, northern France and Geneva.

The papers said that Dumont told them by telephone that he was punched repeatedly in the face Wednesday and called him a supporter of opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei.  The newspapers said they were vigorously protesting what they said was an attack on freedom of information.