IS IT OR ISN’T IT? THAT IS THE QUESTION

Michael Rivero of WRH sent me this one …
hellfreezes
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It’s been over a week since a controversial cartoon appeared in the Sunday Times, but the discussions continue as to whether this work is anti Semitic or not. Comment Is Free at the Guardian joined in today with two interesting viewpoints, one pro, one con. Strange (and welcome) was the view of an Israeli journalist that says the cartoon is definitely not anti Semitic …. see for yourself. Needless to say, hell did not freeze over as a result of the cartoon as the image above might suggest.
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Is the Sunday Times cartoon antisemitic?
Two contrasting views on Gerald Scarfe’s cartoon depicting Binyamin Netanyahu cementing a wall with blood
Mark Gardner and Anshel Pfeffer
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Gerald Scarfe
Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe in his studio at his home in London. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

YES: Mark Gardner

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2013, the Sunday Times ran a cartoon by its famously acerbic cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, that depicts Binyamin Netanyahu using blood to cement a wall that he is building, that has parts of bodies trapped within it. (See it here, on the Commentator website).

The bodies trapped in the wall seem to be more living than dead. They appear to be of various religions or ethnicities, with the youth at the bottom looking as if he could well be Jewish, perhaps wearing a kippah. Women in headscarves can be clearly seen.

The blood drips off Netanyahu’s trowel and oozes between the laid bricks, like wet concrete. The blood is so central to the image that it will, inevitably, bring many Jews (and non-Jews also) to think of the antisemitic Blood Libel: the infamous medieval charge that Jews take the blood of others for religious purpose.

The blood imagery, sometimes explicitly as Blood Libel, is commonly found in obscene anti-Israel propaganda in Arabic and Iranian media. Scarfe’s image comfortably fits within this canon of extreme contemporary anti-Israel hatred.

In response to initial complaints, the Sunday Times pointed out the obvious – that the cartoon is typical Scarfe, that it depicts Benjamin Netanyahu rather than all Jews and that it has been run following Netanyahu’s Israel election victory: This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not antisemitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people.

It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week. The Sunday Times condemns antisemitism, as is clear in the excellent article in today’s Magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organised by David Irving.

As ever, we are immediately drawn into the old “is it antisemitic, isn’t it antisemitic” routine – as if anybody could ever prove what actually goes on in Gerald Scarfe’s head; and as if what goes on in his head is the most important thing in all of this.

For sure, Gerald Scarfe has “a thing” about blood. It is a theme that repeats in his cartoons. For example, his Sunday Times cartoon of 26 February 2012, literally shows Syria’s President Assad guzzling blood from a cup that has “children’s blood” written on it. So, he has not singled out Benjamin Netanyahu for the blood treatment and he is perfectly capable of drawing a full-on blood libel should the mood take him. Neither has Scarfe singled out Netanyahu for physical disfigurement. This is how he draws people, regardless of their nationality or religion.

Unfortunately for Jews – and for satirists — antisemites and antisemitism also have “a thing” about blood; and especially about the allegation that Jews murder others (children in particular) in order to use their blood or organs for heinous purpose. It is a harsh fact that blood has long played a profoundly disturbing part in the history of antisemitism, and this has obvious consequences for Jews and antisemites today. The actual intentions of Gerald Scarfe and the Sunday Times count for very little within this broader context of history, and its contemporary emotional and racist impacts.

So, the cartoon, regardless of the wishes of Scarfe and the Sunday Times, regardless of it specifically being anti-Netahyahu rather than anti-Jew, will seriously distress many Jews and will give pleasure to many antisemites. (Indeed, CST has already received many calls and emails on this cartoon from upset and angry members of the public.) This is, after all, how antisemitism actually works, for its victims and its proponents. For those practical reasons, this cartoon will (like the Dave Brown/Independent cartoon of Ariel Sharon eating babies) be perceived as part of the canon of contemporary antisemitic imagery, as are the many other cartoons that associate Israeli leaders with blood in hideous ways.

And, with the cartoon having been published on Holocaust Memorial Day, its power to offend and upset the emotions of Jews is greatly worsened.

(For more information about the grotesque use of blood in contemporary anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda, see the book “Cartoons and Extremism: Israel and the Jews in Arab and Western media”. Written by Joel Kotek and published with the support of CST, European Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League. Some of its images may be viewed here).

• This article originally appeared on the Community Security Trust blogand is republished with permission

NO: Anshel Pfeffer

A cartoon that appeared in this London’s Sunday Times this week depicting Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, building a wall with blood-red-coloured cement, trapping in between the bricks Palestinian-looking figures, is causing the latest “is-it-or-is-it-not-antisemitism” furore.

The usual suspects have all weighed in: the Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, clamouring for the venerable cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s head and asking how the pro-Israel Sunday Time’s proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, could allow such a travesty.

The accusation is straightforward enough. Scarfe’s drawing is classic antisemitism using typical motifs of judeophobia, and is doubly hateful for having appeared on international Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It is hard to argue that 68 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the hatred of Jews has disappeared from the civilised nations of western Europe, but there are more than enough real manifestations of racism and xenophobia, directed at Jews and other religious and ethnic groups in Britain and the rest of the continent, for us to be spending our efforts confronting. Pillorying Scarfe and his cartoon cheapens a noble cause, as this was not antisemitic by any standard. Here are four reasons why.

1. It is not directed at Jews: There is absolutely nothing in the cartoon which identifies its subject as a Jew. No Star of David or kippa, and though some commentators have claimed Netanyahu’s nose in the cartoon is over-sized, at most this is in line with Scarfe’s style (and that of cartoonists) of slightly exaggerating physical features. Jew noses are prevalent in truly antisemitic cartoons that routinely appear in Arab newspapers – you can find them easily on the web. They are big, bulbous and hooked snouts, and look nothing like Netanyahu’s nose a-la-Scarfe. Furthermore, Netanyahu is an Israeli politician who was just elected by a quarter of Israeli voters, not a Jewish symbol or a global representative of the Jews.

2. It does not use Holocaust imagery: It has become generally accepted – justifiably I think – that comparing Israel’s leaders and policies to those of the Third Reich is borderline, if not full-on, antisemitism. Not only because there is no comparable genocide in human history, but because choosing it to describe the actions of the Jewish state is a nasty slur identifying Israelis as the successors of the Holocaust’s victims turned into perpetrators of a second Holocaust. But there is nothing in Scarfe’s cartoon that can put the Holocaust in mind. Perhaps someone thinks that the wall should remind us of the ghetto, but don’t forget, Scarfe is the original designer of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Should the Sunday Times have not published the cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day? Only if one believes that is a day in which Israeli politicians have immunity from being caricatured. Such a belief would certainly cheapen the memory of the Shoah. The Sunday Times, as it names indicates, appears only on Sundays and this was the end of elections week in Israel – when else did you expect them to feature a cartoon of Netanyahu?

3. There was no discrimination: if Gerald Scarfe had been a benign and gentle artist, treating the subjects of his cartoons with due respect and reverence, sharpening his pencil only on Israeli and Jewish figures, there would be grounds here for assuming he was tainted by the most ancient of hatreds. Anyone who has had even a casual glance at Scarfe’s oeuvre of over half a century knows that is not the case. Netanyahu’s depiction is grossly offensive and unfair, but that is only par for the course for any politician when Scarfe is at his drawing-board. Scarfe has spent his entire career viciously lampooning the high and mighty – Netanyahu is in illustrious company.

4. This is not what a blood libel looks like: Some have claimed that the blood-red cement Netanyahu is using in the cartoon to build his wall indicates a blood libel motif. Well of course it’s blood but is anyone seriously demanding that no cartoon reference to Israeli or Jewish figures can contain a red fluid? The classic European blood libel, like many other classic European creations, had a strict set of images which must always contain a cherubic Gentile child sacrificed by those perfidious Jews, his blood to be used for ritual purposes. It was a direct continuation of the Christ-killer myth.

Scarfe’s cartoon has blood-cement but no blood-libel components – it almost seems he was careful not to include any small children among his Palestinian figures (one of the eight is arguably an adolescent) so as not to have any sort of libel scenery. The blood libel was a terrible feature of Jewish life in Europe up until the beginning of the 20th century, and the myth still occasionally emerges from between the cracks in some east European backwaters to this day. To ascribe Scarfe’s cartoon with any of its features distorts another chapter of Jewish history.

• This article originally appeared on the Haaretz website and is republished with permission

FALSE CRIES OF ANTI SEMITISM AS A MEANS OF FUNDRAISING

  Re: The cartoon at left …. b-Netanyahu_Sunday_Times_Cartoon_13013
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 It’s not a particularly clever cartoon, but, thanks to a distinctly Jewish hysteria that raises its hackles when Israel or its leaders are on the receiving end of a perceived slight, it’s garnered a huge amount of press. The inaccurate accusations of blood libel and anti-Semitism seem to be attempts to stifle such commentary, and, perhaps more importantly, to get figures like Foxman and Hier in the spotlight. Press coverage such as this cartoon has received and, even better, Rupert Murdoch’s tweeted apology for it are fundraising gold for their organizations.
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And yet another toon that appeared recently (by Latuff)
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The irony is that this isn’t an anti-Semitic cartoon at all. It is an attack on Benjamin Netanyahu that accuses him of wringing votes out of Palestinian deaths during the recent conflagration in Gaza. In case the Wiesenthal Center needs a reminder, editorial cartoons typically use extreme exaggeration, as this one does, to make their points. The question this cartoon so indelicately raises is whether it’s possible for a country’s leader to initiate attacks on an enemy in order to gain votes in an upcoming election. Yes, it’s a vicious, one-sided attack, but vicious is standard fare — and should be — for an editorial cartoon.
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Lauff’s response was in the form of still another toon …
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The Cartoon and Anti-Semitic ‘Mission Creep’

By Eddy Portnoy

When it comes to cartoons, it’s usually Muslim fundamentalists that throw hissy fits. But, in a turn of events, some of our storied communal defenders, Abraham Foxman and Marvin Hier among them, have taking the lead. Indiscriminately tossing around accusations of anti-Semitism, our fearless leaders have attacked at least three editorial cartoonists over the past few months on charges that they have defamed the Jewish people.

Representing important institutions, you’d think that Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, and Hier, who represents the Simon Wiesenthal Center, might have figured out how to differentiate an anti-Semitic cartoon from an editorial cartoon that criticizes Israeli policy. Although both are undoubtedly experts on anti-Semitism, they both seem to take leave of their senses when it comes to criticism of Israel. And yet both claim to be ardent supporters of free speech. Except when it comes to that one thing, that Israel thing.

So when the London Times published a cartoon showing Benjamin Netanyahu cementing Palestinians between bricks of a wall, it was a perfect opportunity for Foxman to pipe up, accusing the cartoonist of evoking the blood libel. Britain’s Chief Rabbi opined that the cartoon caused “immense pain to the Jewish community in the UK and around the world.” The Israeli ambassador to Britain, who also chimed in on behalf of the International Jewry, argued that the cartoon added insult to injury, as it was published on European Holocaust Memorial Day.

Okay, so the cartoon and its timing were a bit ham-handed, for which Acting Editor of The Sunday Times Martin Ivens apologized. Gerald Scarfe, who has been visually excoriating British politicians since the late 1960s, was the artist behind Pink Floyd’s, The Wall. It appears, walls are, when all else fails, his fallback metaphor.

Sure, his cartoon wall dripping with Palestinian blood references the separation wall, which incidentally, isn’t particularly newsworthy right now, so it doubles as a symbol of Netanyahu’s recalcitrance vis-à-vis the peace process and how it crushes Palestinian life. Netanyahu comes in for some harsh criticism here, but so do all the other public figures Scarfe has drawn over the years. In fact, compared to Margaret Thatcher, Bibi gets off easy. It’s an obnoxious cartoon, but it’s not anti-Semitic. It’s also been removed from the Times website.

It’s not a particularly clever cartoon, but, thanks to a distinctly Jewish hysteria that raises its hackles when Israel or its leaders are on the receiving end of a perceived slight, it’s garnered a huge amount of press. The inaccurate accusations of blood libel and anti-Semitism seem to be attempts to stifle such commentary, and, perhaps more importantly, to get figures like Foxman and Hier in the spotlight. Press coverage such as this cartoon has received and, even better, Rupert Murdoch’s tweeted apology for it are fundraising gold for their organizations.

Are Jewish leaders and politicians off limits for editorial cartoonists? Are only the most milquetoast criticisms of Israel permitted in an editorial field that is notorious for its brutal critiques? It bears repeating that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. To slap that label wantonly on anything they don’t agree with, Israel’s supporters risk degrading the meaning of anti-Semitism.

It goes without saying that the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center have done great work combatting anti-Semitism and racism. But when they overreach, as they’ve done here, it’s a huge disservice to their cause.

This said, it’s an absolute mystery as to why they missed the chance to attack Guardian cartoonist, Steve Bell’s mid-November piece, which showed Netanyahu as a puppet master, holding up small versions of Tony Blair and William Hague on a podium. Perhaps they felt their British counterparts could handle it on their own, which they did, with the same type of overreactive aplomb.

Again, Bell’s cartoon was aimed only at Bibi and his perceived British minions and not the Jews at large. But, London’s Jewish Chronicle brought out the anti-Semitism charge, and it caused a ruckus. This time, the charge at least had some rationale as Bell unwittingly used an anti-Jewish puppeteer trope that has been around since the Nazi era. While Bell obviously didn’t intend it as such, hypersensitive sensibilities perceived it as crossing a line. Even the Guardian’s Readers Editor agreed. But where were our hall monitors?

At the time, Hier was busy fulminating over a different cartoon, one by Brazilian cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, which showed Netanyahu standing over a ballot box, squeezing votes out of a dead Palestinian child. Hier was so incensed that he put Latuff the No. 3 slot in the Wiesenthal Center’s hokey, year-end top 10 list of anti-Semites, right behind the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

“[It’s] almost worse than an anti-Semitic cartoon,” said Hier in response to the cartoon. What might be worse than an anti-Semitic cartoon isn’t made clear. But, according to Hier, this one nearly crosses the red line that’s apparently after that other red line. The irony is that this isn’t an anti-Semitic cartoon at all. It is an attack on Benjamin Netanyahu that accuses him of wringing votes out of Palestinian deaths during the recent conflagration in Gaza. In case the Wiesenthal Center needs a reminder, editorial cartoons typically use extreme exaggeration, as this one does, to make their points. The question this cartoon so indelicately raises is whether it’s possible for a country’s leader to initiate attacks on an enemy in order to gain votes in an upcoming election. Yes, it’s a vicious, one-sided attack, but vicious is standard fare — and should be — for an editorial cartoon.

That’s really the point here, that editorial cartoons are the angry delinquents of the opinion page, there to ruin the party with their vulgar displays. They pull their political targets apart in ways that text can’t. Their visual lexicon is part joke and part serious. They bend reality in ways that allow barely recognizable figures perform the impossible and still maintain credulity. Most people understand that political cartoons are an integral part of a normative editorial page and accept their distortions as a unique form of critical commentary. The context in which they appear is also important: The Guardian and the London Times are not Der Stuermer. Their existence as part of a free press in a liberal democracy precludes that. Why the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center can’t grasp that is a mystery.

Slapping “anti-Semitism” on every obnoxious editorial cartoon that criticizes Israeli policy is mission creep for Foxman and Hier. There’s plenty of real anti-Semitism out there for them to deal with, and they know it. Genuine, truly rank anti-Semitic cartoons are published frequently throughout the Arabic, Farsi and other presses, cartoons that are not satire, but propaganda. Both organizations know this. But getting an apology Tweet from Rupert Murdoch garners a lot more press than one from an unknown Bahraini editor.

Source
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

ANOTHER ‘JEWHAD’ DECLARED AGAINST A CARTOONIST

Carlos Latuff is not alone in his anti zionist works. As Israel continues with its genocidal policies against the people of Palestine, more works are appearing throughout the media condemning those policies.
But, Israel does not view these works as anti Israel or anti zionist, they view them as anti Semitic. This is one of zion’s oldest tricks …..
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There’s a difference ….. as shown by Pete Pasho
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Latuff’s image depicting a pre election, bloodthirsty Netanyahu won him third place on the Wiesenthal Centre’s Top Ten anti Semitic list’
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Just a few days before the Wiesenthal Centre’s list came out he was cited by the ADL for his works.
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Other cartoonists rocked the foundations of zion by depicting the truth in their works as well, among them was Pat Oliphant for depicting a nazi-like soldier going after innocent civilians in Gaza. Again, anti Semitism or truth?
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This week there was a new twist used by Israel, It is apparently strictly forbidden to criticise or condemn Israeli genocide on International Holocaust Memorial Day. The London Times of Britain ran a cartoon by Gerald Scarfe showing Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of Palestinians. Once again, anti Semitism or truth? Apparently critics of Israel are expected to show some leniency on Holocaust Memorial Day…
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TIMES-CARTOON
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This latest work is the ‘talk of the town’ on the Zio Websites. Surely a work that will ‘win’ Scarfe a place on next year’s hatelist.
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Here’s what the zionists are saying about this latest cartoon (From)
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London Times Cartoon Depicts Benjamin Netanayahu Building Bloody Wall

Image Comes on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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An editorial cartoon showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians and using their blood as cement was published in London’s Sunday Times.

The caption on the cartoon reads: “Israeli Elections… Will Cementing Peace Continue?” The cartoon was drawn by Gerald Scarfe, who drew the cover illustration for Pink Floyd’s 1979 album The Wall. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has been a critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

The cartoon published Sunday – International Holocaust Memorial Day – is “sickening” and “offensive,” the European Jewish Congress said in a statement.

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor called for an apology from the Sunday Times on Sunday.

“This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” Kantor said. “This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”

“Amazingly, as this cartoon was published days after the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, underwent fully democratic elections, as others in the Middle East were being butchered by the tens of thousands, the Sunday Times focuses its imagination solely on the Jewish State,” Kantor said in the statement.

HonestReporting called the cartoon “a blood libel on a day when the millions of victims of the Holocaust are remembered.”

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember the most appalling atrocities carried out in modern history. It should also be a day when the media remembers that Israel’s actions to defend its citizens bear no relation whatsoever to the genocidal crimes of the Nazis. On any day, this cartoon’s imagery is an assault on the real victims of genocide, demeans their suffering and insults their memory. The Sunday Times should be mindful that what started as cartoons in the 1930′s ultimately led to violence and unspeakable tragedy. This is a lesson that The Sunday Times has clearly not absorbed,” said HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams in a statement issued Sunday by the organization.

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 Needless to say, the ADL was one of the first to join the chorus with the following (From) …

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ADL Slams Sunday Times ‘Blood Libel’ Cartoon Published on Holocaust Memorial Day, Calls for Immediate Apology

In an email to The Algemeiner, the Anti Defamation League has slammed Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper for publishing a cartoon  “with a blatantly anti-Semitic theme,” which appeared Sunday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, and has called for an immediate apology.

Raheem Kassam, Editor of The Commentator which first reported on the publication of the shocking image described the cartoon as depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with the blood of Palestinians as they writhe in pain within it.”

“Penned by Gerald Scarfe (the cartoonist behind Pink Floyd’s The Wall), the caption reads: ‘Israeli Elections… Will Cementing Peace Continue?’” added Honest Reporting which also reported on the image.

“The Sunday Times has clearly lost its moral bearings publishing a cartoon with a blatantly anti-Semitic theme and motif which is a modern day evocation of the ancient ‘blood libel’ charge leveled at Jews,” Michael A. Salberg, ADL International Affairs Director told The Algemeiner. “There is nothing subtle about the caricatured image of Prime Minister Netanyahu using Palestinians and their blood to build a wall to ‘protect’ Israelis,” he added.

Salberg called for an immediate response from The Sunday Times saying, “The Sunday Times should be ashamed and should immediately apologize for its gross insensitivity.”

The ADL also made reference to the history of such gross portrayals of Jews and their role in fanning the hatred that led to their slaughter. “This is the stuff which historically justified hatred of Jews and led to the wholesale slaughter of Jews,” he said.

CEO of Honest Reporting, Joe Hyams, added criticism of the publication, saying, “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember the most appalling atrocities carried out in modern history. It should also be a day when the media remembers that Israel’s actions to defend its citizens bear no relation whatsoever to the genocidal crimes of the Nazis. On any day, this cartoon’s imagery is an assault on the real victims of genocide, demeans their suffering and insults their memory. The Sunday Times should be mindful that what started as cartoons in the 1930′s ultimately led to violence and unspeakable tragedy. This is a lesson that The Sunday Times has clearly not absorbed.”

The Sunday Times of owned by News International which is in turn owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. In the past Murdoch has been recognized by a number of Jewish organizationsincluding the Anti Defamation League for his friendship to the Jewish community. Murdoch has been consistently listed by The Algemeiner as one of the “top 10 non-Jews positively influencing the Jewish future.”

When reached on the phone by The Algemeiner a representative of  the News International Press Office would not immediately comment on the cartoon.

UPDATE: The Sunday Times responded to The Algemeiner’s request for comment, issuing the following statement: “This is a typically robust cartoon by Gerald Scarfe. The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week. The Sunday Times condemns anti-Semitism, as is clear in the excellent article in today’s Magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organised by David Irving.”

 

 

JERUSALEM POST JOINS THE FRENZIE OF CREATING ANTI SEMITISM

 A favourite trick of the international zionist movement is the pulling out of the victim or holocaust card whenever they feel it will win friends for them ….
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It’s an old trick as can be seen in this video …
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But, do you see anything anti Semitic with this cartoon in question? The JP obviously does
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‘Sunday Times’ mocks Holocaust with Israel cartoon
On Holocaust Memorial Day, British weekly publishes cartoon depicting big-nosed Netanyahu paving wall with Palestinian blood, limbs.
'Sunday Times' anti-Semitic cartoon
‘Sunday Times’ anti-Semitic cartoon Photo: Courtesy
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The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.

The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled “Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?” Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.

For a larger version of the cartoon, click here

“This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. “This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”

“Amazingly, as this cartoon was published days after the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, underwent fully democratic elections, as others in the Middle East were being butchered by the tens of thousands, the Sunday Timesfocuses its imagination solely on the Jewish State.  This contravenes many of the criteria laid out in EUMC’s Working Definition of Antisemitism and is part of a worrying trend to legitimize the growing assault on Israel by opinion-shapers.”

British anti-Semitism has made headlines throughout the week after Liberal Democrat MP David Ward accused “the Jews” of inflicting violence on Palestinians on a daily basis,” and questioned how they could do this so soon after their “liberation from the death camps.”

He issued something of a backtrack on Saturday evening, in response to condemnation from his party and a huge backlash on social media. “I was trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust,” the MP posted on his website.

“I recognize of course the deep sensitivities of these issues at all times, and particularly on occasions of commemoration such as this weekend [Holocaust Memorial Day],” he said.

He added that his criticisms of Israel “remain as strong as ever.”

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a special tribute to Holocaust survivors on Sunday, in a statement released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Ashton said that the survivors of the Holocaust “remind us of this tragedy that we must never forget.”

IS ZIONISM COPING WITH HISTORY OR REWRITING IT?

rewriting-history (1)
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The attempt to legitimize ziohate continues on a daily basis. Today, the Jerusalem Post joined in the frenzy to help make the Wiesenthal Hate List a reality. Their hatred is now echoed by their partners in Europe. I dealt with this particular issue yesterday, if you missed the post, HERE it is.
Does the following paragraph look anti Semitic to you? Or, does it look like the truth??
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“With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant”


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EJC head blasts ‘Spiegel’ writer for ‘Israel hatred’

European Jewish Congress head Kantor accuses Augstein of using his columns to stoke hate against Israel and Jews.

BERLIN – Dr. Moshe Kantor, the head of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), accused Der Spiegel journalist Jakob Augstein of using his columns to stoke hatred against Israel and Jews.

In a statement given to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Kantor wrote, “Certain journalists and other opinion-shapers, among them Jakob Augstein, over the last few years have used their columns to promote hate and fear of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.”

“Obviously they are not the same thing, but when the age-old canards that were used against Jews for hundreds of years appear to be directly replicated against the Jewish state, this should tell us something about the dangerous lines that these people are treading,” Kantor, who is widely considered a leading authority on contemporary anti-Semitism, continued.

“If these people are using the same unoriginal attacks against the Jewish state as were used against the Jewish people, then we have a right to defend ourselves in exactly the same way and call this hatred for what it is.”

The EJC represents more than 2.5 million Jews throughout Europe, covering 42 national Jewish communities.

Kantor’s remarks differed sharply from Salomon Korn, the vice president of Germany’s Jewish community, who argued that Augstein’s writings are not anti-Semitic.

Korn, along with some German Jewish leaders, was in the minority on the issue among prominent European and American Jewish figures.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center included Augstein in its 2012 list of top ten anti-Semites and haters of Israel because of a steady stream of writings hostile to Jews and Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League told the Post that one of Augstein’s statements – when he wrote, “With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant” – falls into the category of conspiratorial anti- Semitic thinking.

In another piece, Augstein equated Israeli haredim to Islamic terrorists following the “law of revenge.” The left-wing writer said the attacks against him were “defaming critical journalism.”

THE ISRAEL LOBBY’S GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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How you can help change the situation…. Read, sign and circulate the following petition…
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In December 2012, the Simon Wiesenthal Center published a ranking of the “top ten anti-Semites of the world”, citing me, the cartoonist Carlos Latuff, as third on the list for charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s bombing of Gaza .There is much that organizations and individuals try to associate legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and hatred of Jews. Figures as writer José Saramago, the Nobel Peace Prize Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter has been taxed by their anti-Semitic positions regarding the conflict in Palestine.Enough of trying to silence the voice of those who stand up against apartheid imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people. Anti-Semitism can not and should not be used as a political tool. If you are against this manipulation, sign the petition and declare: NO anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism!
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To access the petition, go to THIS site.
Petition can be translated to your language by clicking ‘translate’ at top of page

SIRENS SOUND IN JERUSALEM FOR SECOND TIME …..

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Coincidental timing to show Ban Ki-moon how serious the situation is …. and Hillary is due to land shortly. Israel at its best in pulling out the victim card.
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For the second time since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, an air raid siren sounded in Jerusalem at around 2:15 pm, shortly after the arrival of UN chief Ban Ki-moon to the city.
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From THIS report
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Click HERE to see who the REAL victims are

ISRAEL/IRAN; THE WAR THAT PROBABLY WON’T BE

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A few questions to ponder…. Is Israel in a financial position to risk receiving 3 Billion Dollar$ a year from the U.S. in aid?
Is Israel in a position to risk losing it’s tourist trade this time of year (Holiday season), one of the busiest times for the country’s major ‘industry’?
The answer to both questions is NO!
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It appears that President Obama and company have literally saved Israel from its mission of self destrucion.
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Every Israeli should be grateful to him for this. The mist of the battle-that-was-not is beginning to clear, and as it does we are realizing it was all thanks to the man in the White House that Israel apparently will not attack Iran.
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Thank you, Mr. President

We send our thanks from Tel Aviv for saving us, even if it is only from an assault on Iran.

By Gideon Levy
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From little, far-off Tel Aviv, a “thank you from the bottom of our hearts” is hereby being sent to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

At the close of his first term of office, he has at long last been revealed as a genuine friend of Israel. Precisely when we had given up on him, he rose up to save the rebellious ally from the Middle East. And following some four years of inaction and futility in the Middle East, he is now carrying out an act of leadership and friendship of the first order – saving Israel from itself.

Every Israeli should be grateful to him for this. The mist of the battle-that-was-not is beginning to clear, and as it does we are realizing it was all thanks to the man in the White House that Israel apparently will not attack Iran.

The word “apparently” is essential here still. The assumption is that Israel has a rational leadership – an assumption that does not always stand up to the test of reality. But now that the president’s position is so resolute, even so scathing at times, no one assumes any longer that Israel would dare to attack Iran, to demonstrate such outrageous opposition to the positions of the American president and the world.

Shall the people dwell alone? Even this utterance has its limits. The nation will dwell alone only when it chooses to do so. The picture is clear: There is no support for an attack by Israel alone. From Washington to Beijing, from India to Ethiopia, and in Israel too, it is a matter of disagreement. Without consensus in Israel, and without American support, no rational Israeli statesman would dare to embark on such a venture. At least, that is what we hope.

So now that it seems we’ve avoided a crisis, we must all learn from the affair. Obama – for whom it is appropriate for us to wish success in the upcoming elections, lest Israel (and of course the United States ) fall under the wheels of the destructive, conservative Republican bus – must learn from the way Israel conducted itself, and from his own conduct as well.

In anticipation of a second term of office, Obama must learn the lessons of the Iranian chapter: The will of an American president can prevent even an Israeli gun from being fired. This principle appears to have successfully prevented the madness of bombing Iran, and it would prove successful on other fateful issues as well.

If indeed everything is personal, then perhaps it is possible that the very abhorrence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ungratefulness of Israel will lead to something good after all. Maybe things will end well. Maybe this will prove to be the biggest joke in history. What seems now to be the worst crisis with the United States to date could lead to positive, even wonderful relations between the two countries – provided Obama 2 is more resolute than Obama 1.

The first Obama wavered. He tried to end the cursed and cancerous Israeli occupation, and then he quickly gave up. After successfully preventing an attack on Iran, perhaps the second Obama will turn out to be the one who understands his role – and, in particular, his power.

Aside from Jimmy Carter, it is doubtful whether the United States has ever had a president who understood better than Obama the global dangers of the Israeli occupation, its lack of morality and hope. Now we must hope he will also come to the right practical conclusions.

If, Mr. President, you have succeeded in stopping Israel from bombing Iran, perhaps you will understand that “Yes, you can.” Yes, you can do other things, even bigger things, for the good of the world and for the good of your rebellious ally. If in fact you have realized that Israel can be dissuaded by real pressure from the United States, so too must you learn to use it for long-term needs as well. Preventing an Israeli attack on Iran has to be merely the appetizer. The main course must follow shortly thereafter.

Your election, Mr. President, inspired tremendous hope in the Middle East. Soon afterward, that hope turned into bitter disappointment. It turned out you were not decisive enough to bring about even a small move such as freezing the settlements. But birth pangs, even if they are those of an American president, are understandable. In anticipation of your second term, with greater self-assurance and this holy anger toward those who mock you and lead you astray in Jerusalem, the hope has once again been kindled that perhaps this time it will be different.

Meanwhile, we send our thanks from Tel Aviv for saving us, even if it is only from an assault on Iran.

 

Source

TWO VIEWS ON AMERICA’S WRONGFUL HOSTILITY TOWARD IRAN

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Nima Shirazi is not a stranger to the readers of this Blog, he has been a regular contributor for quite awhile.. He and fellow activist Phyllis Bennis  took part in a forum the other night. Both of their contributions are full of excellent information.
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Nima Shirazi makes clear there is no legitimate basis for US or Israeli hostility toward Iran. Even US intelligence experts are in agreement Iran has no program to build nuclear weapons or even any plans to build them! Yet politicians in US and Israel, supported by mainstream media, claim there is such a threat and push for military action and economic sanctions against Iran. This talk was part of a Granny Peace Brigade Teach-In at All Souls Church sponsored by their Peace and Justice Task Force, Grannies For Peace, Peace Action NY, and American Iranian Friendship Committee. Phyllis Bennis spoke next …

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Phyllis Bennis at Granny Peace Brigade Teach-In on US policy toward Iran explaining that US and Israel are on the wrong track. US and Israeli hostility to Iran and economic sanctions are without basis, Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon and has no plans to do so! Teach-In was at All Souls Church on June 28, 2012, sponsored by their Peace and Justice task force, Granny Peace Brigade, Peace Action NY, American Iranian Friendship Society.

NEW YORK TIMES HAS A PROBLEM FITTING IN THE FACTS TO PRINT

 Perhaps they need a little nudge…
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Last Thursday I posted Ali Abunimah’s essay….
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New York Times ad accuses BDS movement, college professors of inciting murder of Jewish children
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The post can be seen HERE
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Now, have a look at the following… (NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART)
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Kindly look at all of these Palestinian children.



And just so they don’t feel left out, here are some Jewish kids.

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So, tell us all again, New YorK
Times, just who is inciting the murder of whose children?
(Above courtesy of What Really Happened)
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Yesterday I posted a letter to the Editor of  the New York Times disputing the ad which appeared in their pages…
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HOW MUCH FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THERE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES?

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As far as I can tell, the letter has not been published by the Times, but the photos presented above definitely show whose children are being slaughtered by whom.

LOOKS LIKE I’M A ‘PART TIME’ ANTI – SEMITE

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New terminology for a new day. The zionist mindset is producing a new lexicon of the English language as we speak.
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The entire Gunter Grass controversy is being dragged out and exploited to its maximum, with new accusations and more finger pointing, but today they reached a new level of idiocy with an OpEd in the Ynet News site; Finally there is the question – why did five major European papers publish an anti-Semitic poem? One must mention that the Italian Repubblica did so, yet published critical articles next to it. The answer to this seems simple because the German Suddeutsche Zeitung, the Spanish El Pais, the British The Guardian and the Danish Politiken are not contemporary mutations of the Nazi paper Der Stürmer. Like Grass, who is a part-time anti-Semitic poet, they are part-time anti-Semitic publications.
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They ask WHY? Maybe because it is the obligation of a real newspaper to report the truth, unlike some of the so called newspapers in Israel. Perhaps also it is important to show the world that ‘even a German citizen’ has the guts to speak the truth about Israel today.
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It looks like I too am a ‘part time’ anti Semite as I as well published the poem in question on more than one occasion, in fact, just in case any of you missed it, here it is again…
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What must be said
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Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
anti-Semitic
hateful
worse

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.

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Originally I had no intention of even commenting on the above poem, but when I saw who was the most vocal against it and its author, I had to speak my piece. You can see my original thoughts on the matter in THIS post. I want to emphasise one paragraph from that post as it is the entire crux of the matter; Truth is not anti-Semitism, but hiding or denying it will create same. In reality, Grass is doing his utmost to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism by saying what had to be said.*

From the OpEd; Much can also be learned by looking at Israel’s reactions to Grass’ poem. Why did Prime Minister Netanyahu get involved with a poem, however ugly? Why did Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman do so also? Why did Minister of Interior Eli Yishai declare Grass persona non grata? The poet had not announced any intention to visit Israel. Israel does not usually declare which ones of its many haters will be allowed entry.

 Grass thereupon compared Minister Yishai to former DDR Minister Erich Mielke, who was head of the Stasi Secret service. If Yishai had competent advisers, they could have told him in advance that a politician cannot win a shouting match with an author who can say the most absurd things. The Israeli travel ban also enabled other German politicians to criticize Israel without risking accusations of whitewashing the anti-Semitic poem.

The Israeli government’s reactions illustrated once again the helplessness of the authorities in the propaganda war against the country. Not having analyzed it, nor having understood it, the authorities produce only ad hoc reactions to each new incident.

If there had to be any Israeli reaction at all, it should have been made by a low official who could have said: “When it was fashionable, Grass was a Nazi. When that became objectionable, he hid his past. He revealed it only late in his life, when little harm could be done to him. When it became fashionable to demonize Israel, he published his lies in poetry form.” *

Yes, Grass WAS a nazi … PAST TENSE. But why?? Perhaps to stay out of prison, perhaps to save his own life and those of his immediate family. Do any of us know what we would have done (or joined) had we lived in those horrible, turbulent days? Does anyone dare question the motives of the present Pope, who also happens to be a German? You can read about his early years HERE. On one hand, Grass has written extensively about the horrors of nazism. On the other hand, it is Jewish and zionist groups that defend the Pope’s youthful connections. Why is this? Why is Israel so afraid of the truth that it has to lie to cover it up?*

In the meantime, I personally have every intention of remaining the ‘part time’ anti-Semite that I am as I intend to continue presenting the truth about Israel on these pages.*

Grass is a part-time anti-Semite. He demonizes Israel, yet claims in his poem that he’s a friend of Israel. However false that claim is, no full-time anti-Semite would take the trouble to say it. I can honestly say that I am proud to be in Gunter Grass’ company.*

To read the OpEd in question, click HERE.

FROM HALL MONITOR TO GESTAPO AGENT

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Remember the idiot hall monitor from your high school days? He would see you on your way to the restroom and ask for a hall pass …. or even worse, follow you to make sure you wern’t smoking (or worse) when you are supposedly doing something else.
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Truly a pain in the anus they were! Yet, the system used them to find out what was going on with everyone, everywhere. But everyone ‘had their number’ and knew exactly who they were dealing with. In fact, there was a Jewish joke/riddle circulating in my school; Q…’What happens to the forskin after it is cut off?’ A …’It gets planted in the ground and grows into a hall monitor’!
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The system still uses these stooges outside of the school system itself. In Israel, the most notorious is a group calling itelf NGO Montitor. NGO Monitor “was founded to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs claiming to promote moral agendas, such as humanitarian aid and human rights.”
In fact, it’s a Jerusalem-based pro-Israeli front group. It disseminates propaganda, other misinformation and hate. It debases legitimate human rights organizations, independent journalism, and other truth, equity and justice advocates.
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Instead of roaming the hallways, these gestapo like creatures roam the internet looking for ‘just cause’ to cut out funding to NGO’s they might not agree with (which is just about everyone but themselves). Recently, The Electronic Intifada joins previously targeted organizations including Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, Adalah, Al-Haq, Mada al-Carmel as well as Israeli groups such as B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, HaMoked and New Israel Fund, among dozens of others…. (From)
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They have a supply of ‘false flags’ which are ready to be hoisted at any given moment…
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NGO Monitor’s campaign of public defamation against The Electronic Intifada focuses on support the publication receives from a Dutch foundation.

 

This week, Stephen Lendman did a fantastic job at ‘monitoring’ the monitor and letting us know just how dangerous they are …

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NGO Monitor Denies Truth for Israel

NGO Monitor “was founded to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs claiming to promote moral agendas, such as humanitarian aid and human rights.” 

In fact, it’s a Jerusalem-based pro-Israeli front group. It disseminates propaganda, other misinformation and hate. It debases legitimate human rights organizations, independent journalism, and other truth, equity and justice advocates. 

Its founder and president Gerald Steinberg teaches political science at Bar Ilan University. Students in his classes lose out. He also founded Bar Ilan’s Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation. In addition, he participates in Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) workshops, and various other organizations promoting pro-Israeli issues. 

On February 19, The Times of Israel published his article titled, “Israel’s vibrant democracy.” He called it “as robust and pluralistic as any in the world.” He claims no protest or advocacy restrictions, “including very fierce and unpopular criticism of the government and military.” 

He said “(n)o other democracy can claim to have greater freedom of expression, despite more than six decades of war and terrorism; threats of annihilation; and (various challenges) of developing a cohesive society based on numerous divergent communities” with no democratic traditions. 

Fact check 

His claims read like bad fiction. Like America, free expression’s dying. Dissent’s an endangered species. War and state terror are official policies. Democracy’s on the chopping block for elimination. Arab citizens have none. Neither do most Jews denied social justice. Israel’s privileged alone have rights, no others, and conditions keep getting worse. 

Like America, racing to the bottom forced mass privatizations, welfare and benefit cuts, and massive wealth shifts to corporate favorites and rich elites. Predictable poverty, hunger and homelessness followed. Growing human need’s unmet. 

Unaddressed social gaps divide mainly along religious, ethnic and national lines. Inequality’s near the highest among developed countries. 

Protests raged last summer against unaffordable housing, high food and energy prices, low wages and eroding social benefits, onerous working household taxes, lost education and adequate healthcare benefits, weak labor rights, misallocated settlement construction, the high cost of raising children, and more. 

Netanyahu’s government is Israel’s worst ever. Racist discrimination defines it. Repressive laws deny Arab citizens fundamental rights. Occupied Palestinians are virtual prisoners, especially besieged Gazans. They’re also war zone victims under frequent air, land and sea attacks. 

Steinberg admits Israel’s “not perfect – like other nations, we have flaws, and it is our responsibility to correct them. But aggressive campaigns greatly exaggerate these imperfections (to) delegitimize Israel.” 

In fact, Israel delegitimizes itself. Its policies reveal its deeply flawed character. Its credentials exclude electoral freedom. Free expression’s gravely threatened. Critical NGOs face extinction. Minority rights never existed and don’t now. 

Steinberg says otherwise. His methodology excludes facts too patent to deny. Selective myths support his claims. He calls indisputable crimes of war and against humanity false accusations. 

Numerous other civil and human rights abuses are denied. Torture as official Israeli policy’s ignored. Jewish superiority’s supported. Diaspora Palestinians’ right of return’s opposed, and Arabs are called inherently violent. 

All Jerusalem should be Judaized, he believes. Palestinians have no right to their capital. Jewish history, traditions, culture, heritage, language and identity must be preserved. Arabs deserve being marginalized, maligned, and denigrated. 

Israeli critics employ double standards, he says. Opposition groups are “empowered through secret funding processes, and not subject to any checks and balances….the real threat to Israeli democracy.” 

He uses hyperbole to make baseless claims. State policies debase democracy. Weak at best always, it’s headed for elimination entirely. 

Recently passed laws show how. They includes: 

(1) the Law to Prevent Infiltration permits imprisoning refugees and asylum seekers. It deters entering Israel to keep it ethnically/religiously pure. 

(2) the Preventing Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott allows civil suits against anyone advocating boycotts of settlement products. It sanctions participating NGOs. It strips their tax exempt status. 

(3) The Entry into Israel Law limits work permits given migrant workers residing in Israel. It binds them to one employer. Calling the practice illegal, Israel’s High Court equated it to modern-day slavery. 

(4) The Revoking Citizenship for Persons Convicted of Terrorism and Espionage lets courts strip it for persons convicted without evidence. Denying it eliminates other basic rights. 

(5) the Nakba Law lets the Finance Minister reduce or prohibit funding any institution under the following conditions: 

refusal to support Israel as a Jewish state; 

racist, violent or terrorist incitement; 

support for any nation, group or entity Israel calls an enemy or terrorist organization; 

mourning Israel’s Independence Day; and/or 

committing vandalism or physical desecration dishonoring Israel’s flag or symbols. 

In other words, mourning Palestine’s worst ever catastrophe’s illegal. 

(6) The Acceptance to Communities Law lets villages and communities deny individuals admittance for “fail(ing) to meet the fundamental views of the community,” its social fabric, and other characteristics. In other words, for not being Jewish. 

(7) the Funding from Foreign State Entities law requires foreign state NGO supporters submit quarterly financial reports. At issue is delegitimizing and curtailing legitimate activities, not legislating transparency. Human rights and other civil groups are targeted for supporting rights Israel opposes. 

(8) The Extending Arrest of Persons Suspected of Security Offenses permits arresting suspects in security related cases for longer periods without judicial oversight. Extending arrests without their presence is also authorized. 

(9) the Pardoning Protesters of Gaza Disengagement distinguishes between political and ideological activists. Instead of general principles, the political agenda of Israel’s elected majority’s promoted. 

(10) the Abu Basma Bill on Regional Council Elections lets the Interior Minister postpone democratic regional council elections indefinitely. 

In January, Israel’s High Court rejected a challenge to Israel’sIsrael’s Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. 

It denies citizenship rights to Palestinians with Israeli spouses. Enacted in 2003 as temporary legislation, it was extended twice after its initial expiration date. 

The law lets the interior minister grant citizenship only if affected Palestinians identify strongly and cooperate with Israel. They must also contribute to national security. As a result, few qualify. 

In addition, potential eligibility’s limited to Palestinian husbands 36 or older and Palestinian wives at least 26. 

A Qara village attorney called the decision a “declaration of war on Israeli Arabs.” A mixed couple said the decision “will lead to the expulsion of thousands of families from the country.” 

Proposed bills include: 

prohibiting the word Nazi and Third Reich symbols; 

authorizing libel without proof of damages; 

restricting support from foreign state entities; 

depriving human rights NGOs getting foreign state funding of their tax exempt status and taxes them at a punitively high rate; 

permitting libel suits and criminal prosecutions of anyone slandering Israel and/or its official bodies; 

extending preferential civil service treatment for persons with military service; 

requiring foreigners seeking Israeli citizenship pledge allegiance to the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic, Zionist state and serve a term of military or national service; 

imprisoning persons publishing a call that denies the existence of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state; 

establishing a tribunal for non-Jewish foreigners seeking legal status in Israel; 

prohibiting organizations deemed harmful to Israel from operating; 

requiring anyone receiving an ID card, passport, driver’s license, or other official document declare loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, democratic state; 

declaring Israel “the national home of the Jewish people,” no longer permitting Arabic as an official language; 

prohibiting entry into Israel of anyone involved in boycotts, suing the government or military, or denying the holocaust; and 

requiring civil servants and council members swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, democratic state, among other proposed measures. 

Other anti-democratic laws also passed. Israel’s a rogue pariah state, not a democratic one. Arabs never had rights, but increasingly Jews are denied social justice and fundamental freedoms in a nation eroding them entirely. 

Taken FROM

DON’T IRAQ IRAN

The US has between 2,000 and 8,000 and has
already used them twice in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki genocides.. 
Russia has between 2,000 and 11,000, the UK between 100 and 200, Israel between 75 and 400, France around 300, China around 200, India
around 100, Pakistan around 100 and North Korea supposedly less than 
10. And we’re worried about Iran getting one?

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Iran is the new Iraq
By Joey Ayoub
The war drums are beating again.

Yesterday, The Telegraph ‘reported’ that Iran is “strenghtening ties with al-Qaeda”, according to “intelligence chiefs”  in yet another among hundreds of ‘reports’ of sudden discoveries of Iran’s secret ambitions. This is all too familiar for us Arabs. 10 years ago, Brian Whitaker wrote in The Guardian that “One of the oldest tricks in the run-up to a war is to spread terrifying stories of things that the enemy may be about to do. Government officials plant these tales, journalists water them and the public, for the most part, swallow them.”  This was, as we all know now, the method used to justify the murder of Iraqi civilians and the destruction of their nation by the Bush and Obama administrations. It was a pack of lies – weapons of Mass Destruction, ties with Al Qaeda etc. –  destined to rape Iraq, steal its wealth and keep it under control, regardless of “civilian casualties” – in fact, General Tommy Franks, who directed the Iraq invasion, famously said that “we don’t do body counts”. The estimate of murdered individuals range between 100, 000 and 1, 000, 000, with American deaths being precise while Iraqi ones, being less important, just approximations. Despite all of us knowing that now, we claim to put that behind us as if those that have suffered from this horrendous crime have been repaid, as if their shattered homes and annihilated families have been restored to normal. Nothing of that sort has been made. Instead, the US has built the largest embassy in the world at 440,000 meters square and employs 15, 000 persons, which clearly shows that they still claim to have a right to occupy Iraq. The countless Fallujas may never be formally acknowledged since the US holds the right to commit murder as being self-evident – historically, a common claim of all empires.

This is what’s happening today. Far from denying Ahmadinejad’s idiocy, we should all recognize the fact that there are special interests behind the ‘facts’ that we are given on a daily basis.

The Sunday Herald had reported in 2010 that “Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.”  Note: Britain expelled the citizens of Diego Garcia in 1966 so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacks in the Central Command area. Democracy Now recently reported that “publicly, the British portrayed the establishment of the marine park as a move to save the environment. But a U.S. diplomatic cable dated May 2009, disclosed by WikiLeaks, revealed that a British Foreign Office official had privately told the Americans that the decision to set up a marine protected area would “effectively end the islanders’ resettlement claims.”


The American scholar and Middle East specialist Juan Cole also revealed on hisblog that “the United States, which professes itself menaced by Iran, rather has Iran encircled by military bases”. “They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” says Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London. “US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he said. “The firepower of US forces has quadrupled since 2003,” accelerating under Obama.  “It is depressingly similar to the rhetoric we heard prior to the war in Iraq in 2003”, said Alan Mackinnon, chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  The US has since encircled Iran with military bases – Remember that the US has bases in Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Oman, all surrounding Iran.

Surely, one cannot argue against Iran’s claim to anything Nuclear while defending the right of other nations to possess them? When Netanyahu talks of the “Iranian Threat”, the mainstream media conveniently forgets to mention that Israel already possesses illegal weapons of mass destruction. What gives him the right to even talk about Iran in the first place? and under which right would anyone claim to a nuclear weapon? The US has between 2,000 and 8,000 and has already used them twice in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki genocides. Russia has between 2,000 and 11,000, the UK between 100 and 200, Israel between 75 and 400, France around 300, China around 200, India around 100, Pakistan around 100 and North Korea supposedly less than 10. And we’re worried about Iran getting one? The only argument one can make is for all countries to disable their nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Nuclear Program started in the 1950s as part of the Atoms for Peace program and was assisted by the US and Western European Governments until the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the last Iranian Monarch or Shah – an unacceptable act of independance from imperial control which Iran is still paying for today. In 1975 the New York Times praised Iran for its “alternative energy source, nuclear power”, calling it “mindful that even her 60-billion-barrel reserve of oil will some day run out”. The Shah had at the time insisted that the “purchases are for peaceful purposes”  but no one would believe Iranian leaders saying the exact same thing today, for obvious reasons: Iran is no longer in complete economic cooperations with the US which is, of course, unacceptable.

The mainstream media’s histeria around Iran’s nuclear program couldn’t really  be about the potential Nuclear weapon itself since Iran would only be the 5th Nuclear Weapon State not recognized by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, after Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan.  Israel is the only one in the world that hasn’t officially declared having them. It took former Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu’s courage to reveal the details of Israel’s nuclear program to the public in 1986, an act which has lead him to be kidnapped by Mossad agents in Italy on the 30th of September 1986. He has since spent 18 years in prison, 11 of which in solitary confinement, and is banned from leaving Israel. All sentences are clear and criminal violations of international human rights, designed to keep silent all those who reject the rule of brute force. But they don’t cause any outrage because those who criticize Israel’s criminal policies are automatically attacked as Anti-semites. All of this does not qualify Israel as a “threat” to “stability”, because of the real meaning of the word stability. Israel’s daily abuse and murder of Palestinians living under occupations cannot be condemned by the US as Israel doesn’t pose a threat to US interests in the region. Same goes for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, among others. Bahrain’s brutal crackdown on protesters during the largest Arab Spring uprising in the Gulf couldn’t have been done without Saudi intervention and, by extension, US support and silence. The two nations even went further and have accused Iran of inciting violence, a claim which was directly rejected by Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, the Egyptian international United Nations war crimes expert . Not suprisingly, Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, never received a condemnation as did his Lybian counterpart, Muammar Gadhaffi. This should lead us to think that anything that doesn’t pose a threat to US interest in the region, and indeed in the world, would never be reported or given significant importance by the mainstream media unless an equally significant amount of protest is raised. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise if the US and Israel really do attack Iran in the near future, which would of course lead to retaliations and a catastrophic war. All we have to decide is whether our human civilization can afford another catastrophe. For now, it seems like our answer is yes as we are mostly swallowing tales and having our consent manufactured.

As Noam Chomsky said in his own much more advanced article on the subject, “The Iranian Threat”: “Instead of taking practical steps towards reducing the truly dire threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, the US is taking major steps towards reinforcing US control of the vital Middle East oil-producing regions, by violence if other means do not suffice. That is understandable and even reasonable, under prevailing imperial doctrine, however grim the consequences, yet another illustration of “the savage injustice of the Europeans” that Adam Smith deplored in 1776, with the command center since shifted to their imperial settlement across the seas.”

The original article can be found HERE

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

THE GROWING MYTH OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN ISRAEL

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‘Racist’ settlement enterprise premised on ‘ethnic cleansing’….
‘Israelis are the people who took away Arab land.’….
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Two bold statements by one bold member of the Israeli Knesset. The statements are taken from a Forward to a new book written by Ben White. The book is “Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy,” The Forward was written by  Hanin Zoabi, a name familiar to Israelis as the target of slander by the government. A name belonging to a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset who dares to speak out for the interests of the Palestinians that she represents.
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But, that is too much for the Israelis to swallow. They have hounded her since she dared sail on the Mavi Marmara in an attempt to break the illegal siege on the Gaza Strip. 
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And Ben White, who exactly is he? Ben is a freelance journalist, writer, and human rights activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.  Ben’s articles have appeared in a variety of publications, and his first book, ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’, was praised by Desmond Tutu, Ilan Pappe, and Ali Abunimah, among others. Key words in his description are, of course, ‘human rights activist’, needless to say, words that are synonymous with anti Semitism (sic).
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Jewish leaders have accused White of anti-Semitism in light of various articles he published over the years. In 2002, White wrote that he is not an anti-Semite but that he could understand why other people are. He also charged that Israel’s “ongoing crimes” against the Palestinians are one of the reasons for global anti-Semitism.
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The ‘Jewish leaders’ cited are undoubtedly spokesmen for the ADL and their likes. It looks like Israeli leaders are taking lead from these morons in helping to spread their vicious hatred and lies against the Palestinians. With the likes of a Gingrich apparently taking lead in the Republican Primaries, we can expect more of the same from their camp as well.
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The Ynet report that sparked this post can be read HERE.
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The book itself can be ordered HERE


IS ISRAEL BEHIND THE ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA?

 Image by Skulz Fontaine
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The timing seems to say YES
Israel got what it wanted from Hamas a week ago when Shalit was sent home….
Israel will do everything in its power to prevent Palestinian Statehood…
Israel must also try to justify its continued attacks on the civilian population in Gaza …
So the circumstances also seem to say YES.
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The following video published at HaAretz shows Gaza ‘militants’ preparing to fire rockets at Israel…. The IDF watched, captured it on video and did not try to stop them? Isn’t that a bit strange? It really makes one wonder if this is nothing more than another Israeli false flag attempt to ‘con the world’.
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Israel has already lost its credibility with much of the world, hopefully they will see these recent incidents as part of the lies spread by zion to prevent the inevitable Freedom and Independence FOR ALL OF PALESTINE.

TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11 ~~ WAS IT THE ‘5 DANCING ISRAELIS’ OR ‘ AL-QUAEDA’?

I’ve never been one to follow or swallow conspiracy theories, facts are much more reliable…
BUT, the fact that the ADL is making such a fuss over this leaves much food for thought.
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ADL: 9/11 anti-Semitic theories ‘alive and well’

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Jewish group shows how conspiracy theories surrounding attacks have grown and evolved over past decade, including claim that Jews or Israel perpetrated attacks instead of al-Qaeda

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The report can be read HERE, below is an excerp;

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‘5 dancing Israelis’

The conspiracy theories, which surfaced immediately after 9/11, have continued to circulate widely on the Internet, where conspiracy-mongers and anti-Semites have found a built-in audience for their ideas. These theories are promoted and shared on conspiracy-oriented web sites, social networking sites, and video sites. In addition, there is a flood of books and DVDs that proclaim that Jews and/or Israelis were behind the 9/11 attacks.

Certain conspiracy theories have increased in popularity over the past decade, according to ADL. The most prevalent anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that initially circulated following the attacks alleged that “4,000 Israelis” or Jews were forewarned and told to stay home from the World Trade Center on 9/11. While this theory has largely receded into the background, other major anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have come to the forefront.
According to ADL, the most popular conspiratorial allegations include the following:
  • Variations of this theory assert that the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was behind the 9/11 attacks; the “proof” is in the “five dancing Israelis” arrested on 9/11 who were allegedly celebrating as the Twin Towers burned. Today, the theory claims that the five Israelis were actually directing the attacks and began dancing when they realized that their mission of creating a “false flag” operation had been accomplished.
  • Proponents of this theory claim that neo-conservative American officials of Jewish faith within the Bush Administration methodically worked out a plan, with the assistance of the Mossad, to carry out the attacks to benefit Israel. This theory alleges that these officials orchestrated a plan well before 9/11, with the goal of invading Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries to allow the US and Israel to seize control of resources in that area.”
  • The “truth” about Israeli and Jewish involvement in the 9/11 attacks will not be allowed to emerge, claim conspiracy theorists, since Jews are or were in charge of the 9/11 Commission report and control the media and government.
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Mike Rivero of What Really Happened will be a featured guest at the following symposium to be held in New York on 9/11…
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If you cannot see the above banner (it is being blocked by some ad blockers) then click this link to see the information.

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Clicking the above banner will take you to the web page for the event in New York on 9-11-11. The conference is being organized by INN World Report and will also be covered at WRH and on Jeff Rense Radio.
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If you’d like to make a reservation for this year’s event, please email your name to innworldreport@gmail.com and we will add you to the reserve list.

FILLING IN THE BLANKS ON ‘TERROR’ ATTACK

STILL TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT HAPPENED IN ISRAEL …. SO LET’S MAKE UP THE STORY

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We’ve even learned how to ‘doctor’ photos ;)
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It is still too early to tell whether the terrorists who carried out Thursday’s attacks exited Egypt, passed through Sinai and headed south toward the region of Eilat, or if this was the action of a terrorist cell of Islamic origins, acting for some time already in Sinai. In any case, it is clear that the Egyptian revolution that began in Tahrir Square and spread through other Arab states has now made its way into Israel.
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That’s not the version we were fed yesterday by the Israeli press… now it’s ‘We don’t know what happened’.
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Mubarak’s fall will lead to Israel’s demise? Is that what they want us to believe now? Read the following from HaAretz to see this viewpoint…
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Mubarak falls, Sinai terror rises

The series of terror attacks near Eilat on Thursday indicate that the Egyptians are losing their grip on Sinai.

The series of terror attacks that took place early Thursday afternoon on the road leading from the Israeli-Egyptian border to Eilat did not come as a surprise to Israel’s senior security officials. They had expected it would occur at some stage or another.

The escalating security situation in the Sinai Peninsula, continuous work on the new border barrier and the frustration of terror groups within the Gaza Strip who – for some time now – have not managed to successfully carry out a terror attack from within the Strip, all pointed at the likelihood of an attempt to attack via the Egyptian border.

It is still too early to tell whether the terrorists who carried out Thursday’s attacks exited Egypt, passed through Sinai and headed south toward the region of Eilat, or if this was the action of a terrorist cell of Islamic origins, acting for some time already in Sinai. In any case, it is clear that the Egyptian revolution that began in Tahrir Square and spread through other Arab states has now made its way into Israel.

Over the past few months, Israel has allowed the Egyptian army to increase its forces in Sinai a number of times, allowing much larger Egyptian forces there than the Camp David Accords allowed for, including the entry of thousands of Egyptian soldiers and tanks in the El Arish region and northern Sinai, within the framework of a widespread mission against al-Qaida. It is now evident that the Egyptian efforts alone are not enough, and that the Israel Defense Forces – who over the past three decades has been able to reduce its forces along the Egyptian border, focusing instead on reinforcing the northern border, West Bank and Gaza Strip – will now have-to strengthen its presence in the south.

This is not just a case of transferring security forces. There is a far greater need to complete the construction of the southern border and its fortification via advanced observation posts, which requires hundreds of millions of shekels in increased funding for the security budget. The Finance Ministry’s spin two days ago about halving the security budget ended within 48 hours, as the gunmen opened fire near Eilat.

Beyond the financial aspect, Israel’s security heads will need to get used to a state in which, as it seems, they cannot depend on its ally, the Egyptian army, to protect its southern front.

Source

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‘Terror Timetable’ … also from HaAretz

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Timeline / Eight hours of terror in southern Israel

A series of terrorist attacks took place near Eilat on Thursday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens.

* 12:00 P.M. – Terror cell fires at Egged bus from a private vehicle, 7 hurt

* 12:30 P.M. – IDF forces called to the scene of the attack hurt by explosive device

* 12:35 P.M. – Mortar shells fired from Egypt into Israel, no one hurt

* 13:10 P.M. – Terror cell fires anti-tank missile toward private vehicle near border, 7 hurt

* 13:11 P.M. – Another anti-tank missile fired toward private vehicle, six people killed

* 18:00 P.M. – IDF begins military strike on Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians

* 19:00 P.M. – Fresh firefights erupt in southern Israel, 2 people gravely injured

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Solution….. BOMB GAZA!

Why?

Because they can!

 

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Photo Essay of Victims of Israeli strike on Gaza ( click HERE to view)
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FALSE FLAGS OVER GAZA?

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Yes Virginia, there was a ‘terrorist attack’ in Southern Israel today, near the Egyptian border….
Israel claimed that the ‘terrorists’ crossed over into Egypt, then entered Israel from there to carry out their dirty work…
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OK…. let’s look at the map…
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1. Rafah Crossing to Egypt from Gaza is closed….
2. Border from Egypt to Israel is heavily guarded….
HOW DID THE ‘TERRORISTS’ GET INTO EGYPT AND THEN CROSS INTO ISRAEL? (or didn’t they?)
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Yes Virginia, it looks like Israel has once again hoisted a false flag over Gaza to justify bombing them AGAIN, killing 7 people…
Despite Hamas’ claim that they had nothing to do with the ‘attack’, which BTW did not get any press coverage in Israel.
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Again, we are given only Israel’s ‘side’ on the situation, a side that has proven time and time again to be unreliable.
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Latest press reports from Israel can be found here…
From HaAretz
From Ynet
and From Ma’an News Agency.

FRAUDULENT ANTI-TERRORIST ‘EXPERT’ EXPOSED

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Late last year, Walid Shoebat, a self-styled “expert” on Islamic extremism, reportedly told public safety personnel attending a Las Vegas anti-terrorism conference that the way to solve the threat posed by terrorists was to “kill them…including the children.”

And on May 11, despite criticism of the Las Vegas speech, Shoebat, who continues to tout his credentials as an “ex-terrorist” in the Palestine Liberation Organization despite serious questions about his purported biography, was welcomed to a similar place. He delivered a keynote address to more public employees who attended the second annual South Dakota Homeland Security Conference held in Rapid City–a conference entirely funded by federal tax money. The topic was “Jihad in America.”

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The entire report by Alex Kane can be read HERE

The above mentioned fraud is finally making headline news as CNN exposes Walid Shoebat, a fake terrorism expert (he claimed he is an ex-terrorist which is a lie and he rakes in hundreds of thousands from this scam). Watch this:
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Part 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzkrhZldvko
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Part 2 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Tzz51VYXg
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Videos sent by Mazin Qumsiyeh

LOOKING NO FURTHER THAN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY

This hits the Muslim community in Norway in two different ways – first, their sense of security is threatened as much as any other Norwegian. On top of that, they are automatically blamed for arguably the darkest days in Norway’s recent history.
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Blaming Muslims – yet again

Looking to place blame for the attacks that took place in Norway, many looked no further than the Muslim community.
D. Parvaz
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Several survivors of the Utoya island shooting said the shooter was dressed as a police officer [AFP]

 

With at least 92 people dead and several injured, the brutality of Friday’s attacks in Norway left the country reeling.

But who to blame for the bomb blast that tore through Oslo’s government district and the shooting spree that left scores of teenagers dead at a youth summer camp in nearby Utoya?

Moments after the explosion that, as of Saturday night, left seven dead, pundits and analysts alike had assigned blame to al-Qaeda or an al-Qaeda-like group (a close approximation will do, one can suppose).

There were also reports of a group calling the Helpers of the Global Jihad either claiming responsibility for the attack or lending it support to whoever carried it out. The group retracted its rather vague statement on Saturday. 

Norwegian police, meanwhile, concluded fairly early on that the attacks weren’t the work of a foreign terrorist group. They have 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik in custody – he is believed to be the gunman who opened fire on the teenagers attending a youth camp organised by the Labour Party. 

It’s also been reported that Breivik bought six tonnes of fertiliser in May from a farm supply firm, which seems to take a page right out of another non-Muslim terrorist’s handbook: Timothy McVeigh, who along with Terry Nichols, blew up the Alfred P Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 with a truckload of fertiliser, killing 168 and injuring 450.

Still, despite the initial lack of evidence shortly after the attack – and a growing stack of evidence pointing to the contrary later – some continued to look for a “jihadist” connection in the Norway attacks. Some looked for a link between the attacks and the anger that erupted after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

Local Muslims: ‘Deep sorrow’ 

This hits the Muslim community in Norway in two different ways – first, their sense of security is threatened as much as any other Norwegian. On top of that, they are automatically blamed for arguably the darkest days in Norway’s recent history.

The local Muslim community was quick to respond.

The Islamic Council of Norway immediately issued a statement of condemnation, saying that any attack on Norway was an attack on the homeland of its members, while imams and other Muslim community members visited with various Christian groups and church leaders in an effort to not only offer condolences, but to improve lines of communication.

“We are in deep sorrow with the Norwegian community,” Muhammed Tayyib, the coordinator of The Islamic Cultural Centre Norway, told Al Jazeera.

Tayyib said that even though most of the Muslim community are immigrants, that they are “part of the democratic system and support the freedom of expression. We are reacting [to the attacks] as Norwegians, not as outsiders”.

Tayyib said that the mosque at the cultural centre, which is in the heart of Oslo and not far from the bomb blast, remained open to all on Saturday.

He said many non-Muslims had come in on Saturday to talk about the attacks or just to get to know the Muslim community better. 

Rizwan Ahmad, the general secretary at the cultural centre, said that reports of backlash against Muslims in Oslo left the younger members of the cultural centre feeling vulnerable. Two women wearing hijabs, he said, were harassed on the street while a Pakistani man was beaten on a bus.

But Ahmad said that the Muslim community remains in solidarity with the greater Norwegian community.

“We don’t say anything about (the attacker) being Muslim or not Muslim. It’s still a tragedy,” he said of the attacks.

Dleen Dhoski, coordinator of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Oslo in Blindern, said that the concern wasn’t about who was to blame. 

“Our main concern wasn’t [whether] it was a specific group that performed this horrible action, but we were shocked and concerned about the wellbeing of those who got affected by the attack,” said Dhoski, who said she felt that Norwegian media was fairly neutral in its reporting. 

“And [we were] even more shocked that something like this could be happening in our safe homeland … This was an attack on peace and democracy in Norway, so I don’t believe it has an effect only on the Muslim communities, but the entire nation,” said Dhoski.

She said the Muslim community was focused on helping those most affected: “So the main priority right now for us all is showing our support towards the victims, and just try to contribute as much we can to make sure that Norway stays as it always has been.” 

The group continues its public outreach, she said, attending debates and dialogues with non-Muslim groups while keeping an open line with the media.

Far-right connection 

Of course, it wasn’t just the pundits and security analysts who were looking no further than the Muslim world to blame for the attacks.

The far-right – which has shown itself to be focused on with blaming Muslims for all European ills – was doing the same. Notably, the Nordisk group (a nationalistic, anti-immigration activist group described as having “Nazi-like beliefs) was busy blaming Muslims for the attacks on its forum.

Posters complained that the “uncontrolled immigration from Muslim countries” was to blame and that the attacks were “expected” and that, “terror will not decrease when the desert rats surge across Europe”.

The group did not respond to an interview request on Saturday.

While Nordisk is certainly a somewhat fringe element, Norway, like many other European countires, where anti-immigrant groups have gained significant ground in recent elections, is swinging further to the right. Its Progress Party has been getting stronger, with some elements in the party seeking tougher immigration laws. In 2009, it called for the deportation of parents whose children wear the hijab to school.

The posters on the forum seemed unaware that Breivik is reportedly a member of their group. Norway’s police confirmed that Breivik identified himself as a “Christian fundamentalist”, while local media reported that he had posted anti-Muslim rhetoric online on several occasions.

Indeed, Breivik, it has been reported, was also rather taken with at least one member of the far right, Pamela Geller, a noted anti-Islam activist who fought against the construction of an Islamic community centre near the site of the former World Trade Center towers in New York.

Geller, who in May blogged that Muslims were responsible for “all rapes in the past five years” in Norway linked Friday’s attacks to a “jihad”.

Ali Esbati, an economist at the Manifest Center for Social Analysis, says the negative perception of Muslims in Europe has become a “convergence point” among right-wing groups, who spread the viewpoint of Muslims as an “occupying force and threat to Western society”.

“The wider problem is that it’s not even radical Islam that’s seen as a threat – it’s the idea that all of Islam or Muslims are a threat,” said Esbati.

“So these radicals find a wider acceptance in mainstream politics.”

He’s not surprised by the knee-jerk response of Muslims being blamed for the attacks, as he says, discourse is not driven by facts or statistics. Rather, it is driven by perception – and right now, terrorism’s face isn’t of the radical right or of separatist groups in Europe. This has lead to the proliferation of what Esbati calls fundamentally “racist” ideas towards Muslims.

“The tone in public discourse … has become much harsher, it’s been a gradual process,” said Esbati.

“It’s the normalisation of ideas that were far more marginalised in the past.”

The ‘madman’ angle

Still, the question remains: When what was targeted was a government building and a youth camp put on by a political party – one that calls for the recognition of a Palestinian state – why would a Muslim be a more likely suspect than, say, a far-right terrorist?

Essentially, the answer simply seems to be this: It’s been nearly a decade since the September 11 attacks, which, it seems, have had the effect of making Muslims the terrorist fall-guy in the Western world.

“It was obvious that everyone would assume that it was a Muslim,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 

“All the Islamophobes on the internet jumped all over it.”

He said that, even as of Saturday night, US media reports in the US were claiming “Islam this and al-Qaeda that.”

But then, said Hooper, there’s the “madman” angle, referring to the Norwegian official who said that the attacks were “not Islamic-terror related” and therefore “a madman’s work.”

“Unless it has been committed by a Muslim, it’s not terrorism. If a non-Muslim commits an act of terrorism, they don’t call him a terrorist. They say he was ‘a madman,'” said Hooper.

Even though Breivik has been identified as a Christian, Hooper says he’s sure his actions will not be affiliated with his faith – nor should they be. It’s important, he says, to realise that an act of terrorism carried out by an individual, no matter what religion or creed, not be associated with the entire population following that faith.

This, of course, is not the case for Muslims in the current climate, and so Hooper says the focus should be on outreach. Muslims in Norway must continue to build coalitions and to work to “marginalise extremists of all faiths”,  he said. 

“Everything always comes down to education.”

 

Source

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Also see THIS post from yesterday

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