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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, January 09, 2017

European Union Tortures Greek Fellow Europeans - What Can Israel Expect from the EU?

In January 2012 the EuroZone, the countries sharing the single currency, the euro, demanded extreme austerity from Greece. One of the provisions of the set of demands on Greece was to reduce medical benefits for the Greek population [veda qui].

We can now see the effect of these draconian demands. The French daily Le Figaro reported one and a half years ago, July 2015, on the gloomy picture. That is when Greece accepted a further set of harsh austerity demands by the EuroGroup which runs the EuroZone. I have no doubt that the situation now is worse than in 2015. Le Figaro writes:
Elevators out of service, tired greenish linoleum, a corridor burdened with patients abandoned on rolling beds. Over-aged medical material and medications that are running out. Austerity. At the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, "We know what it is." . . .   
We hear them speaking harshly to each other . . .  "Go in front of me? Do you take yourself for a German?" exclaims an irritated fifty-year old  waiting his turn at the window where medicines are given out. "We're all worn out," another patient makes an excuse. "We mustn't complain," sighs Denise, an epileptic, 40 years old who subsists with her daughter  thanks to a disability pension of 300 euros per month. "We still have free medications." . . . . "I try to survive as best I can," chief cardiologist Dr Ilias Zarkos confides.  "At the  age of fifty-five I earn 1320 euros per month, as against 1600 euros four years ago. . . . In the past five years, we have all had our salaries reduced, and 20% of the staff went on retirement without being replaced. . . . Who would want to work under these conditions? Greece is now naked." "Every year the subsidies and equipment provided to the hospital are reduced by 15%," Dr Sioras continues. [Le Figaro, 15 Juillet 2015]
That is the state of Greek hospitals as of July 2015. That is the result of years of EU austerity treatment for the original debt crisis, whereas Greek debt as of July 2015 and as of now too, is worse, is higher than in 2010 when the debt crisis first came to light. Sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease.

If the Greeks were perhaps an exotic tribe in Africa or on the island of Borneo or some decidedly Third World country, would the EU be so callous to their suffering? Would the hospitals have to make do with short supplies and out of date equipment and supplies and reduced staff? Wouldn't Europe's supposed charitable and humanitarian instincts take over and wouldn't the cries for help be answered? Where is the solidarity for fellow Europeans, whereas solidarity is supposed to be a fundamental principle of the EU? Indeed, solidarity may be located in the same place as another EU principle, transparency, another EU value which is honored as much in the breach as the observance.

Besides, when the Palestinian Authority, a new form of the old PLO, is short of funds, somehow the EU finds the money. But the same generosity does not show up for the Greeks, for their fellow Europeans who are suffering. Nor does the supposed EU principle of transparency come into effect when it comes to funding a whole array of anti-Israel NGOs .....

The EuroGroup policy toward their fellow European Greeks is harsh and callous, and unproductive. What is their attitude toward Israel? Do they any longer recognize the Jewish right to live throughout the Land of Israel (Palestine in their parlance) west of the Jordan,  as the international community had decided in 1922 in the Mandate for Palestine issued to the UK for the purpose of erecting the Jewish National Home?  Today old commitments are forgotten. In fact, prominent EU member states voted at the UN Security Council for a resolution calling it a crime for Israelis to live east of the Green Line, the 1949 armistice line, even in Jerusalem, a city that has had a Jewish majority since 1853, if not before, whereas all Jews were ethnically cleansed from parts of Jerusalem --including the Old City's Jewish Quarter-- that were under Arab control after the 1947-1949 Israeli War of Independence. So the EU states represented in the UN SC favored apartheid against Jews by proclaiming that Jewish residence east of the Green Line, in Jerusalem too, was illegal according to international law, no less. That is what UN SC resolution 2334 has to say. Those EU states want to return Jews to their traditional status in Europe in the Middle Ages where often Jews were forced to live in ghettoes. Indeed, this demonstrates the cyclical nature of history. Out of the ghetto, now back to the ghetto.

Israel can hope for nothing decent at the upcoming French-sponsored "peace conference" in Paris. Bear in mind that the words, working-for-peace, can really mean working for war. There are strong grounds for assuming that the Paris war conference due to start on January 15 is meant to produce a resolution that will be taken to the UN Security Council before Donald Trump is inaugurated as US president on 20 January 2017 in order to prevent him from interfering in the gang up on Israel which Trump has already defined as "unfair". The Paris-to-New York time schedule is tight but possible. As the example of Euro treatment of Greece demonstrates, the EU and its member states can be not only stingy but harsh and cruel. Can Israel expect better from the EU after nearly 2000 years of discrimination and oppression of Jews and often of persecution?
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For more on the Eurozone's treatment of Greece, as well as the contrast between favoritism for the PLO/PA contrasted with stinginess with Greece, see here & here .

A quote from Il Sole-24 Ore (30 January 2012) on proposed reductions of medical coverage for Greeks:
Sul fronte previdenziale, la Troika fa notare che il 50% dei medicinali rimborsati dal sistema sanitario pubblico è generico, con prezzi bassi (e che vi è quindi spazio per ridurre l'esborso di denaro pubblico). [Il Sole-24 Ore, 30 Gennaio 2012  qui

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Monday, January 02, 2017

The Sacred Anti-Israel Narrative & Ukraine's Vote at the Security Council

Why did Obama and his gang want so much for Ukraine to vote for the noxious UN Security Council resolution 2334? The resolution would have passed anyway. The one vote of Ukraine would not have made a difference if the Security Council vote on the resolution would have been 13 for, 0 against, and 2 abstentions, instead of one (the United States itself). What would have been the damage if the Ukrainian government had been left alone to make its own decision on the matter? Even if Ukraine had cast its lone vote against the resolution? Yet Vice President Joe Biden was assigned and deputed to call the Ukrainian president, Pan Poroshenko, and demand that he order the Ukrainian ambassador to the UN to vote for the resolution.

 Now at this point the reader will have noted that I do not try to prove that Biden called Poroshenko to tell him to change the Ukrainian vote from the expected "abstain" to "for." Several reports in English substantiate that Biden made such a call. The best substantiated report that I know of is that of Vladislav Davidzon on the Tablet website. One of the interesting things that Davidzon says is:
A wealth of evidence is now emerging that, far from simply abstaining from a UN vote, which is how the Administration and its press circle at first sought to characterize its actions, the anti-Israel resolution was actively vetted at the highest levels of the U.S. Administration, which then led a pressure campaign --both directly and  through Great Britain  —to convince other countries to vote in favor of it.
 So we see that the US government under the so-called "liberal" US president Obama believes in housing/residential segregation for Jews, that is, for restricting where Jews are allowed to live as both Christian and Muslim rulers did during the Middle Ages and afterwards. These restricted Jewish residential areas could be called a ghetto, as in Europe, or a mellah, as in North Africa, or hareth el-Yahud in some other places under Islamic rule, and perhaps by other names. And residential segregation of Blacks in the United States was sometimes called the jimcrow system and in South Africa apartheid. But the question remains, Why did Obama and his gang or the State Department or whoever makes such decisions in Washington want the Ukraine too to vote in favor. Davidzon reports something interesting:
According to one U.S. national security source, the Obama Administration needed a 14-0 vote to justify what the source called “the optics” of its own abstention.
The optics, that is, the visual impression made by its own vote and the other votes. This is an interesting observation by a U.S. national security source. So let's develop our own theory. The Obama gang and the US State Dept and national security establishment were concerned about visual impressions, about appearances. I would say that they wanted to promote a narrative, as they often or usually do when it comes to Israel. They wanted this narrative to influence and be adopted by Americans, especially Americans sympathetic to Israel, and in Israel too especially among the so-called or self-styled "peace camp." They wanted Israel to appear isolated, totally isolated, isolated from all powers but the USA itself. They wanted people to see Israel as isolated and as isolating itself by --among other things-- allowing Jews to build homes across the 1949 armistice line, the so-called Green Line.

At the same time, the narrative says: We, the USA or the Obama Administration, are your friends, your real friends and your only friends. You can only depend on us. So you have to do whatever we say. Therefore, the vote in the Security Council had to be unanimous except for the United States itself. Therefore, it was essential for "the optics" that Ukraine too vote in favor of the resolution. Of course, the United States and the UK had to cover their tracks in promoting and working out the resolution. It had to seem that it was the initiative of other states, although the New Zealand foreign minister had more or less let the cat out of the bag in mid-November in a little noticed interview with a daily in his own country.

It would be best for it to be seen as an Arab initiative that was supported by the Enlightened World, the world of morality and humane and decent  concern beyond Israel's boundaries. This latter line is a favorite of Israel's Peace Camp or Left or what may be called the Anti-National Camp. The Peace Campers used to often write in their newspapers and other publications, of which HaArets is the main one today, that the Enlightened World --ha`olam hana'or העולם הנאור-- which may exist somewhere over the rainbow, is terribly angry with us for disobeying international law in all sorts of ways, among them, for allowing Jews to live beyond the Green Line, where in fact thousands of Jews had been living before the 1947-1948 Israeli War of Independence in which all Jews were driven out of areas captured and held by the Egyptian army or by the Arab Legion of Transjordan, now Jordan. Those Arab-held areas were judenrein after that war, to use a Geman term referring to places and/or countries ethnically cleansed of Jews. Jews were fleeing Arab attacks in the areas later held by Jordan and Egypt as early as December 1947. But our Peace Camp demonstrates its loyalty to State Department and Foreign Office and Quai d'Orsay demands --and later those of the EU-- by scolding Israelis and their government that they must not defy the wishes of the Enlightened World. And the West is Enlightened.

At the same time, the poor "palestinians", the Arabs who never considered themselves a separate, distinct people or nationality before the mid-1960s when the PLO was founded, are perpetually oppressed and persecuted by Israelis or by Israel, the collective Jew, whereas Jews have long been hated in the European Christian and Muslim Arab traditions. Nowadays, Israel the collective Jew takes the place of "the evil Jews" of days gone by.

For the purposes of the narrative, the UN SC vote had to be seen as initiated by others (such as New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela) and that the Obama administration only came along for the ride and that the US was forced to abstain rather than veto because even the US cannot stand against the conscience of the world and the enlightened consensus. And they were looking for the reaction that they did in fact get from Israel's domestic pro-fascist Peace Camp. But they were saying to all Israelis and to Jews abroad as well: We are your last and only friends. But we might abandon you too if you don't do what we say.

So it must have been annoying to the State Department-CIA crowd that Prime Minister Netanyahu exposed their game. Which weakens the impact of the 14-0 vote. Which spoils the narrative. That's a reason to hate Netanyahu.
The gambit reminds me of the original explanation for the Benghazi incident 11 September 2012, that it started as a spontaneous demonstration [on 9-11 to be sure] against a mysterious video which may or may not have denigrated the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Recall too that at first the official or semi-official reference to the video was that  it was made by so-and-so, an Israeli (I forget the name offered at the time). When the Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren said at the time through his embassy  that there was no Israeli by that name, he took the wind out of those official sails. Then the video was officially or semi-officially blamed on a person of similar name identified by the media as an Egyptian Copt, that is, a Christian. If he had been identified as an Israeli and that claim had been allowed to stand, then officialdom and their subservient media would have blamed Israel for the killing of the ambassador and the other Americans at Benghazi, at least by insinuation. Those Islamists in Libya were understandably reacting to the Jewish-made video, the White House and national security council would have spread around, if only by insinuation. It was all Netanyahu's fault. Or all Israel's fault or all the Jews' fault. By insinuation.
I am not so sure about the story of the Egyptian Copt, either. It was very much like planting a story of a blood libel. But part of the warfare to bring down Israel is the Narrative, that is, psychological warfare -- which can be very potent in the hands of experts.

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See Vladislav Davidzon [here]
Jonathan Hoffman provides more insight into the New Zealand foreign minister, Martin McCully [here]
Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle of London, supplies background to the British role in the resolution. He writes that British support for it, including helping to draft it to make it more generally acceptable, was the work of permanent Foreign & Commonwealth Office officials, not of Theresa May's government [here], which --I add-- later on criticized John Kerry's speech of late December that was very hostile to Israel, as well as refusing to sign the final communique of the French "peace" conference in Paris on 15 January 2017 and opposing adoption of the communique by the EU Council.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

New Zealand's Mercenary Motives for Its UN Vote against Israel

See UPDATING at bottom of page

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Peace is the refuge of scoundrels. It is the excuse for all sorts of aggressive diplomatic moves and sometimes it is even the excuse for military attacks. In September 1939, after Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union, under Hitler and Stalin respectively had invaded Poland and while the ruins were still burning, both of these aggressor powers issued a joint statement that they were engaged in a "struggle for peace." Likewise, after the racist anti-Jewish vote at the Security Council, the White House spokesman, Ben Rhodes claimed that US abstention --effective support for the racist anti-Israel resolution, which he acknowledged-- was meant to help bring peace. Nothing new under the sun.

No doubt New Zealand would make that same claim, perhaps adding a devotion to justice. But maybe there were other motives for New Zealand's bigoted vote at the UN SC. Indeed, a New Zealand foreign policy expert explained the business advantages that New Zealand would receive on account of this mendacious pro-Arab vote. An item on the site of Radio New Zealand on 25 December 2016 tells us: 
New Zealand's role in promoting a UN Security Council resolution against Israel may have some economic payoff, a foreign policy analyst says.
The expert, one Steve Hoadley, reassures his countrymen that New Zealand will not suffer from any Israeli retaliation on account of the vote:
"New Zealand also trades with the Arab states, is about to sign a free trade agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council. There's huge profits being made to export lamb and other dairy products, other food products to the Arab states. If there was to be a big trade payoff, the calculations would be in favour of going with the Arab and the Muslim countries."  [emphasis added]
So there is big money to be made by New Zealand in trade with Arab and Muslim countries.
OK. Make your money but don't tell us you are acting in the name of peace and justice. Nevertheless, a commentator, also on Radio New Zealand, praises his country as a "peacemaker":
A few years ago, after the successful Bougainville peace talks, New Zealand imagined a role for itself as an international peace broker. It was a nice idea that turned out to be harder than it sounded, but it marked an increased New Zealand confidence to act independently, for good purpose.This week's action is a further brave step from New Zealand. It has no obvious ulterior motives, but instead seems an attempt to simply do the right thing. [emph. added; Phil Smith, Radio New Zealand, 24 December 2016]
It seems that our two commentators contradict each other. Was the vote made for mercenary benefit or for the sake of  ''peace" and the "right thing"? Maybe they would claim for both reasons and say that there is no contradiction. But New Zealand has been selling sheep, both already butchered and live --for certain Muslim festivals that require a sheep be slaughtered on the spot-- to the Arabs for many many years, and after all a country needs a market. Even a country that is the epitome of a European colony founded far away from Europe in a land which Europeans had never seen let alone lived in until a few hundred years ago (unlike Israel, a land where Jewish roots go back thousands of years) and is now settled in its overwhelming majority by European settlers.

They say that New Zealand is very English, maybe more English than England itself is today. One thing that the New Zealanders brought with them from Europe is hypocrisy. A good European should never be without some egregious and saccharine sweet sanctimonious hypocrisy.
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UPDATING
12-28-2016 New Zealand Herald (13 November 2016) reported that Kerry was in the New Zealand capital in mid-November talking with the prime minister and foreign minister. New Zealand is a strong partisan of the Arabs. For those concerned about such things New Zealand is a European, British colony. As I wrote above, it is "a country that is the epitome of a European colony founded far away from Europe in a land which Europeans had never seen let alone lived in until a few hundred years ago (unlike Israel, a land where Jewish roots go back thousands of years) and is now settled in its overwhelming majority by European settlers." The New Zealanders, who belong to a colony, have no shame criticizing Israel for building settlements. Here is what is important in the article from 13 November 2016:
One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand Government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel - Palestinian conflict. After the talks, Foreign Minister Murray McCully even raised the possibility of the US or New Zealand sponsoring a resolution.
So Kerry and the NZ foreign minister discussed sponsoring a pro-Arab resolution. This contradicts US government spokesman Mark Toner who shamefully lied when denying any US collusion in the resolution produced in the Security Council the other day.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Obama Supports anti-Jewish Racism & anti-Jewish Apartheid at the UN Security Council

Before getting to the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN let us just bear in mind that the UN does not operate to bring peace to the world or even to conflicts limited in scope unless major powers see peace as an interest. And that includes peace in small, individual, limited conflicts. This is so whatever the intentions of the UN's founders may have been.

The US State Department was hostile to the very idea of a Jewish state even before Israel's independence. But since the Six Day War this traditional State Dept policy has been complemented by a narrative that portrays Arabs as perpetually oppressed and persecuted by Israeli Jews. In fact, history says the opposite. Since the rise of Islam, Jews and Christians in Islam-ruled countries have been subject to an inferior status which eventually was named the dhimma and Jews and Christians in the Islamic domain have been named dhimmis who suffered all sorts of legal disabilities and inferiorities. Later a version of dhimmi status was extended to populations in south and east Asia who were neither Jews nor Christians.

Of course, in Christian lands too Jews suffered all sorts of legal disabilities and inferiorities. What we face now is a further legal-like denial of Jewish human rights. Our rights are denied on so-called "legal" grounds. At one time, the so-called "Left" defended people and their rights against cold, inhuman Law that ignored the realities of concrete situations and defended people against oppression by the unfeeling Law. Yet today no one would expect any self-proclaimed "leftist" to defend Jews against the depredations of the Law, often seen by "leftists" in the past as a mere instrument of capitalist, imperialist oppression. Today of course Jewish human and civil rights are denied in the name of Law, in this case International Law. The interpretations made of Law are false of course. And Geneva IV:49:6 does not forbid Jews from moving into the Judea-Samaria area, the so-called West Bank, territory recognized by the international community as the Jewish National Home by the San Remo Conference, 1920, and by the League of Nations, 1922. This status was confirmed in the UN Charter Article 80, when the charter was adopted in 1945.

So Law is being used as a bludgeon against the Jews and their rights. And it is a false interpretation of law at that. But the hatred of Jews endemic in the State Department and in the Obama White House is palpable and cannot be quenched by a reasonable study of the relevant international law or its honest interpretation.

Obama has shown himself to be the enemy that we knew he was back in 2008 when he ran in the presidential primaries. He colluded with the four Security Council member states that promoted the evil resolution. He wanted it, and according to an account on Israel TV by Oded Granot, US and Palestinian Arab representatives were discussing this step as far back as March of this year.

Jews in the Diaspora need to worry about this resolution too because if the rights of Jews to reside in the ancestral homeland of the Jews can be denied --a right guaranteed by international law in the Jewish National Home principle as well as in the League of Nations Mandate-- then their rights of residency and other rights can be denied in the countries where they live, including in the United States.


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Relevant Articles on the Stab in the Back at the UN
Melanie Philips [here]

Phyllis Chesler  [here]

Benny Avni, New York  Post [here]

Wall Street Journal [here]

Washington Post    [here]

Comment by Gov. Mike Huckabee
Obama gives Israel middle finger; gives Iran wet kiss; he's hates Israel for building bedrooms more than Iran for building bombs. [here]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Italian Jewish Response to the UNESCO Big Lie & Western Collaboration In It

Fiona Diwan, editor of the Bulletin of the Jewish Community of Milan, had some sharp words for UNESCO over its sinister vote "revising" the known history of Jerusalem and the Jewish role in that history. She also had sharp words for her own government and other EU and Western governments that collaborated in that vote by voting in favor or by merely abstaining. By abstaining they refused to take an honest stand on the integrity of known history. The West stays on the route towards barbarism.

Fiona Diwan in Mosaico, il Bollettino of the Milan Jewish Community, November 2016, no. 11:
Every month, here on earth, we cannot even count the pieces of archeological evidence and the discoveries of Jewish, Biblical, Hasmonean, and Herodian antiquities. However, France and Italy pretended not to know that. and were ready to exhibit the most scandalous silence when they abstained from the vote on the motion at UNESCO labeled "occupied Palestine," in which last month any tie between the Temple Mount and Judaism and Christianity was definitively denied. Among so many things that it did, the motion cancelled the Hebrew names of all the places on the Temple Mount in order to keep only the Arabic names. By now, everything has been written about this ignominious text. It is a text that falsifies history, denies the ancestral tie between Jerusalem and the Jewish people, once again giving in to the pressures and the intellectual terrorism of the Arab states and the Palestinian Authority. I want to point out that England, Holland, the United States, Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia voted against the motion.
We hoped that Italy and a France would have been more courageous by rejecting this buffoonish text. We would never have thought that at the session of the definitive vote, they would have chosen to abstain, thereby endorsing UNESCO's perverse calling in the delegitimization of Israel. Because, obviously, this is what was at stake. A delegitimization that runs in parallel with the demonization of Israel and the new European antisemitism with an Arab-Muslim matrix and its demographic explosion on the continent of Europe.

Ogni mese, quaggiù, non si contano le evidenze archeologiche e le scoperte di antichità giudaiche, bibliche, asmonee, erodiane. Eppure Francia e Italia hanno fatto finto di non saperlo, pronte a esibire il più scandoloso silenzio quando si sono astenute al voto della mozione Unesco denominate "Palestina occupata," con cui si è negato il mese scarso, in via definitive, qualsiasi legame tra il Monte del Tempio, l'ebraismo e il cristianesimo.  Tra le tante cose, la mozione cancellava i nomi ebraici da tutti i luoghi del Monte del Tempio per mantenere solo quelli in arabo. Su questo testo ignominioso si è ormai scritto di tutto, un testo che falsifica la storia, nega il legame ancestrale tra Gerusalemme e il popolo ebraico, cedendo, una volta di più, alle pressioni e al terrorismo intellettuale degli stati arabi e dell’Autorità palestinese. Voglio qui ricordare che Inghilterra, Olanda, Stati Uniti, Germania, Lituania e Estonia avevano votato contro. Speravamo in una Italia e Francia più coraggiose nel rigettare questo testo buffone. Mai avremmo pensato che, in sede di voto definitivo, avrebbero scelto l’astensione avallando così la vocazione perversa dell’Unesco alla delegittimazione di Israele. Perché, ovviamente, di questo si tratta.
 Una delegittimazione che corre in parallelo con la demonizzazione di Israele e col nuovo antisemitismo europeo di matrice arabo-musulmana e la sua esplosione demografica in terra d’Europa. [testo qui]

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The Italian daily newspaper, Il Foglio, sponsored a demonstration against the UNESCO in Rome, in front of the UNESCO offices, I believe. It was rather well-attended for an event of this kind.
See the video at the link [qui]

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Colosseum Built with Money from Loot from Rome's Jewish War

See additional info at bottom of page

UNESCO disgraces its assigned mission to protect the world's cultural heritage and enhance it and defend it. It did so by adopting a resolution proposed by Arab states, working with the PLO/Palestinian Authority/, that denied the Jewish historical connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and its sacredness in the Jewish religion.

However, Italian archeological authorities are more honest. They frankly state that the Colosseum in Rome was built with loot from the Jewish War finally concluded while the Colosseum was already under construction. This determination was made in the last 15 years on the grounds of the recent discovery, or shall we say reexamination of previously discovered monumental stones that had not yet been thoroughly and sufficiently examined in the past, a common problem in archeology. Furthermore, it is likely that much or most of the loot taken from Judea [IVDAEA CAPTA to the Roman Empire of the time] was taken from the very Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. We say this since we know that monetary contributions to the Temple from Jews throughout the Diaspora for ritual purposes were stored in the Temple. Further, the Arch of Titus, only about 150 or 200 meters north or northwest of the Colosseum, shows loot from the Temple, such as the golden menorah, being carried in a Roman victory parade, a triumph, through the streets of ancient Rome.

A standing sign inside the Colosseum states in two languages, Italian and English:

the colosseum, history

In AD 72 the emperor Vespasian used the spoils of his Jewish campaign to build Rome's first permanent amphitheater to host hunting spectacles and gladiatorial combats . . . .

il Colosseo, la sua storia

Nel 72 d C,  l'imperatore Vespasiano intraprese con il bottino della guerra giudaica, la costruizione del primo amfiteatro stabile di Roma . . .

It is a shame that the honesty of the Italian archeological authorities and their promptness in bringing the newly discovered information to the public's knowledge was not matched at the UNESCO vote by the Italian foreign ministry, which abstained on a matter of well known historical fact. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to be sure, expressed his regret over the vote. Could someone please notify UNESCO, and its Arab members especially, about the extensive literature in ancient Latin, Greek, and Hebrew writings, as well as in other languages, about the Jewish War, not to mention the archeological discoveries, the continuously known Arch of Titus, the coins and other concrete reminders of that war and the battle against the Jews in Jerusalem?
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Other Related Info
The war, called by the Romans the Jewish War, started in 66 CE and ended in 73 CE (or in 74 CE, according to some scholars) with the fall of the fortress of Masada to Roman forces. Incidentally, Arab auxiliary troops fought for Rome in the war, including at Jerusalem. All considered, the bulk of the fighting was over in the summer of the year 70 CE when the Romans captured the Temple of Jerusalem and looted it, as said above. Thus they would have been able to start building the Colosseum before the actual end of the war.
--on the Menorah's importance for Jews here  and here.
--the Menorah goes from Jerusalem to the Roman "Peace" Temple   here.
-- better pix of the bas reliefs on the Arch of Titus plus inscriptions on it here. Click on the photos to enlarge.
-- Depiction of the Temple utensils in an ancient Jewish mosaic from the Byzantine period here. By the way, these photos of ancient Jewish mosaics are found in a book published by UNESCO. But that was long ago.
-- commentary on outrageous UNESCO vote here.
-- The Romans minted coins to commemorate their victory over the Jews with at least two types of insciptions on them. One was Judea Captured/Conquered [IVDAEA CAPTA]. Another was Judea Defeated [IVDAEA DEVICTA]. A third inscription used was Judea Recaptured [IVDAEA RECEPTA] on a gold coin (aureus). Few of these were minted although they may have been minted first. It seems that they were then replaced by IVDAEA CAPTA and others. I will report on the Judea Recaptured coin soon. One of this type is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
See pix of Jewish coins of the Revolt as well as other ancient Jewish coins here.

ADDED 5 December 2016
The scholar who determined that loot from the Jewish war, especially from the Temple in Jerusalem, financed the building of the Colosseum in Rome was Professor Geza Alfoldy, a Hungarian. See links here & here.



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Friday, November 11, 2016

Judea & Samaria Belong to Israel by International Law -- Declare this to the world

It has been reported that Obama and his administration --in their boundless rancor against Jews-- plan to join France's initiative for a "peace conference" to "settle" the Israel-"palestinian" conflict. The plan would be take the resolution resulting from the conference to the UN Security Council and there "sanctify" it as it were with a UN SC resolution which would replace and cancel UN SC 242 of 1967 which has been considered the international legal framework for settling the Arab-Israeli conflict since that year.

The content of the resolution is expected to "undermine the legitimacy of Israeli activity in Judea and Samaria. The estimate is that the Palestinians will raise it [the resolution] towards the end of the secular year, in the three weeks before President Barak Obama ends his tenure." [Maqor Rishon, 11-11-2016] Other reports consider a possible effort to define the before between Israel and the projected Arab state of palestine along the 1949 armistice lines --which were never borders-- and a demand for immediate or very quick Israel withdrawal to such lines. This is obviously unacceptable to Israel and would encourage Arab warfare and terrorism against Israel. The Arab state-in-waiting called the "Palestinian Authority" has already made it clear that it wants to drive Jews out of the whole country, on both sides of the Green Line, the armistice line from 1949. The PA has made clear its hatred for peace with Jews, which is also illustrated by its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In these circumstances, the best strategy for Israel is to declare that international law has already, long ago, recognized Jewish sovereignty over the whole land of Israel, including a belt of land east of the Jordan river. The ancient kingdom of Judea, recognized by Rome, included that belt of land as well as Samaria, the Galilee, the Golan Heights and the Bashan.

There is a sufficient body of legal argumentation supporting Israel's sovereignty and ownership of the land in question, and Judea-Samaria in particular. See notably the work of Howard Grief and Eugene Kontorovich and Avi Bell in English, and David Ruzie' in French. See a broad selection of articles and videos in English and French and Hebrew here.

Prime Minister Netanyahu can announce this through his facebook page as can other ministers. Likewise, the foreign ministry should make such a declaration. Now is the time.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Outrageous UNESCO Vote against History -- Craven European Response

The European and Arab countries that denied Jewish history in Israel demonstrated hostility to history in the notorious UNESCO vote that presented Jerusalem as an Arab-Muslim city.  In this case, we are dealing with facts continuously known in both the Arab-Muslim and Western historical traditions. Those who deny the Jewish identity of the city of Jerusalem are inventing a fake history apparently required for political/diplomatic purposes. But a lie. Now Western countries like France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Spain have long traditions of historical scholarship, which includes knowledge about the Land of Israel with which these countries have been in contact since the time when all of these countries plus the Land of Israel itself were part of the Roman Empire.

Since the study of the Latin language has long been part of higher education in those lands and they take pride in their scholars --who exemplify and demonstrate their higher civilization-- there is no excuse for the governments and foreign ministries of these lands not to know the real history as related in Latin [and Greek] ancient books. Even an abstention from voting against the lying resolution proposed in UNESCO bodies by Arab states on Jerusalem is shameful. Yes, it is shameful to let a historical lie go unopposed. To be sure, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy regretted his foreign ministry's vote which he may have been unaware of.

I do not mean that only ancient Latin or Greek writings are authoritative on the history of ancient Israel. Far from it. Jewish works in Hebrew and  Aramaic are important too (as well as writings by Jews in Latin and Greek). But let us approach it this way. The bigot, the Judeophobic ignoramus, including the academic variety, will say that he cannot accept Jewish accounts of Jewish history because Jewish historians are "biased". Parenthetically, the rejection of Jewish historians represents bias too. In this case, challenge this bigot or ignoramus --whichever label you like-- to accept accounts by non-Jews in Latin, Greek and other languages. The Roman historian Tacitus supplied an account of the Roman-Jewish war from 66 CE to 73 CE in his Histories. The Romans took Jerusalem in the summer of the year 70 CE and destroyed the Jewish Temple at the same time. The Roman general Titus Caesar won the war, however, not only with Roman legions but with auxiliary forces including a "strong contingent of Arabs" [various translations vary. See Tacitus' Histories V:1:2 ]. I quoted the Latin original and various translations years ago on this blog. Now I will quote what he wrote farther on in his book which is highly explicit in refuting the UNESCO lies:

V:8:1 --  The greater part of Judea [note that Tacitus calls the country Judea] is divided up into villages. They also have cities. The capital of that people is Jerusalem.

So Tacitus and Romans generally recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish capital. Rivka Fishman wrote a scholarly article about this recognition in Greek and Latin literature for the Jewish Political Studies Review. The key phrase that is important here is, "The capital of that people is Jerusalem." See the Latin original just below.

Now here is the Latin original of  the quote from Tacitus above:
V:8:1 -- Magna pars Iudaeae uicis dispergitur; habent et oppida; Hierosolyma genti caput.
[for full original of V:8:I see here]

The key word in that key phrase is "genti" which can be "of the people" or "of the nation." It is a declined form of the word gens meaning people or nation. Since Tacitus calls the country Judea and since the whole text, the whole context, furthermore, is about the Jewish revolt in Judea, we see that the "people" or gens (genti) in the phrase means the Jewish people or nation.

Full disclosure: While I write these lines I am translating from an Italian translation since I do not have an English translation available. The study of Latin is still important in Italy and the Italian translations from ancient Latin texts are fully as reliable as the English and American  translations of those works. Here is my source for the Latin and Italian texts: Tacito, Le Storie a cura di Francesco Nenci. Here is his Italian translation:

V:8:1 -- Gran parte della Giudea e' suddivisa in villaggi; hanno anche citta'; la capitale di quel popolo e' Gerusalemme. [for full original of V:8:I see here]

One of the reasons that this line from Tacitus is not more widely known in the English-speaking world may be that some translators into English of Tacitus' Histories have chosen not to translate the Latin word genti into English, for whatever reason.

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UPDATINGS/ADDITIONS AS OF 31 October 2016

Here is one of many good commentaries on the UNESCO disgrace -- [here]
Here is  a commentary by Herbert London -- here.
Rivka Fishman on the relevant line:
"Tacitus, Historiae V, 8:1, in Menahem Stern, Greek  and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Vol. II, No. 281,1980), 21,28. The Latin reads: “Hierosolyma genti caput.” The term “gens” refers to the people of Judea, the Jews, mentioned in the first part of the sentence." [here]
Tablet online mag [here] on Arab accusation that Israel is trying to destroy the al-Aqsa  Mosque, built on the Temple Mount and effectively usurping it.
The Boston Globe ran a good editorial on the issue of the shameful UNESCO vote [here]

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Dead Arabs Don't Matter to the World -- Unless Israel Killed Them

The hypocrisy of the major world powers, of those who dominate the international mass media, is long known. Khaled Abu Toameh reminds us once again of how cynical the world media, most of it Western, can be. Abu Toameh points out how international journalists and international "human rights" bodies --the ones that are always dragging their halos around-- customarily overlook Arab victims whose sufferings have nothing to do with Israel. The purpose is to smear and hurt Israel... If a particular case of suffering cannot be attributed to Israel then it is hardly worth writing about.
In line with this of course is that the Palestinian Arab suffering that is deemed worthy of attention is only that of Arabs in Judea-Samaria, not that of those in Syria to be sure, since that suffering cannot be blamed on Israel. Nor does the Palestinian Authority --Mahmoud Abbas' statelet on the way-- care about any of this. Even those who speak in the name of the Palestinian Arabs care little about the suffering of Palestinian Arabs that cannt be blamed on Israel.

Here are some highlishts of Abu Toameh's essay:
    Nearly 3,500 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since 2011. But because these Palestinians were killed by Arabs, and not Israelis, this fact is not news in the mainstream media or of interest to "human rights" forums.                                                         
  • International media outlets regularly report on the "water crisis" in Palestinian towns and villages, especially in the West Bank. This is a story that repeats itself almost every summer, when some foreign journalists set out to search for any story that reflects negatively on Israel. And there is nothing more comfortable than holding Israel responsible for the "water crisis" in the West Bank.                                                          
  • But how many Western journalists have cared to inquire about the thirsty Palestinians of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria? Does anyone in the international community know that this camp has been without water supply for more than 720 days? Or that the camp has been without electricity for the past three years?
  • When Western journalists lavish time on Palestinians delayed at Israeli checkpoints, and ignore bombs dropped by the Syrian military on residential areas,  one might start to wonder [what] they are really about.
Since the issue of Israeli water supplies to Arabs in Judea-Samaria became a major topic for international news agencies and "human rights" agencies in the past few years, let's look at Abu Toameh's information. He explains that whether or not Arabs, or Palestinian Arabs specifically, are deprived of water is of little concern to them. Again, the issue is what can be blamed on Israel reasonably, or even unreasonably very often. 
International media outlets regularly report on the "water crisis" in Palestinian towns and villages, especially in the West Bank. This is a story that repeats itself almost every summer, when some foreign journalists set out to search for any story that reflects negatively on Israel. And there is nothing more comfortable than holding Israel responsible for the "water crisis" in the West Bank.
But how many Western journalists have cared to inquire about the thirsty Palestinians of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria? Does anyone in the international community know that this camp has been without water supply for more than 720 days? Or that the camp has been without electricity for the past three years? Yarmouk, which is located only eight kilometers from the center of Damascus, is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. That is, it was the largest camp. In June 2002, 112,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk. By the end of 2014, the camp population had been decimated to less than 20,000. Medical sources say many of the residents of the camp are suffering from a host of diseases.
Just bear in mind that there is no reason to rely on the international media or the self-styled "human rights" agencies.

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Friday, September 02, 2016

It Was Only a Detail That They Forgot -- The Detail Was Jewish Victims

Not speaking about the Jewish victims of Islamism 
says a great deal, unfortunately, about what is going 
on between Islam, France and the Jews.
Ne pas parler des victimes juives de l'islamisme 
en dit long hélas sur ce qui se joue entre l'islam, 
la France et les juifs.
David Isaac Haziza, La Regle du jeu

On 31 July 2016, a group of about fifty French Muslims prominent in various secular fields, the academic world, business, medicine, arts & entertainment, journalism,  engineering, education, and including a philosopher, high state functionaries, politicians, one of them a former government minister, and so on, signed their names to an ostensibly frank and sincere open letter to the people of France, terribly shocked by the murder of a helpless priest during his worship service. This atrocity came after several years of mass murder terrorism in France perpetrated by Muslims. These Muslims prominent in secular society stressed the need to "finally conduct a cultural battle against radical Islamism"  [mener enfin la bataille culturelle contre l'islamisme radical]. But there was something in their open letter or manifesto that did not ring true. Or rather there were certain things missing from it that cast a dark shadow of insincerity over what was stated. No atrocities specifically aimed at Jews were mentioned. Let's look at the first paragraph of their statement:
After the murder of caricaturists [Charlie Hebdo], after the murder of young people listening to music [Bataclan], after the murder of a couple of police officers [Magnanville], after the murder of children, women and men attending the celebration of the [French] national holiday [in Nice 14 July 2016], today [7-31-2016] the murder of a priest celebrating the mass. . .  The horror, ever more horror and the now very clear desire to set the French one against the other. [ici et ici]
« Après l’assassinat de caricaturistes, après l’assassinat de jeunes écoutant de la musique, après l’assassinat d’un couple de policiers, après l’assassinat d’enfants, de femmes et d’hommes assistant à la célébration de la fête nationale, aujourd’hui l’assassinat d’un prêtre célébrant la messe… L’horreur, toujours plus d’horreur et la volonté très claire maintenant de dresser les Français les uns contre les autres. » [ici]
Where is Ilan Halimi in this statement drawn up by people with very high social status in France? Where is the Sellam young man, a disc jockey, killed in the 2000s? How about the Jewish children in Toulouse and their teacher, the father of two of them? And Hypercacher, which came just two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre? How can the victims, the Jewish victims  of those atrocities be forgotten? But they were. How can we explain that? Simple forgetfulness? Really!! Weren't French Jews the first victims of Arab and Islamist terrorist in France, starting in late 2000, after the Muhammad ad-Durah hoax was broadcast repeatedly on France2 state TV?

To be sure, when various critics publicly pointed to the forgotten Jewish victims, these socially prominent and moderate Muslims added a post-script to their original manifesto. The Algiers-born Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levi weighed in on the obviously dissembling original document [ici].
Others in other places might observe that Jewish lives count --matter-- less than others apparently.
D’autres, sous d’autres latitudes, observeraient que les vies juives comptent –matter– apparemment moins que les autres.
Levi also alluded to the fundamentally racist, Judeophobic nature of the omission --and of the document-- by hinting at a connection with the slick Judeophobe, the "right-wing" Jean-Marie LePen, in the title of his own critique [L’Hyper Cacher, un « détail » ?]. In the late 1980s, LePen notoriously argued in France that the Shoah was a mere "detail" of history, not an epochal or alpine event, as Dr Franklin Littell had called it. Levi asked if the murder of four Jews at the Hypercacher supermarket was a mere "detail" for the signatories of the manifesto. Levi went on:
. . . you cannot denounce the hangmen by sorting out their victims [with some to be remembered and some not]. And you cannot, above all, claim to get out of an "intolerable situation" . . . . while hiding an antisemitism that is, like it or not, one of the marks and, perhaps, one of the sources of what Abdelwahab Meddeb called the "illness of Islam." 
. . . on ne peut pas dénoncer des bourreaux en faisant le tri parmi leurs victimes.  Et on ne peut pas, surtout, prétendre sortir d’une «situation intolérable » où le déni nourrit l’amalgame et où la confusion sème, à son tour, les germes de la division et, un jour, à Dieu ne plaise, de la guerre de tous contre tous – et occulter un antisémitisme qui est, qu’on le veuille ou non, l’une des marques et, peut-être, l’une des sources de ce qu’Abdelwahab Meddeb appelait la «maladie de l’islam».
One of the implications of the manifesto is that the moderate Muslim signatories exclude the Jews thereby from the French national community. Or one might say that they dehumanize the Jews, saying, as the omission implies--as Levi pointed out-- that Jewish lives do not matter. That this shocking omission came from ostensibly moderate Muslims opposed to radical Islamism, people successful in their careers in French society --presumably the last ones you would think might be bare-faced bigots-- is shocking in itself. It needs to be seen as a warning as to who can be trusted to deal fairly with Jews. If these people are prominent and influential in France, what future can there be for relations between Israel and France? For Jews in France?

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Post-Script or Addendum added by the moderate Muslims to their manifesto:      
We French people and Muslims deem it necessary to say with the greatest clarity that we do not make any distinction among the victims of the blind terrorism that has been striking at our nation [presumably France here] for many months. Jewish pupils in Toulouse or customers of Hyper Casher murdered because they were Jews, a Catholic priest martyred in his church [already mentioned in the original document], a Muslim soldier or policeman killed on duty . . . . the list of victims is terribly long and so diverse, in the image of our nation [presumably France] in all its components . . .
Nous Français et musulmans tenons a dire avec la plus grande clarté que nous ne faisons aucune différence entre les victimes du terrorisme aveugle qui frappe notre nation depuis de nombreux mois.
Elèves juifs de Toulouse ou clients de l’Hyper Casher assassinés parce qu’ils étaient juifs, prêtre catholique martyrisé en son église, soldat ou policier musulman abattus en service…la liste des victimes est terriblement longue et si diverse, à l’image de notre nation dans toutes ses composantes, qu’il nous faut affronter l’adversité ensemble. C’est bien tous ensemble – juifs, chrétiens, musulmans, agnostiques et non croyants –, que nous aurons à mener ce combat, il nous faudra toutes nos forces.[at bottom of web page, ici]. 
This statement or clafication later added on  --after criticism was expressed-- sounds good. But how is it that they forgot in the first place about Jewish children in Toulouse or Ilan Halimi, who is not mentioned or alluded to even in the post-script?

For further reading: Bernard Henri-Levi ici. David Isaac Haziza ici.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Do They Really Care about Occupation? More on EU & USA Attitudes towards Cyprus

We took up the same question a while ago. The European Union is not against occupation as such. It is against Israel. But how about the United States? President Obama constantly tells Israelis that his intentions for Israel are better than those of Israel's own leaders. Does he want peace for Israel? How about previous presidents? That requires a whole essay. So let's hold the question in abeyance for a while. Yet we will keep on using the Cyprus Question, the occupation of about 35% of the island by Turkey since 1974, and the consequent flight/expulsion of some 200,000 Greek Cypriots from the northern Turkish-occupied zone of the island.

Although Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004 the EU does not side with or work with the government of Cyprus to end the occupation. Indeed, it collaborates with that occupation while doing pro forma acts to indicate that it considers northern Cyprus occupied and that some solution should be found for the Cyprus Question. However, we would like to highlight here some expressions of the American attitude toward the Cyprus Question and the Greek-Turkish conflict, as well as the Greek-Turkish relationship in general.
In 1974, the US  State Department was not vocal in opposing the Turkish invasion. Moreover, the well-connected American "charity" and "peace" and "humanitarian" body, the American Friends Service Committee, an offshoot of the Quaker Church (the Society of Friends) appointed as its Middle East Field Representative John "Jack" Horner, who was living in what he described to me in 1975 as Girne, a city in the Turkish occupation zone, which the Greeks traditionally call Kyrenia. Apparently, he had no qualms about living in occupied territory and using the occupying power's name for an occupied town from which the Greeks had been driven out. By the way, Horner was a veteran of 29 years in the State Department, many of those years in Saudi Arabia.

In 1997, the prestigious world affairs commentator of the International Herald Tribune (something of a house organ for the views of the Washington foreign policy establishment) expressed great resentment in one of his columns that I am now looking at, over Greek endeavors "to thwart Turkish efforts to draw closer to the EU and eventually join it." For Mr Reginald Dale, it was of paramount importance to keep Turkey happy, lest it be pushed "into the arms of the turbulent Middle East." Indeed, Turkey's "ultimate place should be within a united Europe's economic and security perimeter, inside both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] and the EU." The occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkey is not at all mentioned in Dale's commentary. Indeed, the word occupation does not appear in the commentary at all. Dale instead refers to "the Cyprus problem" and "the long-running conflict over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey" as well as "the still-festering dispute over Cyprus."
However, Dale has a solution. The EU must take "a much tougher line toward Athens" [International Herald Tribune, 31 October 1997].

Notice that Dale makes no demand that Turkey end its occupation forthwith --or later-- or make concessions to the Greek Cypriots. For Mr Reginald Dale, respected journalist with the IHT, owned by the New York Times, the occupation is no problem at all. And it isn't even an occupation. It is merely a "conflict over Cyprus between" two sides.

Around the same time, US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, sent to mediate between the opposing sides on Cyprus, also showed his favoritism for the Turks. He argued that the refusal of the EU to accept Turkey as a candidate for membership had led to a temporary --but serious-- dead end in talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resolve the dispute [Ma`ariv, 5 May 1998 from Deutsche Presse Agentur; also Milliyet 5 May 1998]. Now, on the surface Holbrooke is blaming the EU for failure of his mediating mission. But why is the EU to blame? Because it won't give Turkey candidate status --as of May 1998-- for the EU. He has nothing to say about the Turkish occupation and does not use the word. He does not say that he is trying to "end the occupation" which is what Israel hears from a wide variety of Western politicians and diplomats. Why no talk of "ending the occupation" on Cyprus which would "let the refugees go home," which are other slogans that Israel hears from diplomats? Anyhow, by 2005 the EU had begun negotiations with Turkey with a view towards eventual Turkish EU membership. These negotiations began without Turkey ending its occupation of northern Cyprus.

It is obvious that there are occupations and "occupations" and these situations do not matter to the politicians or, if you like, the statesmen, or the diplomats. What they hate is not the alleged occupation but Israel. Given that what really moves them is hatred for Israel, not for occupation, one can easily imagine that they are not above inventing an "occupation" status for Judea-Samaria. Maybe their hatred for Jews and Israel makes it easy for them to find up to date reasons for hating Jews and Israel.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Socialist Mayor Stirs Up Hatred of Jews

Once upon a time, many Jews thought that socialists could be relied upon to treat them fairly. Didn't socialists support equal rights for Jews and oppose discrimination against them? This belief was naive in that it overlooked or was unaware of the strong anti-Jewish prejudices, even hatred, that prevailed against Jews on the part of socialist leaders and ideologues. But the belief did seem true for a long period from the end of the 19th century into the 1960s or even the 1970s in the United States and several western European countries.

However, by the year 2000, the favorable attitude towards Jews on the part of socialists seemed to have vanished. At that time, the two-headed government in France --a president of the "Right" & a cabinet headed by a socialist prime minister-- presided over  France2 TV, a state-owned broadcaster. This broadcasting agency repeatedly broadcast the faked video of Little Muhammad ad-Durah supposedly being shot by Israeli soldiers and being killed in a burst of blood at the Netsarim intersection in the Gaza Strip. When more of the video was seen in a Paris courtroom, the boy turned out not to have been killed and the burst of blood turned out to have been a red cloth in the boy's hand which he opened on cue from the director on site. The repeated showing of this hate video stirred up hatred for Jews among Arabs living in France. In this case, the responsibility for the video and its repeated broadcasting, as well as its worldwide distribution to whichever broadcaster would take it, belongs to both "right" and "left," both to the socialist cabinet and the "rightist" president, Jacques Chirac. None of the several French governments since the fall of 2000 has seen fit to repudiate the video hoax or to discipline any of those responsible for it at France2. That goes for Sarkozy's "right-wing" government after Chirac, and for Hollande's "leftist" government since 2012.

Now, France has witnessed the worst mass murder jihadi terrorist attacks in the current wave of jihadi atrocities since 2012, which I do not have to list. But Belgium too has suffered its share, albeit more modest than those in France. It is interesting that the long time socialist mayor of Molenbeek, next to Brussels, did his part to incite local Muslims against Jews. And this meant in the long run that he was inciting against the general Belgian population since we know that Jews are "the canaries in the coal mine," that when hate and terrorism start with Jews, they do not end with Jews. Here the Italian daily Il Foglio describes his role concisely:

Stirring up this great suspicion towards Israel and Jews was specifically the mayor of Molenbeek, the suburb that is today the epicenter of the jihadist campaign in Europe. It is also where Mehdi Nemmouche lived. He was the terrorist who carried out the slaughter at the Jewish Museum in the Belgian capital. This person is Philippe Moureaux, a socialist and  first citizen of Molenbeek from 1992 to 2012, a twenty-year period which led to him being called "the founder of Molenbeek."

"I am saddened at how the Jews now deny the right of the Muslims to diversity," Moureaux said [apparently regarding wearing the veil]. "Many have an interest in dividing us," Moureaux said after the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo. "They are trying to create hatred for the Arabs here in the West for the purpose of justifying the policies of the State of Israel."

--My Comment-- this is fairly blatant hatred of Jews and scapegoating of Jews, as if only Jews wanted to ban the veil, as if Muslims were not to blame for the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. See original below:
A fomentare questo grande sospetto nei confronti di Israele e degli ebrei è stato proprio il sindaco di Molenbeek, il sobborgo epicentro oggi della campagna jihadista in Europa, dove viveva anche Mehdi Nemmouche, il terrorista che ha realizzato la strage al Museo ebraico della capitale belga. Si tratta di Philippe Moureaux, socialista e primo cittadino di Molenbeek dal 1992 al 2012. Un ventennato che lo ha portato a essere chiamato “il fondatore di Molenbeek”.
“Mi rattrista come gli ebrei oggi neghino ai musulmani il diritto alla diversità”, ha detto Moureaux. “Molti hanno interesse a dividerci” ha detto poi Moureaux dopo l’attentato a Charlie Hebdo. “Stanno cercando di creare l’odio per gli arabi qui in occidente, al fine di giustificare le politiche dello stato di Israele”. [Il Foglio, 30 November 2015--qui]

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Islamic Roots of Arab Terrorism -- Kamel Daoud

non sia giusto identificare islam con la violenza
Pope Francis [Papa Francesco], the other day

Just the other day, Pope Francis said that: It would be unjust to identify Islam with violence.

On other occasions, Francis has said that social-economic conditions like poverty and unemployment lead or cause terrorism. Yet, here comes an Arab-Muslim writer, Kamel Daoud, a columnist with a daily paper in Oran, Algeria, and he tells us just how profound is the tie between Islam and jihad terrorism. The frustrated Arab who is poor and out of work is attracted by jihad, by death as a mujahid, a shahid. That sort of death will bring him to Paradise where he will enjoy his 72 perpetual virgins and live in material prosperity and luxury. For millions of Muslims, Paradise beyond this life has taken the place of the socialist/communist utopia.

Aha, but this would be jihadi martyr wants material prosperity and abundant sex in his paradisiacal afterlife, which he does not have in this life, the dunya. So is the Pope right after all about material and socio-economic causes? No, because many quite prosperous Muslim young men have undertaken jihadi murder attacks. Think of Bin Laden, the son of a billionaire. Think of Muhammad Atta of 9/11 fame or illfame. Think of the group of prosperous young Muslims in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who massacred a group of foreigners within the last two weeks. Furthermore, do you hear of poor people generally who are not Muslims who blow themselves up, also killing other poor people, killing women and children and elderly people out of frustration with their socio-economic condition? Of course not. Only do this kind of thing. They are following the Islamic precept of "Killing and being killed, the highest joy in Islam." Both Arafat the Sunni and Khomeini the Shiite stated this principle.

Paradise, the New Muslim Utopia
Contributing Op-Ed Writer
By KAMEL DAOUD 




Credit Edel Rodriguez
ORAN, Algeria — Future writing project: a topography of paradise in the medieval Muslim imagination. But not only medieval, for among Muslims today paradise is also at the center of political discourse, sermons and the contemporary imagination. Paradise as a goal for the individual or the group has gradually replaced the dreams of development, stability and wealth promised by postwar decolonization in the so-called Arab world. These days, one imagines happy tomorrows only after death, not before.
“Paradise decks itself in delights,” an editorial writer mused in an Algerian Islamist newspaper during the most recent Ramadan, the month of fasting. The declaration was followed by descriptions of the charms, the delights, the joys that await the faithful after death. This fantasy of paradise, amply depicted as a place of pleasures, with sex and wine, golden adornments and silk apparel, is the opposite of earthly life — and of the frustrations experienced in Arab countries afflicted by economic failures, wars and bloody dictatorships.
Firdaus (a remote ancestor of the word “paradise,” derived from the Persian) was promised by the Quran and has been abundantly described in religious literature for centuries. But in recent years, paradise has also become the country dreamed of by the poor, the unemployed, the believer — and the jihadist, thanks to certain religious elites who promote it as a means of recruitment.
This is a fascinating renewal of the concept of happiness that was dominant a half-century ago. Back then, the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East — born out of decolonization often violently wrested from occupying forces that had imposed on them war, poverty and misery — advocated for a vision of the future based on independence, egalitarianism, development, wealth creation, justice and coexistence.
That vision of utopia within human reach, which was taken up by the socialist or communist elites and even some monarchies, was a shared political dream, and it gave legitimacy to those new regimes in the eyes of both their own peoples and foreign governments. Decolonization was the era of grand slogans about the advancement of peoples and modernization through massive infrastructure projects.
But that dream has aged badly, because of the bloody-mindedness of those authoritarian regimes and the political failures of the left in the Arab world.
Today, one has to be a Muslim – by faith, culture or place of residence – in order to experience the full weight of the new post-mortem utopia of the Islamosphere circulating on the internet and the media. It conditions people’s imaginations, political speech, coffee-shop daydreams and the desperation of the younger generations. Paradise has come back into fashion, described in mind-boggling detail by preachers, imams and Islamist fantasy literature.
Its main selling point: women, who are promised in vast numbers as a reward for the righteous. The women of paradise, the houris, are beautiful, submissive, languorous virgins. The idea of them feeds a barely believable form of erotico-Islamism that drives jihadists and gets other men to fantasize about escaping the sexual misery of everyday life. Suicide bombers or misogynists, they share the same dream.
What about the women allowed into the eternal garden? If men can have dozens of virgins, what of the women, especially considering the machismo of those earthbound dream-makers? The preachers’ responses can be amusing: The woman’s heavenly reward is to be her husband’s happy wife throughout eternity, the two of them destined to enjoy perpetual conjugal felicity, at the symbolic age of 33 and in good health. And if the woman is divorced? A preacher replies that she will be remarried to a dead man who was also divorced.
Curiously, this dream of a Muslim paradise finds itself confronted with another dream at once antagonistic and similar: the West. Generating passion or hatred for the Muslim believer and the jihadist alike, the West and its indulgences represent another facet of the post-mortem Muslim paradise. One dreams of going there, whether as migrant or as martyr. One dreams of going to the West and of living and dying there, or of subjugating and destroying it.
The new Muslim utopia weighs heavily on today’s Arab world. What motivates the masses, gives sense to their despair, lightens the weight of the world and compensates for sorrow no longer is the promise of a rich and happy country, as was the case after decolonization; it’s a vision of paradise in the afterlife. But this fantasy of eternal bliss also causes uneasiness: For however much one wishes to ignore this, the fact remains that in order to get to heaven, one first has to die.

Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, is the author of the novel “The Meursault Investigation.” This essay was translated by John Cullen from the French.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/opinion/paradise-the-new-muslim-utopia.html?ref=opinion

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Jewish Majority in Jerusalem in the 1850s, Another Source

William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854), a painter, made five trips to the Levant, including the Land of Israel. His first trip trip took place in 1834-35 and his fifth and last trip took place in 1853-54. His paintings and illustrations of religious and historical sites and other notable views in Israel and neighboring countries were widely published in his own lifetime and afterwards.  His book on his last voyage, Jerusalem Revisited (London) came out in 1855, a year after his death in a ship that sank in the Mediterranean. He reports a Jewish majority at that time. Cesar Famin, a French historian and diplomat, reported a Jewish majority in Jerusalem as well, in a book published in 1853, around the time of Bartlett's last visit. Famin's book later became the source for Karl Marx's report of a Jewish majority in the Holy City (New York Daily Tribune, 15 April 1854). Other visitors to Jerusalem reported a Jewish majority starting in the mid-nineteenth century (also here).

Here are quotes from Bartlett's Jerusalem Revisited:

"The Jews are also the most numerous body in Jerusalem, and there is good reason to believe that their total number is about 11,000; divisible into Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The latter, or German and Polish Jews, are about 4,000. Their numbers are augmented by constant arrivals from Europe. . ."
[Jerusalem Revisited, p 42].
Hence, he estimates the numbers of Sefardi and Oriental Jews at the time as between 6,000 and 7,000 [p  43]. He also reports the Judeophobia of the Muslim and local Christian population [pp 42-43].

As to the Muslims and Christians, he writes: "The Moslem population is decreasing, as well as in fanaticism" [p 50]
He goes on: ". . . while the native Moslem population is diminishing in numbers and influence, the Christians, strengthened and supported from abroad, are gaining in both respects." [p 51]

I find Bartlett's paintings and other pictorial works to be very interesting. Several of them have been very widely published. A good number of them appear in:
Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, Painting the Holy Land in the Nineteenth Century (Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi & New York: Hemed 1997).

Ben-Arieh's book also contains a reliable account of Bartlett's career and works (see Chapter 4, pp 78-95). Of particular interest is his depiction of religious Jews gathered at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount enclosure (p 86). This work was painted in 1842 and besides its intrinsic human interest, it belies recent claims by Arab propagandists and their Western partisans that Jews were not interested in the Western Wall before 1967. I have used Ben-Arieh's book as the main source about Bartlett, although I found the quotes in his own book, Jerusalem Revisited (1855).

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Friday, July 15, 2016

EU Violates Its Own Principle of Transparency

The NGO Monitor organization has shown that EU funding for so-called "non-governmental organizations" operating in Israel and against Israel and flying the false flags of "human rights" and "peace" is anything but transparent. Yet transparency is supposed to be one of those principles of the European Union that were supposed to make it something new and different and admirable, something more democratic on the soil of the Old Continent.

Evelyn Gordon too has found that the European Union likes to cover its tracks and pretend that the results of "reports" by the bodies that it funds and sometimes invites to Brussels or Strasbourg to lecture on Israel's alleged evils towards those Arabs now fashionably called "Palestinians" are purely objective and motivated by the highest morality and justice, rather than by the desire to please one's European financiers.

Here is her too brief examination of the EU and its relationship with its Middle Eastern echo chamber:
In the three days since Israel passed a law mandating new reporting requirements for NGOs that are primarily funded by foreign governments, there’s one question I have yet to hear any of its critics answer. If, as they stridently claim, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with NGOs getting most of their funding from a foreign government, then why would simply being required to state this fact in all their publications exercise a “chilling effect” (the U.S. State Department) or “stigmatize” them (the New Israel Fund) or result in “constraining their activities” (theEuropean Union)?
The obvious answer is that the critics know perfectly well it isn’t alright: An organization that gets most of its funding from a foreign government isn’t a “nongovernmental” organization at all, but an instrument of that government’s foreign policy. In fact, with regard to the EU, that’s explicit in itsfunding guidelines: For an Israeli organization that conducts activities in the territories to be eligible for EU funding, it must comply with EU foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This, incidentally, also explains why 25 of the 27 organizations affected by the law are left-wing: The far-left is the only part of Israel’s political spectrum that shares Europe’s opinions on the conflict, and hence, that Europe is willing to fund.
Yet if an organization is an instrument of a foreign country’s foreign policy, it’s very hard to argue that it’s an objective “human rights organization,” as the organizations in question bill themselves. Rather, it’s an overtly political organization that seeks to pressure Israel into adopting the foreign government’s preferred policies. And making this known definitely could be “stigmatizing,” in the sense that Israelis might be less willing to trust an organization’s assertions once they realize it has a not-so-hidden policy agenda that could be influencing its reports.
That, however, is precisely why Israelis have a need and a right to know where these organizations’ funding is coming from–especially given this funding’s sheer scale. And it’s also why there’s nothing remotely undemocratic about the law, as explained in depth by legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich here.
Nevertheless, if this is really what the law’s critics fear, then they’re behind the times. In the years since the idea of legislating this law first arose, most of the organizations in question have made themselves so toxic that it’s hard to see how information about their foreign funding could make Israelis view them any more negatively. Thus the more likely impact of publicizing their funding sources won’t be to delegitimize the organizations, but to delegitimize their donors–which is precisely why Europe, which provides most of this funding, is so worried.
Currently, a nontrivial portion of Europe’s influence in Israel comes from the fact that Israelis still admire it and, therefore, want it to like their country, not merely to trade with it. The fact that Europe is Israel’s biggest trading partner obviously also matters greatly, but the emotional angle, which stems mainly from Europe’s role as part of the democratic West, shouldn’t be underrated.
Now consider how that admiration might be affected by the discovery of how much money Europe gives, say, Breaking the Silence. This organization, which compiles “testimony” by Israeli soldiers about alleged abuses, is unpopular in Israel for many reasons–because Israelis don’t think its reports accurately reflect their army’s actions (see here for oneegregious example); because its “testimony” is strictly anonymous, making it impossible to investigate its allegations; and because it spends most of its time and effort marketing its reports abroad, convincing many Israelis that it’s more interested in tarnishing Israel’s image than in getting the army to improve its behavior. But last month, two incidents brought its reputation to a new low.
The first was Mahmoud Abbas’ infamous address to the European Parliament, in which he repeated a medieval blood libel by claiming rabbis were ordering their followers to poison Palestinian wells. This accusation originated in a report by a Turkish news agency that cited Breaking the Silence as its source, which sounded highly unlikely. Except then the Israeli website NRG published a video showing one of the organization’s founders claiming that settlers had engineered the evacuation of a Palestinian village by poisoning its well. And a respected left-wing journalist, Ben-Dror Yemini, published a column with further documentation of both the organization’s claim and its falsity. So it turned out BtS actually was spreading a medieval blood libel.
Then, the following week, a group of reservists went public with their experiences of how BtS collects its testimony – which turns out to entail both harassment and deception. After their discharge from the army, the organization called them repeatedly to urge them to talk about their experiences in the 2014 Gaza war; one man said he was called eight or nine times. But when they finally acquiesced, they discovered that the organization had cherry-picked from their accounts to present the army in the worst possible light.
To grasp just how toxic BtS has become, consider the fact that the president of Ben-Gurion University–who has scrupulously defended its right to speak at university seminars–nevertheless overturned a departmental decision to grant it a monetary prize last month. What Professor Rivka Carmi essentially said is that while she will defend its right to speak, she isn’t willing to have her university finance the organization. And when you’ve lost the universities, which are among the most left-wing organizations in Israel, you’ve really lost the whole country. [Commentary 14 July 2016, here]
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See Eugene Kontorovich on the NGO Transparency Law.

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