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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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