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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Levy Commission Report on the Legal Status of Judea-Samaria in International Law & Related Matters

A translation of the Levy Report on the international law status of Judea-Samaria has just been made available.


This Levy Report can be read in conjunction with the articles and videos posted here. The web page at the link presents a spectrum or variety of views on the international law status of Judea-Samaria and the Jewish settlements in them.

For those who have not heard before of the Levy Commission  Report, the conclusion is that Judea-Samaria are not territory occupied by Israel which has rights under law to the territory in question going back to the Mandate for Palestine, which means to the Jewish National Home principle.

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Hypocrisy of European Academic Institutions -- Proof of the New Nazism

There is a widespread hate-Israel movement that calls for boycotting Israel, not only products made on either side of the 1949 armistice line, The Green Line, but even Israeli academic institutions. Now this call to boycott got its first big impetus from the 2001 Durban "anti-racism" conference that turned out to be an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish hate fest. It later came to light, mainly thanks to Edwin Black, that many of the groups, so-called NGOs, taking part in the anti-Israel hate celebration were funded by the Ford Foundation which we have discussed before.

The claim was made in defense of boycotting Israel that Israel is "occupying" parts of the ancient Jewish homeland, to wit, Judea-Samaria, roughly speaking, also called "The West Bank." The boycott movement is especially strong in Britain where several universities and a number of academics are boycotting Israel and have been for about ten years.

Yet some of the same universities and university departments that boycott Israel are happy to cooperate and collaborate with universities established in the Turkish occupation zone of northern Cyprus. They claim that international law requires them to boycott Israel in general or to specifically products and persons living in or manufactured in or --in the case of fruit and produce-- grown in Judea-Samaria.

Eugene Kontorovich shows us what is going on behind the hypocritical rhetoric:

November 17, 2014 by                                 
         Efforts by academic groups to impose boycotts and other kinds of punitive measures on Israeli universities have gotten considerable attention lately. However, an opposite phenomenon has escaped notice: the widespread participation by mainstream universities in programs and collaborations with institutions located in occupied territories.
         This may surprise those who recall that Israel’s establishment of Ariel University in the West Bank drew earnest condemnation from academics and even foreign ministries  around the world. Yet it turns out that Ariel is not the only graduate-level institution established in what much of the international community considers occupied territory. And the others have gotten a very different reception.
        Turkey has established 10 universities and many colleges in Northern Cyprus since seizing the territory in an invasion in 1974. Half of the universities are public, state-run institutions, and several are campuses of major Turkish institutions on the mainland. Some of the universities were established in just the past few years.

The United Nations Security Council, the European Court of Human Rights, and most of the international community have condemned the Turkish takeover of one third of the island of Cyprus. As of this writing, no nation other than Turkey recognizes the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” regime by which Ankara controls the territory. Turkey maintains a major settlement program, and settlers from the mainland now account for half or more of the population of the TRNC.
Yet surprisingly, universities in Northern Cyprus have won wide cooperation from institutions and academics elsewhere. Indeed, the growing effort to boycott Israeli institutions often coincides with a welcoming embrace of universities not just in the lands of occupying powers (like Turkey and Russia) but also established in the territories those countries occupy.
A telling example involves a conference this fall at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. Professors from Ariel University were barred from mentioning their professional affiliations as a condition of participating, and instead were asked to come as independent scholars not representing Ariel—a deal that they refused. The conference organizers said they could not be seen as “recognizing” Ariel. The incident was incoherent on its own terms. One might think that Ariel is problematic and illegitimate—but there is no denying that it exists, and that it employs the scholars in question. Ironically, the conference was about Israel studies: Would scholarly papers about the Israeli presence in the West Bank that refer to Ariel U have to leave its name blank?
The exclusion of Ariel University from the SOAS conference stands in sharp contrast to the school’s policies regarding interactions with schools in other occupied territories. SOAS once provided a special undergraduate course at the European University of Lefke, one of the universities established by occupation authorities in Northern Cyprus. More recently, SOAS has had speakers from “Abkhazian state” institutions, an unrecognized de facto arm of Russia’s occupation government in part of Georgia. Similarly, SOAS has held events with speakers from Turkish universities that have branches in occupied Cyprus. All of those affiliations were openly acknowledged.
These dalliances are par for the course for European institutions. British institutions are particularly active in Northern Cyprus, because of Britain’s history with the island. The University of Warwick, for example, has an  “official overseas center” for master’s programs at Eastern Mediterranean University. The University of Wolverhampton and University of Sunderland have joint degree programs with Cyprus International University, in the occupied part of the divided city of Nicosia. The European University of Lefke has several partnerships with British institutions. While they stand out, French, Italian, and Spanish institutions also have numerous ties. And one Northern Cypriot institution even opened a program in Washington.
Those are just the direct, institutional relationships. In addition, many faculty members of universities in Northern Cyprus are invited to lecture at foreign universities or publish in foreign scholarly journals. Similarly, academics from elsewhere in Europe attend conferences in Northern Cyprus.
These relationships have taken on added meaning because the universities are a core aspect of the Turkish occupation regime on the island. Turkey has aggressively developed higher education in the territory as a magnet for both settlers and foreign money. The schools attract tens of thousands of settlers/students from the Turkish mainland, and they cater heavily to international students by offering classes in English. Indeed, education has become one of the bulwarks of the TRNC economy, according to a New York Times article this year. The universities boast an enrollment of 63,000 students in a territory with a population of only 300,000.
The Republic of Cyprus strenuously protests the operation of these universities. Cyprus claims that the universities are illegally established, often on private property belonging to Greek Cypriot refugees, and argues that any accreditation, degree recognition, or other dealings with them by the international academic community violates international law. But these calls by the legitimate government of a Western democracy to abjure dealings with the occupation academies fall on deaf ears in academe—while calls to boycott not just Ariel but all Israeli institutions find a growing number of supporters.
Another striking example of this incongruity occurred last year, when many European academics signed a letter to the European Union official Catherine Ashton supporting the European Commission’s restriction of funds to institutions across the Green Line (a common name for Israel’s 1949 armistice line with Jordan). Many of the signatories teach at universities that themselves have relationships across the other Green Line, as Cyprus’s de facto partition border is known.
The wide acceptance of relationships with mainland Turkish and even TRNC institutions suggests that academic boycotts of Israel cannot be reduced to principled opposition to occupation regimes or dutiful execution of international law.
Yet the attitude of international academics to TRNC schools is, in fact, the right one. Knowledge does not know creeds or boundaries.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Cypriot conflict, cooperation among institutions of learning should not be obstructed, just as in former centuries, even countries at war maintained academic exchanges. European institutions are right to not boycott universities in Northern Cyprus. But advocating boycotts of Israeli institutions without an awareness of the broad academic cooperation with institutions in Turkish and other occupied territories is hypocritical and dishonest.

Eugene Kontorovich is a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law.
[The Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 November 2014]
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The hypocrisy deployed by various and sundry European universities and academic centers and departments also demonstrates a profound Judeophobia at work, since Judeophobia is --among other things-- applying different standards and rules to Jews than to non-Jews. The hatred and self-righteousness displayed by Europeans indicates a genocidal inclination towards Jews and the Jewish state of Israel on the part of the Europeans and others taking part in the boycotts.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

The European Union, United only against Israel: EU Commish Prez Stabs Euro Brethren in the Back

An Italian fellow whom I spoke to in Rome told me that there was no union, no real unity, in the European Union. We can see that in the austerity imposed on some of the economically weaker countries in the union, austerity which went so far as to remove health coverage from Greeks previously provided by their national health system. While traveling in Italy and France, everyone whom I spoke to about it, mourns the coming of the single currency, the Euro. They blame it for higher prices that came in when the Euro came in. So the EU, and the Eurozone [single currency zone] especially are blamed for oppressing citizens of EU countries and making their lives harder.

So the EU as a body is divided from its own populations. But Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign affairs commissioner, reminded us of what the EU is united on. On her trip to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza, she repeated the same old moronic platitudes and nostrums that Euro diplomats have been uttering for decades: Jerusalem should be the capital of two states and thus could show an example to the world, she declaimed at a press conference. Rather Jerusalem as the capital of two states would be a prescription for endless war, worse by far than the situation now of sporadic riots and terrorist attacks. The two-state notion too is dubious and unjust of course. Now Signora Mogherini seems to be an intelligent woman and may not actually believe in the nostrums and platitudes that her position requires her to utter. But it is the EU position. Jews have no right to live in Judea-Samaria. Of course, EU positions regarding Israel cannot be accepted as reasonable proposals but can only be seen as threats. Moreover, the EU and some of its member states finance pro-Arab, pro-Muslim NGOs --bodies pretending to be "non-governmental" agitating in the name of peace and human rights-- which demonize Israel, the 21st century's collective Jew whereas  Europeans have hated Jews over the centuries under other pretexts than today's alleged Israeli "aggression".

But there is more entertaining news out of the EU demonstrating its disunity and the inclination of one state to backstab the others. This story is especially spicy, involving as it does the new President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, He was prime minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for about 20 years. In that capacity he oversaw deals with some 300 multi-national and other major world companies which allowed them to use Luxembourg as a tax haven, something like a continental version of the Cayman Islands or a larger version of the Principality of Lichtenstein. The purpose of the agreements was to allow these mammoth concerns to evade taxes in their own countries. So Luxembourg benefited at the expense of its partners in the EU and other countries. And now one of the leading figures in the agreements with the companies is Prez of the EU Commission.

The firms involved include IKEA, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, Heinz, Glaxo, Amazon, AIG, Apple, Abbott Labs, and the Russian Gazprom. Price Waterhouse, the international accounting and auditing firm, helped negotiate favorable tax rulings for these firms with the Luxembourg authorities which amounted to evading taxes in their home countries.

Demonstrating the honesty, frankness and decency of the EU Commission president, Juncker recently declared: "Nobody was ever able to convince me that Luxembourg is a fiscal paradise" (La Repubblica 7 Novembre 2014). Juncker knew he was lying. Likewise, Signora Mogherini likely knew that her nostrums for Israeli-Arab peace were ridiculous, and would likely make the Arab-Israeli situation worse.

The EU is evil, corrupt, deceitful and oppressive.

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How Luxembourg and Juncker showed special pecuniary concern for the corrupt Palestinian Authority and its little performing civil service [here]
Nov. 11, 2014  Michael Freund believes that Signora Mogherini was hypocritical and duplicitous on her visit to the Land of Israel and that hypocrisy characterizes the EU's policy on Israel [here] et [ici]

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

More Arab Corruption of the Academy

The latest ranking of mathematics departments in universities around the world shows the department of math in a Saudi Arabian university coming out in seventh place, behind the top three, Berkeley, Stanford and Princeton, in that order, but ahead of the renowned MIT in only eleventh place.
Taking seventh place was King Abdulaziz University in Jedda. This institution was founded only in 1967 (Osama bin Laden studied there in 1975, by the way), unlike the other, more venerable institutions mentioned above. Its math department only began to offer a doctoral research program just two years ago. And the department chairman Professor Abdullah Mathker Al-Otaibi (he got his doctorate in 2005) , has no academic publications to his credit in the field of math -- or any other apparently. So with its recent beginnings and its undistinguished department head, how did this Saudi math department manage to beat out MIT?  [come si chiede Daniele Raineri, "Come fa il dipartimento saudita a battere il Mit di Boston?" -- Il Foglio, 4 Novembre 2014]. Just how did something so seemingly unlikely happen?
Daniele Raineri writing in Il Foglio, says that he is on to the trick. If you think that the trick has to do with all of that Saudi money, well then, you would be -- right.

The rating drawn up by US News & World Report [published in USNWR about a week ago] is based on the number of academic publications  by department members and on how often these publications have been cited by other scholars and by researchers. This is a common enough method of academic evaluation. So how did King Abdulaziz University's math department manage to beat out the department at MIT? Representatives of the Saudi university went around to prominent scholars in the field and asked them to "also" be scholars in the math department in Jedda. That is, in return for compensation, they would identify themselves when publishing their articles as professors in the math department of wherever they had positions and add to that they were "also" on the faculty at King Abdulaziz. As compensation they would get $ 6,000 dollars per month. The contract also stipulated that they had to spend three weeks per year in Jedda, staying at a 5-star hotel as part of their compensation, The three weeks need not be consecutive. The eminent profs would fly business class with expenses included. And meanwhile, they would still have their positions in their present institutions and get paid by them too. of course.

Raineri's source referred to an article in Science in 2011 entitled --backtranslating from the Italian translation-- "The Saudi universities offer cash in exchange for academic prestige"  [“Le università saudite offrono cash in cambio di prestigio accademico”]. Raineri adds that the trick works with mathematical precision. Such are the standards in the academic world today. 

Arab money also functions in the field of Middle Eastern studies [who would have imagined?]. 
There is no need to take the opinions of university "experts" as representing truth or wisdom. And scholarship is obviously not always pure. Consider too all of the university departments of Middle Eastern studies that are Arab-funded. How about professors who are on the take from Saudis or Kuwatis or Qataris or Dubaians? How about the famous Yale University which allowed its hunger for Arab money to eliminate a center studying antisemitism? The academy ought to be judged by its reality that is very much down to earth and interested in filthy lucre like everybody else. And has prejudices and bigotries and so on and so forth.

Here is a link to Raineri's article:

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