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Emet m'Tsiyon

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

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.


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