Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Operation in Gaza - Factual and Legal Aspects

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 29 Jul 2009, published a 164-page detailed response to the hysteria generated by "human rights" organisations that have used the Gaza operation as another excuse for Israel-bashing. Follow the link to the full report. From the Executive Summary:


1. This detailed Paper discusses a range of factual and international legal issues relating to the military operation undertaken by the Israel Defence Forces (“IDF”) in Gaza in December 2008 - January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”).

2. The Paper has been prepared at this time in order to place the Gaza Operation in its proper factual and legal context...

3. The Paper addresses the context of the Gaza Operation and notes that Israel had both a right and an obligation to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to stop Hamas’ almost incessant rocket and mortar attacks upon thousands of Israeli civilians and its other acts of terrorism. Israel was bombarded by some 12,000 rockets and mortar shells between 2000 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 rockets and mortar shells in 2008 alone. Hamas specifically timed many of its attacks to terrorise schoolchildren in the mornings and the afternoons. These deliberate attacks caused deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage; forced businesses to close; and terrorised tens of thousands of residents into abandoning their homes.

4. The Paper notes that Hamas constantly worked to increase the range of its weapons and that, by late 2008, its rocket fire was capable of reaching some of Israel’s largest cities and strategic infrastructure, threatening one million Israeli civilians, including nearly 250,000 schoolchildren. Hamas also orchestrated numerous suicide bombings against Israeli civilians and amassed an extensive armed force of more than 20,000 armed operatives in Gaza.

5. The Paper also describes the numerous non-military approaches Israel pursued to try to stop the attacks before commencing the Gaza Operation, including urgent appeals to the U.N. Secretary General and successive Presidents of the Security Council to take determined action, and diplomatic overtures, directly and through intermediaries, to stop the violence. Hamas nonetheless continued, and in fact escalated, its cross border attacks. These attacks included a raid into Israeli territory from Gaza in June 2006 and the abduction of an IDF soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, who, more than three years later, remains in captivity, having been held incommunicado without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) or any other international body.

6. In a detailed legal analysis, including a survey of the relevant legal principles and State practice, the Paper notes that Israel’s resort to force in the Gaza Operation was both a necessary and a proportionate response to Hamas’ attacks. While the IDF continues to investigate specific incidents during the Operation, the Paper demonstrates that Israeli commanders and soldiers were guided by International Humanitarian Law, including the principles of distinction and proportionality. These principles, enshrined in IDF training, Code of Ethics and rules of engagement, required IDF forces to direct their attacks solely against military objectives and to try to ensure that civilians and civilian objects would not be harmed. Where incidental damage to civilians or civilian property could not be avoided, the IDF made extraordinary efforts to ensure that it would not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage in each instance and as a whole. Both before and during the Gaza Operation, the IDF went to great lengths, as documented in the Paper, to ensure that humanitarian aid reached the Palestinian population, including by facilitating the delivery of 1,511 trucks carrying 37,162 tons.

7. By contrast, both before and during the Gaza Operation, Hamas committed clear grave violations of international law. The Paper documents Hamas’ deliberate rocket and mortar attacks against Israel’s civilian population, which violated the international law prohibition on deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian objects. It also documents deliberate Hamas tactics that put Gaza’s civilian population in grave danger. These included the launching of rocket attacks from within densely populated areas near schools and protected U.N. facilities, the commandeering of hospitals as bases of operations and ambulances for transport, the storage of weapons in mosques, and the booby-trapping of entire civilian neighbourhoods so that an attack on one structure would devastate many others. These actions, which are clearly shown in photographic and video evidence throughout the Paper, violated international law. Many of the civilian deaths and injuries, and a significant amount of the damage to property during the Gaza Operation, was attributable to Hamas’ tactic of blending in with the civilian population and its use of, or operations near, protected facilities and civilian property. The Paper also notes the direct injury and damage caused to Palestinians by the explosion of Hamas’ weapons factories and the falling of rockets short of their targets on Palestinians in Gaza.

8. The Paper addresses the acute dilemmas faced by Israel in confronting an adversary using its own civilian population as a shield. It details the extensive precautions taken by the IDF to avoid or limit harm to civilians in Gaza, while still having to achieve the necessary objective of stopping Hamas’ constant rocket and mortar fire on Israeli civilians and property. The IDF not only checked and cross-checked targets and used the least destructive munitions possible to achieve legitimate military objectives; it also implemented an elaborate system of warnings, including general warnings to civilians (through media broadcasts and leaflets) to avoid or minimise the presence of civilians in areas and facilities used by Hamas, regional warnings to alert civilians to leave specific areas before IDF operations commenced, and specific warnings (through telephone calls and warning shots to rooftops) to warn civilians to evacuate specific buildings targeted for attack. The IDF dropped more than 2.5 million leaflets and made more than 165,000 phone calls warning civilians to distance themselves from military targets.

9. In this Paper, Israel acknowledges that, despite the precautions taken, the Gaza Operation resulted in many civilian deaths and injuries and significant damage to public and private property in Gaza. Israel makes no attempt to minimise the human costs incurred. As former Prime Minister Olmert stated at the close of the conflict: “On behalf of the Government of Israel, I wish to convey my regret for the harming of uninvolved civilians, for the pain we caused them, for the suffering they and their families suffered as result of the intolerable situation created by Hamas.”

10. In analysing the legal aspects of the conflict, the Paper notes that civilian deaths and damage to property, even when considerable, do not necessarily mean that violations of international law as such have occurred. In particular, the principles of distinction and proportionality are only violated when there is an intention to target civilians or to target military objectives with the knowledge that it would cause harm to civilians that is excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage. Hamas’ deliberate attacks against Israel’s civilian population violated such standards and thus constituted a violation of international law. The IDF’s attacks directed against Hamas military targets, despite their unfortunate effects on Gaza’s civilian population, did not.

11. The Paper also gives a detailed account of Israel's efforts to coordinate and facilitate humanitarian relief and assistance to the Palestinians in Gaza. It also documents repeated Hamas abuses of these arrangements, including Hamas’ launching of attacks during humanitarian pauses and directed at crossing points, and Hamas’ hijacking and theft of humanitarian supplies intended for those in need.

12. The Paper also gives previously unpublished details of the multiple IDF investigations into allegations made by various groups that violations of the law were committed. IDF investigative teams are currently examining approximately 100 complaints, including 13 criminal investigations opened so far, and will examine more complaints if and when filed. The Paper sets forth the preliminary findings of some of the IDF field investigations, including investigations relating to allegations concerning 1) incidents where U.N. and international facilities were fired upon or damaged; 2) incidents involving shooting at medical facilities, buildings, vehicles, and crews; 3) certain incidents in which many civilians were harmed; 4) the use of munitions containing white phosphorous; and 5) destruction of private property and infrastructure by ground forces. It provides as much information as can be released with regard to the investigations currently underway without comprising the integrity and independence of these investigations.

13. The field investigations constitute only the preliminary stage of an extensive legal process. They are subject to independent review by the Military Advocate General, who may order the opening of a criminal investigation. The decisions of the Military Advocate General are subject to review by the Attorney General and may also be reviewed by the Israeli Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice). Israel’s system for investigating alleged violations, including its judicial review process, is internationally recognised as thorough and independent; its procedures and institutions are similar to those in other Western countries.

14. Israel deeply regrets the civilian losses that occurred during the Gaza Operation. But Israel has both the responsibility and the right under international law, as does every State, to defend its civilians from intentional rocket attacks. It believes that it discharged that responsibility in a manner consistent with the rules of international law....

A. The Legal Framework
B. Hamas’ Breaches of the Law of Armed Conflict and War Crimes
C. IDF’s Conduct of the Operation and Procedures to Ensure Compliance with International Law
D. Complaints About the IDF’s Conduct of Operations

Alluringly-packaged Swedish anti-Semitism

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Aug. 27, 2009, by Sarah Honig:

Sweden ...home to beautiful blonde, blue-eyed Nordic types who spare no effort to stress just how beautiful they are ...resplendent in smug moral self-satisfaction, they idolize their own idealized virtue and spare no effort to convert the rest of the world to their more august standards and unadulterated perceptions of goodness.

They are better than the rest of us, certainly better than Jews, whom they don't quite like. Just in a 2006 survey, 41 percent of Swedes admitted to harboring anti-Semitic sentiments in varying degrees. Among them, some categorized their anti-Semitism as "extreme." Moreover, it stands to reason that many of those who didn't admit to judeophobia cannot be counted as lovers of Zion.

AS IN the captivating painting 'The Prioress' by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the seemingly sublime can indeed conceal inconceivable virulence.

So it was hardly a surprise to learn that Sweden's most popular daily, Aftonbladet, saw fit to feature a report - in its cultural supplement of all sections - which presented no hint of objective evidence to back up assertions that IDF soldiers abduct Palestinians, remove their internal organs and sell these body parts for profit.

DOES THIS clash with disarming Swedish facades of loveliness and righteousness? ...the phenomenon of alluringly packaged abomination is encapsulated in Sir Edward Burne-Jones's striking gouache The Prioress's Tale. ....this exquisite work depicts the fable of a seven-year-old boy in an unnamed Asian city, whose throat was slit by Jews for singing a Christian hymn. Miraculously, despite the fatal wound, the underage martyr continued to trill because the Virgin Mary placed a magical grain on his tongue. The actual slaughter is revealed in a background vignette.

The narrative of a child sacrificed in a trumped-up Jewish ritual was a particularly popular medieval calumny that originated circa 1144 in Norwich, England. Numerous spurious spin-offs of this malicious genre cost many Jews, in diverse corners of the world, their lives in the ensuing centuries.

Revamped in modern guise, the old-time blood-libel still thrives in Sweden. The Aftonbladet story, carried by a mass-circulation news outlet which prides itself on progressive principles (self-proclaimed though they be), is doubtlessly as great a potential catalyst to hate crimes and prejudice as any anti-Semitic blood libel of yesteryear.

SWEDES SEEM intent on dabbling in demonization.
  • They refused residence to Jews as late as 1774 and only accorded them rights in 1870.
  • Until 1961 a Jew couldn't serve in Sweden's government.
  • Sweden did give asylum to 8,000 Danish and 900 Norwegian Jewish refugees from Nazi occupation. However, only 3,000 German Jews were sheltered pre-World War II. Demonstrating Swedish students and antagonistic public opinion severed that lifeline.
  • Under socialist rule (1932-2006) Sweden relished anti-Semitic motifs, though post-Holocaust these transmuted into anti-Israel themes.

Sweden had good reason to cover up its Jew-revulsion. Its World War II nonaligned status was essentially bogus. Having expediently abstained from fighting Nazi Germany - though Swedish neutrality isn't constitutionally mandated - Stockholm in effect abetted the Third Reich. Nazi manufacturers received generous Swedish credit and Wehrmacht reinforcements enjoyed safe passage through Sweden into Norway. Hitler couldn't have maintained his war machine without unstinting supplies of Swedish iron and steel. At the very least, Sweden prolonged the war, while the Holocaust death-industry operated unabated.

In this counterfeit neutrality's name, Sweden later avowed that it must side with the downtrodden Third World. Expectedly and conveniently, minuscule Israel was classed as a great imperialistic ogre. This wasn't just rhetoric. One of Yasser Arafat's first glory-garnering European junkets was to beautiful Sweden. Stockholm began squandering huge sums on NGOs promoting causes inimical to Israel, including assorted Palestinian front organizations. Sweden partly financed the 2001 book in which the original organ-snatching defamation appeared.

  • Swedish clerics and literati vociferously campaign for anti-Israel boycotts and for abrogating EU trade agreements with Israel.
  • Sweden's outspoken, uncompromising hostility to Israel remains a foregone conclusion in all international forums.

The Muslim influx merely made an already bad situation incalculably worse. Muslims, some of whom overtly agitate for Islamizing infidel Scandinavia, today account for some 500,000 of Sweden's 9 million population. While Muslims parade in all fashion of exotic garb in Sweden's central cities, their anti-Jewish harassment is so open, and so unchallenged, that Jews refrain from so much as donning skullcaps outdoors.

AS ELSEWHERE in Europe, the most fundamentalist Muslims are cosseted by ostensibly the most liberal circles. Green activists, communist leftovers and strident anarchists all consider Muslims to be victims of Western/Israeli repression. Such viewpoints saturate public discourse. Sweden's political upheaval of 2006 hadn't much affected its media predispositions.

Sounds familiar to us Israelis?

Having become a core constituency of the Left, the Muslim genie cannot be shoved back into the bottle. Hence last March's anti-Israel riots during the Davis Cup tennis tournament in Malmo - a city already one-quarter Muslim.

And the Left-dominated media is a self-perpetuating thought-molder. Any murmur of dissent is castigated as bigotry, racism and fascism. To be sure, there are other mind-sets in Sweden, though defenders of democracy are liable to be denounced.

Significantly, Sweden's premier and foreign minister - who aren't consistently noninterventionist - refused to condemn Aftonbladet's fabrications. Although official Sweden helped fund the initial slander, they pointedly dissociated themselves even from the displeasure sounded by their own ambassador to Israel, because "the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press."

That freedom, however, guarantees the right to publish, but also not to publish. Not every incendiary text that's submitted must see print. Editors not only have autonomy to accept material, but also the duty to reject what is blatantly false and inciteful. To do otherwise is to amplify the lies of latter-day blood libelers - precisely what Aftonbladet has done. It didn't serve liberty; it unthinkably injured it.

Swedes may kid themselves that their placid and pleasant society is the most successful the world has ever known. But beneath the slick veneer of Sweden's multicultural wonder lurks seething polarization that threatens to eventually unleash on Sweden what its radicals wish on Israel. Superficially Sweden is every bit as fetching as Burne-Jones's imaginative visual interpretation. As in the captivating painting, the seemingly sublime can indeed conceal inconceivable virulence.

UN extends its uselessness in Lebanon

From Reuters, Thu Aug 27, 2009 , by Patrick Worsnip:

Israel seeks tougher U.N. action to stop weapons - U.N. says that is responsibility of Lebanon

The Security Council extended on Thursday the mandate of U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon but sidestepped the issue of whether they could do more to stop Hezbollah building up an armed presence in the south.

Israel has criticized the UNIFIL force for not stopping weapons it says are flowing to Hezbollah guerrillas who might again bombard northern Israel with rockets as they did during a 2006 war. The United Nations says that is the primary responsibility of the Lebanese authorities. [So what is the UN's responsibility? drink tea, and spend the world's money? - SL]

On July 14, an arms dump exploded in the south Lebanese village of Khirbet Selim. Israel said the incident showed Hezbollah was stockpiling weapons in breach of Security Council resolution 1701, passed after the war.

UNIFIL is still investigating the blast. In a letter this month to the Security Council, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there were signs the dump was Hezbollah-controlled... [!! amazing....! What a revelation!]

... council diplomats said privately that Israel made clear it would like UNIFIL to more aggressively counter any rearming by Hezbollah...

...Hezbollah has said its guerrilla force is back to full strength after the 2006 war and has recently hinted it could add anti-aircraft missiles to its arsenal of short-range rockets and small arms...

How Jews got their Names....

From an unknown source (thanks for passing it on, Max):

Other than aristocrats and wealthy people Jews did not get surnames in Eastern Europe until the Napoleon years of the early 19th century. Most of the Jews from countries captured by Napoleon, Russia, Poland, and Germany were ordered to get surnames for tax purposes.

After Napoleon's defeat, many Jews dropped these names and returned to 'son of' names such as: MENDELSOHN, JACOBSON, LEVINSON, etc.

During the so called Emancipation, Jews were once more ordered to take surnames. In Austria The Emperor Joseph made Jews take last names in the late 1700s, Poland in 1821 and Russia in 1844. It's probable that some of our families have had last names for 175 years or less.

In France and the Anglo Saxon countries surnames went back to the 16th century. Also Sephardic Jews had surnames stretching back centuries.. Spain prior to Ferdinand and Isabella was a golden spot for Jews. They were expelled by Isabella in the same year that Columbus left
for America.

The earliest American Jews were Sephardic.

In general there were Five types of names (people had to pay for their choice of names; the poor had assigned names):

1-- Names that were descriptive of the head of household:
HOCH (tall) ,
KLEIN (small),
COHEN (rabbi ),
BURGER (village dweller),
SHEIN (good looking),
LEVI (temple singer),
GROSS (large),
SCHWARTZ (dark or black),
WEISS (white),
KURTZ (short)

2 -- Names describing occupations:
HOLTZ (wood)
HOLTZKOCKER (wood chopper),
GELTSCHMIDT (goldsmith),
SCHNEIDER (tailor),
KREIGSMAN (warrior),
MALAMED (teacher)
EISEN (iron),
FISCHER (fish)

3-- Names from city of residence:
DEUTSCH (German)
POLLACK (Polish),

4 -- Bought names:

GLUCK (luck),
ROSEN (roses),
ROSENBLATT (rose paper or leaf),
ROSENBERG (rose mountain),
ROTHMAN (red man),
KOENIG (king),
KOENIGSBERG (king's mountain),
SPIELMAN (spiel is to play),
LIEBER (lover),
BERG (mountain),
WASSERMAN (water dweller),
KERSHENBLATT (church paper),
STEIN (glass).

5-- Assigned names (usually undesirable):

PLOTZ (to die),
KLUTZ (clumsy),
BILLIG (cheap)
DREK (shit)

Original Birth Names of Jewish Performers:
Woody Allen --- Alan Stewart Koenigsberg
June Allyson --- Ella Geisman
Lauren Bacall --- Betty Joan Perske
Jack Benny --- Benjamin Kubelsky
Irving Berlin --- Israel Baline
Milton Berle --- Milton Berlinger
Joey Bishop ---Joseph Gottlieb
Karen Black --- Karen Blanche Ziegler
Victor Borge --- Borge Rosenbaum
Fanny Brice --- Fanny Borach
Mel Brooks --- Melvin Kaminsky
George Burns --- Nathan Birnbaum
Eddie Cantor --- Edward Israel Iskowitz
Jeff Chandler --- Ira Grossel
Lee J. Cobb --- Amos Jacob
Tony Curtis --- Bernard Schwartz
Rodney Dangerfield --- Jacob Cohen
Kirk Douglas --- Issue Danielovich Demsky
Melvyn Douglas --- Melvyn Hesselberg
Bob Dylan --- Bobby Zimmerman
Paulette Goddard --- Marion Levy
Lee Grant --- Lyova Geisman
Elliot Gould --- Ellio t Goldstein
Judy Holliday --- Judith Tuvim
Al Jolson --- Asa Yoelson
Danny Kaye --- David Daniel Kaminsky
Michael Landon --- Michael Orowitz
Steve Lawrence --- Sidney Leibowitz
Jerry Lewis --- Joseph Levitch
Peter Lorre --- Lazlo Lowenstein
Elaine May --- Elaine Berlin
Yves Montand --- Ivo Levy
Mike Nichols --- Michael Peschkowsky
Joan Rivers --- Joan Molinsky
Edward G. Robinson -- Emanuel Goldenberg
Jane Seymour --- Joyce Penelope Frankenburg
Simone Signoret --- Simone-Henriette Kaminker
Beverly Sills --- Belle Silverman
Sophie Tucker --- Sophia Kalish
Gene Wilder --- Gerald Silberman

Yiddish was the secret code, therefore I don't farshtaist,
A bisseleh maybe here and there,
the rest has gone to waste.

Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist,
My Bubbeh spoke it beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.

So och un vai as I should say, or even oy vai iz mir,
Though my pisk is lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.
And I'm no Chaim Yonkel , in fact
I was shtick naches, But, when it comes to Yiddish
though, I'm talking out my tuchas.

Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that I don't know it better
(Though it's really nishtkefelecht when one
needs to write a letter)

But, when it comes to characters, there's really no contention,
No other linguist can compete with honorable mentshen:

They have nebbishes and nebechels and
others without mazel,

Then, too, schmendriks and schlemiels,
and let's not forget schlemazel.

These words are so precise and descriptive to the
listener, So much better than 'a pill '
is to call someone 'farbissener'.

Or - that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria,
And you'll agree farklempt says more than does hysteria.
I'm not haken dir a tsheinik and I hope I'm not a kvetch,
But isn't mi eskeit kinder, than to call someone a wretch?

Mitten derinnen, I hear Bubbeh say, 'It's nechtiker tog, don't fear,
To me you're still a maven, zol zein shah, don't fill my ear.
A leben ahf dein keppele, I don't mean to interrupt,
But you are speaking narishkeit.....
And A gezunt auf dein kup!'
Farshtaist = (Do You?) Understand
Bisseleh = A little
Tsemisht = Con fused or mixed up
Och un vai = Alas and alack
Oi vai iz mir = Woe is me
Pisk = mouth
Naches = Joy, Gratification
Shandeh far di kinder = A pity/shame for the children
Nishtkefelecht = Not so terrible
Nebbishes = A nobody or simpleton
Nebechels = A pititful person or playing the role of being one
Schlemiel = Clumsy bungler, an inept person, butter-fingered; dopey person
Schmendrik = Nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same as chlemiel
Schlemazel = Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck(it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the Shlimazel!)
Farbissener = Embittered; bitter person
Chaleria = Evil woman. Probably derived from cholera.
Farklempt = Too emotional to talk. Ready to cry.
Haken dir a tsheinik = Don't get on your nerves (Lit.., Don't bang your teapot!)
Kvetch = Whine, complain; whiner, a complainer
Mieskeit = Ugly
Mitten derinnen = All of a sudden, suddenly
Nechtiker tog! = He's (it's) gone! Forget it! Nonsense! (Lit., a night's day)
Zol zein shah! = Be quiet. Shut up!!
Leben ahf dein keppele = Words of praise like; Well said! Well done! (Lit ., A long life upon your head.)
Narishkeit = Nonsense

Friday, August 28, 2009

Israeli lawyer sues 'Aftonbladet' in NY Court

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Aug. 26, 2009, by E.B. Solomont JPost Correspondent in NY:

Israeli lawyer Guy Ophir has filed a lawsuit against the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet over an article it published in which IDF soldiers were accused of harvesting organs from Palestinians.

The $7.5 million suit, which names the paper and writer Donald Bostrom, was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, according to Ophir, who said the article's allegations were anti-Semitic and amounted to "racist blood libel" against Jews and Israeli soldiers.

"It's something Goebbels would have written," Ophir told The Jerusalem Post. He said he filed the suit in New York because the newspaper had representatives there; the paper is also distributed in New York, and the article made reference to a Jew from New Jersey arrested earlier this month on organ trafficking charges. "The lawsuit, it comes from anger," Ophir said, adding that he would donate any money from damages to charity, including the IDF.

Calling the article "very dangerous," Ophir said the article was "totally libelous." As a retired IDF soldier who served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ophir said the article's claims were medically impossible. "Those things that are stated in the article never happened," he said...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fostering the Next Generation of Terrorists

From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, August 16, 2009:

Hamas summer camps in the Gaza Strip integrate social activities with political and Islamic indoctrination and semi-military training. The camps’ goal is to foster the next generation of Hamas terrorist operatives.

A general description of the Hamas summer camps
1. During the summer of 2009 Hamas opened, as usual, its summer camps for children and adolescents throughout the Gaza Strip with the slogan “Victory for Gaza, glory for Jerusalem.” ...
2. Hamas considers the camps an important tool for inculcating the younger generation with its ideology and for fostering the next generation of terrorist operatives. ...

3. According to the Palestinian and Arab media, Hamas ran 700 camps this summer throughout the Gaza Strip which were attended by 100,000 Palestinian youths (from elementary school pupils to university students)...

Indoctrination at Hamas summer camps
4. ...the youth undergo an intensive process of political and Islamic indoctrination ...implemented by the instructors and senior Hamas figures visiting the camps.

5. ... the objective of the camps is to prepare the children to take the leadership of the path of “victory and liberation” upon themselves. Talkbacks on Hamas-affiliated sites responded by saying they hoped the camps would produce “soldiers for Jerusalem and Gaza.”

6. The following are examples of the methods of indoctrination employed in the camps:

i) ...posters with Hamas slogans were hung throughout the camps and imprinted on the caps and shirts distributed at them. In addition, slogans were shouted during sports training. They were also repeated in lectures given by senior Hamas figures who visited the camps ...

ii) Hamas shaheeds [martyrs], some of them killed in terrorist attacks, are turned into role models for Gazan youth ...In addition, youth take part in Hamas propaganda exercises, for example, in demonstrations against the so-called “Israeli siege” or at the Rafah crossing to demand the release of Ayman Nawfal, a senior Hamas terrorist operative detained by Egypt.

iii) The official website of the central committee for the summer camps noted that the objective of the camps was to reinforce the bond between youth and Islam [radical Islam with Hamas' political interpretation]. According to the site, there was a need“ for the life of a soldier in the service of Islam,” as well as a need for identifying“ a group of outstanding students who would be able to preach for Allah and Islam in the main mosques and schools, and to maintain contacts with them after the camp [ended].” ...

iv) Terminology: Hamas activists related to the theme chosen for the camps: “ Victory for Gaza , glory for Jerusalem.” They said it expressed the Gaza Strip's “victory” in Operation Cast Lead, which was “the first step toward liberating Jerusalem and all Palestine .” They said the name was meant to indoctrinate the children with the status of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa as places in need of “liberation.” In addition, the camps were also named after Hamas shaheeds or names of places in Jerusalem, such as “the Dome of the Rock,” “ Jerusalem Road,” “the defenders of Jerusalem,” or names of topics on Hamas' current political agenda, such as “the camp for breaking the siege.”

Semi-military training in the summer camps
7. In previous years participants in summer camps run by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations underwent semi-military training. Apparently Hamas is trying to keep a low profile regarding those activities, but nevertheless, this year as well, news agencies operating in the Gaza Strip published photographs of youths undergoing training. ...

The Need to Pre-empt an Obama-imposed Disaster

From Jpost, August 25, 2009, by Isi Leibler [with my emphasis added - SL]:

President Obama's naive efforts to appease the Arabs by bullying and distancing the United States from Israel has backfired. However despite increasing unease extending to some of Obama's most fervent supporters, the administration has yet to signal any change in policy.

The futility of trying to appease tyrannies is evident everywhere; the thuggish behavior of the Iranian regime toward its own people makes a farce of Obama's efforts to reason with Ahmadinejad; in response to unilateral US overtures to the Syrians, President Assad visited the Iranian president, congratulated him on his bogus reelection and declared that their alliance had never been stronger; the North Koreans displayed utter contempt for Obama's friendly outreach; Arabs states all responded negatively to Obama's entreaties to provide a few crumbs of recognition in return for Israeli concessions; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was publicly humiliated by the Saudi Foreign Minister, who insisted there was nothing to negotiate unless Israel accepted all Arab demands.

The Palestinian response was even more noxious. Clearly emboldened, the Fatah General Assembly displayed contempt for any initiative that could further the peace process. Their intransigence again demonstrated the absurdity of the notion that this corrupt and duplicitous leadership could be a genuine peace partner. There were even elements of surrealism when the Fatah Assembly unanimously accused Israel of having assassinated Arafat and provided standing applause for a mass murderer.

They decreed that unless Israel acceded to all their demands, no further negotiations would take place and they could renew the "armed struggle." Far from encouraging Arab moderation, Obama's tough approach to Israel simply bolstered the hardliners.

The facts on the ground today make prospects for peace more remote than ever. The only clear message emerging from the Fatah Congress is that, as with Hamas, elimination of Jewish sovereignty in the region remains its ultimate objective. Were that not so, Mahmoud Abbas would have accepted Ehud Olmert's offer, which virtually granted him all his territorial demands and even hinted at a compromise over the Arab right of return.

Obama's advisers must have been bitterly disappointed when their diktats against Israel backfired. Indeed, their one-sided demands and bullying tactics can take credit for having created a rare consensus among the Israeli public, which today overwhelmingly supports Netanyahu.

To add to Obama's problems and despite predictions to the contrary, American Jewish leaders have begun to openly challenge some of his policies. There is a growing unease even among some Jewish Democrats that Obama is betraying the unequivocal undertakings he made during the elections to faithfully preserve the alliance with Israel.

This was exemplified in remarks made by Howard Berman, the influential Democratic chair of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who in a closed meeting with Jewish leaders explicitly criticized the Obama administration's pressure on Israel over settlements. Berman said Abbas was now "waiting for the US to present him Israel on a platter". Stanley Hoyer, the Democratic House majority leader visiting Israel, made similar comments at a Jerusalem news conference.

OBAMA MUST also have been stunned when his friend and loyal supporter Alan Solow, the Chairman of the Presidents Conference representing 52 major American Jewish organizations, condemned his demands to limit Jews settlements in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In a full page New York Times advert Abe Foxman of the Anti Defamation League stated "The problem is not settlements, it's Arab rejection...Mr. President, it's time to stop pressuring our vital friend and ally". David Harris of the American Jewish Committee expressed similar feelings to a Congressional group. Whilst usually ritually reiterating their belief that Obama would not abandon Israel, Jewish leaders have begun openly criticizing the administration's behavior toward the Jewish state.

Obama's standing with American Jewish activists plummeted further when, contemptuously dismissing a rare virtually unanimous Jewish protest, he personally participated in the ceremony honoring former Irish president and 2001 UN Durban hate-fest convener Mary Robinson with the highest human rights award in the US. This was perceived as yet another manifestation of Obama's new love affair with the UN and its anti-Israel affiliates.

It must also have been disappointing for Obama's Jewish advisers promoting the J Street line when they became aware that despite expensive media promotions, opinion polls indicated that most Jewish activists remained contemptuous of the left-wing Jewish fringe groups urging Obama to force Israel to make further concessions.

However, as of now, while continuing to avoid any initiative which could irritate the Arabs, the US is maintaining its heavy-handed approach toward its erstwhile ally, Israel. While a face-saving compromise may soon eventuate, appreciating the unprecedented backing he currently enjoys from his constituency, Netanyahu would be unwise to capitulate to Obama's demands.

Alas, irrespective of the settlement issues, there may be worse to come from this administration. After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's recent warm meeting with Obama in Washington, he effusively praised the policy changes introduced by the president and hinted of further impending "positive" US initiatives.

There are also chilling predictions that without prior consultations with Israel, Obama intends to unilaterally submit a US plan for a comprehensive settlement at the UN or elsewhere. It is rumored that this plan would use as a starting point the irresponsible offers made to Abbas by Olmert during the death throes of his tenure - offers which would unquestionably have been repudiated by the Knesset and people of Israel in a referendum. Such a move would be an unprecedented betrayal of a long-standing ally.

UNTIL SUCH time as a genuine Palestinian peace partner emerges, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot be expected to create a miraculous magic plan which would bring about a comprehensive final settlement. But his task now must be to preempt a disastrous imposed settlement by the Americans.

In doing so he must he speedily identify the red lines which his government, backed by the vast majority of Israelis, would never contemplate crossing.

To this end he should also marshal the support of the mainstream American Jewish leadership and encourage them to convey to their president that they too have red lines. They have already begun to signal that they will not remain passive if their government attempts to unilaterally impose a solution which could endanger the Jewish state.

Developments in Iran's Missile Capabilities Threaten Europe

From JCPA, 25/8/09, by Uzi Rubin*:

Click here to download the

Full Article -- Powerpoint Presentation

  • Iran is vigorously pursuing several missile and space programs at an almost feverish pace with impressive achievements. The Iranians have upgraded their ballistic missiles to become satellite launchers. To orbit a satellite is a very complicated project. There are missile stages, and a careful guidance and control system to insert the satellite into a stable, desired trajectory. They took the Shahab, extended it a bit, added more propellant, and now they have the Safir space launch vehicle. Moreover, the Iranians built a two-stage satellite launcher, instead of the usual three stage rockets for space-lift vehicles. This is incomparable to anything we know - an impressive engineering achievement.

  • In spite of the Missile Technology Control Regime and in the face of sanctions, Iran has succeeded in acquiring the needed infrastructure and to raise a cadre of proficient scientists and engineers backed by academic and research institutes. Iranian missile technology is moving ahead of the level developed by the North Koreans.

  • The solid-propellant Sejil missile signifies a breakthrough. This missile already poses a threat to a number of European Union countries. Based on its demonstrated achievements in solid propulsion and staging, Iran will face no significant hurdle in upscaling the Sejil into a compact, survivable intermediate-range ballistic missile. A range of 3,600 km. will be sufficient to put most of the EU under threat.

  • Contrary to an initial report by U.S. and Russian scientists for the EastWest Institute, with the Sejil, Iran has demonstrated its proficiency in using solid-fuel rockets that have much shorter preparation times than do older liquid-fuel missiles. The West must already prepare for the period in the not-too-distant future when Iran deploys nuclear warheads on its missile forces, which can be dispersed in mountainous regions of Iran and will not be easy to find.

Click here to read the full article.

*Uzi Rubin has been involved in Israeli military research, development, and engineering programs for almost forty years. Between 1991 and 1999 he served as head of Israel's Missile Defense Organization, and in that capacity he oversaw the development of Israel's Arrow anti-missile defense system. He was awarded the Israel Defense Prize in 1996. This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his presentation to the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in Jerusalem on August 6, 2009.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stalin then; Putin now

From The Rubin Report, Tuesday, August 25, 2009, by Barry Rubin:

70 Years Ago: Hitler and Stalin Carve Up Europe; Today Russian Leaders Justify It

Exactly seventy years ago, on August 23, 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop flew to Moscow to make the deal with the USSR to carve up eastern Europe....

...Nominally, the two countries have signed a non-aggression pact. ...however, it is in fact an alliance. And it certainly isn’t a non-aggression pact against Poland (to be partitioned between the two); Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (to be swallowed up by the Soviets; and Finland and Romania (some of whose territory the Soviets seize). Those parts of the agreement are kept secret.

Only one week later, Germany marches into western Poland, thus setting off World War Two, in which an estimated fifty million people die. The Nazis don’t have to worry about a two-front war—until they blunder into creating one for themselves. Soviet raw materials fuel the German war machine, bypassing the British blockade. Would Hitler have gone ahead even without the pact with Stalin? Probably not.

And so the Germans invade Poland on September 1, 1939; on September 17, 1939, the USSR joins in the feast. Its share also brings Stalin control over two million more Jews.

Ten days later, Von Ribbentrop arrives back in Moscow [for a few hours] ...The agreement signed is as brief as the visit. The two countries are “to reestablish peace and order in keeping with their national character” as they divide up Poland. For the Germans, the national character of the Jews is to die; the Slavs to be turned into slaves. For the Soviets, all are to have no more national character at all.

...Today, 70 years later, the Russian government is trying to justify this terrible deed....In effect, the Russian government is asserting its sphere of influence over all these and other independent states. The implications are frightening, most directly for Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, and others in Central Europe but also for Georgia and Azerbaijan, and for anyone who treasures liberty.

Russia has been putting increasing pressure on its neighbors, sometimes using its energy exports for blackmail, sometimes using money or covert operations. One remembers what the American diplomatist George F. Kennan wrote at the onset of the Cold War: To be Russia's neighbor means either to submit or to be considered an enemy.

The basic Russian historical claim about 1939 is that by itself seizing these territories, the USSR prevented Germany from using them as a staging ground for an attack. In addition, efforts to work out a security alliance with Britain and France had failed.

This is profoundly misleading. The Soviets genuinely saw Nazi Germany as an ally. They helped the German army train, they sold it materials to build up its military, and even up to the moment the Germans attacked in 1941, Stalin insisted that Hitler would not betray him....

...Russia’s claim today is, as President Dmitry Medvedev put it during Russia's attack on Georgia, that Moscow had the right to intervene militarily in any country along its borders. Or as military analyst Alexander Golts wrote:

"In his understanding of Realpolitik, [Russia’s strongman] Vladimir Putin does not diverge from the line set by Josef Stalin. Military force decides everything and if there is an opportunity to grab a piece of someone else's territory then it should be taken."
Thus do the apologetics for past dictators past blend in with the aggressive plans of contemporary ones.

Note: Much of this is drawn from Barry Rubin’s forthcoming book, “Children of Dolhinov: A Town and People in the Mists of Time.”

On Swedish anti-Semitism ...silence

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Aug. 23, 2009, by ILYA MEYER*:

Silence is golden according to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the government official who insists his country's ambassador to Israel must refrain from expressing an opinion on virulent anti-Semitic accusations in the Swedish left-wing tabloid Aftonbladet. Accusations intended as a blood-libel against all Jews and Israelis everywhere.

The article's author Donald Boström freely admits that he has no evidence of any of his allegations but says it is up to Jews and Israelis to prove themselves innocent. An interesting if not entirely original twist - Jews are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. The basic tenets of democracy do not appear to be familiar to either Boström or Aftonbladet.

Much of the material in Boström's article came from a book he published in 2001 Inshallah which was jointly financed by the Swedish Foreign Ministry and various other government-backed organizations.

Here is what Boström writes in the acknowledgements section (comments in brackets are my explanations): "Thanks to Diakonia [90% government-financed Christian aid organization], Forum Syd [government-financed aid organization], Graphics Industry Union, Stockholm Graphic Workers' Union [part of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, co-owner of Aftonbladet], the Swedish Christian Study Center, the Brotherhood Movement [Christian branch of the Social Democratic Party], the Swedish Palestinian Solidarity Movement [partly government-financed], Trade union TCO and the Swedish Foreign Ministry for their financial donations."

A worrying pattern emerges of governmental, church and trade union involvement in officially-sanctioned demonization of Israel.

This is no one-off phenomenon. Rampant Swedish media distortion and the tacit and blatant anti-Semitism expressed in various Swedish governmental and quasi-governmental organizations can be charted with the utmost clarity in an NGO Monitor report [June 29, 2009] "A Clouded EU Presidency: Swedish Funding for NGO Rejectionism."

THE RESULTS of media distortion and constant demonizing of Jews and Israelis are felt in Sweden all the time - most recently Saturday in a soccer match involving Jewish youth club IF Hakoah, in which spectators raced onto the pitch during and after the match to assault the Hakoah players for the crime of being Jewish.

One problem, however: at this particular match, none of the Hakoah players happened to be Jewish. Not that it mattered in a climate of hate cloaked in government silence.

Other aspects of Swedish silence that are equally worrying if one steps back and examines the broader canvas. Sweden is one of the world's largest per capita donors to Palestinian Arab welfare. This funding comes in the form of tax revenues paid dutifully by hard-working Swedes lucky enough to still have a job, to the tune of about of 700 million kronor per annum and increasing yearly.

And despite the millions that he takes from Swedish citizens to give to Palestinians, Bildt deliberately chooses not to condition these payments on the Palestinians' release of the only Jew in the Gaza Strip: the young Gilad Schalit who was captured by Hamas 1200 days ago and has since not been allowed contact with his family, legal representation or visits by the Red Cross - itself a gross violation of his human rights.

Bildt has every reason to be tight-lipped. Talking would put Sweden's decades-old policy of selective silence in jeopardy. There's too much at stake if people start asking questions. Swedes might start demanding that some of their tax money be spent on their own welfare rather than on Palestinians.

IN SWEDEN, anti-Semitism is not punishable. Neither is crass stupidity. Nor, for that matter, is gross incompetence in public office. But an ambassador who expresses her honest dismay over anti-Semitism while at the same time upholding Sweden's proud tradition of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, is censured by the Swedish foreign minister.

Israel's Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan gave a resounding interview summarizing his nation's and his people's view of Sweden's often uneasy relations with Israel.

Carl Bildt had no comment.

*The writer served as chairman of the Board of Information of the Gothenburg Jewish Community, was vice chairman of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Society, West Sweden Branch, and is a former board member of the Interfaith Dialogue Group, West Sweden Division.

FM Liberman on building in Judea and Samaria

From MFA, 23 August 2009:

...From Israel Radio's Reshet Bet, 21 August 2009
At a briefing for Russian journalists (20 August), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman said that there is a de facto freeze on building in the settlements, because Israel does not want to be accused of subverting the peace process, but that Israel will not accept this situation for long. “We are now awaiting another round of talks with the Americans. In September there will be a meeting with special envoy Mitchell, and I will also be attending the UN General Assembly. After that we will decide what to do.” ...

FM Liberman to Galei Tzahal Radio, 23 Aug. 2009
... we are really not looking for confrontations or friction. We are looking for a positive way to continue normal life, natural life, also in Judea and Samaria, and to try to help the United States stabilize the entire region and, perhaps, to change a little the direction of the Muslim world.

We are open, we want to reach understandings, agreements, also based on previous agreements and understandings, and we will do our best. ...

...There are no understandings that prohibit Jews from building in the eastern part of the city. I would like to tell you some facts that people, for some reason, ignore. Today, in the western part of the city, in Jewish neighborhoods, thousands of Arabs live – they rent apartments, they buy apartments, they build apartments. Private people initiate a private project, purchase land legally, acquire all the necessary permits from the Planning Commission, and the courts also confirm that everything is according to law. What exactly should the State of Israel do here? Pass laws restricting Jews in Jerusalem? We have to tell the United States – if your court would render a decision, would you, the government, act in contradiction of a court decision? ...

US-Iran battle for public opinion

From the Washington Post Foreign Service, Monday, August 24, 2009, by Thomas Erdbrink:

Iranians Seek Out Abuses By U.S.
Funding Passed In Retaliation, Lawmakers Say

TEHRAN, Aug. 23 -- Iranian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Sunday for a bill creating a $20 million fund intended in part to expose human rights violations by the United States....

...Passage of the bill suggests the depth of mistrust that remains between the nations as Iran faces a September deadline to respond to President Obama's offer for talks.

Iranian lawmakers said the legislation was in retaliation for what they consider similar action by the United States.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill in July that would allocate $30 million for technologies to allow the U.S. government's Farsi-language satellite and radio stations to bypass Iranian government efforts to jam their broadcasts. An additional $20 million would be set aside for developing Web sites and other technologies that will improve Iranian access to censored information. An additional $5 million is authorized for documenting information about human rights in Iran.

...Iran has accused the United States of organizing a popular uprising against the nation's leaders in the aftermath of Iran's disputed June presidential election, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially won in a landslide but which the opposition claims was stolen. The United States denies it played a role in the uprising.

The passage of the bill comes as international controversy swirls over Ahmadinejad's decision to appoint as defense minister a man who is wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994. The attack killed 85 and wounded more than 300 others.

...Also on Sunday, Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces killed 26 members of Iranian-Kurdish insurgent groups, said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The groups operate mainly from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, and Iranian officials often accuse the United States of supporting them with weapons and money.

More Yemeni Jews flee anti-Semitism

From JTA, August 24, 2009:

...Three more Jewish families are set to leave Yemen for Israel .... The families are reported to be from the town of Raida, where a Jewish man was killed by a Muslim man who ordered Jews to convert or be killed. The man has been sentenced to death.

Some 16 other Jews from Raida made aliyah in June, including relatives of the victim.

About 200 to 300 Jews still live in Yemen. Most live in Sanaa in government housing, after being evacuated from other areas of Yemen over fear for their safety.

Prejudiced Academic should quit Cast Lead inquiry

From the Jerusalem Post, August 24, 2009, by Jonny Paul, correspondent in LONDON:

A European non-government organization has called on the UN to remove a British academic from its recent inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Gaza, over statements made rejecting Israel's right to self-defense against rocket attacks.

Geneva-based UN Watch submitted a 28-page legal brief to the UN last week calling on the UN fact-finding mission to disqualify London School of Economics law professor Christine Chinkin over prior statements she made that bring her impartiality in question. previous statements Chinkin has "categorically rejected" Israel's right to self-defense against rocket attacks from Gaza and accused Israel of "aggression" and "prima facie war crimes."

UN Watch was referring to a letter published in the Sunday Times newspaper in January, during Operation Cast Lead, in which Chinkin ... declares Israel as the aggressor and perpetrator of "war crimes." The letter began by rejecting Israel's right to claim self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks, "deplorable as they are."

While the statement includes a passing reference to crimes committed by Hamas ...the entire statement is devoted to the thesis that Israel was guilty - the very accusations the inquiry is meant to impartially examine....

...With the enquiry set to assess if Israel has violated international human rights law and international humanitarian law during Operation Cast Lead, Chinkin has declared that Israel is guilty of both charges...

...the mission cannot claim to be operating with an open mind when one of its members has already made up hers...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Honouring the SS in Estonia

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Aug. 22, 2009, by EFRAIM ZUROFF, Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center:

...Estonia, the smallest of the Baltic republics ...suffered German and Soviet occupations... the Nazis being regarded as the by-far lesser of the two evils and the Soviets considered the arch-villains.

Thus late last month ...Estonia hosted its annual reunion of Waffen-SS veterans at Sinimäe, the site of one of the fiercest battles fought by the 20th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division (also known as the First Estonian Division) against the Soviets in the latter stages of World War II.

SS veterans from other European countries, in which such gatherings are illegal, were only too happy to join in the festivities ...foreign SS veterans who came to the reunion, as well as younger persons sympathetic to them, were welcome guests in Estonia.

Foreign and even local anti-fascists who sought to demonstrate against the reunion, on the other hand, were treated very harshly ...protesters from Finland and Latvia were declared persona non grata and expelled from Estonia, whereas local anti-fascists were arrested when they sought to protest in concentration camp garb, while others were detained for no reason to make sure that they would not be able to register their legitimate protest.

The annual SS veterans reunion is only the tip of the iceberg of sympathy for these men who are considered fighters for Estonian independence even though the victory they sought to achieve was for Nazi Germany, which had no intention of granting them sovereignty. ....

DURING MY visit, I encountered several additional examples of the Estonians' reversal of conventional historical wisdom about World War II. The most famous, and the incident which sparked violent riots in Tallinn in the spring of 2007, was the removal of a monument honoring the Soviet soldiers who liberated the country from the yoke of the Nazi occupation, from its central location in the capital to a military cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

Besides grievously insulting the large Russian minority which views the Soviet troops as heroes who achieved a vital victory in the fight against Nazism, the removal of the statue was also a painful blow to the Estonian Jewish community, whose annihilation in 1941 was orchestrated by the Nazis and their Estonian collaborators. Having visited both the monument's original location opposite the national library and its new site, it is clear that Estonians prefer not be reminded that their current narrative is a distortion of the historical events of World War II.

I encountered another blatant example of the rewriting of Estonian history at the Maarjamae memorial ground, dedicated to "the units participating in the 1944 defensive battles in Estonia." It was bad enough to see large plaques commemorating the infamous SS Viking Division and other European Waffen-SS units, but the most shocking and infuriating sight was a marker in honor of the Omakaitse, a paramilitary self-defense organization which played a very active role in the arrest and murder of numerous Jews and communists in 1941. Among its more notorious commanders was the mass murderer and rapist Evald Mikson, who commanded the unit in Vonnu and whom the Wiesenthal Center exposed living in Iceland in 1991.

TODAY WILL be marked in Estonia as a day of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian regimes. This ostensibly innocuous initiative to commemorate Nazi and communist victims together is actually just a first step towards obtaining official recognition that communism and Nazism were equally evil, a major step toward undermining the current status of the Shoah as a unique tragedy and one which will help deflect attention and criticism from the Estonians' distortion of history and failure to face their Holocaust past. (They have since independence, failed to prosecute a single Estonian Holocaust perpetrator, while bringing to trial numerous communist criminals.)

On the surface, it would be poor manners for our ambassador to be absent from the ceremonies, as if we are oblivious to Estonian suffering under the communists, but as long as Estonia and the other Baltic countries insist on rewriting history and relativizing Nazi crimes, Israel must make it unequivocally clear that we will not support such initiatives.

Swedish newspaper admits no proof; Govt refuses to condemn libellous report

From The Australian, August 24, 2009, by Agence France-Presse:

A SWEDISH newspaper admitted overnight it did not have proof for an earlier story alleging Israeli soldiers had trafficked the organs of Palestinians...

...Aftonbladet chief editor Jan Helin wrote that the first article on the case published last Monday "lacked'' proof of any organ theft. "...[I] gave the green light to the publication of an article because it asks a number of pertinent questions.''

The tabloid followed up its original story ...with an interview with the family of an alleged victim....They asked his 32-year-old brother Bilal if they had any proof that his organs had been stolen. "No, I don't have any,'' he said. "But ...We have heard many stories like this one.''

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt ...was also interviewed by Aftonbladet. ...Asked if the newspaper should apologise for the article, Bildt said: "Aftonbladet is responsible for the content it publishes, not the Government.'' ...

...Israel yesterday pressed Stockholm to condemn the original report.

"We are not asking the Swedish Government for an apology, we are asking for their condemnation,'' a senior official quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as telling ministers during the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Also from Ynet News, 23/8/09:

... the Swedish Foreign Ministry [said] that Swedish Ambassador to Israel Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier's condemnation of the report does not represent the Swedish government's stance...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"The Jews Are the Enemies of Muslims Regardless of the Occupation of Palestine"

Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub, which aired on Al-Rahma TV on January 17, 2009. Follow the link to see the video from MEMRI, January 17, 2009, Clip No. 2042

Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not...

...Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing.

...We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.

It is not me who says so. The Prophet said: “Judgment Day will not come until you fight the Jews and kill them. The Jews will hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and tree will call: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.” I have heard that they are planting many of these trees now....

As for you Jews – the curse of Allah upon you. The curse of Allah upon you, whose ancestors were apes and pigs. You Jews have sown hatred in our hearts, and we have bequeathed it to our children and grandchildren. You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains...

...Oh Jews, may the curse of Allah be upon you. Oh Jews... Oh Allah, bring Your wrath, punishment, and torment down upon them. Allah, we pray that you transform them again, and make the Muslims rejoice again in seeing them as apes and pigs. You pigs of the earth! You pigs of the earth! You kill the Muslims with that cold pig [blood] of yours...

[PS: don't forget that "settlements are an obstacle to peace..." - SL]