Saturday, November 21, 2009

Teach Peace and Life, not Hate

"JAI" (Chai), a 9-minute movie presented at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and posted on YouTube October 28, 2009:

Genocide starts with demonisation

From a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed, April 26, 2009, by Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch):

...Listening to [Survivors of the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur] describe how they were systematically demonized by the killers made it clear that genocide does not happen in a vacuum. The hate condition of a population willing and anxious to commit genocide needs nurturing. Genocide must be framed positively to get the necessary broad public support.

Common to the framing of all genocide is a very specific kind of demonization. In Rwanda, the Hutus taught that the Tutsis were cockroaches and snakes. Tutsi women were portrayed as cunning seductresses who used beauty and sexual power to conquer the Hutus.

In Bosnia, a fictitious news report said Muslims were feeding Serb children to animals at the Sarajevo zoo.

Radio Rwanda repeatedly broadcast a warning that Hutus were about to be attacked by Tutsis, to convince the Hutus that they needed to attack first to protect themselves.

...LOOKING BACK on Jewish history, it is clear that the method used to foment violence against Jews has always involved the same framing of "self-defense," with only the details changed.

So when Jews were falsely accused of poisoning wells in the Middle Ages, causing thousands of deaths, even decent people joined in the killings. They did not perceive themselves as murderers because they were defending themselves and their families.

When Jews were believed to be using blood of children for Passover matzot, even decent people felt comfortable massacring Jews, as they were defending their children from horrific torture.

...Hitler used this argument of self-defense in Mein Kampf: "In this case [given the Jews' threat to the German people] the only salvation remaining was war, war with all the weapons the human spirit, reason, and will could muster... If the Jew... is victorious over the peoples of this world, then his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity... Thus I believe today that I am acting according to the will of the almighty creator: When I defend myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." Hitler, too, packaged his genocide as legitimate self-defense. The details may change in each society, but the framing is always the same.

EXAMINING PALESTINIAN hate promotion today, it is especially striking and disconcerting that these components of the past genocides against Jews are prominent elements of the hate promotion of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against Jews and Israelis.

Two items on Hamas TV ...clearly document this.

Hamas TV broadcast a skit featuring actors playing a Jewish father and son, in traditional hassidic garb, discussing the hatred of Muslims that their Jewish religion mandates. The father even revives the age-old libel that Jews drink the blood of Muslims: "Shimon, look, my son, I want to teach you a few things. You have to hate the Muslims... we want to kill the Muslims, we Jews want to drink the blood of Muslims." He later criticizes his son for washing his hands in water before prayer: "We have to wash our hands with the blood of Muslims" (Al-Aqsa TV, April 3).

Ironically, the Hamas accusation that Jews drink Muslim blood came the week before Passover, the anniversary of many horrific blood libels. That same day, a Hamas religious leader ended his sermon with the promise of eventual genocide of the Jews. But to frame it properly, he opened with a depiction of Jews as the enemies of humanity: The Jews are inherently evil, seek to rule the world and are a threat to Muslims and all of humanity.

This is how Ziad Abu Alhaj framed it: "Hatred for Muhammad and Islam is in their [Jews'] souls, they are naturally disposed to it... Israel is a cancer that wants to rule the world." He concluded that the Jews are destined to be annihilated: "The time will come, by Allah's will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth" (Al-Aqsa TV, April 3).

[Also see this clip from MEMRI in which an Egyptian cleric teaches a child to memorize an antisemitic prayer on Al-Rahma TV and explains: The understanding of what he said will come - SL]

THIS DEMONIZATION and dehumanization of Jews is not limited to Hamas. Although hesitant to call for explicit murdering of Jews while seeking Western money, the PA continues its unrelenting framing of genocide as self-defense and for the common good.

In the PA-Fatah media today, Jews and Israelis are demonized through malicious libels, including such lies as the assertion that Israel intentionally spreads AIDS and drugs, conducts Nazi-like medical experiments on Palestinian prisoners and is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Says the Palestinian chief religious justice, Tayseer al-Tamimi: "The AIDS issue needs to receive due attention... since we neighbor a society [Israel] where the disease is widespread and which acts to transmit [AIDS] to Palestinian society. The occupying authorities, especially in Jerusalem, are working to spread drugs and drug addiction, without a doubt" (PA radio, February 17, 2008).

And this from Dr. Mutawakil Taha, head of the Palestinian Writers' Union and former PA deputy minister: "We saw how they [Zionists] stab bellies of pregnant women, slaughter infants and eat life in cold blood. They targeted children and the wombs of women so this people won't reproduce" (PA TV, March 4, 2008).

A July 2008 article in Al-Ayyam accused Israeli settlers of releasing rats in Jerusalem's Old City "to turn the [Arab] residents' life into a living hell, forcing then to leave..." (July 17, 2008).

A PA TV video clip juxtaposes scenes of a real Israeli tank with fictitious scenes of a child actor being shot, creating the fiction that Israelis deliberately target and shoot Palestinian children (PATV, May 15, 2008).

Just as the Tutsis were described as cockroaches and snakes, both Hamas and the PA have described Jews as loathsome and dangerous animals, including cockroaches, spiders, scorpions and alligators. While each libel is somewhat different, their essence is the same: The Israelis and the Jews are dangerous, they are not human, we need to defend ourselves from them and we are clearly justified in doing so.

It is tragic that this framing of genocide as necessary self-defense has been so chillingly successful. A poll after last year's murders of eight teenage yeshiva students found that "84 percent of Palestinians support the terror attack killing eight young students in a Jerusalem yeshiva on March 6, 2008" (Poll by Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, The New York Times, March 19, 2008).

How can an entire Palestinian society support the murder of children? Clearly, the framing of Jews and Israelis as mortally dangerous to Palestinians has been totally successful. Israel now faces a society that is very possibly past the stage of genocide framing and at the point of seeing the killing of Israelis, even teens, as justified. All that would be necessary for the population to go along with the final script, detailed so many times by its leaders, would be the means.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gevalt!! Franz Kafka comes to the UN

From, November 18, 2009:

The United Nations detained an outspoken critic and booted her from its New York headquarters in what the woman, a human rights watchdog, is calling an effort to silence her opposition to the world body.

Anne Bayefsky claims that as retaliation for giving a two-minute impromptu speech defending Israel, her 25-year career of monitoring the U.N. is now in jeopardy - likely to be placed in the hands of a committee chaired by the genocidal regime in Sudan.

Bayefsky gets special access to U.N. meetings in her capacity as the director of a non-governmental organization, the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at New York's Touro College.

But the longtime U.N. observer has found herself in what she calls a "Kafkaesque" gray zone, where the U.N. confiscated her credentials, then denied to reporters that her access had been blocked.

"This is no accident," she told, arguing that she is being denied access to vital meetings concerning her prime focus: defending Israel. "This is keeping [the U.N.'s] major critic absent during the heart of the year."

Following a vote Nov. 5 at the U.N. General Assembly, a microphone was set up outside the UNGA chamber for delegates to tout their endorsement of the controversial Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during its invasion of Gaza last winter.

Without an invitation, Bayefsky approached the empty podium to offer what she thought would be a counter-balance to speeches from the Libyan president of the UNGA and the Palestinian observer, who both supported the resolution.

"I didn't expect that there would be a problem at all," said Bayefsky, who noted that she and other NGOs have spoken there in the past without incident. (Archived U.N. video shows an official from the NGO Human Rights Watch speaking in praise of the U.N. at the same podium in May 2007.)

Bayefsky blasted the Goldstone Report and called the U.N. a "laughingstock" for singling out Israel and ignoring human rights violations committed by the terrorist organization Hamas against Israeli and Palestinian civilians during the three-week campaign in December and January.

"This is a resolution that purports to be evenhanded; it is anything but," she said of the document approved by the UNGA. "It is a travesty - it calls for accountability, and in fact what we see instead is impunity for the Palestinian side."

Soon after she finished speaking, Bayefsky was swarmed by four U.N. security guards, who brought her to their security office, confiscated her NGO pass and kicked her out of the building, she said.

But the U.N. told reporters a different story at a press conference Tuesday - claiming that there has been no change in status for Bayefsky, even as she continues to sit in limbo.

...But Bayefsky says that the content of her speech is what rubbed U.N. officials the wrong way. She says supporters of the Goldstone report "are going to do everything in their power to silence anyone who gets in their way."

Following her speech, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, was informed that a pro-Israel NGO had spoken after him, and reportedly asked a member of the press, "Did we capture them?"

Later, as she pleaded her case before being forcibly removed from the General Assembly building, a security official told Bayefsky that "the Palestinian ambassador is very upset at the statement you made," she told

...Though her speech was broadcast live online, the footage was removed from the main proceedings made available by the U.N. on its Web site. Video of Bayefsky's two-minute talk, which first streamed live, has been posted online on YouTube.

...Bayefsky is now waiting for the U.N. to return her credentials or to refer her case to the Committee on NGOs, which will meet during January and February and could decide whether to renew her NGO pass — a prospect that has her deeply worried.

"The chances of my getting through that committee are basically nil," she said.

The nation that chairs the committee, Sudan, is currently engaged in a murderous war on its own citizens and expelled 13 major aid NGOs from the country in March - meaning that a human rights violator that rejects NGOs within its own borders will be overseeing the approval of NGOs at the U.N.

...In the meantime, Bayefsky has no pass and can't hope for a hearing until at least January or February, which means she could be barred from working at the U.N. for the next few months.

"The next three weeks are the heart of the entire year at the U.N. General Assembly. The frenzy of anti-Israel activity is going on right now," she said. "There's a reason they're keeping me away - this is no accident."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mia Farrow endorses campaign on Darfur advocacy

From The Canadian Jewish News, Thursday, 19 November 2009, by SHERI SHEFA, Staff Reporter:

TORONTO — Actor and humanitarian Mia Farrow has endorsed another Canadian Jewish organization working to raise awareness about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Mia Farrow spoke about the importance of distributing literature such as Canadian Jewish Congress’ Darfur: A Jewish Response to galvanize citizens to advocate for the victims of the Darfur genocide.

...the CJC campaign on Darfur advocacy, led by Ottawa-based lawyer Amichai Wise, as well as volunteers, including university students, professionals and religious leaders from across the country.

...“The response of the Jewish community in America, in England, here in Canada has been immediate and everybody stepped up, and it’s just amazing. Without Jewish advocacy in America, we wouldn’t have the Save Darfur Coalition, we wouldn’t have the STAND [Students Taking Action Now: Darfur] groups – we wouldn’t have anywhere near the focus that we have been able to shed on another genocide,” Farrow said.

“And, of course, it is because of the Jewish people, who tragically know better than anyone, when we say the word genocide… what it means. It is the Jewish community again and again who have stepped up,” she said.

Going even further with her praise of the Jewish community, she called herself a “Jewish wannabe,” and added that she “always wanted to be Jewish.”

...The book also includes graphic images from the region, including a photo taken by Farrow during one of her 11 trips to the region.

Farrow took her first trip to Darfur in 2004, about a year after a conflict over land between African farmers and Arabic nomads began. The conflict escalated into a violent war between African guerrilla groups and the Janjaweed, which led to the murder of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of about three million people in refugee camps, some of whom are dying from hunger and disease.

Farrow said that books such as Darfur: A Jewish Response are so important because “to reach the governments you have to get to the citizens.

...Farrow, who said her family motto is that with knowledge comes responsibility, said that the first step in becoming an advocate is to get informed. “[Ask yourself] what is being demanded of you, what is in your sphere of capabilities to give, to do, to join, to become involved, to lend your voice.”

She said that while she has gotten discouraged in the past by people’s apathy, she has a lot of hope when it comes to the younger generation of activists....

For more information or to join the Darfur Action Committee, e-mail

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

German prosecutors charge Nazi war criminal

From The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Nov. 17, by David Rising:

Former SS sergeant lived in Germany for six decades unnoticed until Austrian student came across his name during research on 1945 massacre

...The student gave the information to state prosecutors near Storms' hometown of Duisburg, and they have now filed charges against the 90-year-old on 58 counts of murder for the killings near the Austrian village of Deutsch Schuetzen, a German court said.

...The day following the massacre, [Adolf Storms, a former member of the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking.” ] is [also] accused of personally shooting another Jew who could no longer walk during a forced march in Austria from Deutsch Schuetzen to the village of Hartberg...

...The remains of the victims of the Deutsch Schuetzen massacre were found in 1995 in a mass grave by the Austrian Jewish association. A plaque now marks the site.

University of Vienna student Andreas Forster came across the suspect while investigating the massacre, and then obtained archival files from Germany that confirmed [Adolf Storms']involvement, his professor, Walter Manoschek, told The Associated Press. ......The Duisburg court still has to decide whether there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.

Prosecutor Andreas Brendel said his investigation is ongoing, but so far three former members of the Hitler Youth, who were helping the SS guard the prisoners on the march, have provided witness statements in Austria. A fourth former Hitler Youth member, now living in Canada, is being interviewed this week, Mr. Brendel told the AP....

...Mr. Storms was interned in an American prisoner of war camp following the war, but was released in 1946. In the chaotic aftermath of the war, however, it was not uncommon for possible war criminals to slip through the cracks.

The Austrian press has reported the man changed the spelling of his name after World War II, perhaps helping him go undetected for so long.

Norway university and Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions won't boycott Israel

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Nov. 12, 2009, by Melanie Lidman:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) unanimously voted against an academic boycott of Israel at a meeting on Thursday.

Had the proposal passed, NTNU would have been the first Western university to sever ties with Israeli universities.

"As an academic institution, NTNU's mission is to stimulate the study of the causes of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and how it can be resolved. This means that the university is also dependent on being able to cooperate with Israeli academics and hear their views on the conflict," the 12 board members said in a statement released by the university.

The meeting was attended by almost 50 members of the university community, a rare departure from the usual five attendees of board of governors meetings. The journalists, mostly from Norwegian publications, outnumbered the board members.

...The discussion took less than half an hour, since no one argued in favor of the proposal.

...The boycott proposal was met with denunciation by organizations in Israel, Europe and North America who mobilized against it. International reaction was much more intense than the university had anticipated, Singsaas said.

Also from The Academic Friends of Israel, Vol 8 No12 17 November 2009, by Ronnie Fraser:

...The NTNU had received letters and emails from all over the world which resulted in tremendous negative publicity for the University and Norway. The global counter-boycott petition by SPME (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East) was signed by more than 3,500 people, more than 1,000 times the number of signatures on the original proposal to boycott.

....More goods news last week, when the General Secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions [PGFTU] Palestine’s equivalent of the TUC told a delegation of British trade unionists that they are not interested in general boycotts of Israel. ....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who's Nuts?

From National Review Online, Monday, November 09, 2009, by Mark Steyn:

For the purposes of argument, let's accept the media's insistence that Major Hasan is a lone crazy.

So who's nuttier?

The guy who gives a lecture to other military doctors in which he says non-Muslims should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats?

Or the guys who say "Hey, let's have this fellow counsel our traumatized veterans and then promote him to major and put him on a Homeland Security panel?

Or the Army Chief of Staff who thinks the priority should be to celebrate diversity, even unto death?

Or the Secretary of Homeland Security who warns that the principal threat we face now is an outbreak of Islamophobia?

Or the president who says we cannot "fully know" why Major Hasan did what he did, so why trouble ourselves any further?

Or the columnist who, when a man hands out copies of the Koran before gunning down his victims while yelling "Allahu akbar," says you're racist if you bring up his religion?

Or his media colleagues who put Americans in the same position as East Germans twenty years ago of having to get hold of a foreign newspaper to find out what's going on?

General Casey has a point: An army that lets you check either the "home team" or "enemy" box according to taste is certainly diverse. But the logic in the remarks of Secretary Napolitano and others is that the real problem is that most Americans are knuckledragging bigots just waiting to go bananas. As Melanie Phillips wrote in her book Londonistan: Minority-rights doctrine has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing wrong are excused if they belong to a 'victim' group, while those at the receiving end of their behaviour are blamed simply because they belong to the 'oppressive' majority.

To the injury of November 5, we add the insults of American officialdom and their poodle media. In a nutshell: The real enemy — in the sense of the most important enemy — isn’t a bunch of flea-bitten jihadis sitting in a cave somewhere. It’s Western civilization’s craziness. We are setting our hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer.