Why Israel is embracing fascism in Europe

Ramzy Baroud By Ramzy Baroud

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Israel on 19 July where he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials. Orban’s visit would have not required much pause except that the Hungarian leader has been repeatedly branded for his often racist, anti-Semitic remarks.

So why is Orban wining and dining with the leaders of the so-called ‘Jewish State’?

The answer does not pertain only to Orban and Hungary, but to Israel’s attitude towards the rapidly growing far-right movements in Europe as a whole. Netanyahu and Zionist leaders everywhere are not just aware of this massive political shift in European politics but are, in fact, working diligently to utilise it in Israel’s favour.

On his visit to Israel, Orban asserted that Hungarian Jewish citizens should feel safe in his country, an odd statement considering that it was Orban and his party that deprived many Jews and other members of minority groups of any feeling of safety.

Still, Netanyahu has welcomed Orban as a “true friend of Israel” and Orban called on his European counterparts to show more support for Israel. Mission accomplished.

Netanyahu visited Budapest in July 2017 but that supposedly historic visit did nothing to change Hungary’s official discourse, which is dotted with racism and anti-Semitism. In fact, in March 2018, Orban derided Jews, focusing his criticism mostly on Jewish financiers such as George Soros.

At an election rally campaign Orban said, “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world”.

It is well-known that Israel and Zionist leaders are quite selective in manipulating the definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ to serve their political agendas, but Israel’s attitude towards the racist far-right movements in Europe takes this truth to a whole new level.

Indeed, the ‘special relationship’ between Netanyahu and Orban is only the tip of the iceberg. For years, Netanyahu’s Israel has been ‘flirting’ with radical right movements in Europe.

The unmistakable Israeli strategy, of course has its own logic. Israeli leaders feel that Europe’s move to the far-right is irrevocable and are keen to benefit from the anti-Muslim sentiment that accompanies this shift as much as possible.

Moreover, the EU’s resolve to label illegal settlement products and refusal to heed calls for moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is pushing Netanyahu to explore these new routes.

During his previous visit to Hungary Netanyahu met with leaders from the so-called Visegrad-4, which includes Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

On that visit, Netanyahu hoped to find new channels of support within the EU, through exerting pressure by using his new allies in these countries. In an audio recording obtained by Reuters, Netanyahu chastised Europe for daring to criticise Israel’s dismal human rights record, illegal settlement policies and military occupation.

“I think Europe has to decide whether it wants to live and thrive or it wants to shrivel and disappear,” he said.

Netanyahu’s arrogance is unbridled, especially as the censure is emanating from a leader who represents an ethno-nationalist state, which has just recently canceled any reference to democracy in its newly-issued Jewish Nation-state Law.

The new basic law defines Israel by an ethnic identity, not any democratic values. Netanyahu is now closer to Europe’s far-right racist groups than to any liberal democratic model, thus the ongoing flirting between Israel and these groups.

In fact, the term flirting is itself an understatement considering that Israel’s ties with various far-right, neo-Nazi and fascist parties in Europe involve high-level political coordination and, in the case of Ukraine in particular, the actual supplying of weapons.

Human rights groups recently petitioned the Israeli High Court to stop Israel’s export of weapons to neo-Nazi groups.

The Israeli far-right embrace touches almost every single European country, including Italy and Germany, whose history of Nazism and Fascism has wrought death and misery on millions.

In Italy, the connection between Italian far-right parties and Israel goes back to the early 2000s, when post-fascist leader Gianfranco Fini laboured to rebrand his movement.

Initially, Fini was the leader of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (Italian Social Movement), which saw itself as the “heir to the Fascist Party”.

The rebranding of the party required a trip by Fini to Israel in 2003, after changing the name of his movement to the National Alliance. Interestingly, in his highly-touted visit, Fini was accompanied by Amos Luzzatto, the head of the Italian Jewish community.

Unsurprisingly, far-right leader, Matteo Salvini, Italy’s current Interior Minister, went through the same political baptism by Zionist Israel as Orban and Fini by paying a visit to Tel Aviv in March 2016 to launch his political career and declaring his undying love for the Jewish State.

The same scenario is being repeated in Germany where the far-right party – Alternative for Germany (AfD) – has risen in ranks to the point that it nearly toppled a government coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

AfD has more in common with Israel than the common anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views. The party which is “derided for anti-Semitic, xenophobic views redolent of the Nazis is also staunchly supportive of Israel,” reported The Times of Israel.

Last April the anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic German party enthusiastically began a campaign pushing for the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite Merkel’s views to the contrary.

The story, however, does not end there. What began as Israeli flirting with far-right racist movements is now Israel’s official policy towards Europe. The same story, with different actors and names, can be found in Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO), Belgium’s Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) and virtually everywhere else.

It remains to be seen how Israel’s embrace of fascist Europe will bode, both for Israel and the European Union. Will the EU shrivel and disappear, or will Israel finally be exposed for what it truly is, an ethno-nationalist state with no interest in true democracy in the first place?

(Source / 01.08.2018)

Israeli military abruptly seals off Jalama crossing point

Jalama crossing

Israeli occupation forces closed off on Wednesday the Jalama crossing, north of Jenin province, without prior notices, blocking Palestinians’ access to their workplaces.

Scores of workers and vehicles lined up in the street after the Israeli military sealed off the Jalama thoroughfare.

Movement has been blocked before Palestinian passengers on both sides of the crossing.

The Jalama crossing is the sole passageway connecting Jenin to territories occupied in 1948. Thousands of Palestinian workers and merchants pass through the crossing on a daily basis.

(Source / 01.08.2018)

IOF arrests father, his son in al-Khali

Arrest father and son al-Khalil

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday arrested a Palestinian citizen and his son in al-Khalil, south of the West Bank.

Local sources said that the IOF arrested Wael al-Fakhouri and his son Ibrahim after raiding and searching their house located in Jabal Jouhar area.

IOF soldiers in the West Bank carry out daily arrest campaigns that target Palestinian citizens allegedly wanted for “anti-Israel activities”.

(Source / 01.08.2012)

Erdogan invites Ahed Tamimi to visit Turkey and meet him

ANKARA, PALESTINOW.COM — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended an invitation to Ahed Tamimi, who was recently released from an Israeli jail, to visit Turkey and meet him in the country.

Reaching to Tamimi by phone, Erdogan congratulated her on her release, hailing her strong determination.
After eight months in Israeli captivity, Tamimi, 17, was released on Sunday as a celebrated figure in Palestinian politics, amid a period of particular tension along the border.

Tamimi was arrested on December 19 last year, days after she was filmed with her cousin Nour Tamimi slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers who refused to leave their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.

Turning 17 in prison, Tamimi was denied bail throughout her detention and subsequent trial in an Israeli court, where she was tried for assault, stone-throwing, incitement to violence and making threats.

For Palestinians, Tamimi became a hero for standing up to Israeli aggression and invasion of her family home.

Ahed’s case drew international support from high-profile artists, actors, academics, and athletes calling for the teenager’s release.

Ahed, who comes from a family of prominent activists, made headlines after she was filmed biting the hand of an Israeli soldier trying to arrest her brother. Before that, she was photographed defying soldiers in her village

(Source / 01.08.2018)

Dareen Tatour sentenced to five months in prison over poem

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour convicted for posting a poem titled ‘Resist, my people resist them’ on social media

An Israeli court has sentenced Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to five months in prison for “inciting terrorism” in a poem she posted on social media.

On Tuesday, Tatour, 36, an Israeli citizen was sentenced by the Nazareth district court after having already served nearly three years under house arrest.

Tatour was arrested during an Israeli police raid in October 2015, a few days after posting on Facebook and Youtube a video of herself reading a poem titled “Resist, my people resist them” as the soundtrack to images of Palestinians in violent confrontations with Israeli troops.

Prosecutors said her post was a call for violence. She spent the following months under house arrest, during which time she was barred from publishing her work and accessing the internet.

Tatour’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, told Al Jazeera they will appeal the ruling and sentence.

“I don’t think that writing a poem, even if it’s against the government is a crime,” Lasky said.

“It’s regretful that in a country that believes in a democracy, will sentence to jail a poet because of a poem that she wrote. The prosecution wanted to send her to jail between 15 and 26 months [but] the judge decided to send her for five months which is still a long time in prison.”

In May, Tatour was convicted of online incitement of “terrorism” for her poem. Tatour has denied the charges.

In the video, which received less than 300 views, Tatour urged Palestinians to never “agree to a peace solution”.

She said there was no call for violence in her poem, but calls for a non-violent struggle, but Israeli authorities interpreted it to be violent.

The Israeli court also charged Tatour on Tuesday with supporting a terrorist group.

Prosecutors said she had expressed support for the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad’s call for an uprising.

“I wasn’t expecting justice to be done. The case was political from the start, because I am Palestinian and support freedom of speech,” she told reporters at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in northern Israel.

The indictment against her includes her lines:

“I will not succumb to the ‘peaceful solution’

Never lower my flags

Until I evict them from my land.”

The court also added a six-month suspended sentence to Tatour’s jail time, according to the official minutes distributed by the Justice Ministry.

(Source / 01.08.2018)

192 Palestinians Klled by Israeli Forces since January 2018

31 JUL
10:54 PM

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of 2018 is 192, the National Committee for Palestinian Martyrs reported on Tuesday.

The committee explained, in a statement, that 32 of the dead are children under 18 years old. 173 are from Gaza and 19 from West Bank. The most frequently targeted age group was 22 years of age, numbering 11, with 2 of them succumbing to inhalation of toxic gases.

Israeli occupation forces also seized ten bodies of the slain, and 268 of those killed since 1965.

The youngest Palestinian child killed is Layla al-Ghandour, eight-months from Gaza, and the oldest is Shaker Jabbareen, aged 60, from Hebron.

The committee pointed out that the average age of men and women killed is 24 years and nine months, and, on average, during the period from 1/1/2018 to 31/7/2018, one Palestinian has been killed every 26 hours. This means that the number of dead doubled during this year, compared with 2017, whereas the number during the year 2017 totaled 76, at the rate of one every 115 hours.

(Source / 01.08.2018)

Adidas No Longer Sponsoring Israel Football Association

31 JUL
11:06 PM

Following a global campaign, Adidas is no longer sponsoring football teams in illegal Israeli settlements. Palestinians call on new sponsor Puma to end complicity with Israel’s violations of international law. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel welcomes the news that Adidas is no longer sponsoring the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Last March, over 130 Palestinian football clubs called on the German sportswear manufacturer to end its sponsorship of the IFA over its complicity with the oppression of the Palestinian people. The IFA includes six Israeli football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements that rob Palestinians of land and resources. Israeli settlements are considered a war crime under international law.

A spirited global campaign followed, with human rights supporters around the world calling on Adidas to end its sponsorship of matches on stolen Palestinian land. In June, over 16,000 signatures on an international petition were delivered to Adidas satellite headquarters in Amsterdam.

In a reply to the Palestinian clubs, Adidas stated it had raised the issue of Israeli settlement teams with FIFA. Adidas, one of FIFA’s main partners, noted the need for the world governing body of football to “adjudicate on the question of the Israeli settlement teams, by following the tenets of international law and their human rights policy.”

Major international organizations such as Human Rights WatchUN experts and 175 lawmakers have all urged FIFA to resolve the issue of Israeli settlement clubs.

This is not the first time Adidas has ended sponsorship of complicit Israeli entities. Following widespread protests, calls for boycott and government condemnations, Adidas stopped sponsoring the so-called “Jerusalem marathon,” whose route includes illegal Israeli settlements and encroaches on occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem.

Israel’s brand has become increasingly toxic following its wide scale massacres of Palestinians in Gaza peacefully protesting for their UN-sanctioned rights. Israel has killed nearly 150 Palestinians, including journalists, medics and over 20 children since the end of March.

More than 50 Palestinian athletes are among the over ten thousand injured by Israel’s shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy in Gaza, leaving many with live changing disabilities, cutting short promising sports careers.

A warning to Puma

Another German sportswear company, Puma, has replaced Adidas as sponsor of the IFA under a four-year deal.

By sponsoring the IFA, Puma is associating its global brand with Israel’s expanding settlement enterprise, whose illegal land grabs and home demolitions are driving out indigenous Palestinians through gradual ethnic cleansing. The iconic leaping cat is sports-washing Israel’s military occupation and violations of Palestinians rights.

Puma’s Code of Ethics maintains it has a commitment to human rights and pays “close attention to the concerns expressed by international institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representatives of civil society.”

As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, Puma also has an obligation to make sure that it is “not complicit in human rights abuses.”

International consensus is clear. Israeli settlements are illegal. Puma is exposing itself to global boycott campaigns by conscientious consumers supporting human rights.

We call on Puma to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) as long as it is involved in Israel’s grave violations of international law and oppression of Palestinians.

The cat should take a leap for Palestinian rights.

Via BNC official.

(Source / 01.08.2018)

World Silent as Palestinians Defend Al-Aqsa

31 JUL
10:16 PM

Israeli police expelled worshippers and closed al-Aqsa Mosque for four hours on Friday. At least 40 Palestinians were injured and 20 arrested.

Fully armed Israeli police officers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City following Friday prayers on July 27, 2018. Israeli forces then forcibly expelled worshippers from the compound and closed its gates.

About 40 Palestinians sustained injuries from rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas and sound grenades, which Israeli forces shot in the compound. Israeli forces arrested over twenty Palestinian worshippers, including seven children, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center. Palestinian witnesses and officials of the Islamic Waqf attest that Israeli forces attacked worshippers for no reason and without warning.

شبكة قدس الإخبارية


الاحتلال يطلق عشرات قنابل الصوت والغاز صوب المصلين في المسجد الأقصى، قبل قليل.

After expelling worshippers from the Mosque, Israeli forces closed the gates to al-Aqsa and stationed in front of them. Palestinian religious figures, politicians and local movements called on Palestinians hold prayers outside of the gates until they were reopened. Hundreds gathered there, mainly in the square of Bab Isba, and collectively and peacefully prayed there.

Following the peaceful protest, Israeli forces opened al-Aqsa’s gates, which had been shut for four hours. Hundreds of Palestinians streamed back into the compound, chanting and singing. This development was considered a victory for the Palestinian popular movement. It reminded the people of last year, when Palestinian peaceful protests forced Israeli authorities to remove metal detectors around al-Aqsa.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the Israeli raid of the Mosque on Friday as well as the international community’s disregard for the incident:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemns in the strongest terms the heinous crime committed by the occupation forces and its police at the al-Aqsa Mosque today… This aggression comes within the framework of the escalation of the occupation and its settlers… [in terms of their efforts] to institute a special and temporal division [of al-Aqsa]. The silence of the international community regarding the violations of the occupation against Jerusalem and its holy and Islamic sites, especially the Aqsa Mosque, has reached the point of complicity. It expresses a grave disregard by the international community for the suffering of the Palestinian society.

The Jordanian Islamic Waqf is responsible for maintaining al-Aqsa’s “status quo,” an agreement reached between Israel and Jordan following the 1967 Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. It stipulates that al-Aqsa is reserved for Muslims worship, though people of other religions may visit the holy site. Palestinians and Waqf officials have long warned that Israeli settler and police incursions are a step toward unilaterally changing the political status quo of al-Aqsa and occupied Jerusalem.

Ahmad Jaradat is Senior Project Coordinator of the Alternative Information Center.

(Source / 01.08.2018)

Israel jails Palestinian poet over ‘incitement’ on Facebook

Israel pass Facebook Bill which will authorise deleting content considered incitement - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israel pass Facebook Bill which will authorise deleting content considered incitement – Cartoon

An Israeli court yesterday sentenced a female Palestinian poet to five months in prison for posting a poem on Facebook titled “Resist, my people resist”, Quds Press reported.

Speaking to the news site, 36-year-old Dareen Tatour’s father said that she was sentenced to five months in prison in addition to a suspended term of three years after she was accused of “inciting terror.”

He said that his daughter spent three months in prison when she was arrested in October 2015.

Tatour has been under house arrest since she was release three years ago and she has been banned from using the internet and posting her work on social media.

The Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem sentenced Palestinian teen Alaa Najeeb, 17, from the Old City, to 20 months in prison. He has already been held in Israeli custody for seven months.

READ: PEN International ‘strongly condemns’ Israel court’s conviction of Palestinian poet

(Source / 01.08.2018)

Old Israel documents show plan to expel Palestinians near Jerusalem

Palestinians protest to prevent their homes from being demolished by Israeli forces in Khan Al-Ahmar, West Bank on 4 July 2018

Historic Israeli military documents obtained by Haaretz newspaper have shed fresh light on the occupation authorities’ long-standing attempts to forcibly displace Bedouin Palestinians living near Jerusalem.

The documents, dating from the 1970s and early 1980s, confirm that contemporary plans to expel Palestinians in Khan Al-Ahmar are part of decades-old efforts to clear West Bank land for Jewish settlement expansion.

On 10 December 1975, Maj. Rani Langer, chief of staff for the head of Israel army Central Command, said that Minister Yisrael Galili had asked for a working paper to be drawn up about “places where the Bedouin population is concentrated” in the West Bank.

READ: Israel orders demolition of 6 Palestinian homes in Bethlehem

The minister further requested “recommendations for a permanent settlement of this population, in addition to ways of creating incentives for this, in places that don’t disturb [Jewish] settlement plans and aren’t expected to undermine them in the future.”

In 1981, meanwhile, Middle East studies expert Dr. Moshe Sharon submitted a “detailed survey of the Bedouin in the West Bank, which was widely circulated, including among military governors of the various districts and several Shin Bet security service officers”.

As described by Haaretz, “Sharon explicitly linked the plan to permanently settle the Bedouin to the Jewish settlements”, writing: “The main problem the Jahhalin pose is the fact that they have gained a hold on land intended for [Jewish] settlement or near it.”

Khan Al-Ahmar is home to Al-Jahhalin Bedouins, who are refugees from the Negev desert that have lived in the area since their displacement by the Israeli army in 1967. Israel has refused to recognise Al-Jahhalin Bedouin communities or grant them building permits, a strategy often used by Israel to term any Bedouin home illegal.

(Source / 01.08.2018)