Gilad Atzmon: Europe Turns Against Israel

A German think-tank affiliated with the Social Democratic Party issued a new report last week that revealed “high levels of anti-Semitism in Germany, Poland and Hungary.”

Dr. Beate Küpper, a researcher from the University of Bielefeld who co-authored the study along with her colleagues Andreas Zick and Andreas Hoevermann, told The Jerusalem Post that the study showed a strong presence of “anti-Semitism that is linked with Israel and is hidden behind criticism of Israel, and is not neutral.”

Küpper termed the outbreak of Jew-hatred in Germany “remarkable” because, according to her, “there were widespread Holocaust remembrance and education events in Germany.”

It is possible that Küpper and others in the widely respected University have completely failed to notice a most obvious link here — It is more than likely that the mushrooming of Holocaust museums actually contributed to the resentment towards the Jewish state.  Those who are inclined to interpret the Holocaust as a universal and a moral message against racism and oppression would obviously also identify the Jewish State as a primary enemy of humanity and humanism.  I guess that Germans and others expect Jews to be at the forefront of the battle against racism. As it happens, the Jewish State sticks out as the total opposite; it is a leading abuser of human rights. It is a terrorist racist state that locks millions behind walls and barbed wires.

The study, entitled “Intolerance, Prejudice, Discrimination: A European Report” –questioned roughly 1,000 people in each of the selected EU countries. Asked to respond to the statement that “Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians,” 47.7 percent of the study’s participants in Germany expressed agreement – the highest number in Western Europe.

Given Poland’s lukewarm foreign policy toward Israel, the finding that 63.3% of the Poles questioned agree that Israel is seeking to obliterate Palestinians may be deeply alarming to some Zionist and Israeli Hasbara campaigners. It seems as if the Hasbara project has been a disaster — Israel has managed the buy more than a few politicians around the world — but the masses still see the Jewish state for what it is.

It seems as if the Holocaust indoctrination that is rallied and utilised by every Jewish and Zionist institution around the world  has backfired, and on every possible front:  more and more people around regard the Israelis as the Nazis of our time.

I must admit that I am uncomfortable with that comparison — I actually believe that Israel is far worse than Nazi Germany, at least from certain perspectives. Israelis, for instance,  are fully aware of their government and army’s brutal  measures against Palestinian civilian population — and yet, the vast majority of them support it all, and even affirm it democratically.

The researchers in Bielefeld were shocked to find out that the statement, “considering Israel’s policy, I can understand why people do not like Jews” met with general affirmation across Europe (35%-55%).

I would  like to try to help the unimaginative ‘scholars’: I would argue that  Israel presenting itself as the ‘Jewish State’  may have something to do with it — Zionism has successfully managed to redefine Jewish identity. While in the past, Jews where largely associated with a world religion, namely, Judaism, they are now associated with the Jewish State and Global Zionist politics. Considering the Jewish State’s atrocities then, it is only natural that Jewish political activity should reflect so badly on the image of world Jewry.

The research also asked Europeans whether “Jews try to take advantage of having been victims during the Nazi era” (as if we actually need a poll to know the answer to that one). Almost half the Germans responded in the affirmative. Poles who are subject to a constant flood of  hostile Shoa tourism, totally approved the statement  (72.2% affirmed). Furthermore, not only do Jews take advantage of their victimhood, there is also an extensive body of academic work that suggests that the Holocaust is the new Jewish religion : victimhood seems to be the current collective Jewish bond.

It seems as if Dr Küpper’s lameness knows no bounds — for instance she insists on making a link between the growing resentment towards Israeli barbarism — and the expanding intolerance towards marginalized minority groups: Poland and Hungary, she says,  are “ also plagued by extraordinary levels of sexism and homophobia”.

Someone should remind Küpper that gays are yet to lock their alleged  ‘foes’  in Bantustans, to surround them with walls and barbed wire, to impose a  blockade on  them with a gay Navy or drop bombs on them from aero planes decorated with gay symbols.

Gays and homosexuals do not use white phosphorus against people seeking refuge in UN  shelters, and they do not raid peace activists’ flotillas in the middle of the sea.

In short, the resentment towards gays which Küpper detected in Poland and Hungary has nothing whatsoever to do with the clear antagonism towards Jewish politics –describing anti Israeli feeling and anti gay sentiment  as originating from the same source, and explaining them as being rooted in a similar animus is both illogical and groundless.

It is embarrassing how lame academia has become.

I guess that the University of Bielefeld may have to raise its academic standards, and the sooner the better. I would like to suggest that it search for the right minds — those who can teach and discuss the true intellectual heritage of German thought.

Heidegger, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Schopenhauer could be a good start.

(www.gilad.co.uk / 21.03.2011)

Israel launches air strikes in Gaza

GAZA (Reuters) – Israel launched five air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after militants shot mortars and rockets at the Jewish state, witnesses and militant groups said.

At least five Palestinians were wounded, two of them children, medics said, in the raids which showed the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.

Hamas has stepped up rocket fire at Israel after a lengthy hiatus since a war of two years ago, claiming responsibility for the firings of more than two dozen mortars and rockets at the weekend.

Israel killed two Palestinians in Gaza in a separate border confrontation on Saturday, medical officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed one of Monday’s air raids, saying several Hamas-affiliated militants were targeted in northern Gaza, as well as a tunnel used to smuggle weapons.

Witnesses in Gaza said Israeli warplanes fire a missile after three mortars were shot at Israel, and the Israeli missile landed harmlessly in a bin for animal feed.

Israel fired four other missiles at as many targets later in the evening, aiming at a Hamas security compound in Gaza City, a training camp north of the city, and a brickworks and metal foundry in northern Gaza, witnesses said.

(ca.news.yahoo.com / 21.03.2011)

Everybody is busy with Libye, but in meantime …

These are a few of the messages i got on Facebook today.

There are bombing every 10 min .. They bombed in Al twam next to my house , Al zaytoon ,Al shjaeyah and Al maqouse

Israeli F-16 warplanes have launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Breaking: 3 reported injuries till now, 2 of them r children,loud explosions,major financial damages,power out in some areas,earthquakes!

Five big bombs dropped by Israel in a residential area of Gaza city, I am hearing that 2 people are dead and a couple of children injured, am going to the hospital now.

BREAKING: NUMBER OF CASUALTIES RAISED TO 17 FROM WHICH 2 OF THEM R CHILDREN AND 2 OTHERS R WOMEN!

BREAKING: JUST HEARD A NEW DEEP EXPLOSION I THINK IT WAS FIRED 4M AN ISRAHELLI TANK NOT F16!

EMERGENCY ALERTS IN ALL GAZA HOSPITALS WERE DECLARED

Why is there no news on Dutch TV? Why are we not interested in Europe in the people of Palestine? Where are you now military power? Where are youre planes to get a no-fly zone? 

Lines from Gaza, where is the media?

Generaal Jemen kiest kant oppositie

De president van Jemen, Saleh, lijkt steeds meer geïsoleerd te komen staan. Een generaal is overgestapt naar de oppositie, en ook twee andere hoge militairen zijn overgelopen. In Sanaa, de hoofdstad, zijn tanks en militaire voertuigen gezien.

Er zijn berichten dat de tanks nu worden gebruikt om de betogers te beschermen. De betogers bivakkeren al dagen in de hoofdstad. Ze eisen het vertrek van president Saleh. Die stuurde gisteren zijn regering weg in een poging de betogers tevreden te stellen.

Vrijdag kwamen 52 mensen om in Sanaa toen het leger hard ingreep.

(nos.nl / 21.03.2011)

From revolution to civil war in Libya

What the world feared would happen in Egypt is now unfolding in Libya. The peoples’ rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi is agonizingly turning into a bloody civil war. As hundreds of thousands protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a few weeks ago, Mubarak warned that chaos and war — what we are now witnessing in Libya — would be the case in Egypt in his absence. The choice he repeatedly argued was between stability and terror.
It is still too early to declare Egypt a politically stable, post-authoritarian state. Signs of conflict between fanatical Muslims and the Coptic Christian minority are certainly not encouraging. Yet, we can rest assured that the kind of chaos and mayhem Mubarak warned about — and probably wanted to foment in order to prove his point — remains elusive in Egypt.

Libya, on the other hand, is another story. The country clearly illustrates that the Arab world is not a monolith. Egypt, despite all its social and economic weaknesses, had centralized institutions. It may not be politically correct to argue this point in democratic circles, but having a strong and popular army matters greatly. It also helps if the army is not totally identified with the corrupt ancien régime. Such dynamics were in place in Egypt. Despite a long history of Egyptian military leaders assuming presidential political power, the army maintained a certain level of popular legitimacy. As a result, the Egyptian army played what most analysts consider a “constructive role” during the critical transition from autocracy to what we hope will emerge as a pluralistic and democratic order in Egypt.

The chaos in Libya proves that the country never developed a strong and legitimate centralized institution like the army in Egypt. In the absence of a strong army and other centralized institutions, Libyan society remained divided along tribal and sectarian loyalties. Now that Gaddafi’s tyrannical authority has been challenged, these tribal and sectarian loyalties are driving the political and military conflict in the country. As Anthony Shadid reports for The New York Times with characteristic insight from Libya:

“Everyone here seems to have a gun these days, in a lawlessness tempered only by revolutionary ebullience. Young men at the front parade with the swagger that a rocket-propelled grenade launcher grants but hint privately that they will try to emigrate if they fail. … No one seems to know what to call this conflict — a revolution, a civil war or, in a translation of what some call it in Arabic, ‘the events,’ a shorthand for confusing violence. It certainly looks like a war — the thud of shelling in the distance offers a cadence to occasional airstrikes, their targets smoking like oil fires that turn afternoon to dusk. The dead and dismembered are ferried in ambulances driven by medical students. But especially for the rebels, there is an amateurishness to the fighting that began as a protest and became an armed uprising.”

In the meantime, the international community is struggling to find the right way to react. Washington is torn between realpolitik asking for cost-benefit analysis and the idealism demanding clear support for the democratic aspirations of the Libyan people. The Arab League, knowing full well that it will not be the one to act, declared on Saturday its “endorsement” of a no-fly zone over Libya. It also recognized the fledgling rebel movement seeking to topple Gaddafi as the country’s legitimate government.

One may argue such moves by the Arab League are intended to put more pressure on Western powers to intervene. But the question is: What kind of intervention? Military analysts differ on whether a no-fly zone would be effective in terms of changing the balance of power in Libya. After all, much of the fighting is being done by ground forces and tank-fired artillery. Yet, Gaddafi has also used air power to bomb rebel positions and may be tempted to use chemical weapons if he begins losing.

There are also signs of typical discord in European circles. France is trying to compensate for its blunder about Tunisia by speaking far more boldly about military action in Libya than any other Western power. London, as usual, is likely to follow Washington. And Germany seems confused. Sadly, Turkey still appears to be hedging.

(www.todayszaman.com / 21.03.2011)

To the tyrants of the Arab world…

16 Jan 2011

The Tunisian uprising, which succeeded in toppling Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian president, has brought down the walls of fear, erected by repression and marginalisation, thus restoring the Arab peoples’ faith in their ability to demand social justice and end tyranny.

It is a warning to all leaders, whether supported by international or regional powers, that they are no longer immune to popular outcries of fury.

It is true that Ben Ali’s flight from the country is just the beginning of an arduous path towards freedom. It is equally true that the achievements of the Tunisian people could still be contained or confiscated by the country’s ruling elite, which is desperately clinging to power.

But the Tunisian intifada has placed the Arab world at a crossroads. If it fully succeeds in bringing real change to Tunis it will push the door wide open to freedom in Arab word. If it suffers a setback we shall witness unprecedented repression by rulers struggling to maintain their absolute grip on power.

Either way, a system that combined a starkly unequal distribution of wealth with the denial of freedoms has collapsed.

A model of tyranny

Tunis may have been an extreme example, but all Arab regimes are variations on the same model, which obediently follows Western-instructed economic ‘liberalisation’ while strangling human rights and civil liberties.

The West has long admired the Tunisian system, praising its “secularism” and “liberal economic policies”, and, in its quest to open world markets and maximise profit, has turned a blind eye to human rights violations and the gagging of the media – two functions at which the Ben Ali regime excelled.

But Tunis, under Ben Ali, was not a model of secularism but a shameless model of tyranny. It turned “secularism” into an ideology of terror – not merely in the name of countering Islamic extremism but in an attempt to crush the spirit of opposition – Islamic, secular, liberal and socialist alike.

As with previous examples of countries it deemed to have embraced ‘successful economic models’, like Chile under the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, the West, particularly the US and France, backed the Ben Ali regime – prioritising forced stability over democracy.

But even when such governments remain in power for decades, thanks to Western support and a security apparatus that suppresses the people with immunity, it is only a matter of time before they come to a humiliating end.

The West, and the US in particular, has always abandoned its allies – a memorable example is the way in which Washington dropped Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the late shah of Iran, when popular anger threatened the country’s stability.

The Arabs are listening

The people of Tunisia have spoken and, most significantly, the Arab people are listening.

The Tunisian protests have already triggered peaceful demonstrations in Jordan, where people have protested over inflation and government efforts to undermine political liberties and press freedoms and have demanded the departure of Samir al-Rifai, the prime minister.

The government, seemingly concerned by the unfolding developments, sought to appease popular discontent by reversing what had been the ninth increase in fuel prices since 1989. But it was too little, too late, particularly as food prices continue to rise, and Jordanians are expected to continue their demonstrations over the coming weeks.

The government would do well to learn from Tunis that repression by the security forces can no longer solve its problems and guarantee the consent of its citizens.

In Egypt, the opposition Movement for Change appears to have been reinvigorated by the events in Tunisia. And in Arab capitals, from Sana’a to Cairo, the people are sending a message to their own governments, as well as expressing their support for the Tunisian people, by organising sit-ins in front of Tunisian embassies.

Arabs of all generations are also expressing their sentiments online – not only congratulating Tunisians but also calling for similar movements in their own countries. And on Facebook, many have replaced their profile pictures with images of the Tunisian flag, as though draping themselves in the colours of an Arab revolution.

Fear and jubilation

The failure of one of the Arab world’s most repressive security forces to quell people power has been met with jubilation. Bloggers have compared the event to the fall of the Berlin wall, suggesting that it will usher in a new era in which the Arab people will have a greater say in determining their future.

Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian who set himself on fire in protest against unemployment and poverty, has become a symbol of Tunisian sacrifices for freedom.

Activists across the region have called for the “Tunisation” of the Arab street – taking Tunis as a model for the assertion of people power and aspirations for social justice, the eradication of corruption and democratisation.

But the celebratory atmosphere dominating the blogosphere and wide sectors of Arab society is tainted by a prevailing sense of caution and fear: Caution because the situation in Tunis remains unclear and fear that there may be a coup d’état, which would impose security but stifle popular aspirations.

Whether the Tunisian uprising will succeed in bringing about radical reforms or be partially aborted by the ruling elite remains to be seen. But it has already empowered people across the Arab world to expose the fallacy of regimes that believe adopting a pro-Western agenda will enable them to fool their people and guarantee their longevity.

History has shown that security forces can silence people but can never crush the simmering revolt that lies beneath the ashes. Or in the words of the beloved Tunisian poet Abul-Qasim al-Shabi in his poem To the Tyrants of the World:

Wait, don’t let the spring, the clearness of the sky and the shine of the morning light fool you …
Because the darkness, the thunder’s rumble and the blowing of the wind are coming toward you
from the horizon
Beware because there is a fire underneath the ash

(www.english.aljazeera.net /21.03.2011)

Israel admits to arrest and detention of Gaza engineer

Dirar Abu Sisi, an engineer at Gaza’s power plant went missing from the Ukraine nearly two weeks ago; his wife alleged that he was kidnapped by the Mossad.

Israel admitted that they indeed arrested the Gazan engineer, Dirar Abu Sisi, who was reported to have gone missing from the Ukraine almost two weeks ago, the partial lifting of a gag order revealed.

Dirar Abu Sisi, 42, went missing in the early hours of February 19 after boarding a train in Kharkiv bound for Kiev. His wife alleged that Dirar had been kidnapped by the Mossad.

A gag order on the case was partially lifted on Thursday by Petah Tikva court judge Leah Lev-On and was only allowed to be published on Sunday. Abu Sisi was arrested as part of investigation and is currently being held by Israel, the lifting of the gag order revealed. Much of the rest of the details remain under gag order.

Lev-On wrote that publication of “details of the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the arrest” will remain under a gag order for the next 30 days.

Abu Sisi’s wife Veronika hired lawyer Smadar Ben Natan to represent Dirar. Ben Natan told Haaretz that she met with his client in prison and reported that Ben Sisi is doing fine physically although he suffers from previous medical conditions.

Ben Sisi was in the Ukraine applying for citizenship when he went missing. His wife, Veronika, is Ukrainian. Veronika alleged that Israel’s Mossad had abducted her husband in order to sabotage a key electric power plant in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip where he worked as a senior manager.

In Gaza, fellow engineers and neighbors described Abu Sisi as a Hamas supporter, pointing to his senior position. He served as the deputy head of the electric power station and posts are traditionally staffed by Hamas loyalists.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov recently visited Israel, where he said about the rumor that Sisi was arrested on Ukrainian soil “I don’t want to imagine that such things are carried out on the soil of a friendly state.”

(www.haaretz.com / 21.03.2011)

 

Hamas militants say truce if Israel halts Gaza attacks

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — After a leap in cross-border violence over the weekend brought Israeli air strikes, threats to kill Hamas leaders and calls for a fresh invasion of Gaza, Palestinian militants on Monday offered to halt attacks if Israel did the same.

The group’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which lobbed about 50 mortar rounds into Israel on Saturday, made the offer in a statement released after Israeli aircraft raided the enclave again on Monday evening.

It said Saturday’s barrage had been in response to an Israeli strike last week which killed two of its members, but that it was ready to call an end to the tit-for-tat violence if Israel did the same.

“If the enemy stops the escalation and aggression against our people we will implement the Palestinian national agreement,” the statement said, referring to a truce reaffirmed by the main militant factions in January.

Israeli military and government officials declined to comment on the statement, but the Jewish state’s often-stated standing policy is to “respond forcefully” to every Palestinian attack.

(www.google.com / 21.03.2011)

Shortly before Hamas made its offer, Israeli warplanes raided the Gaza Strip, slightly wounding one man, local witnesses and medical officials said.

Witnesses said the target of the raid was a car repair workshop east of Gaza City, owned by the powerful Doghmush clan which has links to Islamic militants.

The Israeli military, however, said its aircraft hit what a spokeswoman described as “a terrorist tunnel” intended to launch attacks under the Gaza border fence into Israel.

Also on Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a death threat against Hamas leaders.

“If Hamas decides to escalate, we will put an end to it… We have several actions before putting ground forces in Gaza, including direct threats against Hamas leaders,” Ayalon told public radio.

A rocket fired from Gaza overnight on Sunday exploded in southern Israel, causing neither casualties nor damage, several hours after another rocket exploded harmlessly in the town of Ashkelon.

After Saturday’s mortar fire Israel pounded Gaza, wounding at least five Palestinians and cutting power supplies.

The mortar attacks, the fiercest since Israel carried out a 22-day offensive codenamed “Operation Cast Lead” against Gaza rocket fire in December 2008 and January 2009, wounded two Israelis and caused minor damage.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman immediately ordered Israeli diplomats to lodge a complaint with the United Nations, where the Palestinians are lobbying for recognition of statehood and admittance as a full member.

In January this year, Gaza’s main militant factions confirmed a year-old truce after weeks of increased rocket fire and spiralling tensions along the border prompted a warning from Arab leaders that Gaza risked a major new Israeli invasion.

On Saturday Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni called for just that in response to the mortar barrage.

“The right way to deal with it is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead,” news website Ynet quoted her as telling local authority heads in the border region.

Questions remain about fate of dozens of missing Bahraini activists

MANAMA // Demonstrators in Bahrain again defied a ban on large gatherings yesterday to bury a man killed last week by security forces, amid questions about the fates of dozens of other protesters who are as yet unaccounted for.

Isa al Radhi, a man in his 40s who had been reported missing since Tuesday, was also confirmed dead yesterday, according to members of the opposition, bringing the death toll from the month-long period of unrest to at least 22, with hundreds injured.

“Unfortunately he passed away on March 15 when clashes took place in Sitra,” said Sayed Hadi al Mousawi, a member of al Wefaq, Bahrain’s main opposition movement. “He was missing, but there was no way of finding out about his situation.”

The government did not respond to requests for comment on al Radhi’s death.

Approximately 90 people are still missing, according to Mr al Mousawi. “Really we are worried about them,” he said.

Streets remained busy and commercial life appeared to be returning to normal yesterday in parts of the country. Shops were open and the troop presence in the streets was less than in recent days.

Perhaps to quell the growing unrest, King Hamad pledged on Friday to continue the reforms that he began when he came to power in 2002.

“I shall not allow a stop in the reform process which I began when I took the reins of power,” he said in a statement issued through the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA). “The door is open to all subjects that are in the interest of all the citizens.”

Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad, vested by an authorisation from his father King Hamad, had offered opposition an open dialogue after a deadly crackdown on protests last month instigated a sit-in protest at Pearl Roundabout in Manama.

But the opposition which demanded major reforms leading to electing the prime minister in a “real” constitutional monarchy, insisted on the resignation of the current premier – an uncle of the king in office since 1970 – before starting talks.

The atmoshere remained tense yesteerday in predominately Shiite villages such as Deih, where the funeral procession for Ahmed Abdullah Hassan, a local resident, was held. Hassan, a 22-year-old IT technician, was one of three protestors killed on Wednesday by security forces. Thousands turned out for his funeral yesterday, marching defiantly through the village’s main street and towards the local cemetery.

Just before the funeral procession began, a 21-year-old man wandered into Deih, wearing only a pair of jeans and no shoes. His bare back was covered in red lashes and his wrists bore the marks of tight handcuffs. He said he had been walking with two friends yesterday morning when they were stopped by police who stripped them of their phones, shirts and shoes, and beat them.

 

“We are feeling so scared and we can’t sleep, especially the women are afraid and our children are scared,” said one mother of four, who did not wish to be identified, as the funeral procession marched by.

Ayman, 26, who works with children with special needs, put it simply: “King Hamad has got his Lulu [Pearl Roundabout] back, but he lost his people.”

Yesterday afternoon, traffic was heavy on the bridge overlooking Pearl Roundabout, which lay in ruins as the demolition of the monument in the centre of the traffic circle continued.

Some people driving past waved and saluted to the masked soldiers guarding the entry points to the roundabout.

Meanwhile, BNA said government departments had been instructed to open as normal today.

The Bahrain Defence Force announced that the curfew in place in some parts of Manama from 4pm to 4am, would now begin from 8pm. The armed forces also announced a ban on “sea activity” in various areas from 5pm to 6am, warning that “any ship spotted moving during this time will be dealt with appropriately”, according to BNA.

Despite the curfews and restrictions, many opposition supporters have arranged to shout from their rooftops in protest every night for fifteen minutes at 8pm and again at 10pm. Cries of “Allah-uh-akhbar” could be heard from key villages throughout the night.

The US State Department has said it is “deeply troubled” by the arrest of several opposition figures and activists, urging authorities to ensure transparent judicial proceedings. A family member of Abdel Jalil al Singace, a leader from the al Haq movement who was among those arrested on Wednesday, said yesterday there was no information about his whereabouts.

(www.thenational.ae / 21.03.2011)