Friday, February 29, 2008

The mother of all mistranslations

from Melanie Phillips' blog in The Spectator:

Ye gods. The BBC has put out this story:

Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust’

Israeli leaders are warning of an imminent conflagration in Gaza after Palestinian militants aimed rockets at the southern city of Ashkelon. The deputy defence minister said the stepped-up rocket fire would trigger what he called a ‘bigger holocaust’ in the Hamas-controlled coastal strip.

This reported remark by deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai caused widespread shock and absolute horror. For an Israeli minister to use the word ‘holocaust’ to describe a limited war of Israeli self-defence, when for Jews of all people the ‘Holocaust’ means one thing: genocide — and this at a time when the calumny of the ‘Jews as Nazis’ is rampant around the world, putting Israel and the Jewish people at risk — was simply beyond belief.
It was indeed without any credibility — because Vilnai never said it. It was an appalling mistranslation by Reuters, the source of the BBC story. Vilnai said:
‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger “shoah” because we will use all our might to defend ourselves'.
Reuters translated the Hebrew word ‘shoah’ as ‘holocaust’. But ‘shoah’ merely means disaster. In Hebrew, the word ‘shoah’ is never used to mean ‘holocaust’ or ‘genocide’ because of the acute historical resonance. The word ‘Hashoah’ alone means ‘the Holocaust’ and ‘retzach am’ means ‘genocide’. The well-known Hebrew construction used by Vilnai used merely means ‘bringing disaster on themselves’.
As a subsequent Reuter’s story reported,
Vilnai's spokesman said: ‘Mr. Vilnai was meaning “disaster”. He did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide.’ Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Arye Mekel, added: ‘Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai used the Hebrew phrase that included the term 'shoah' in Hebrew in the sense of a disaster or a catastrophe, and not in the sense of a holocaust.’
But this grotesque mistranslation has given Hamas a propaganda gift which they lost no time exploiting:
Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said of Vilnai's comments: ‘We are facing new Nazis who want to kill and burn the Palestinian people.’
At a time when the rockets continue to rain down on the southern Negev and Israel is being forced to contemplate stepping up its incursions into Gaza because of the truly genocidal assault upon its citizens by Hamas, such a mistranslation is more than an unfortunate slip. In the present explosive atmosphere, it can lead directly to an enormous escalation of violence by the Palestinians.

It is not enough for Reuters to try to cover its backside in subsequent stories. It must issue an explicit retraction, and so must the BBC. Instantly.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Australian Holocaust denier called to account

from The Australian:
by Jeremy Roberts

HOLOCAUST denier Fredrick Toben faced accusations of criminal contempt of court yesterday after he claimed the Federal Court was part of worldwide conspiracy against him.
The call to lay criminal charge against Dr Toben came from counsel for Australian Jewish leader Jeremy Jones, in a long running Federal Court case aimed at removing Holocaust-denial material from Dr Toben's Adelaide Institute website.

In a document lodged with the Federal Court yesterday, Dr Toben, 62, claimed the court was a part of a plan to silence his controversial views on the Holocaust.

"This matter before the Federal Court of Australia is a Jewish conspiratorial matter designed to protect an historical lie," Dr Toben says, in notice of motion filed yesterday.

Going further, Dr Toben identifies two Jewish judges, Federal Court Justice Alan Goldberg and NSW Supreme Court Justice Stephen Rothman, and questions the integrity of the courts.

"Both (judges) have been heavily involved in propagating the Jewish Holocaust-Shoah, gives rise for concern that any kind of justice can emerge from proceedings that directly impact on a contentious interpretation of an historical event," he says.

Counsel for Mr Jones, Robin Margo SC, told the court that Dr Toben's comments were so serious as to attract a criminal action.

"This matter has passed from a civil contempt proceeding to serious criminal contempt," Mr Margo said.

Mr Margo told Justice Michael Moore, sitting in Sydney, that after six years of litigation from Mr Jones, it was time for criminal action to be taken by the court against Dr Toben.

"There must come a point in which a private litigant doesn't have to keep pushing the barrow for ever," Mr Margo said.

German-born Australian, Mr Toben, 62, spent seven months in a German prison in 1999 for breaching Holocaust denial laws on his website.

He represented himself yesterday in Adelaide, connected to the Sydney court by video link, responding to a civil contempt of court complaint by Mr Jones, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Mr Jones is attempting to have Dr Toben honour a court undertaking, made in November last year, to remove references to Holocaust denial material on his website.

Mr Jones also wants Dr Toben to re-issue his apology, made last November, for breaching the terms of the 2002 decision by Justice Catherine Branson to remove the Holocaust-denial material.
Justice Moore adjourned the case to a date in April, ahead of a possible hearing in June.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Benny Morris: 'The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies...'

a letter to the Irish Times via Solomonia: Benny Morris: 'The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies...'

Here's a very good letter by Benny Morris -- a historian whose work is frequently mis-used -- in response to something (I haven't seen it) published in the Irish Times. Here in full:

Madam, - Israel-haters are fond of citing - and more often, mis-citing - my work in support of their arguments. Let me offer some corrections.

The Palestinian Arabs were not responsible "in some bizarre way" (David Norris, January 31st) for what befell them in 1948. Their responsibility was very direct and simple.

In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 29th, 1947 (No. 181), they launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes.

It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago, that there were no Arab radio broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en masse; indeed, there were broadcasts by several Arab radio stations urging them to stay put. But, on the local level, in dozens of localities around Palestine, Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April, 1948. And Haifa's Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, did, on April 22nd, plead with them to stay, to no avail.


Most of Palestine's 700,000 "refugees" fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.

The displacement of the 700,000 Arabs who became "refugees" - and I put the term in inverted commas, as two-thirds of them were displaced from one part of Palestine to another and not from their country (which is the usual definition of a refugee) - was not a "racist crime" (David Landy, January 24th) but the result of a national conflict and a war, with religious overtones, from the Muslim perspective, launched by the Arabs themselves.

There was no Zionist "plan" or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of "ethnic cleansing". Plan Dalet (Plan D), of March 10th, 1948 (it is open and available for all to read in the IDF Archive and in various publications), was the master plan of the Haganah - the Jewish military force that became the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) - to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That's what it explicitly states and that's what it was. And the invasion of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq duly occurred, on May 15th.

It is true that Plan D gave the regional commanders carte blanche to occupy and garrison or expel and destroy the Arab villages along and behind the front lines and the anticipated Arab armies' invasion routes. And it is also true that mid-way in the 1948 war the Israeli leaders decided to bar the return of the "refugees" (those "refugees" who had just assaulted the Jewish community), viewing them as a potential fifth column and threat to the Jewish state's existence. I for one cannot fault their fears or logic.

The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies - much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.

I would recommend that the likes of Norris and Landy read some history books and become acquainted with the facts, not recycle shopworn Arab propaganda. They might then learn, for example, that the "Palestine War" of 1948 (the "War of Independence," as Israelis call it) began in November 1947, not in May 1948. By May 14th close to 2,000 Israelis had died - of the 5,800 dead suffered by Israel in the whole war (ie almost 1 per cent of the Jewish population of Palestine/Israel, which was about 650,000). - Yours, etc,

Prof BENNY MORRIS, Li-On, Israel.

February 21, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CORRECTION: Bruges story appears to be false.

a correction to an earlier post in this space, via Deborah Lipstadt's blog:

People have posted comments on the Bruges story in different places on this blog. For those of you who have missed it click here. [Be sure to click on the comments at each post, especially at "About the Blog."]

[Here's a quick summary: Marc Kalmann, who describes himself as a Professor and says he was born in Auschwitz 3 days before it was liberated, says he was in Bruges and tried to have a cup of coffee in a famous cafe on the square. When the waiter saw his kippah he threw him out and said "we don't serve Jews here." Sometime later Kalmann went to the police to report the incident and they would not take a report in English. The story is all over the internet.]

This morning I received the following email from someone who says he is Mr. Kalmann's brother. I believe it is legitimate because it is loving and yet cautionary about the story at the same time.

It is posted at "About this Blog" and I have cut and pasted it below:

Let me quickly shed some light on Marc Kalmann, my brother. He was born in 1948 in Amsterdam and not in Auschwitz in 1945. He lives in the Netherlands and is fluent in Dutch. He lived in the USA for 22 years and was sometimes employed as a teacher of languages at community colleges. He liked the title professor and has used it since. He tends to believe his own fantasies. I love him but I am concerned that his fantasies take over his world. And through the magic of the Internet it is taking the world by storm. I wanted to set some part of the record straight. I have no knowledge of what did or did not happen at the restaurant in Bruges.

To buttress the brother's comments. See Esther's blog about another incident concerning Mr. Kalmann which seemed to have morphed into an antisemitic charge.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Neo-Nazi leader served as Ron Paul County Coordinator

Earlier this week, I wrote about Will Williams (aka "White Will"). Williams, one of the nations foremost neo-Nazis. For 20 years served as a chief aid to William Luther Pierce (of "Turner Diaries" infamy). He also ran on Ron Paul's slate of delegates in the Tennessee Republican primary (read here and here and here and here). It turns out that, in addition to serving as the southern coordinator of the neo-Nazi National Alliance Party, he also served as the Johnson County, TN coordinator of the Ron Paul for President campaign. The listing on the official Paul campaign website (which is linked below) indicates that he uses his racist nickname, White Will, in his email address for the campaign. Click on the link below to check it out.

Ron Paul 2008 › States › Tennessee › County Coordinators

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Neo-Nazi Leader Ran as Ron Paul Delegate in Tennessee Republican Primary

I've posted before about Ron Paul's neo-Nazi connections, specifically, that one of his Tennessee organizers was a neo-Nazi leader by the name of Will Williams (read here). I found it shocking that the Ron Paul campaign would allow a neo-Nazi to organize on their behalf using their medium of choice, internet Meetup groups. As shocking as that was, I was totally unprepared for what I just discovered.

Will Williams, who was a leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance Party for two decades, someone with connections with racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Church of the Creator, appeared on the Tennessee Republican primary ballot on Ron Paul's slate of delegates.


A list of Ron Paul's slate of delegates on the Tennessee Republican primary ballot, including Williams, is available here from the Tennessee Department of State. A sample ballot featuring Williams' name is available here from the Shelby County Clerk. In case you doubt that this is the same Will Williams, here's a list of the delegate slates from the Knoxville News Sentinel's website knoxnews.com listing Williams and his hometown, Mountain City, TN.

Will ("White Will") Williams started his career as a neo-Nazi in the "violent, paramilitary" White Patriot Party (read here and here). In the early 1980's, he switched to the National Alliance party, bringing a group of former White Patriot Party members with him. He served as an aide to William Pierce (read here and here and here), the founder of the National Alliance Party and author of the bible of American racists, The Turner Diaries. In the early 1990's, Williams served as the national membership coordinator of the National Alliance party, before becoming their southern coordinator and leader of their Tennessee operation.

That southern branch of the National Alliance devoted a great deal of energy to recruiting at Fort Bragg, going so far (according to their literature) as to purchase a billboard just outside the base to advertise their hotline number in 1995. In December of that year, a cell of neo-Nazi skinhead soldiers from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne committed a racially motivated murder against a black couple in Fayetteville, NC. According to reports, the murderers had read National Alliance propaganda prior to committing their crime (read here). Members of that neo-Nazi cell were profiled in an Esquire magazine article featuring soldiers posing on base with Nazi flags and paraphernalia (read more here and here at p. 13).

As I reported in my earlier post on Williams (read here), he specialized in recruiting new members. In 1993, he put his artistic skills to use, writing and distributing an eponymous comic book ("The Saga of White Will"), the "hero"of which violently assaults a Jewish teenager. In 1998, Williams organized what he advertised as a "European Culture Festival" in Cleveland, featuring Irish and Slavic folk music and dancers. Attendees found themselves at a "white power" rally with speeches by William Pierce, Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistance ("WAR") and other racist leaders (read here). In December 2000, Williams spoke to a younger racist audience at a concert of racist rock bands organized by the National Alliance and Erich Gliebe's Resistance Records in California. (read here and here) In March, 2001, Williams participated in a racist anti-immigration rally on the steps of the Hall County, Ga. courthouse, along with his friend and National Alliance Party associate, Chester Doles, listed variously as former Grand Dragon and Former Imperial Wizard of the KKK (read here and here and here) . In July, 2001, Williams participated in a violent rally at the German embassy in Washington, D.C. in support of German neo-Nazis (read here).

In July 2003, one year after William Pierce's death, Williams left the National Alliance which was in decline and hemorrhaging members. Since then, he has been active in the virtual racist community, participating in a variety of neo-Nazi websites. He put this internet experience to use as an organizer of Ron Paul Meetups in Tennessee. His activities on Ron Paul campaign message boards included proselytizing for extreme racism, and promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Prior to my first post on this subject, William's racist posting was allowed to continue for several months with hardly any opposition beyond occasional requests not to be too overt. After his identity and racist commentaries were revealed nationally, he was forced to post anonymously, although he continued to post as "A FORMER MEMBER" and list his hometown as a wink to those who knew him.

His "banning "from Ron Paul forums elicited a petition campaign to restore his rights to spew racist propaganda among the ronpaulian faithful (read here). When that effort failed, I thought that was the end of it. Then, last week, I discovered that Williams had donated to the Ron Paul campaign (read here). And, today, the jaw-dropper: the Ron Paul for President campaign placed one of the country's most notorious neo-Nazi's on the Tennessee Republican primary ballot.

Considering that, at the time of the Tennessee primary on February 5 , Williams' identity had been publicly known for several months, and considering that the Paul campaign was aware enough of Williams to ban him from their internet forums, Ron Paul owes us an explanation. How can he possibly justify disgracing the Republican party and the American people by placing a neo-Nazi on the ballot? If Ron Paul cannot provide a reasonable answer to this question, then he should do the honorable thing: he should end his presidential campaign and step down from his seat in Congress.

UPDATE: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAS PICKED UP THE STORY:
read here

Joseph's Tomb Burned, Then Claimed, By Muslims

from WND:

Biblical hero Joseph 'was really a Muslim

Palestinians make astonishing claim, deny they'll help restore burned tomb

by Aaron Klein

In the wake of an attempt by Palestinians to burn down Joseph's Tomb – Judaism's third holiest site – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction issued a statement denying it will help restore the shrine, referring to both the shrine and the biblical patriarch as "Muslim."

"Pay no attention to the rumors that we will work with Israel to restore the burial site of the holy Muslim Joseph," said the statement, issued from Nablus, the biblical city of Shechem. "We are going to guard this holy Muslim site."

Joseph's Tomb is the believed burial place of the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became viceroy of Egypt.

Palestinian security officials in Nablus said Monday they were called to the tomb to find 16 burning tires inside the sacred structure. A Palestinian police official who inspected the site told WND there was some fire damage to the tomb.

He said the Palestinian Authority, fearing embarrassment, immediately formed a joint committee from the PA's Force 17, Preventative Security Services and Palestinian intelligence, to find out who was behind the fire.

The move comes after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last week he would ask Israel's Defense Ministry to work with the PA to reconstruct and restore the tomb, parts of which were destroyed in 2000 by Palestinians, including known PA security officers.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted nearby strategic territory to the Palestinians, Joseph's Tomb was supposed to be accessible to Jews and Christians. But following repeated attacks against Jewish worshippers at the holy site by gunmen associated with then-Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat's militias, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000 ordered an Israeli unilateral retreat from the area.

Within less than an hour of the Israeli retreat, Palestinian rioters overtook Joseph's Tomb and reportedly began to ransack the site. Palestinian mobs reportedly tore apart books, destroying prayer stands and grinding out stone carvings in the Tomb's interior. A Muslim flag was hoisted over the tomb...

Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte.

A very funny fractured Canterbury Tale for the Archbishop of Canterbury (the "AB of C") from Iowahawk.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Zbigniew Brzezinski Is In Damascus

from Marty Peretz' blog at THE NEW REPUBLIC:

Zbigniew Brzezinski Is In Damascus to See Bashar Assad; I Believe He's There to Meet With Khaled Mashal

It's no surprise that Zbig Brzezinski is visiting Damascus. First of all, Bashar Assad would be delighted to see him, as he has seen other marginal players in U.S. foreign policy. Secondly, Zbig is a fan of Assad's, as is the ex-president for whom he pondered heavy matters, Jimmy Carter, a really big fan. Visiting America's enemies is, in any case, a good way to get attention at home. (Jesse Jackson made nearly a full-time profession of visiting our for years. Soneone should ask him what he thinks of President Chavez now.) The visitors may say they are pushing along the "getting to yes" process. But what they're usually doing is fomenting mischief.

Now, Zbig published a new book in 2007, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of Superpower. This is a book you need not feel bad about passing up, as almost everyone did. The only one of his books I've read -- for my sins, several of them -- that is important is The Permanent Purge, published in 1956, when he was 28. He is now 80 and is a danger to no one, except Barack Obama whose foreign policy advisory board he co-chairs. Zbig went to Damascus without thinking that, in these circumstances, his travels to Assad's palace might affect the fortunes of his candidate. Or maybe he just said to himself, "fuck it." He didn't tell anybody in the Barack circle, and the campaign knew nothing about his tourism until Eli Lake of the New York Sun raised questions about its adviser's travels. And reported the telling story.

Brzezinski grades the last three presidents in Second Chance. To George H.W. Bush he gives a solid B; to Bill Clinton an uneven C; to the burning Bush a "failed F." The fact is that you'd also need to give Zbig and his former boss something worse than an F for their bright idea that the Ayatollah Khomeini could be an instrument of American foreign policy against the Russians and, what's more, to get the Muslims of the U.S.S.R. to rise up against the Kremlin. What idiots, actually! Did Zbig even know that the ayatollah, being a Shi'a, would have little sway with Sunnis which most of old Moscow's Muslims were.

I wonder who advised my candidate Barack Obama to choose Zbig as one of his advisers. And it's not as if all the other advisers are so good. Take two, just as instances: Tony Lake with his shabby record on Bosnia and Susan Rice who was responsible (along with Jesse Jackson) for the Clinton administration's systematic aversion to seeing what blood was being shed in Sierra Leone and Liberia over "blood diamonds."

In any case, I don't believe that Zbig is visiting just Assad. I believe -- in fact, I think I know -- that he is going to meet with Khaled Maashal, the most vicious of the Hamas leaders, who has been headquartered in Damascus for years. Here "tea with Assad" is just a cover for a pernicious encounter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Islamist extremists infiltrate UK

from the Daily Mail | Revealed: Islamist extremists have penetrated the heart of Britain:

Mustapha boutarfa

Terrorist: Mustapha Boutarfa was involved in the Paris Metro bomb attack, but was then allowed to work as a traffic warden in the UK



Islamist extremists have infiltrated Government and key public utilities to pass sensitive information to terrorists, the security services have warned.

Counter-terrorism officials say "insiders" or their associates are almost certainly working "undetected" in sensitive posts and are actively supporting the activities of extremists.

In some cases, lifelong relationships between friends or relatives are being exploited to obtain crucial information from those in sensitive posts.

The development is detailed in intelligence reports circulated to the Home Office, police and Whitehall officials.

The London Underground, Gatwick airport and BT are cited as examples of organisations which have been targeted by individuals linked to terrorists.

Officials say the idea of "penetrating the enemy is pervasive" for Islamist extremists.

It is understood a number of suspected jihadists working in Government departments and the public services are being monitored by the security services.

Details of the threat emerged months after the Daily Mail revealed fears that Scotland Yard has been infiltrated by individuals linked to extremist groups including Al Qaeda.

Several police officers and civilian staff are being monitored amid claims they are long-term sleepers trying to gain sensitive information of use to terrorists.

The London Underground, Gatwick airport and BT are cited as examples of organisations which have been targeted by individuals linked to terrorists

Some are even believed to have attended terror training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Fanatics who infiltrate the Government or the "Critical National Infrastructure" - vital utilities such as water, electricity, transport and communications - have a number of objectives.

These include trying to gain information on what the law enforcement agencies know about the activities of fellow Islamist extremists and how to evade the attention of police and the security services.

They may also try to obtain information or intelligence to help them to carry out acts of terrorism.

This involves getting access to premises or individuals "with the immediate purpose" of mounting an attack or obtaining sensitive information to facilitate a later atrocity.

The extremists might also seek information which is of "indirect use" to the planning of a terrorist attack - such as getting access to banking information to raise money through fraud, gaining insider knowledge about airport security and surveillance measures on the London Underground.

Security sources say there is evidence that UK-based terrorists have discussed the possibility of attacking national infrastructure targets with the help of a "sympathetic insider".

MI5 has warned in the past that suspects with "strong links" to Osama bin Laden have tried to join the British security services and, in January last year, exiled radical Omar Bakri claimed that Islamist extremists were infiltrating the police and other public sector organisations.

College teachers must be "vigilant" in tackling the threat posed by violent extremists who attempt to recruit teenage students to terrorism, ministers said yesterday.

Al Qaeda supporters seek to "groom" impressionable young people and staff should be prepared to tell the police if they have concerns, draft Government guidance said.

The guidance, published for consultation, is aimed at colleges teaching students aged 14 and over, including more than 700,000 aged 16 to 18, and follows similar guidelines for universities.


The terrorist traffic warden

A terrorist jailed for his involvement in a bomb attack on the Paris Metro later came to England and got a job as a traffic warden.

Mustapha Boutarfa, 32, was arrested by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad in 1996 and extradited from Britain to France two years later.

He stood trial for his auxiliary role in the 1995 attack on the St Michel station by a notorious Islamist militant group, in which eight were killed and 80 wounded, and was given a two-year prison sentence.

But after his release, Boutarfa, who held dual French and Algerian nationality, managed to get back into the UK with his wife and children and secured the job as a parking attendant in Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, with NCP Services.

Boutarfa's secret would probably never have come to light had he not accused a van driver of assaulting him in a row over a parking ticket in October 2005.

It led to the sensational disclosure about his past in open court.

That case was then dropped and he was charged with fraud but walked away with a 12-month suspended sentence. He has quit his job.

It is still not clear how he was allowed back into Britain.

Monday, February 11, 2008

U.S. Jew kicked out of Belgian cafe for wearing kippah - Haaretz - Israel News

This story appears to be false. For a correction, click here.

the original story from EJP:




Marcel Kalmann, 64, was born in Auschwitz three days before the liberation of the Nazi camp by the Russian army.


ANTWERP (EJP)---The Mayor of the Belgian city of Bruges has asked for an inquiry after an American Jewish tourist was ousted from a café-restaurant because he was wearing a kippa or skullcap.

On a visit to Bruges two weeks ago, Marcel Kalmann, a 64-year-old US professor, entered Le Panier d’Or, a renowned café-restaurant located on the main city square, to have a coffee.

When the waiter saw his kippa under his hat, he told him to get out. “We are not serving Jews, out of here,” he allegedly shouted.

In shock, the man went to another café nearby where the owners helped him to call police. An operator told him that police patrols do not go out for such cases and advised him to call on a police station.
According to the account given by Kalmann to “Joods Actueel”, a Jewish magazine in Antwerp, at the police station a policeman first told him that he didn’t believe his story.

Later, an officer indicated that a complaint can only be registered in Flemish and not in English, adding erroneously that Belgian law doesn’t foresee the anti-Semitic offense.
Kalmann told the magazine that he is planning to lodge a complaint against the owner of the café-restaurant and against the police.

Contacted by ‘Joods Actueel’, the owner Le Panier d’Or acknowledged that Kalmann was ousted. He sais he was ready to offer his apologies but added that the client has a “strange behaviour.” The restaurants in the area spoke rather of a quarrel about outrageous prices.

Patrick Monaert, Mayor of Bruges, has asked police for an inquiry and apologized to Kalmann for the "inadequate behaviours" which, he said, “are contrary to the welcoming image the city intends to give.”
The Jewish community in Antwerp was all the more outraged and moved by this anti-Semitic incident that Kalmann was born in Auschwitz three days before the liberation of the Nazi camp by the Russian army.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Neo-Nazi Donations to Ron Paul

Following up on the news of several other neo-Nazi leaders who have donated to the Ron Paul campaign, I've searched the Open Secrets website and found another. In December, Will Williams, a leader of the National Vanguard (the largest neo-Nazi party in the U.S.), donated $206 to the Ron Paul's presidential campaign.

Contributor

Occupation

Date

Amount

Recipient

Williams, William W
Mountain City,TN 37683

none

12/16/2007

$106

Paul, Ron

Williams, William W
Mountain City,TN 37683

none

12/30/2007

$100

Paul

, Ron



Williams has a long history of advocacy for racial violence (read here and here).


In the past, Rep. Paul has refused to return such donations. I'm not holding my breath that he'll suddenly take a principled approach this time.

Italy takes blacklist of Jewish professors off internet

from Reuters: Italy takes Jewish teachers blacklist off Internet

Italian police are investigating an anti-Semitic blog listing the names of more than 150 "Jewish university professors," which was removed from the Internet after protests from politicians and Jewish leaders.

The blog, by an anonymous author, listed the names and workplaces of university professors which it accused of "publicly and politically" supporting Israel.

It was taken down in the early afternoon on Friday, said Emanuele Fini, one of the heads of blog site www.ilcannocchiale.it, where the blog was first posted on January 16.

Interior Minister Giuliano Amato ordered police to investigate the case.

"The Internet has become the main tool for spreading anti-Semitic hatred," said Alessandro Ruben of the Anti-Defamation League in Italy.

Education Minister Giuseppe Fioroni called the blog a shameful "kind of Ku Klux Klan of the digital age."

The blog had links to far-right websites and themes like Holocaust revisionism, appeals to boycott Israel and war-time fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Some professors listed on the blog are not Jewish but had signed pro-Israel petitions.

There was a heated debate earlier this month on whether Italy's biggest book fair had a right to invite top Israeli writers as special guests.

The Turin annual fair, which this year will run from May 8-12, invited Amos Oz, David Grossman and Abraham Yehousha to mark Israel's 60th anniversary. The decision sparked protests by some leftists, who felt the fair was taking a political stance and called for a boycott of its stands.

(Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio, writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Robert Woodward)


Friday, February 1, 2008

Presbyterians Tell Jews: If You Support Israel, "Get a Life"

Anti-Israel activists, acting under the aegis of the mainline Protestant denominations, are telling Jews: if you care about Israel you need to "get a life". Seems to me that insult cuts a bit deeper when applied in the opposite direction.

Who are these people and what is their connection to this issue? These are the hypocrites who intervene in the name of non-intervention and support terrorists in the name of peace. They come from various liberal Protestant backgrounds but seem to share certain baggage relating to Jews. They tend to both hold Jews to a higher standard and regard Jews with disdain. They tend to have learned about Jews from the bible and apply that "information" to current events in an entirely inappropriate manner.

(Jimmy Carter has a long history of doing precisely this in his mostly neglected career as a Sunday school teacher. Those who've heard his lessons have reported that he generalizes about Jews as examples of various character flaws using the applicable biblical quotes to support his arguments. It's a short journey from that traditional form of anti-Semitic allegory to applying these lessons to current events.)

I assign all of them to read Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day for its critique of "honorable amateurs" with no understanding of realpolitik. These people, who combine their low level prejudices with naive good intentions can do more damage than they consider possible. I'm thankful for the gut feelings of the vast majority of Americans on this subject. They recognize the absurdity of these wacky amateurs and wholeheartedly reject the divestment movement.

Now read this from A Recovering Presbyterian: Presbyterians Tell Jews: Get a Life:

Since I have been examining church anti-Israel activism and its relationship to antisemitism, the following item struck me as a good example of problematic statements and actions undertaken by ‘leaders’ in mainline denominations. It contains several features that are very revealing about the current state of opinion and action in many of the ‘mainlines’.

Presbyterians ‘in the pews’ may or may not know the PC(USA) has an Israel/Palestine Network. This was formed in response to an action of the 216th General Assembly, and it is supported, maintained, and advised by national PC(USA) staffers. It claims of itself that it:

works in close cooperation with ecumenical partners and with the Office for the Middle East, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, the Presbyterian Washington Office, the Presbyterian UN Office and with other appropriate entities of the General Assembly and General Assembly Council.

Its pronouncements therefore have a fair degree of official imprimatur from the PC(USA) and reflect opinions current among the national staff and offices of the PC(USA). Recently, the Israel/Palestine network launched a new, updated website. Among many other things (some of them very problematic in their own right), the I/P Network of the PC(USA) presented a power-point presentation that it attributed to Jeff Halper. I draw your attention to slide 31. Here the reader is told THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THE DIASPORA MUST GET A LIFE.

I have said this is illustrative of the problems often encountered by churches in their pro-Palestinian activities that quickly morph into anti-Israel activities and then overtly anti-Jewish activities.

· The first problem is the painfully, unavoidably obvious double standard. This can easily be demonstrated by substituting any other group for ‘the Jewish community’. If Presbyterians regarded the Jewish community as an ethnic designation, the question arises: would Presbyterians post materials that tell the African American community to get a life? Would Presbyterians post materials that tell Italians to get a life? Would Presbyterians suggest that Native Americans should get a life? Would Presbyterians tell Iranians to get a life? The answers are NO, NO, NO, and NO. These would be extraordinarily inappropriate, insensitive and racist statements. If Presbyterians regarded “the Jewish community” as a religious designation, then the question is this: Would the Presbyterian Church publish materials that tell Hindus to get a life? Would they suggest Moslems get a life? Would they suggest that members of the Baha’i Faith get life? Would they argue that Roman Catholics ‘must get a life’? Again, in all four examples, the answer is an emphatic NO. How then is it possible that Presbyterians can think that telling “the Jewish community” it must get a life is acceptable in any possible universe? How then can the PC(USA) evade the rather obvious implication that its double standard is a form of anti-Jewish bigotry?

· The second problem is the attribution. Jeff Halper is the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition. Halper is Jewish, Israeli, and has a unique opinion on the situation and on American Judaism. At one point Halper asserted that “[He] would argue that American Judaism is in danger of being turned into a cult.” The thing is, even if his opinions are inherently offensive, Jeff Halper can speak because his criticism does, to some degree, come “from the inside”. The immediate problem, however, with the decision of the PRESBYTERIAN I/P Network to publish these comments with its apparent endorsement is that Presbyterians cannot criticize from the inside. When Presbyterians support comments such as “The Jewish community in the Diaspora must get a life”, they are speaking of people of a different group from themselves. It can in no way be construed as self-criticism – instead it appears to be more accurately construed as bigotry. [This is, in all honesty, a common phenomenon – engaged in by the PC(USA), the UMC, and many other groups. These have frequently found certain Jewish personalities or groups to endorse their activism as if this somehow inoculated them from antisemitism. But it is a patently false argument because it seizes on small minority opinions as if these were representative of Jewish people generally, and because it fails to account for the distinction between what it might be acceptable for a member of a race or religion to say about that race or religion and what would be unacceptable for a person to say about member of a different race or religion.]

· The third problem is the question of audience. By featuring this on a Presbyterian website, the Presbyterian I/P Network must intend it to be read by someone. The questions are who? And to what purpose? It is obvious that the Presbyterian activists who made this decision cannot really believe that telling the Jewish community in the Diaspora to ‘get a life’ will somehow prompt Israelis to change the policies to which the I/P Network objects. It is equally obvious that this is not directed at the Jewish community – because it is clear that members of the Jewish community would not be persuaded by Presbyterians telling them to ‘get a life’. Its appearance on a Presbyterian website instead seems to be directed at Presbyterians – to convince them to ignore (without a hearing or consideration) opinions from Jewish people that conflict with the I/P Network’s agenda. It seems to be indicating that good Presbyterians don’t have to listen to Jews because Jews need to ‘get a life’.

I’m left wondering how long Christian groups will content themselves with a brand of activism that clearly crosses lines into the offensive and immoral over and over again. I’m left wondering how long it will be before the members of Christian organizations will start to say enough. I’m left wondering how many times these same members will content themselves with the inherent corruption of having their ‘corporate witness’ commandeered by those so driven by their own political agendas that they take no note of the consequences of their actions – either to those organizations or to others.

Will Spotts

Galloway's love spurned by Obama

from Harry's Place: Can he learn to love again?

Can he learn to love again?


Not since Robert Kennedy has an American politician excited me as Barack Obama is exciting me. I'm listening to his speeches and reading what's he's written and reading about his life, and I'm filled with hope and optimism that this man can replace George W. Bush in the White House... He's eloquent, he's handsome, he's brave... We must all hope that Obama wins the Democratic party's nomination for President of the United States and goes on to win the Presidency itself.

--George Galloway on his radio show, February 10, 2007


...Our job is to renew the United States’ efforts to help Israel achieve peace with its neighbors while remaining vigilant against those who do not share this vision. Our job is to do more than lay out another road map; our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region.

That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point. And when we see all of the growing threats in the region: from Iran to Iraq to the resurgence of al-Qaeda to the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah, that loyalty and that friendship will guide me as we begin to lay the stones that will build the road that takes us from the current instability to lasting peace and security.
.....
We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. They know that President Ahamadinejad is reckless, irresponsible, and inattentive to their day-to-day needs which is why they sent him a rebuke at the ballot box this fall. And we hope more of them will speak out. There is great hope in their ability to see his hatred for what it is: hatred and a threat to peace in the region.

At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza.

And when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself. Last summer, Hezbollah attacked Israel. By using Lebanon as an outpost for terrorism, and innocent people as shields, Hezbollah has also engulfed that entire nation in violence and conflict, and threatened the fledgling movement for democracy there. That’s why we have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution which Syria and Iran continue to disregard. Their support and shipment of weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which threatens the peace and security in the region, must end.
.....
The Israeli people, and Prime Minister Olmert, have made clear that they are more than willing to negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will result in two states living side by side in peace and security. But the Israelis must trust that they have a true Palestinian partner for peace. That is why we must strengthen the hands of Palestinian moderates who seek peace and that is why we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction.
.....
We can and we should help Israelis and Palestinians both fulfill their national goals: two states living side by side in peace and security. Both the Israeli and Palestinian people have suffered from the failure to achieve this goal. The United States should leave no stone unturned in working to make that goal a reality.

But in the end, we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests...

--Barack Obama, addressing an American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy forum, March 2, 2007


Stick with Hugo Chavez, George. He'll never break your heart.

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