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Friday, March 13, 2009

Despite war crimes, the West always supports "Israel"

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy provides insight into the kind of inevitable, blank-check support Israeli war criminals receive from the "Holocaust" humanism hawkers in Europe and the United States. The "Holocaust" or "Shoah" is the means by which Israeli war crimes are absolved, thereby guaranteeing more atrocities against Palestinian civilians and more occupation and destruction of their infrastructure. The Talmudic moral superiority of Israelis places them beyond the normal penalties and punishments to which Nazi, Serb and Darfur war criminals are subjected. 

As the religion of Orthodox Judaism secretly teaches, Judaics are a special class, possessed of special immunities based on their alleged sacred ethnicity. The recent pontificating against Bishop Richard Williamson - the moral high ground, the posturing, the pompous denunciations in the name of highest human values - can be seen for what it really is: the gaseous discharge of slavish supporters of Ku Klux Judaism, i.e. the unwritten doctrine that upholds the Israeli "right" to kill Palestinians with impunity based on Judaic racial prestige and past victimization of Judaics. The "Holocaust" is a subsidiary of Ku Klux Judaism.

It's more than merely insane, it's downright criminal, even as Max Hastings in the New York Review of Books, and others like him, continue to wring their hands over the "collective guilt" of the ghostly World War II-era Germans. Meanwhile, the guilt, "collective" or otherwise of the Israelis of our time, who are killing people now, is never addressed by war crimes prosecution, papal anathema or international boycott and divestment. The "Holocaust" and its slogan of "Never Again" is not used to halt the ongoing Israeli holocaust against the Palestinians, but rather, the "Holocaust" cult functions as an accessory of that mass murder.

Conformists cannot comprehend how some of us dare to opt out of Holocaustianity, charging us with moral turpitude and inhuman indifference for rejecting its claims to progressive humanism and exalted ethics. We cannot accept it because we know it to be the mask by which Israeli terrorists shed innocent blood and then emerge from the carnage to take their place on the stage of the "Holocaust" memorial, lecturing the German people and Bishop Williamson on "Never Again."

--Michael Hoffman

Has Anyone asked why the Swedes hate us?
By Gideon Levy | Haaretz | March 13, 2009

Was it a coincidence? The day after Israel's Davis Cup tennis match in Sweden, played in a practically empty arena this week, a brief item appeared on the Haaretz Web site: Historians have discovered that Sweden, former tennis superpower, aided the Nazi war machine by extending credit to German industrial plants.

Coincidence or not, neutral in 1941 or not, 68 years later, public opinion in Sweden is definitely not neutral: Thousands demonstrated there against Israel, which was forced to wield its racket like a leper, with no audience in attendance. Did anyone in Israel even ask why it was considered a pariah in Sweden? No one dared question whether the war in the Gaza Strip was worth the price we're paying now, from Ankara to Malmo. It's enough to recall that the Swedes were always against us. The fact that there were times when they were awash in love for Israel was erased from our consciousness.

The world is always against us, period. But the world is not against us - to the contrary: The truth is that there is no other nation toward which the world is so forgiving, even today. Yes, today. Granted, world public opinion is very critical, sometimes in a way that's unique to Israel, but most governments (except Venezuela and Turkey, but including Egypt and Sweden) are far from being in sync with the public opinion in their countries. The official world continues to be sympathetic to Israel, regardless of its actions. The rise of Hamas, the increase in hatred for Islam in the West, the American hegemony - all this helps in strengthening the support, and we know how to make the very most of it.

What's the difference between national tennis player Andy Ram and national tennis player Thomas Johansson? Johansson and his angry fans saw real pictures from Gaza; Ram and his complacent fans never did. Had Ram seen them, maybe he, too, would demonstrate. But he, like most Israelis, was spared this discomfort, thanks to the gung-ho Israeli press. Can we and Ram really criticize those who were horrified by the pictures from the war? Can we reproach those who dare to protest against the people responsible for those scenes? Are we demanding that the world remain silent once again?

The demonstrators in Stockholm waved banners against violence and racism. It may be okay to ask why they waved them only against us, as there are some other racist and violent places in the world, but it is not okay to question the right to do so in general. Was there really no violence in Gaza, and is there no racism in Israel? If we were Swedes, wouldn't we protest against the pointless killing and destruction wrought by Israel?

But we needn't get too worked up over the fury of public opinion in Sweden; its right-wing government is much less agitated, like all the other European governments. One need only recall the surreal scene at the height of the brutal assault on Gaza, when the heads of the European Union came to Israel and dined with the prime minister in a show of unilateral support for the side wreaking the killing and destruction. They didn't give a thought to visiting Gaza, and uttered nary a word of criticism against Israel. That is official Europe.

Now, as a new government is about to be formed, there is concern that Israel will pay a price in the international arena for its composition. Not to worry: Everything will be just dandy. The world will accept Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel's No. 1 statesman, Avigdor Lieberman as its No. 1 diplomat and Moshe Ya'alon as its No. 1 soldier. Lieberman's belligerent statements and the Israel Defense Forces' violent actions in the territories under former chief of staff Ya'alon will not present any obstacles. The world will accept them, too.

Furthermore, the growing concern that the new U.S. administration may be about to change the rules of the game vis-a-vis Israel could also prove to be unfounded: Barack Obama's new America has already pledged to clean up after Israel, as usual. The $900 million the administration has pledged to contribute to rebuild Gaza - without a word of criticism about who caused the destruction there, as if it were a natural disaster and not the work of an unrestrained army, particularly in light of America's current economic state - is a bad sign for anyone hoping for change. Israel wrecked Gaza with U.S. weapons, and America and Europe step in to fix things, not for the first time or for the last.

As the saying goes around here, what was is what will be: Israel will continue to destroy, and America will continue to mop up after it, without a word. A bad sign? Yes, for anyone who thinks that change will only come from the outside or, in other words, only from America.

Note how the upcoming Durban II conference on racism is also being thwarted, because of the fear that it will harshly criticize Israel. Does anyone know of any other country that can win such sweeping international backing? But we always complain: The whole world is against us. It's good for shoring up national unity and for squeezing out more and more support in the world.

The bleak prophecies about a change in America's attitude toward Israel are as old as the country itself. Whenever there's a change of administration in the U.S., anxiety spikes. But from president to president, our strength only grows: When George W. Bush was elected, we were told to be wary of the Texan, a friend of the Arabs and of oil. And what did we get? Never was there a president more "sympathetic to Israel," who gave it such a blank check for all its settlements, targeted assassinations and occupation activities. Obama is scary, too: He's already talking with Iran and with the Taliban. Most likely, fears surrounding this will also prove to be overblown, once he gets around to dealing with Israel.

International interest in Israel is completely disproportionate. Last week, every taxi driver in Bursa, Turkey could recite by heart the names of Lieberman, Tzipi Livni, Netanyahu - and also Avi Mizrahi, the major general who had criticized their country. Every little flutter of coalition action in Israel immediately makes headlines; the world does not focus as much attention on the internal politics of any other country. Only Israel. Whether it's good or bad for the Jews, it's hard to put one's finger on the roots of this phenomenon.

For decades now, the world has been buying the Zionist narrative almost in full. The occupation and settlements have been going on for more than 40 years with no serious impediment. Except for some international grumblings and resolutions no one has any serious intention of implementing, Israel continues to belong to the camp of the "good guys"; the Arabs are the "bad guys." The new atmosphere in the West against Islam is reinforcing this trend and Israel is benefiting yet again. Criticism of the media in the West from Israel's supporters is also quite excessive.

A Swedish journalist was recently laid off from her newspaper because she sided with the Palestinian position in the conflict. It's hard to imagine her editors acting the same way if it were a Jewish reporter who had written in support of Israel.

When I was interviewed once by a reporter from the France 1 channel, a commercial channel, at the doorway of a house in Gaza - where the army had killed the only daughter of a paralyzed mother - and I said that it was these sorts of moments that made me feel ashamed to be an Israeli, my words were not broadcast. The reporter phoned me the next day and told me his editors had decided not to include the quote, for fear of viewer response. When I once published an article in the German paper Die Welt, which is part of the publishing group of Axel Springer, where all writers had to sign a pledge that they would never cast doubt on the State of Israel's right to exist, the editor told me: "If this critical article about the occupation had been written by a German journalist, we would not have published it."

Despite mounting criticism of Israel, Europe is still very cautious. With Europe's Holocaust guilt, its anxiety in the face of Islam and its readiness to blindly follow the United States anywhere, Israel still enjoys preferential status in the world. Very preferential.

But perhaps this will not always be the case. Perhaps the worse our actions become, the harsher the criticism will be. Meanwhile, two pointless wars in two years were not enough to achieve this. Maybe the time will indeed come when the world will get fed up with this aggression and violence of ours, which endanger world peace, and will say at long last: No more occupation, no more wars perpetrated by Israel for which the world has to pay. Perhaps when Israel's dream team of Netanyahu-Lieberman-Ya'alon faces the American dream team of Obama-Clinton, conservatives versus liberals, warmongers versus seekers of negotiation - something will happen then.

In the meantime, let us remember: Israel beat Sweden 3-2 in tennis and justice prevailed once again.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Archbishop Theodosius: Pope not welcome in Jerusalem

Archbishop Theodosius of Sebaste

By Israel Shamir | March 9, 2009

“Pope Benedict is not welcome in the Holy Land in the present circumstances", - said Archbishop Theodosius of Sebaste, the highest ranking native Palestinian Christian clergyman in Jerusalem, after it was announced in Israel that the head of the Church of Rome will begin his May pilgrimage to the Holy City with obeisance to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial ‘Yad Vashem’.

- We are not against the Pope’s visit to Yad Vashem, but before expressing solidarity with the Jews, he should show solidarity with the Christians of Palestine. We have our own tragic memories; our Yad Vashem is in Gaza, said the Archbishop, and then added: “let the Pope begin his visit with Gaza first”.

Tall and fortyish, blue-eyed, of commanding presence, the Galilean-born Archbishop is a citizen of Israel, an outspoken critic of Jewish excesses and a most visible supporter of the One Democratic State idea calling for full equality for Jew, Christian and Muslim in the whole, undivided Holy Land. Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna is a man of his own mind: he refused to meet with President Bush, befriended the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem and defended Pope Benedict when he was attacked for what was considered anti-Muslim talk. Now he expresses the feelings of many Palestinian Christians, this oldest Christian community in the world. While the Church of Rome was established by Christ’s apostle St Peter, the Church of Jerusalem was established by Christ Himself. In many villages and towns of the Holy Land memories of the Saviour’s presence still linger. The majority of Jerusalem Christians belong to the Archbishop’s Orthodox church, while a minority are Catholic.

Regarding the papal visit, the Catholics and the Orthodox are of one mind. Before the Gaza war, Father Manuel Musallam, head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Gaza, said that it is Gaza’s right not to die, and if it dies it will be in the battlefield. The Catholic believers, priests and monks of the Holy Land forwarded the Pope a secret letter calling on him to postpone his visit to some future time. The Vatican read the letter but decided to disregard it. Now, when the blood shed by Jews in Gaza is still warm, Israel will certainly portray this visit as a sign of papal approval.

“If the Pope wants to come to the Holy Land, he should begin the visit by coming to the local Catholic church in Gaza", said Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna. "The church was denied visits by the priests and bishops, and Gazan Christians were unable to worship in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. At first, the Pope should meet with Palestinian Christians, who carry the light of Christ in the darkness of Israeli occupation. Otherwise, this is not a visit to us, but a visit to Israel, an item on the Pope’s agenda vis-à-vis the Jewish organizations. We ask the Pope to speak for the people of Palestine, for Palestinian Christians are part and parcel of Palestine. Palestinian Christians suffer together with their Muslim brothers. Let the Pope advocate our cause”, said he.

Many Palestinian Christians feel that the Vatican has become a plaything of Jewish intrigues. Why does Vatican spend so much effort trying to woo and please the Jews? Is not the Church of Rome still an independent body? Why is the See of St Peter heeds to Jewish veto even regarding church affairs?

The Pope’s visit to the Holocaust Memorial is troubling.

The Museum adjacent to Memorial contains some rude defamation of the late Pope Pius; and the Jews have refused to remove it.

Even worse, the Holocaust is used to justify mass murder in Gaza; coming first to Yad vaShem sends a wrong symbol of accepting Jewish superiority over Christendom.

Moreover, the Holocaust Memorial is a religious symbol, an idol of a new heathen, godless cult.
Its boss Dr Judah Bauer has openly denied God and the Creation, while its previous boss is considered a war criminal and his extradition is being sought.

Tom Segev, a prominent Israeli writer, correctly said that the Holocaust has become "an object of worship." Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League has declared: “The Holocaust is a near successful attempt on the life of God's Chosen children and, thus, on God himself”.

We know of a near-successful attempt on the life of God’s Son, and thus on God Himself, and it took place in Jerusalem, on Calvary. Yad va-Shem is a pretender, a place of idolatry. Abraham refused to pay obeisance to idols -- why can’t the Pope follow his lead?

The forthcoming visit of the Pope was engendered by a ruse: traditionalist Bishop Msgr. Williamson was re-communicated with the Church, and at the same time his interview regarding the Jewish holocaust was aired. The scandal was enormous. If Williamson were to blaspheme Christ and the Church he would be applauded for his free mind; as things are, the Pope was forced to beg forgiveness of his "elder brothers the Jews," and even depart on this Canossa-like trip with its scheduled meetings with Israeli war criminals.

In Palestine, the Pope and the Catholics may learn a thing or two from the Church of Jerusalem. Despite its minority position in the Jewish state, the Orthodox Church is still free and un-subverted. Its theology is shiningly, implacably triumphalist; we believe in Christ and in victory of Orthodoxy as we celebrated it last Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent. Our Church is universal and catholic, for we of Jerusalem and Moscow, Antioch and Constantinople are joined by one communion, though we do not have a single shepherd. We have no elder brothers; we have no Zionists in our midst. We have no special relations with Jews – unless they want to join. We reject heresies, and we do not hesitate to anathematise heretics, including the popes of Rome who went too far in their desire to submit to worldly powers. Our Church does not seek better public relations, she does not change her rules in a vain attempt to attract more worshippers. She venerates icons, but does not bow down to idols.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

War crime advocate named law professor in Tel Aviv

Israeli University Welcomes "War Crimes" Colonel 
by Jonathan Cook

The Israeli government has moved quickly to quash protests over the appointment of the army's senior adviser on international law to a teaching post at Tel Aviv University. Col Pnina Sharvit-Baruch is thought to have provided legal cover for war crimes during the recent Gaza offensive. Government officials fear that recent media revelations relating to Col Sharvit-Baruch's role in the Gaza operation may assist human rights groups seeking to bring Israeli soldiers to trial abroad. 

A Spanish judge began investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza under the country's "universal jurisdiction" laws this month, and a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague is considering a Palestinian group's petition to indict Israeli commanders. Meanwhile, the furore — by highlighting the close ties between the army and Israeli universities — is adding weight to a growing campaign in Europe and the US to impose an academic boycott on Israel, say activists. 

Tel Aviv University's decision to hire Col Sharvit-Baruch to teach international law prompted protests from staff after the local media published details of the military planning for the Gaza offensive. More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed during the operation, the majority of them civilians, and thousands were injured. 

According to critics quoted by the Haaretz newspaper, Col Sharvit-Baruch and her staff manipulated standard interpretations of international law to expand the scope of army operations to include civilian targets. 

Leading the protest is Haim Ganz, a law professor who has called the colonel's approach to international law "devious jurisprudence that permits mass killing". In a letter to the university, Prof Ganz said he was lodging "a moral protest against a state of affairs where somebody who authorized these actions is teaching the law of war". 

Last week Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, threatened to cut government funding for the law faculty should Col Sharvit-Baruch's appointment not proceed. The university's president, Zvi Galil, phoned the cabinet secretary to reassure the government, saying Prof Ganz's opinions were not shared by most staff. Other academics have rallied in support of Col Sharvit-Baruch, accusing her critics of waging a McCarthyite campaign against her. 

According to the Israeli media, she personally approved the first wave of air strikes in Gaza that targeted a police graduation ceremony, killing at least 40 cadets. Although police forces have civilian status in international law, and are therefore protected from military reprisal, Col Sharvit-Baruch is reported to have revised her opinion of the attack's legality during the many months of planning. 

In addition, she is said to have "relaxed" the rules of engagement, approved widespread house demolitions and the uprooting of farmland, and sanctioned the use of incendiary weapons such as white phosphorus over the densely populated enclave. 

She also offered legal justification for the targeting of buildings in which civilians were known to be located as long as they had been warned first to leave. Schools, mosques and a university were among the many civilian buildings shelled by the Israeli army during the 22-day operation. 

Her decisions have been widely criticized by international human rights organisations as well as by international law experts in Israel. The professor Yuval Shany, who teaches public international law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, called her interpretation of the rules of war "flexible". Regarding the strike against the police cadets, he said: "If you follow that line, there is not much that differentiates [the cadets] from [Israeli] reservists or even from 16-year-olds who will be drafted [into the Israeli army] in two years." 

Col Sharvit-Baruch's predecessor, Daniel Reisner, noted that her staff had stretched the accepted meanings of international law. The army's operating principle, he added, was: "If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it." 

Orna Ben-Naftali, the dean of law at the College of Management in Rishon Letzion, said the army's conduct in Gaza had made international law "bankrupt". "A situation is created in which the majority of the adult men in Gaza and the majority of the buildings can be treated as legitimate targets. The law has actually been stood on its head." 

But despite the protest at Tel Aviv University, most academic staff in Israel supported Col. Sharvit-Baruch's appointment, said Daphna Golan, a program director at the Minerva Center for Human Rights at Hebrew University. "I think even Prof Ganz has been frightened into silence by the backlash." The episode, she said, highlighted the intimate relations between the army and universities in Israel, as well as the dependence of the universities on army funding. She noted that there were many special programs designed to favour army and security personnel by putting them on a fast track to degrees. 

"Most of the professors in the country's Middle East departments — the 'experts on Arabs' who shape the perceptions of the next generation — are recruited from the army or the security services," she added. 

Omar Barghouti, a co-ordinator of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said Col Sharvit-Baruch's employment was a further indication of the "organic ties" between Israeli institutions and the army. "This just adds one more soldier to an already very long list of war criminals roaming around freely in Israeli universities, teaching hate, racism and warmongering, with impunity," he said. 

He noted that calls for an academic boycott were growing in the wake of the Gaza offensive. Al-Quds University, with campuses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, severed its contacts with Israeli universities last week. It had been the last Palestinian university to maintain such ties. At the same time, a group of US professors announced that they were campaigning for an academic boycott of Israel — the first time such a call has been heard in the US. Mr Barghouti said an "unprecedented" groundswell of popular opinion was behind new campaigns in countries such as Australia, Spain, Sweden, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Jonathan 

Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest book is Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net 


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