Wednesday, June 23, 2004

LESS SUPPORT FOR WITHDRAWAL & ARABS THAN THOUGHT: ANALYZING THE NUMBERS


A study carried out by the University of Haifa's National Security Research Center is sending shockwaves through Israel, as political views traditionally relegated to the margins of the political spectrum appear to be nearing a level of public consensus.

For one thing, the study shows that Israeli Jews are not very pleased with the presence of a hostile or potentially-hostile Arab minority in its midst: A full 63.7% believe in what is known as transfer, and said that the government should encourage the emigration of Israeli-Arabs from Israel. 55.3% believe the Israeli-Arab population constitutes a threat to Israel's security, while 45.3% even favor eliminating Israeli-Arab rights to be elected to the Knesset and to participate in elections.

A fairly clear consensus was also found among Israeli Jews on two other issues: foreign workers and targeted assassinations. 72.1% want to see restrictions on the entry of foreign workers into Israel, with 54.2% saying that the country's economy is suffering because of the jobs taken by foreign workers.

Widespread support of Israel's counter-terror methods was recorded. Nearly 80% of Jews support Israel's policy of killing terrorist leaders; even 11.6% of Israeli-Arabs support this policy.

Contrary to popular perception that the overwhelming majority is in favor of ceding territory, 44.1% of Jews - and 21% of Arabs, including Druze - are against handing over any part of Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) even in the theoretical framework of a comprehensive peace agreement. A bit less, 39.8%, are against the dismantling of even one Jewish community under a peace arrangement. Surprisingly, 22.4% of Arabs agree with them.

Almost half - 47.7% - say that Israel must object to the establishment of a Palestinian state as a pre-condition for a peace arrangement. One out of seven Israeli-Arabs feels the same.

In what is possibly the most surprising finding of all, Dr. Daphna Kanati, who co-directed the study, said that if national elections were held today, close to 30% of the public would support a Kach-like party - outlawed for its extreme right-wing views. She said that this figure had not yet been publicly released. She herself, however, told Israel National Radios Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher that the most surprising statistic for her was the high percentage of Jews - over two-thirds - who support transfer.

Dr. Kanati said that the purpose of the study was to study right-wing extremism, at which a point a discussion evolved as to what defined extremism: "Its funny," Fleisher said, "you keep using the word 'extremism,' yet your figures show that 60% of Israeli Jews are interested in the Arabs leaving the country."

Dr. Kanati: "Are you basically saying that if the majority supports something that we would have defined as extremism, then it becomes normal!?"

Stutz: "Yes!"

Dr. Kanati did not agree, saying that extremism is defined according to international standards of democracy. Stutz commented that this would not be accurate, as calls for transferring a population must be judged according to varying conditions in a country: "For instance, it could well be that the majority of Germans would not have called for the transfer of Nazis, while those who would have wanted to transfer them would have been called, by your definition, extremists."

The study, carried out last month, surveyed 1,016 Israelis through telephone interviews, and "as opposed to other surveys, this one shows the 'real Israel,'" Dr. Kanati said. "Researchers went to great lengths to sample segments of the population usually glossed over by pollsters due to the difficulty in eliciting responses from them. These include the proportionate numbers from the hareidi-religious community who are usually wary of unsolicited telephone pollsters; new immigrants from Russia who are hard-pressed to answer lengthy telephone questions in Hebrew - we had Russian speakers speak with them; and residents of Yesha, who have a general distrust of the press and academia following unpleasant experiences involving the use of statistics to manipulate public opinion."

The simple fact that we released results differentiating between Jewish and Arab responses is a step that many fail to take," said Dr. Kanati, "but it is crucial when trying to examine the true consensus within a segment of society.

Some of the statistics seemed to contradict each other. For instance, half of the Jews polled expressed "support for a withdrawal from Yesha." Yet, another question found that 40% feel that "not even one settlement must be dismantled" - meaning that 60% would agree to demolishing at least one. Dr. Kanati admitted that the phrasing of the question affects the answer - and also added that, "In general, poll questions about withdrawals cannot be relied upon too much, because they are, by their nature, inexact. The question cannot specify how much of a withdrawal, for instance, or from which areas and under which conditions. In addition, the answers can change based upon whether there was recently a terror attack, and the like."

One Small Step: Is the U.N. finally ready to get serious about anti-Semitism?



BY ANNE BAYEFSKY

Monday, June 21, 2004, 11:15 am EDT

(Ms. Bayefsky delivered this speech at the U.N. at a
conference on Confronting Anti-Semitism: Education for
Tolerance and Understanding, sponsored by the United Nations
Department of Information, this morning.)

I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you at this first
U.N. conference on anti-Semitism, which is being convened
six decades after the organization's creation. My thanks to
the U.N. organizers and in particular Shashi Tharoor [the
undersecretary-general for communications and public
information] for their initiative and to the
secretary-general for his willingness to engage.

This meeting occurs at a point when the relationship between
Jews and the United Nations is at an all-time low. The U.N.
took root in the ashes of the Jewish people, and according
to its charter was to flower on the strength of a commitment
to tolerance and equality for all men and women and of
nations large and small. Today, however, the U.N. provides a
platform for those who cast the victims of the Nazis as the
Nazi counterparts of the 21st century. The U.N. has become
the leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism -- intolerance
and inequality against the Jewish people and its state.

Not only have many of the U.N. members most responsible for
this state of affairs rendered their own countries
Judenrein, they have succeeded in almost entirely expunging
concern about Jew-hatred from the U.N. docket. From 1965,
when anti-Semitism was deliberately excluded from a treaty
on racial discrimination, to last fall, when a proposal for
a General Assembly resolution on anti-Semitism was withdrawn
after Ireland capitulated to Arab and Muslim opposition,
mention of anti-Semitism has continually ground the wheels
of U.N.-led multilateralism to a halt.

There has never been a U.N. resolution specifically on
anti-Semitism or a single report to a U.N. body dedicated to
discrimination against Jews, in contrast to annual
resolutions and reports focusing on the defamation of Islam
and discrimination against Muslims and Arabs. Instead there
was Durban -- the 2001 U.N. World Conference "Against
Racism," which was a breeding ground and global soapbox for
anti-Semites. When it was over U.N. officials and member
states turned the Durban Declaration into the centerpiece of
the U.N.'s antiracism agenda -- allowing Durban follow-up
resolutions to become a continuing battlefield over U.N.
concern with anti-Semitism.

Not atypical is the public dialogue in the U.N.'s top human
rights body -- the Commission on Human Rights -- where this
past April the Pakistani ambassador, speaking on behalf of
the 56 members of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference, unashamedly disputed that anti-Semitism was
about Jews.

For Jews, however, ignorance is not an option. Anti-Semitism
is about intolerance and discrimination directed at Jews --
both individually and collectively. It concerns both
individual human rights and the group right to
self-determination -- realized in the state of Israel.

What does discrimination against the Jewish state mean? It
means refusing to admit only Israel to the vital negotiating
sessions of regional groups held daily during U.N.
Commission on Human Rights meetings. It means devoting six
of the 10 emergency sessions ever held by the General
Assembly to Israel. It means transforming the 10th emergency
session into a permanent tribunal -- which has now been
reconvened 12 times since 1997. By contrast, no emergency
session was ever held on the Rwandan genocide, estimated to
have killed a million people, or the ethnic cleansing of
tens of thousands in the former Yugoslavia, or the death of
millions over the past two decades of atrocities in Sudan.
That's discrimination.

The record of the Secretariat is more of the same. In
November 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a report
on Israel's security fence, detailing the purported harm to
Palestinians without describing one terrorist act against
Israelis which preceded the fence's construction. Recently,
the secretary-general strongly condemned Israel for
destroying homes in southern Gaza without mentioning the
arms-smuggling tunnels operating beneath them. When Israel
successfully targeted Hamas terrorist Abdel Aziz Rantissi
with no civilian casualties, the secretary-general denounced
Israel for an "extrajudicial" killing. But when faced with
the 2004 report of the U.N. special rapporteur on
extrajudicial executions detailing the murder of more than
3,000 Brazilian civilians shot at close range by police, Mr.
Annan chose silence. That's discrimination.

At the U.N., the language of human rights is hijacked not
only to discriminate but to demonize the Jewish target. More
than one quarter of the resolutions condemning a state's
human rights violations adopted by the commission over 40
years have been directed at Israel. But there has never been
a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the
civil and political rights of 1.3 billion people in China,
or the million female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia kept
as virtual slaves, or the virulent racism which has brought
600,000 people to the brink of starvation in Zimbabwe. Every
year, U.N. bodies are required to produce at least 25
reports on alleged human rights violations by Israel, but
not one on an Iranian criminal justice system which mandates
punishments like crucifixion, stoning and cross-amputation
of right hand and left foot. This is not legitimate critique
of states with equal or worse human rights records. It is
demonization of the Jewish state.

As Israelis are demonized at the U.N., so Palestinians and
their cause are deified. Every year the U.N. marks Nov. 29
as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People -- the day the U.N. partitioned the British Palestine
mandate and which Arabs often style as the onset of al nakba
or the "catastrophe" of the creation of the state of Israel.
In 2002, the anniversary of the vote that survivors of the
concentration camps celebrated, was described by
Secretary-General Annan as "a day of mourning and a day of
grief."

In 2003 the representatives of over 100 member states stood
along with the secretary-general, before a map predating the
state of Israel, for a moment of silence "for all those who
had given their lives for the Palestinian people" -- which
would include suicide bombers. Similarly, U.N. rapporteur
John Dugard has described Palestinian terrorists as "tough"
and their efforts as characterized by "determination,
daring, and success." A commission resolution for the past
three years has legitimized the Palestinian use of "all
available means including armed struggle" -- an absolution
for terrorist methods which would never be applied to the
self-determination claims of Chechens or Basques.

Although Palestinian self-determination is equally
justified, the connection between demonizing Israelis and
sanctifying Palestinians makes it clear that the core issue
is not the stated cause of Palestinian suffering. For there
are no U.N. resolutions deploring the practice of
encouraging Palestinian children to glorify and emulate
suicide bombers, or the use of the Palestinian population as
human shields, or the refusal by the vast majority of Arab
states to integrate Palestinian refugees into their
societies and to offer them the benefits of citizenship.
Palestinians are lionized at the U.N. because they are the
perceived antidote to what U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called
the great poison of the Middle East -- the existence and
resilience of the Jewish state.

Of course, anti-Semitism takes other forms at the U.N. Over
the past decade at the commission, Syria announced that
yeshivas train rabbis to instill racist hatred in their
pupils. Palestinian representatives claimed that Israelis
can happily celebrate religious holidays like Yom Kippur
only by shedding Palestinian blood, and accused Israel of
injecting 300 Palestinian children with HIV-positive blood.

U.N.-led anti-Semitism moves from the demonization of Jews
to the disqualification of Jewish victimhood: refusing to
recognize Jewish suffering by virtue of their ethnic and
national identity. In 2003 a General Assembly resolution
concerned with the welfare of Israeli children failed
(though one on Palestinian children passed handily) because
it proved impossible to gain enough support for the word
Israeli appearing before the word children. The mandate of
the U.N. special rapporteur on the "Palestinian
territories", set over a decade ago, is to investigate only
"Israel's violations of . . . international law" and not to
consider human-rights violations by Palestinians in Israel.

It follows in U.N. logic that nonvictims aren't really
supposed to fight back. One after another concrete Israeli
response to terrorism is denounced by the secretary-general
and member states as illegal. But killing members of the
command-and-control structure of a terrorist organization,
when there is no disproportionate use of force, and arrest
is impossible, is not illegal. Homes used by terrorists in
the midst of combat are legitimate military targets. A
nonviolent, temporary separation of parties to a conflict on
disputed territory by a security fence, which is sensitive
to minimizing hardships, is a legitimate response to
Israel's international legal obligations to protect its
citizens from crimes against humanity. In effect, the U.N.
moves to pin the arms of Jewish targets behind their backs
while the terrorists take aim.

The U.N.'s preferred imagery for this phenomenon is of a
cycle of violence. It is claimed that the cycle must be
broken -- every time Israelis raises a hand. But just as the
symbol of the cycle is chosen because it has no beginning,
it is devastating to the cause of peace because it denies
the possibility of an end. The Nuremberg Tribunal taught us
that crimes are not committed by abstract entities.

The perpetrators of anti-Semitism today are the preachers in
mosques who exhort their followers to blow up Jews. They are
the authors of Palestinian Authority textbooks that teach a
new generation to hate Jews and admire their killers. They
are the television producers and official benefactors in
authoritarian regimes like Syria or Egypt who manufacture
and distribute programming that depicts Jews as bloodthirsty
world conspirators.

Listen, however, to the words of the secretary-general in
response to two suicide bombings which took place in
Jerusalem this year, killing 19 and wounding 110: "Once
again, violence and terror have claimed innocent lives in
the Middle East. Once again, I condemn those who resort to
such methods." "The Secretary General condemns the suicide
bombing Sunday in Jerusalem. The deliberate targeting of
civilians is a heinous crime and cannot be justified by any
cause." Refusing to name the perpetrators, Mr.
Secretary-General, Teflon terrorism, is a green light to
strike again.

Perhaps more than any other, the big lie that fuels
anti-Semitism today is the U.N.-promoted claim that the root
cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the occupation of
Palestinian land. According to U.N. revisionism, the
occupation materialized in a vacuum. In reality, Israel
occupies land taken in a war which was forced upon it by
neighbors who sought to destroy it. It is a state of
occupation which Israelis themselves have repeatedly sought
to end through negotiations over permanent borders. It is a
state in which any abuses are closely monitored by Israel's
independent judiciary. But ultimately, it is a situation
which is the responsibility of the rejectionists of Jewish
self-determination among Palestinians and their Arab and
Muslim brethren -- who have rendered the Palestinian
civilian population hostage to their violent and
anti-Semitic ambitions.

There are those who would still deny the existence of
anti-Semitism at the U.N. by pointing to a range of
motivations in U.N. corridors including commercial
interests, regional politics, preventing scrutiny of human
rights violations closer to home, or enhancement of
individual careers. U.N. actors and supporters remain almost
uniformly in denial of the nature of the pathogen coursing
through these halls. They ignore the infection and applaud
the host, forgetting that the cancer which kills the
organism will take with it both the good and the bad.

The relative distribution of naiveté, cowardice,
opportunism, and anti-Semitism, however, matters little to
Noam and Matan Ohayon, ages 4 and 5, shot to death through
their mother's body in their home in northern Israel while
she tried to shield them from a gunman of Yasser Arafat's
al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The terrible consequences of these
combined motivations mobilized and empowered within U.N.
chambers are the same.

The inability of the U.N. to confront the corruption of its
agenda dooms this organization's success as an essential
agent of equality or dignity or democratization.

This conference may serve as a turning point. We will only
know if concrete changes occur hereafter: a General Assembly
resolution on anti-Semitism adopted, an annual report on
anti-Semitism forthcoming, a focal point on anti-Semitism
created, a rapporteur on anti-Semitism appointed.

But I challenge the secretary-general and his organization
to go further -- if they are serious about eradicating
anti-Semitism:

* Start putting a name to the terrorists that kill Jews
because they are Jews.

* Start condemning human-rights violators wherever they
dwell -- even if they live in Riyadh or Damascus.

* Stop condemning the Jewish people for fighting back
against their killers.

* And the next time someone asks you or your colleagues to
stand for a moment of silence to honor those who would
destroy the state of Israel, say no.

Only then will the message be heard from these chambers that
the U.N. will not tolerate anti-Semitism or its consequences
against Jews and the Jewish people, whether its victims live
in Tehran, Paris or Jerusalem.

Ms. Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and
an adjunct professor at Columbia University Law School.

Monday, June 21, 2004

[apologies for the poor editing and bad linebreaks - but it's interesting anyway]

In February,
HonestReporting documented the media's failure to describe the
close relationship between the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades ― one of the
most deadly Palestinian terrorist organizations ― and Yassir Arafat's
ruling Fatah party. While major news outlets regularly claimed mere
'loose ties' between the two groups, the overwhelming evidence
indicated a strong, and highly troubling, bond.
This problem continues ― an
AFP
wire report on June 13 described the Al Aqsa Brigades as 'a
radical and largely autonomous offshoot of Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement,' and
AP (June 15) described them as a 'violent offshoot of
Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.'




Ahmad Qurei

But yesterday (June 20), Palestinian Prime Minister
Ahmad Qurei openly acknowledged that the Al Aqsa Brigades are no mere 'offshoot'. In an interview with the London-based
Asharq al-Awsat
newspaper, Qurei said:



"We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are
part of Fatah... We are committed to them and Fatah bears
full responsibility
for the group."




So most media outlets have had it dead wrong for some time.
HonestReporting has

stated
that this is not a mere semantic matter, but rather cuts to
the very heart of the conflict:



The close ties that bond the Fatah-led
PA to terrorist groups are the fundamental problem that prevents
progress toward peaceful reconciliation
. The dominant political
party in the PA remains a direct sponsor of ongoing terrorism ― the
ruling politicians and the terrorists are one and the same.



With Qurei's open admission of a Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades bond, any
media outlet whose copy continues to deny that bond is blatantly
misrepresenting Palestinian reality. As such, their readership cannot
possibly understand the tough line Israel must take with the current
PA, which is in clear violation of the
road map's
demand for dismantling terrorist organizations ― not promoting them from within.
For good measure,
Qurei
also admitted that Yassir Arafat continues to call all the
shots road map violation #2:



"There is nothing called 'prime minister' and 'interior
minister,'" [Qurei] said. "There is a Palestinian establishment
called the Palestinian Authority and it is headed by President
Yasser Arafat."



HonestReporting encourages subscribers to monitor your local media
for ongoing denial of the bond between the ruling Palestinian Fatah party and
the Al Aqsa Brigades ― responsible for 23

major terrorist attacks
in the past three years, and labeled a
terrorist organization by the
U.S. State Department.


Moreover, shouldn't Qurei's statement be making headlines? Write to
news agencies, urging coverage of the PA's confirmation that it 'bears
full responsibility' for the Al Aqsa terror organization:







 Contact info for

print news media




● 

Contact info for
TV
& radio news media

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

France, Land of Hatred



By Olivier Guitta

The American Thinker

June 7, 2004


While French President Chirac has been claiming for the past two years that France is not anti-Semitic, he nonetheless convened emergency talks with Jewish leaders in December 2003, to reassure them after the burning of a Jewish school. Right after this meeting, one of the participants, France's Chief Rabbi, Joseph Sitruk, declared that Jews should be wearing French-style caps, not the explicitly and obviously Jewish kipa, to blend in more and to avoid triggering violence against them.

A flurry of events in the past two weeks show how mistaken Chirac and his government are. Last week, a young Jewish student coming out of his school in suburban Paris was stabbed by an aggressor yelling “Allah Akhbar” (“God is great,” in Arabic). Last week one of a Boulogne Rabbi's sons was beaten-up by six Muslim youths waiting for him outside his home.

Anti-Semitism in France is alive and kicking, and getting worse by the day. The state and other French institutions are unfortunately playing a major role in the spreading of this hatred. In the school system, two examples show the absurdity of the situation. First, here is what you can find in a French schoolbook issued by the Ministry of Education:

“A day of final exams in the occupied West Bank; Palestinian students cannot concentrate because of the noise of the tanks; some Palestinians arrested by the Israeli Army were released only the day of the exam and have no chances of passing the test.”

The accompanying study activities for French students are to answer this question: “By whom are the Palestinians occupied?” and to write a letter to one of the Palestinians, telling him to go on with the resistance and keeping hope.

By teaching this blatant Anti-Zionism, the French authorities are fanning the flames of the constant anti-Semitic activities occurring in schools throughout the country.

The second example is: last December, an 11-year-old Jewish boy was repeatedly beaten by two of his Muslims schoolmates, who insulted him by yelling, “Dirty Jew. Hitler should have finished the work….”

What was the reaction of the French authorities?

They said that this “incident” -- that is the word the French media uses to refer to a violent attacks, even murde -- was not anti-Semitic, because such insults as “dirty Jew” are now very common and could be compared to what “jerk” was a few years ago. They added that if the boy were not Jewish, we would not have heard about it.

This reaction is typical of a government that does not recognize the problem, and does not go after the real culprits: principally, young males of the French Muslim community.

What role does the print media play in this environment of hatred?

Another “incident” occurred in December 2003, when a young Jewish disc jockey was killed by a Muslim neighbor, who slit his throat twice and mutilated his face. The murderer, going back to his apartment, reportedly said, “I killed my Jew. I will go to heaven.”

No major French newspaper covered this story. Not really surprising, because blaming a Muslim for a Jew's death does not go over too well in France.

What about the publishing world?

The translator, along with the intended publisher, of an American book called Islam Unveiled, by Robert Spencer, have been receiving numerous death threats and insults like “dirty Jew pig.” Do you see a pattern here? This book, based on evidence found in the Koran, demonstrates how terrorists like bin Laden simply obey the Muslim holy book. Due to this physical threat, the book will not be published in France, so the Islamists have won.

On the other hand, there has been no problem publishing a book in France called Dream of Palestine, by a fifteen year-old Egyptian girl. The third largest French publishing house decided that this novel, describing the exactions of “bloodthirsty Jews, who assassinate children and old people, profane mosques and rape Arab women,” and having as the hero a suicide bomber killing five Israelis, would fit perfectly in their catalog.

Another newly-published book, by a respected French philosopher called Jean Claude Milner, explains that by killing the Jews, Hitler did the work needed for Europe to modernize.

What about mainstream TV?

On French state TV, during a very popular program, on December 1, a famous stand-up comedian called Dieudonne decided it was time for a virulent Anti-Semitic act. He came on stage, disguised as a religious Jew wearing Army fatigues…. Here is a quick sample of his “performance”:

“I converted to Judaism not really because of political reasons but rather by professional interest, you know what I mean…Like me, convert to Judaism and join the Axis of Good, the US-Zionist Axis.”

He finishes by saluting the Nazi way and yells “Israel, heil !” By playing on the usual clichés of anti-Semitism -- references to money -- and adding a large dose of anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism, Dieudonne got a standing ovation from his audience.

There is no use hiding behind that new fashionable term “anti-Zionism” because it is just a false pretext. As Dr Martin Luther King said it, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism.”


How does the Muslim community react to that wave of anti-Semitism, which is orchestrated by their own members?

Muslim institutions claim that they are the real victims of racist attacks. They even invented a word for it: "Islamophobia." But the statistics prove them totally wrong. According to the official French Ministry of Interior figures, there were, in 2002, four times more anti-Semitic acts than anti-Muslim acts. This statistic is even more relevant when you take into account that there are about 10 times more Muslims than Jews in France.

So when Prime Minister Raffarin denounced the Islamophobia trend in a speech on October 17, 2003, he was just endorsing the Muslim view that they are the only victims of racism, and that anti-Semitism is non-existent.

Are we really in 2004? The constant Jew-bashing in French schools, books and media -- most of it attributable, indirectly, to the French authorities -- has turned into a campaign of violence, which is not going to stop anytime soon. France has become a country where it is fashionable and acceptable to attack Jews, but Muslims are untouchable. France, boasting of being the Land of Human Rights, is violating them daily.

What France should never forget is that in history it always starts with the Jews. But then who will be next?