The truth comes out, courtesy of AP; but Jews attack Israel

July 11, 2006

CONTENTS

1. The Washington Post as a Hamas mouthpiece
2. The NY Times, Guardian, BBC and others discover “terrorism”
3. Wrongly blaming Israel for Palestinian-on-Palestinian deaths
4. Jews against Israel from the left
5. And from the right
6. Egyptian security officials “visited Shalit”; Israel “ready to agree deal”
7. The truth comes out... courtesy of AP
8. More democracies back Israel at the UN
9. Arab states ignore Nestle boycott
10. Iran predicts oil income of $54 billion this year
11. Egyptians and Jordanians don’t believe 9/11 was an Islamist operation
12. Al Jazeera journalist shot by Palestinian gunmen
13. Neo-Nazis in U.S. military
14. German neo-Nazis burn “Diary of Anne Frank” after World Cup match
15. Wimbledon first for Israel



[Note by Tom Gross]

THE WASHINGTON POST AS A HAMAS MOUTHPIECE

Whereas the Arab media are increasingly telling the truth about Hamas (see today’s earlier dispatch titled Saudi Columnist: “Hamas is acting like a terrorist organization”), the Washington Post today prints a comment piece by Hamas leader Ismail Haniya replete with so many falsities that one would hardly know where to begin in criticizing it.

Perhaps the Post will now follow the lead of the British paper, the Guardian, which a few years ago gave op-ed space to Osama Bin Laden.

THE NY TIMES, GUARDIAN, BBC AND OTHERS DISCOVER “TERRORISM”

The same news outlets that refused (and still refuse) to use the word terrorist to describe Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists readily used the word today in connection with the death yesterday of Chechen leader Shamil Basayev. Among those using the word “terrorist” were both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

And the main banner headline in the International Herald Tribune today is: “Chechen terrorist killed by Russians” (www.iht.com/pdfs/frontpagepdf/europefrontpage.pdf).

The Guardian repeatedly used the word “terrorism” in its story today, headlined “Chechen politician seeking independence through terrorism.” Jonathan Steele (who is one of the Guardian’s most anti-Israeli journalists) writes Basayev was guilty of “brutal terrorist actions” and so on (www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,1817414,00.html).

The Guardian website also uses the word “terrorism” to describe today’s commuter bomb blasts in Mumbai, India. (“The blasts ripped through passenger compartments in choreographed terrorist attacks on several different trains at separate sites”: www.guardian.co.uk/india/story/0,,1817999,00.html). The Guardian has almost never described the murder of Israeli commuters as terrorism.

And on the BBC today, correspondent Barbara Plett who famously cried for Yasser Arafat, repeatedly used the word “terrorism” in her report on Pakistani reaction to the Mumbai bombs. Plett is now a correspondent for the BBC in Islamabad, Pakistan.

WRONGLY BLAMING ISRAEL FOR PALESTINIAN-ON-PALESTINIAN DEATHS

Many newspapers have lumped together all Palestinians killed by other Palestinians with those killed in armed clashes with Israel, and given the false impression that Israel killed all these people.

Among the Palestinians killed by other Palestinians in the last few days, according to the pro-Palestinian “Palestinian Center for Human Rights”:

* Two members of the armed wing of Hamas were killed in an explosion in a house in the densely-populated Zaitun quarter of Gaza City, after they accidentally detonated an explosive device they were preparing.

* A 12-year old Palestinian girl was killed Thursday in an armed clash within the Abu M’hadi clan in Nuseirat in Gaza.

* A top Hamas official in Gaza, Dr. Hussein Abu Ajwa, 44, was shot dead by masked Palestinian gunmen as he got out of his car outside his home last Thursday. Abu Ajwa was a leading promoter of religious and political reform in Hamas.

JEWS AGAINST ISRAEL FROM THE LEFT

I noted in the dispatch earlier today (Saudi Columnist: “Hamas is acting like a terrorist organization”), that a growing number of Arab commentators are attacking Hamas. At the same time, some prominent extreme left-wing Jews are increasingly speaking out for Hamas.

A few days ago, over 300 British Jews, for example, paid almost $20,000 to take out a full page-ad in the Times of London denouncing Israel’s “terrorizing an entire people” and its attempt “to topple the democratically elected government of the Palestinians.” They urged Times readers to bombard the Israeli embassy with protests.

Among the signatories were the current Nobel laureate, Harold Pinter, award-winning film director Mike Leigh, Marxist historian Professor Eric Hobsbawn, and psychotherapist Susie Orbach (who is best known for being the therapist and confider of secrets of the late Princess Diana).

Also in Britain, the Labour MP Gerald Kaufman, last week made a ferocious attack on Israel and what he called “Jewish terrorists” in the British House of Commons. Kaufman was memorably written about in 2004 in the New Statesman as such: “Veteran MP, Gerald Kaufman, regularly attacks Israel in attention-seeking missives billed as ‘Well-known British Jew attacks Israel,’ when they should be headlined: ‘British Jew well known only for attacking Israel attacks Israel again!’”

Kaufman has since been knighted by the English Queen for his efforts and is now Sir Gerald Kaufman.

In a separate development in Britain, the charity “War on Want” which is supposed to help poor people in the UK and elsewhere with the millions of pounds it raises annually, may have its charitable status removed after using its donated funds to “put Israel on trial.” The UK Charity Commission is investigating complaints that a War on Want “People’s Tribunal to expose the corporations behind Israeli occupation” breached the organization’s charitable status. Star speakers at the tribunal were a number of radical Jews and members of the family of the anti-Israeli activist Rachel Corrie. Justifying the tribunal, a spokesperson for War on Want said: “We have to look at the structures and organizations in the world that create poverty.”

Similarly, radical Jews in the U.S., Canada, France and in Israel itself have been at the forefront of vicious and selective denunciations of the Jewish state and the so-called “Jewish lobby”.

Of course in the long history of anti-Semitism, there have often been groups of Jews who have publicly egged on the enemies of their own people, most notably Jews who supported the Spanish inquisition, those Communist Jews who encouraged Stalin to eradicate Jewish culture, and even a small group of nationalistic German Jews in the early and mid-1930s who published statements in support of Hitler.

Most British Jews are strongly supportive of Israel, and were shocked last week when a high school they funded and sponsored in the Israeli city of Ashkelon was hit by a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza.

AND FROM THE RIGHT

Another Jew who specializes in attacking Israel, extreme rightist Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was also in the news in recent days.

Zhirinovsky, who visited Israel late last week to pay respects at the grave of his father, Volf Eidelstein, says he will sue Israeli doctors for failing to save his father, who was critically wounded in a car accident in 1983 in Tel Aviv. Unlike Zhirinovsky, his father was not an anti-Semite. Eidelstein, who fled to Israel from Kazakhstan in 1949, is buried in Holon.

Zhirinovsky also said he will sue Germany for killing his family during WWII. Almost all of Zhirinovsky’s family were murdered following the Nazi invasion of Kostopol, in Ukraine, in 1941.

Although Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russia’s ultra nationalist Liberal Democratic party and a deputy speaker of the Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, has acknowledged that his father was Jewish, he refused to observe a minute’s silence in the Duma for the Nazi’s Jewish victims. In the past, he has referred to Jews as “enemies” of Russia and a “degenerated nation.”

EGYPTIAN SECURITY OFFICIALS “VISITED SHALIT”; ISRAEL “READY TO AGREE DEAL”

Egyptian security officials and a Palestinian doctor visited kidnapped Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit at the “location where he is being held,” according to the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Al-Hayat. The visit came as part of the failed Egyptian effort to mediate a solution to the crisis. Shalit is said to have suffered three shrapnel wounds.

Meanwhile, Al-Hayat yesterday reported Egyptian sources as saying that Israeli officials have offered to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, stop targeted killings, and release Hamas MPs and prisoners in exchange for Cpl. Gilad Shalit’s safe release and an end to the rocket attacks on Southern Israel.

THE TRUTH COMES OUT... COURTESY OF AP

An Associated Press report on July 6 from an AP correspondent (Slobodan Lekic) at AP’s Brussels bureau (which covers the European Union) let slip what this list/website has argued for years but European governments and media have almost never admitted: that in the past the EU has been automatically critical of Israel’s actions whatever they may be.

In his report, titled “EU tones down criticism of Israel,” Lekic writes: political analysts “believe the Europeans are seeking to move closer to the US position. [and] that means not being automatically critical of Israel’s actions.”

For those who want to read the whole piece, it was carried in several leading publications, here, for example, in the Washington Post:
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/06/AR2006070600205.html.

As AP notes, European governments having finally begun to wake up to the threat of radical Islam, as embodied by Hamas have toned down criticism of Israel. The EU formally denies any policy shift, but it is in fact very noticeable for those who follow the region carefully, such as myself.

MORE DEMOCRACIES BACK ISRAEL AT THE UN

The supposedly new and reformed UN Human Rights Council in its very first session last week chose to gang up on guess who? Israel, with a completely one-sided motion condemning the Jewish state. However, several council members voted against the resolution. In the past, only the U.S., Australia and Micronesia have sided with Israel. This time Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom voted against the resolution that one-sidedly condemned Israel.

Nevertheless the actions of all those other countries voting in a knee-jerk way against Israel shows that the UN Human Rights Council has not been reformed in the way it promised it would be.

The Council did not pass specific resolutions on, for example, the ongoing mass murder of Black Africans by Arab militia in Sudan, but it did also pass a resolution raised by Saudi Arabia condemning the purported anti-Muslim Danish cartoons.

New York-based Human Rights Watch, but not London-based Amnesty International, noted the one-sided nature of the UN Human Rights Council.

“The council’s singling out the Occupied Palestinian Territories for special attention is a cause for concern,” Human Rights Watch’s Peggy Hicks said in a statement. “The human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories deserves attention, but the new council must bring the same vigor to its consideration of other pressing situations.”

On the other hand, Amnesty International, according to a statement on its Web site, “welcomes the Council’s decision to convene a Special Session on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and calls for concrete action to address the gross human rights abuses currently taking place there.”

ARAB STATES IGNORE NESTLE BOYCOTT

Despite the Arab League’s decision to boycott Swiss food giant Nestle because it maintains investments in Israeli food companies, many League member states are likely to ignore it, according to Agence France Presse (AFP). Nestle was last week added to the Arab League list of companies to be boycotted.

The Damascus-based Arab League Central Boycott Office informed Nestle that a boycott would be implemented, but the Lebanese government has told Nestle they will ignore it. Other states are expected to follow the Lebanese lead.

Nestle has issued a press release saying that it had no intention of capitulating to the Arab boycott. The company also invests heavily in Arab countries.

IRAN PREDICTS OIL INCOME OF $54 BILLION THIS YEAR

The Iranian economic daily Jahan-e Eqtesad says Iran will earn about $54 billion from the export of 900 million barrels of oil in the year to March 21, 2007. The newspaper based its report on remarks by Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, executive director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company. Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer, pumped 3.83 million barrels per day in June. Previously Iran pumped 2.35 million bpd.

EGYPTIANS AND JORDANIANS DON’T BELIEVE 9/11 WAS AN ISLAMIST OPERATION

A new poll carried out by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Egyptians and Jordanians don’t believe that the September 11 terror attacks were carried out by Muslims. Egypt and Jordan are two supposedly moderate states, both of whom receive considerable U.S. aid. On a brighter note, the pollsters report that in Jordan, Pakistan and Indonesia, the number of people who support suicide bombings is decreasing.

Iranians became the latest victims of suicide bombers last Friday when a suicide car bomber blasted two coaches carrying Iranian pilgrims outside a Shiite Muslim shrine near the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, killing 12 people and wounding 41. Three of the dead were women, and children were among the wounded. Iran has strongly encouraged and financed the suicide bombing of Americans, Israelis and others.

AL JAZEERA JOURNALIST SHOT BY PALESTINIAN GUNMEN

A journalist and a driver from Al Jazeera television were wounded when their car was fired upon by Palestinian gunmen in Beit Hanoun who believed they were undercover Israeli agents.

NEO-NAZIS IN U.S. MILITARY

Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other fascists are infiltrating the ranks of the U.S. military, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watchdog group that tracks racist and right-wing militia groups in the U.S. This trend has been made possible by recruiting shortfalls resulting from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, says the group.

The group says that thousands of racists have recently signed up, primarily in the ground forces, and they constitute a threat to American internal security. “Commanders have relaxed standards designed to prevent the recruitment and enlistment of extreme racists to the military service,” the head of the group wrote to Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in a letter asking him to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on the matter.

A spokesman from Rumsfeld’s office said in response that “the military is dealing with this issue.”

GERMAN NEO-NAZIS BURN “DIARY OF ANNE FRANK” AFTER WORLD CUP MATCH

The governor of an eastern German state has condemned the burning of a copy of Anne Frank’s diary by three members of a far-right group, in the town of Pretzien, near Magdeburg, in celebration of a World Cup soccer match last week. The group shouted pro-Hitler chants during the burning.

Anne Frank wrote her famous diary while she and her German-Jewish family hid in an Amsterdam attic for 25 months. They were eventually betrayed by Dutch Nazi collaborators, and she died aged 15 in Bergen-Belsen in 1945, just weeks before the British army liberated the camp.

The World Cup, which ended Sunday with a victory for Italy, was largely free of the racist and other violence which many had feared.

WIMBLEDON FIRST FOR ISRAEL

Andy Ram became the first Israeli to win a grand slam tennis title when he and partner Vera Zvonareva of Russia triumphed in the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles on Saturday. They beat Americans Bob Bryan and Venus Williams 6-3, 6-2 in the final. Following Ram’s victory, and with Jerusalem teenager Shahar Pe’er having reached the fourth round at the French Open last month, and with several other young Israeli players moving up the rankings, the Jerusalem Post predicts a golden age of Israeli tennis could be near.

-- Tom Gross


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.