Mila Kunis, condemned by Ukrainian political party for being Jewish
* Iranian government TV claims Israel is behind Sandy Hook shootings
* UN remains silent as Syria bombs and kills Palestinians; UN instead passes 9 resolutions against Israel on a single day
* Hungarian demonstration supports MP’s burning of Israeli flag: “Filthy Jews: to Auschwitz with you all”
* Bin Laden’s “right hand man” given $812,000 of UK government legal aid, while local vicar invited him to attend Christmas celebrations at his church
* You can comment on it here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. Please also press “Like” on that page.
1. Press TV blames Sandy Hook shootings on Israel
2. UN silent as Syria bombs Palestinian civilians
3. Human Rights Watch expels U.N. official Richard Falk
4. Japanese peace keeping troops to be withdrawn from Golan Heights
5. While Arab world condemns West, plans for major Mohammed movie in Qatar
6. North Korean perfume would have mirrored Hamas fragrance
7. Hungarian parliamentarian arrested for burning an Israeli flag
8. Ukrainian Justice Ministry says it is ok for MPs to use “zhyd” slur for Jews
9. Radical cleric Abu Qatada received $812,000 of financial aid from the UK
10. “Chuck Hagel’s Jewish Problem” (By Bret Stephens, Wall St. Journal, Dec. 18, 2012)
Iran’s government-funded Press TV has blamed the Sandy Hook shooting – in which 20 young American schoolchildren and 6 adults were murdered – on Israeli “death squads”. Press TV claimed that one-time Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, Michael Harris, said “Israeli revenge” was the motivation for “the terrorist attack in Connecticut.”
Press TV quotes Harris as saying: “The facts are now becoming obvious. This is another case where Israel has chosen violence and terrorism where their bullying in Washington has failed.”
As I have mentioned in previous dispatches, Press TV has offices abroad, including in London. Prominent British politicians, including former MP and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and current MP George Galloway, have appeared on the station, lending it respectability. Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth also works for Press TV.
Chuck Hagel, the former senator from Nebraska who many analysts say is president Barack Obama’s front-runner choice to be the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, is said to be a soft touch on Iran, the very government behind Press TV. For more on Hagel, please see the article by Bret Stephens at the end of this dispatch.
Press TV’s article about the school massacre can be read here on their website:
UN SILENT AS SYRIA BOMBS PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS
Syrian government warplanes have been bombing the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria recent days, killing (in the words of a leading Palestinian) “far more Palestinians than Israel killed during the recent conflict in Gaza”. Syrian warplanes also fired into a mosque used by Palestinians in Syria. Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee for their lives this week from Syrian forces.
But the UN had nothing to say about this.
Instead on Tuesday alone, the UN passed nine resolutions slamming Israel and none criticizing Syria.
While the UN was silent, Hamas – which until recently had its headquarters in Damascus – denounced president Assad as a “war criminal”.
By the end of this week, the current 2012 UN General Assembly session will have adopted 22 country-specific resolutions on Israel – and only four on the rest of the world.
Here are the nine anti-Israel resolutions passed on Tuesday:
A/C.4/67/L.18 – The occupied Syrian Golan
“The Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision…”
A/C.4/67/L.17 – Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
“Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power…
A/C.4/67/L.16 – Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan
“Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development…”
A/C.4/67/L.15 – Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories
“Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention…”
A/C.4/67/L.10 – Assistance to Palestine refugees
“Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions…”
A/C.4/67/L.11 – Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
“Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967…”
A/C.4/67/L.12 – Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
“Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continuing prolonged Israeli closures…”
A/C.4/67/L.13 - Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues
“Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived there from, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice…”
A/C.4/67/L.14 – Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
“Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories…”
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH EXPELS UN OFFICIAL RICHARD FALK
Human Rights Watch has finally expelled UN official Richard Falk from one of its committees, where he played a key role in HRW’s work around the world. Falk has been much criticized by organizations such as UN Watch, and writers such as myself, for his record of anti-Semitic remarks and his conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.
Falk is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. His support for the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has been so strong in the past that the Palestinian Authority even demanded he be removed, seeing him as a “partisan of Hamas”.
Last year, he published a cartoon on his website, depicting a dog with “USA” written on its body, wearing a Jewish head covering and urinating on a depiction of justice whilst devouring a bloody skeleton. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned this cartoon as “anti-Semitic”, as did British Prime Minister David Cameron and others.
Falk himself is Jewish, but that hasn’t stopped his promotion of anti-Semitism to further what he sees as the Palestinian cause.
JAPANESE PEACE KEEPING TROOPS TO BE WITHDRAWN FROM GOLAN HEIGHTS
The 47 Japanese troops in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force monitoring the cease-fire in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, are likely to leave soon.
The decision has been made as a result of what they say are security concerns resulting from the continuing violence in Syria. A final decision will be made after Japan’s House of Representatives election on December 16.
It seems ironic that peacekeeping troops should be withdrawn because of a lack of peace.
Japan has had troops in the Golan Heights since 1996. On visits I have made to the demilitarized zone in between the Israeli and Syrian controlled parts of the Golan Heights I have observed the UN troops, including the Japanese, doing very little.
WHILE ARAB WORLD CONDEMNS WEST, PLANS FOR MAJOR MOHAMMED MOVIE IN QATAR
A new series of movies based on the life of Mohammed has had its budget increased from $1.5 million to $1 billion, according to the Qatar-based Alnoor Holding company behind the planned biopics.
Originally planned as a trilogy, the films will now be spread out over seven parts, produced in English, and translated into other languages. The films will not actually show Mohammed himself, as depicting him is forbidden by some interpretations of Islamic law. Alnoor’s chairman explained that the series will “correct the wrong image Western societies have of Islam.”
The prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi will lead the research for the films. Qaradawi has in the past stated that he “personally support[s]” female genital mutilation “under the current circumstances in the modern world”, and has also defended wife beating as “a method of last resort” for disciplining one’s wife. He has also advocated killing homosexuals, describing it as “the same punishment as [for] any sexual pervert.”
In July 2012, a short anti-Islamic clip from a low-budget, amateur movie was uploaded to YouTube, featuring an actor playing Mohammed. This clip was then used in September as a pretext for riots and violent attacks on American embassies in Arab countries, as discussed in previous dispatches, including this one.
NORTH KOREAN PERFUME WOULD HAVE MIRRORED HAMAS FRAGRANCE
The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz wrote a satirical piece on the North Korean regime “launching a fragrance”. The piece was intended to be humorous, describing the imaginary perfume as combining “the sweet smells of North Korea’s native unicorns with the irresistible aroma of our Dear Leader himself.”
However, not everyone realized it was a joke, and this week many people started repeating the story on social network sites such as Facebook as if it were serious. Perhaps Borowitz was inspired by the new Palestinian perfume which I wrote about on December 7: Gazans name new perfume after deadly Hamas missile.
Following my dispatch, Reuters (many of whose senior staff subscribe to this list) subsequently covered this story on December 12.
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN ARRESTED FOR BURNING AN ISRAELI FLAG
In Budapest, independent parliamentarian Balazs Lenhardt has been arrested for burning an Israeli flag at a demonstration. He was released after questioning since he benefits from parliamentary immunity from prosecution. Lenhardt is a former member of the radical nationalist Jobbik party, the third biggest party in Hungary.
Chants of “filthy Jews” and “to Auschwitz with you all” were heard at the demonstration, which took place outside the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. Around 100 people took part.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry condemned the speeches at the rally as well as the flag burning, describing it as “an act suited for instigating hatred against a country, against a nation.”
Last month, another Hungarian MP, Marton Gyongyosi of the Jobbik party, suggested that the government should draw up a list of people of Jewish origin in Hungary since he said they would pose a “national security threat.” The mayor of Budapest condemned those remarks saying that when people start drawing up lists of Jews, it can lead to genocide.
Among notes in previous dispatches on rising anti-Semitism in Hungary and the far right Jobbik party, see this dispatch from 2010.
UKRAINIAN JUSTICE MINISTRY SAYS IT IS OK FOR MPS TO USE “ZHYD” SLUR FOR JEWS
The Ukrainian Justice Ministry has ruled that using the derogatory term “zhyd” (yid) to describe a Jew is legal.
Ukraine’s Jewish community had sought to have the phrase banned from being used in parliament by politicians as it was helping to promote anti-Semitism in Ukraine.
The ministry announced yesterday that there should be no prohibition against using the word, or its feminine derivative in Ukrainian “zhydivka”.
The Jewish community made its appeal after Igor Miroshnichenko, an MP and the deputy leader of Ukraine’s fast growing, ultra-nationalist Svoboda party (which sympathizes with Ukraine’s wartime Fascists that helped the Nazis commit the Holocaust) said that the Ukraine-born Jewish American actress “is not Ukrainian but a zhydivka.”
Svoboda has repeatedly said it will not stop using such terms that to describe Jews.
Kunis recently opened up about being Jewish, and the anti-Semitism that caused her to leave Ukraine, after being chosen as “the world’s most sexy woman” by readers of The Sun, one of the two best-selling newspapers in Europe:
ABU QATADA ENJOYS NEW HOME IN THE UK WORTH $730,000 AND $812,000 OF UK LEGAL AID
It has been revealed that the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada – said to have been Bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe – has moved into a new British taxpayer-funded house worth £450,000 ($730,000). Abu Qatada is wanted for extradition from Britain by Jordan, which seeks to put him on trial for terrorist activities.
The 51-year-old preacher arrived in the UK in 1993 using a fake passport, and spent 7 years in a British prison after he was arrested without any charges in 2002. The UK government has been attempting to extradite him to Jordan for many years, but has also granted him £500,000 ($812,000) in legal aid to fight his extradition. This figure is expected to rise as he continues his legal battle.
His new home is said to be in a leafy north London suburb, near a church. The vicar at the church has declared that “absolutely anyone is welcome to our church and I would encourage Mr Qatada and his family to join in our Christmas celebrations and reach out to the local community – especially at this time of year.”
The owner of the new house where Qatada is now living said, “‘I had no idea who was living there… we signed a contract with the company for six months but there is no way I would have given my permission to rent the house to a man like that – not ever.” It is not clear if they will now be able to evict him legally.
I attach one article below.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]
Chuck Hagel’s Jewish Problem
By Bret Stephens
The Wall Street Journal
December 18, 2012
Prejudice – like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations – has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,” the odor is especially ripe.
Ripe because a “Jewish lobby,” as far as I’m aware, doesn’t exist. No lesser authorities on the subject than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of “The Israel Lobby,” have insisted the term Jewish lobby is “inaccurate and misleading, both because the [Israel] lobby includes non-Jews like Christian Zionists and because many Jewish Americans do not support the hard-line policies favored by its most powerful elements.”
Ripe because, whatever other political pressures Mr. Hagel might have had to endure during his years representing the Cornhusker state, winning over the state’s Jewish voters – there are an estimated 6,100 Jewish Nebraskans in a state of 1.8 million people – was probably not a major political concern for Mr. Hagel compared to, say, the ethanol lobby.
Ripe because the word “intimidates” ascribes to the so-called Jewish lobby powers that are at once vast, invisible and malevolent; and because it suggests that legislators who adopt positions friendly to that lobby are doing so not from political conviction but out of personal fear. Just what does that Jewish Lobby have on them?
Ripe, finally, because Mr. Hagel’s Jewish lobby remark was well in keeping with the broader pattern of his thinking. “I’m a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator,” Mr. Hagel told retired U.S. diplomat Aaron David Miller in 2006. “I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States. Not to a president. Not a party. Not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”
Read these staccato utterances again to better appreciate their insipid and insinuating qualities, all combining to cast the usual slur on Jewish-Americans: Dual loyalty. Nobody questions Mr. Hagel’s loyalty. He is only making those assertions to question the loyalty of others.
Still, Mr. Hagel managed to say “I support Israel.” This is the sort of thing one often hears from people who treat Israel as the Mideast equivalent of a neighborhood drunk who, for his own good, needs to be put in the clink to sober him up.
In 2002, a year in which 457 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks (a figure proportionately equivalent to more than 20,000 fatalities in the U.S., or seven 9/11s), Mr. Hagel weighed in with the advice that “Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace.” This was two years after Yasser Arafat had been offered a state by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David.
In 2006, Mr. Hagel described Israe’s war against Hezbollah as “the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon.” He later refused to sign a letter calling on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In 2007, he voted against designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, and also urged President Bush to open “direct, unconditional” talks with Iran to create “a historic new dynamic in U.S.-Iran relations.” In 2009, Mr. Hagel urged the Obama administration to open direct talks with Hamas.
In fairness to Mr. Hagel, all these positions emerge from his belief in the power of diplomatic engagement and talking with adversaries. The record of that kind of engagement – in 2008, Mr. Hagel and John Kerry co-authored an op-ed in this newspaper titled “It’s Time to Talk to Syria” – hasn’t been stellar, but at least it was borne of earnest motives.
Yet it’s worth noting that while Mr. Hagel is eager to engage the world’s rogues without preconditions, his attitude toward Israel tends, at best, to the paternalistic.
“The United States and Israel must understand that it is not in their long-term interests to allow themselves to become isolated in the Middle East and the world,” he said in a 2006 Senate speech. It’s a political Deep Thought worthy of Saturday Night Live’s Jack Handey. Does Mr. Hagel reckon any other nation to be quite so blind to its own supposed self-interest as Israel?
Now President Obama may nominate Mr. Hagel to take Leon Panetta’s place at the Pentagon. As a purely score-settling matter, I almost hope he does. It would confirm a point I made in a column earlier this year, which is that Mr. Obama is not a friend of Israel. Perhaps the 63% of Jewish-Americans who cast their votes for Mr. Obama last month might belatedly take notice.
Alternatively, maybe some of these voters could speak up now, before a nomination is announced, about the insult that a Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel would be. Jewish Democrats like to fancy their voice carries weight in their party. The prospect of this nomination is their chance to prove it.