The European-funded anti-Semitic Israeli artist screaming out insults about "ovens" to visitors at Yad Vashem
* Government-supported western NGOs helped fund “performance artist” videoing herself shitting on the Israeli flag. In another of her funded “art videos,” she hurls abuse at visitors to Yad Vashem.
* Netanyahu yesterday evening in a closed ceremony honoring Mossad personnel: “You do things that if a producer of sci-fi films wanted to reproduce on screen, they would not be able to even imagine what you’re doing.”
* Please “like” these dispatches on Facebook here www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia, where you can also find other items that are not in these dispatches.
1. Female Mossad agent in her 20’s awarded “for outstanding service”
2. “Yes, we’re frustrated too”
3. European donors funded desecration of Israeli flag
4. BBC Trending implicitly criticizes BBC correspondent’s tweets
5. “Iran unveils a memorial honoring Jewish heroes”
6. Netanyahu’s address to the Foreign Press Corps
7. “Europeans for Hamas” (Editorial, Wall Street Journal)
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
FEMALE MOSSAD AGENT IN HER 20’S AWARDED “FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE”
In a closed ceremony yesterday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with President Reuven Rivlin, and Mossad Director Tamir Pardo, presented two Lifetime Achievement awards to Mossad personnel.
The first was made to a female Mossad agent in her 20s, who Netanyahu said (according to his spokesperson) “operated deep in enemy territory” and “took part in complex, critical assignments, while under life-threatening conditions”.
In the other case, a lifetime award was given to a technology expert said to have broken “new barriers at the forefront of technology”. “He provided a solution to one of the most important and central projects the Mossad is occupied with,” Netanyahu said, according to his spokesperson.
These awards are unusual.
Netanyahu also said at last night’s ceremony: “I would like to thank here all the servicewomen and men of the shadows… the threats around us [Israel and the Jewish people] are multiplying and spreading across the world, though your work is also being done across the world; our enemies are crossing ethical boundaries, and your work is crossing the borders of the imagination. You do things that if a producer of sci-fi films wanted to reproduce on screen, they would not be able to even imagine what you’re doing – and these are very important for the State of Israel.”
Additional commendations were given to, among others, “a fighter who led a team in a complex operation in enemy territory, an officer who participated in of the most important and sensitive operations to the State of Israel, and a serviceman who was stationed in three missions in unique and complex regions.”
Among several previous dispatches concerning the Mossad:
* Israel Harel, “The man who made the Mossad” (Feb. 19, 2003)
* “Patricia Roxborough,” the Mossad’s Christian superspy, buried in Israel (Feb. 21, 2005)
* BBC set to name woman agent who killed Olympics massacre mastermind (Jan. 24, 2006)
* Egypt claims Mossad to blame for shark attacks (& details of new Mossad head) (Dec. 12, 2010)
“YES, WE ARE FRUSTRATED TOO”
The evening before, Netanyahu made his annual address to the foreign press corps in Israel.
This year, the address concentrated on European policies towards Israel and the Palestinians.
Netanyahu said: “Now I know that some in Europe say that they are frustrated with the situation in the Middle East. Well let me tell you a secret. We in Israel are frustrated with the situation in the Middle East. We are frustrated that our Palestinian neighbors refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own at the time that they’re asking for us to recognize their right to have one. We’re frustrated that our Palestinian neighbors continue to incite against Jews and the Jewish state, creating a climate of hatred and violence. We’re frustrated that they refuse to negotiate seriously about our legitimate security concerns. And I think all of you know that in this part of the world, there can be no genuine peace without security for peace will not last if it cannot be defended.”
I attach the whole address below.
After that I attach an editorial from The Wall Street Journal, which says:
“Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization. This is the astonishing verdict of the European Court of Justice… this takes place in a week when jihadists left their deadly stamp in Sydney and Peshawar. European judges and parliamentarians may imagine that Hamas is somehow different from other terrorist groups. In reality Hamas is their model. Europe legitimizes these cold killers at its own peril.”
EUROPEAN DONORS FUNDED DESECRATION OF ISRAELI FLAG
The Israeli “performance artist” Natalie Cohen-Waxberg, who last month released a video of herself defecating on the Israeli flag, received funding from the anti-Zionist Israeli NGO Zochrot. In the last year, Zochrot received $500,000 in grants from mainly European donors, including Oxfam in the UK, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Germany, Trocaire in Ireland, and church organizations which receive taxpayer funds from their national governments.
Zochrot has won admiring articles in the last year in several prominent Western media outlets, including one by Jodi Rudoren in the New York Times.
Cohen-Waxberg also outraged Israelis (and others) earlier this year by videoing herself at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, wearing pantomime costume, laughing and claiming “to personify the Holocaust.” While being videoed by a colleague, she screamed insults to visitors to Yad Vashem, mumbling nonsense about “the IDF” and “ovens”.
Eitan Bronstein, the founder of Zochrot, appears alongside her in her Yad Vashem video.
BBC TRENDING IMPLICITLY CRITICIZES BBC CORRESPONDENT’S TWEETS
While the online “BBC Trending” webpage is warning readers that a photograph of a blood-soaked child’s shoe which has gone viral this week on social media was not in fact from the Taliban terror attack against a children’s school in Pakistan, but was taken by Israeli journalist Edi Israel in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon after a Hamas missile fired from Gaza injured Israeli children in 2008.
Yet BBC reporter Rana Jawad has now retweeted (on December 16) an inaccurate tweet from a Dutch journalist claiming that the photo was taken in the Gaza Strip.
While the BBC’s own BBC Trending page has got it right, its biased foreign correspondents continue to spread misinformation about Israel.
“IRAN UNVEILS A MEMORIAL HONORING JEWISH HEROES”
The Washington Post online reported yesterday that Iran has “unveiled a memorial honoring Jewish heroes.” Many commentators (though not the Washington Post writer) are dismissing the gesture as a propaganda stunt by the regime at a time when Iran’s supreme leader as stepped up rhetoric calling for attacks on Israeli and other Jews.
The Arab world has pretty much been cleansed of Jews in the past century despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in what became Arab-occupied territory for centuries before Islam was founded.
Turkey and Iran remain the only two Middle East countries (apart from Israel) with sizeable Jewish communities (although both are much smaller than they were historically).
But one of Turkey’s main papers reports this week that Jews are “leaving Turkey due to safety concerns” after an increase in threats and attack.
-- Tom Gross
WORLD CUP ARTICLE UPDATE
My piece for The Guardian about moving the world cup to Gaza continues to draw attention, for example, in this piece just published in the Algemeiner:
NETANYAHU’S ADDRESS TO THE FOREIGN PRESS CORPS
Delivered at the Israel Museum, December 18, 2014
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we witnessed a series of examples of European naivety, and may I add, hypocrisy: the decision of the European court in Luxembourg on Hamas, the resolution of the EU Parliament in Brussels on Palestinian statehood, and the call from Switzerland to investigate Israel for supposed violations of the Geneva Convention. Now all these point in the same direction.
They point to a spirit of appeasement in Europe of the very forces that threaten Europe itself. Too many in Europe are calling on Israel to make concessions that would endanger not only the security of Israel, but also paradoxically, the security of Europe itself because Israel is the forward position of European civilization. Israel is the bulwark of European values. Israel is a pluralist, vibrant multi-party democracy.
In Israel there is equality before the law. The rights of all are vigorously protected - of minorities, of women, of gays, of everyone. Only in Israel. In Israel there is a true separation of powers. Our judiciary is fiercely independent and we’re proud of this.
And you as journalists know something that applies to your profession: In a very, very large expanse, Israel is the only country in the Middle East and beyond with a truly free press. No one is incarcerated. No one is pressed. No one is harassed. You could write what you want. You do. You can say what you want. You do. And you can just about photograph anything you want and you do that too. Only in Israel, and it stands in sharp contrast to what we see in the region around us, in the horrors that afflict human beings there, in the horrors that afflict journalists who cover these savageries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Israel is an embattled democracy in a region plagued by totalitarianism, tyranny and Islamist terrorism; a region where human rights are trampled upon; where basic human freedoms ignored; where arbitrary violence is par-for-the-course. Israel is forced to defend itself against terrorists who time and again try to target our civilians. This summer they fired thousands of rockets on our cities and while they were doing this, these terrorists committed a double war crime. They deliberately targeted our civilians. That’s a war crime. And they used their civilians as human shields. That’s a second war crime.
Yet the focus in Geneva today was that Israel must be investigated for war crimes. What hypocrisy. What a travesty. I ask, where is elementary European integrity?
Now I know that some in Europe say that they are frustrated with the situation in the Middle East. Well let me tell you a secret. We in Israel are frustrated with the situation in the Middle East. We are frustrated that our Palestinian neighbors refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own at the time that they’re asking for us to recognize their right to have one. We’re frustrated that our Palestinian neighbors continue to incite against Jews and the Jewish state, creating a climate of hatred and violence. We’re frustrated that they refuse to negotiate seriously about our legitimate security concerns. And I think all of you know that in this part of the world, there can be no genuine peace without security for peace will not last if it cannot be defended.
The simple truth is that half of Palestinian society has been taken over by Islamist extremists who openly call for Israel’s destruction, while the other half refuses to confront the first half. So when Europeans say that they are frustrated, we say, “Join the club”. And I don’t believe that frustration can be an excuse for wrong policy.
Removing the terrorist designation of Hamas is a grave mistake. Hamas is a ruthless terrorist organization with a proven track record of brutal terror attacks against innocent civilians - by the way, not only Israelis: hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians who have been murdered by them. Just this year, Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers. It launched thousands of rocket attacks indiscriminately at our children, at our civilians. And it celebrated just recently the murder of innocent worshippers massacred at a Jerusalem synagogue, and called upon its followers to commit more such terrorist atrocities.
Some erroneously believe that Hamas terror is a function of a failed peace process. Well, I will remind all of you that in the heyday of Oslo, when leaders across the globe were excited about the new momentum in the peace process, hundreds of Israelis were the victims of one of Hamas’s most brutal terror campaigns. Now, it was said then that Hamas uses terror to destroy the peace, and it is said now that Hamas uses terror because there is no peace.
Well, the truth is that Hamas uses terrorism against Israel because it’s a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction. It’s as simple as that. That’s the nature of this organization and that’s its fundamental goal. Now if anyone had any illusions about that, you could hear one of the leaders of Hamas this weekend, Mahmoud al-Zahar. He reminded us that Hamas’s goal isn’t to rule over Gaza or to rule over Judea/Samaria in the West Bank. He said it clearly: Hamas’s goal is the total and complete annihilation of Israel and the murder of Israel’s citizens.
Well, do the self-proclaimed Palestinian moderates confront Hamas and the other Islamist extremists? Unfortunately, they often seem to be trying to compete with them over who can use the most inflammatory language and who can summon wells of anti-Jewish sentiment and anti-Israel sentiment.
It was President Abbas himself who spoke seriously, slanderously of a Jewish threat to the Muslim holy sites. There is no such threat. We keep the status quo rigorously. That’s not going to change. We guard the holy sites of all the religions. That’s not going to change. And by the way, again, in the broad Middle East, we’re the only ones who do so - for Jews, for Christians, for Muslims. In fact, the only place where Christian communities are not persecuted, where Christian communities have not shrunk - they’ve actually grown four-fold since the founding of the State of Israel - is Israel. It’s the only place.
So to speak about our “attack” on the holy sites is not merely a lie, it’s just wrong. It’s wrong because it creates the wrong impression among Palestinian youngsters, among Palestinians at large and it produces these waves of attacks from people who seriously believe that we would destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque.
There was just a poll taken in Palestinian society. About 90% believe, 85% believe that Israel seeks to achieve such a goal so this rhetoric has consequences. It forces a change in people’s minds and it forces radical and violent behavior. It has to stop. It was Abbas who actually called the Palestinians to use “all means” to fight this fabricated threat; and it was Abbas who accused the Jews of “contaminating” - that was his word - “contaminating” the Temple Mount.
Now, the question I raise for you tonight is where is Europe in all of this? Does it hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for its coddling of extremism? Does it demand that the Palestinian Authority break its signed pact with Hamas? Does Europe call for an end to outrageous official Palestinian incitement against Jews and the Jewish state?
The sad truth is that Europe is largely silent on these questions and when it raises its voice, it’s typically in the other direction. In fact, the European Parliament and some parliaments of EU member states have been calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state.
And I ask you, why should the Palestinian leadership demonstrate responsible behavior? Why should the Palestinian leadership jettison its maximalist and extreme positions? Why should it abandon its call to flood Israel with millions of Palestinians? Why should the PA do any of this if its extremist and irresponsible behavior is rewarded time and again by European parliaments? Let there be no mistake: parliamentary recognitions do nothing to advance peace. Quite the contrary. These declarations merely reinforce Palestinian intransigence, pushing peace further away.
And the point that I came here tonight to make, this is the point I close with: There is a simple truth that cannot be ignored. Peace will only come when the Palestinians are willing to confront their own extremists. Instead of embracing the militants, the PA should fight them. And instead of rewarding Palestinian intransigence, the European democracies should support the one and only democracy in the Middle East and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the State of Israel.
EUROPEANS FOR HAMAS
Europeans for Hamas
Wall Street Journal
Dec. 18, 2014
Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization. This is the astonishing verdict of the European Court of Justice, delivered only a few months after Hamas indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets against civilian targets in Israel.
The ECJ’s ruling on Wednesday in Hamas v. Council concluded that the Palestinian group’s terror-designation is “based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet.”
In an ostensibly procedural ruling, the court objected that Brussels didn’t conduct its own original research when it first put the terrorist label on Hamas in 2001. It did, however, allow that Brussels may still maintain its asset freeze on Hamas—a group that openly avows responsibility for dozens of suicide bombings over many years.
This judicial incursion into foreign policy is particularly troubling since courts should defer to law enforcers and political leaders when it comes to national security. By second-guessing European officials at a terror group’s behest, the ECJ has jeopardized the ability of those officials to set security policy. Don’t be surprised if other terror groups line up in Luxembourg to litigate their way out of asset freezes and other sanctions.
The ECJ’s decision came on the same day that the European Parliament voted to grant “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood.” Leftist and center-left blocs wanted to endorse Palestinian statehood without condition, but ultimately language about the need for negotiations and a two-state solution was added to the motion at the behest of the center-right bloc. The move follows similar votes in national parliaments in Ireland, Britain and France. The Swedish government in October recognized the state of Palestine.
The votes are symbolic, but symbolism has its own power. Since Hamas continues to exercise effective control over Gaza (despite a fig-leaf agreement earlier this year that restored Ramallah’s de jure sovereignty), a vote for Palestinian statehood is tantamount to acceptance of Hamas as a legitimate political entity.
All this takes place in a week when jihadists left their deadly stamp in Sydney and Peshawar. European judges and parliamentarians may imagine that Hamas is somehow different from other terrorist groups. In reality Hamas is their model. Europe legitimizes these cold killers at its own peril.