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accusations of antisemitism

GERMANS ARE BEHIND GÜNTER GRASS

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012 AT 9:03AM GILAD ATZMON

 Israel doesn’t approve Grass’s recent poetic intervention. Yet, according to the German Financial Times, Grass views are highly accepted amongst Germans.

http://www.ftd.de/

Günter Grass´ take on Israel is..

1.ludicrous———————8%

2.dangerous—————- 4 %

3.antisemitic—————– 5 %

4.discussable—————-27%

5.correct———————55%

Seemingly the Germans have drawn the necessary lesson from the big war. They oppose war, expansionism and militancy. But what about the Israelis, will they ever learn?

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Israelis can be angry with Gunter Grass, but they must listen to him

After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to the condemnation of these great people.

By Gideon Levy 

The harsh, and in some parts infuriating, poem by Gunter Grass of course immediately sparked a wave of vilifications against it and mainly against its author. Grass indeed went a few steps too far (and too mendaciously ) – Israel will not destroy the Iranian people – and for that he will be punished, in his own country and in Israel. But in precisely the same way the poem’s nine stanzas lost a sense of proportion in terms of their judgment of Israel, so too the angry responses to it suffer from exaggeration. Tom Segev wrote in Haaretz: “Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently confided in him, his opinion is vacuous.” (“More pathetic than anti-Semitic,” April 5 ). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Grass’ Nazi past, and Israeli embassies in Germany went so far as to state, ridiculously, that the poem signified “anti-Semitism in the best European tradition of blood libels before Passover.”

It is doubtful that Grass intended his poem to be published on the eve of Passover. It contains no blood libel. In fact, it is the branding of it as anti-Semitic that is a matter of tradition – all criticism of Israel is immediately thus labeled. Grass’ Nazi past, his joining the Waffen SS as a youth, does not warrant shutting him up some 70 years later, and his opinion is far from vacuous. According to Segev, anyone who is not a nuclear scientist, an Israeli prime minister or an Iranian president must keep silent on the stormiest issue in Israel and the world today. That is a flawed approach.

Grass’ “What Must Be Said” does contain things that must be said. It can and should be said that Israel’s policy is endangering world peace. His position against Israeli nuclear power is also legitimate. He can also oppose supplying submarines to Israel without his past immediately being pulled out as a counterclaim. But Grass exaggerated, unnecessarily and in a way that damaged his own position. Perhaps it is his advanced age and his ambition to attract a last round of attention, and perhaps the words came forth all at once like a cascade, after decades during which it was almost impossible to criticize Israel in Germany.

That’s the way it is when all criticism of Israel is considered illegitimate and improper and is stopped up inside for years. In the end it erupts in an extreme form. Grass’ poem was published only a few weeks after another prominent German, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron. He also aroused angry responses. Therefore it is better to listen to the statements and, especially, finally, to lift the prohibition against criticizing Israel in Germany.

Israel has many friends in Germany, more than in most European countries. Some of them support us blindly, some have justified guilt feelings and some are true, critical friends of Israel. There are, of course, anti-Semites in Germany and the demand that Germany never forget is also justified. But a situation in which any German who dares criticize Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable.

Some years ago, after a critical article of mine was published in the German daily Die Welt, one of its editors told me: “No journalist of ours could write an article like that.” I was never again invited to write for that paper. For years, any journalist who joined the huge German media outlet Axel Springer had to sign a pledge never to write anything that casts aspersions on Israel’s right to exist. That is an unhealthy situation that ended with an eruption of exaggerated criticism like Grass’.

Grass is not alone. No less of a major figure, the great author Jose de Sousa Saramago opened the floodgates in his later years when, after a visit to the occupied territories, he compared what was going on there to Auschwitz. Like Grass, Saramago went too far, but his remarks about the Israelis should have been heeded: “Living under the shadow of the Holocaust and expecting forgiveness for everything they will do in the name of their suffering seems coarse. They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents.”

After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to these great people. They are not anti-Semites, they are expressing the opinion of many people. Instead of accusing them we should consider what we did that led them to express it..

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Sanchez’s first mistake

by Philip Weiss on October 2, 2010 ·

I must point out that Rick Sanchez, who was unceremoniously fired by CNN today for talking some trash about Jon Stewart and the Jewish ownership of networks, was one of the few network anchors to give any attention to the Palestinian side of the story.

He was plainly alarmed by the Israeli assault on Gaza in 08-09. He interviewed Palestinian lawyer Diana Buttu. And below, he interviewed Mustafa Barghouti, and showed that Israel broke the cease-fire ahead of the Gaza onslaught.

As for his recent comments about Jews not being an oppressed minority and Jews owning the television networks– it seems to me that these are legitimate subjects for discussion. Maybe his tone was inappropriate, maybe he should have gotten out the kid gloves. But they are legitimate subjects; and the manner of Sanchez’s dispatching is only likely to feed uninformed debate about the nature of the American establishment. Let’s talk about it.

Of course I hope that in his next incarnation Sanchez looks more deeply into the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. Somehow I sense that’s not in the cards…

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Maybe it should have been called ‘why Israel doesn’t care about traffic accidents’

Sep 08, 2010 09:23 pm | Adam Horowitz

timecover

The ADL is not happy with Time. They sent the magazine a letter today in response to its current cover article, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.” The gist of the article is that Israel is doing so well economically that affluent Israelis don’t really care about making peace with the Palestinians. The ADL finds this thesis (wait for it . . .) anti-Semitic.

From the ADL press release:

In a letter to Managing Editor Richard Stengel, ADL called on the magazine’s editors to issue an apology to readers, both for the timing of the article and its calling up age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.

The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving piece with the Palestinians,” wrote Mr. Foxman. “At the same time, Time ignores the very real sacrifices made by Israel and its people in the pursuit of peace and the efforts by successive Israeli governments of reconciliation.

Money aside, is there really a way to tell how much Israelis prioritize peace? Actually, I guess there is. Here’s a poll that was published in today’s Maariv:

Q. In your opinion, what are the most important subjects for the coming year?

Education—36%; the Iranian threat—13%; the war on corruption—12.7%; peace with the Palestinians—11.3%; traffic accidents—11.2%; dealing with poverty—7.9%

The poll by Teleseker questioned 500 people. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

source

Anti-Semetism Rising : Excellent debate hosted by Alan Hart

“RACISM” CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST ISRAEL PROTESTORS

Five Palestine campaigners who contested the relevancy of a “racially aggravated conduct” charge in relation to their protest against Israel’s blockade of Gaza had all charges against them dropped today.

The campaigners, all members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), had interrupted the August 2008 Edinburgh Festival concert by the Jerusalem Quartet. Tours by the classical musicians are regularly sponsored by the Israeli Government, which the campaign group claims makes them a legitimate target for protest.

The campaigners had been accused of making “comments about Jews, Israelis, and the State of Israel”, but during a three-day legal debate at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, a BBC audio recording of the event revealed that there had been no reference made to “Jews”. Comments included “They are Israeli Army musicians”, “End the Siege of Gaza”, “Genocide in Gaza”, and “Boycott Israel”.

Sheriff James Scott ruled that “the comments were clearly directed at the State of Israel, the Israeli Army, and Israeli Army musicians”, and not targeted at “citizens of Israel” per se. “The procurator fiscal’s attempts to squeeze malice and ill will out of the agreed facts were rather strained”, he said.

The Sheriff expressed concern that to continue with the prosecution would have implications for freedom of expression generally: “if persons on a public march designed to protest against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated behaviour, it would render worthless their Article 10(1) rights. Presumably their placards would have to read, ‘Genocide in an unspecified state in the Middle East’; ‘Boycott an unspecified state in the Middle East’ etc.

“Having concluded that continuation of the present prosecution is not necessary or proportionate, and therefore incompetent, it seems to me that the complaint must be dismissed.”

Mr Fraser, the Procurator Fiscal Depute, said he would be appealing the ruling.

Today’s ruling will disappoint the musicians whose concerts now attract regular protest. After a similar disruption of their Wigmore Hall concert last week they issued a statement claiming to “have no connection with or patronage by the [Israeli] Government”. However, organisers of their November 2009 Australia tour acknowledged that “The Israeli Government provided about $8000 towards the costs of the tour”, but explained, “this was only a minuscule proportion of the total cost.”

Outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court, supporters held banners reproducing the ‘racist’ slogans, and a number of enlarged concert programs indicating Israeli Embassy sponsorship of the quartet’s tours were on display. Human rights lawyer, Aamer Anwar, representing Mr Napier, read a statement on behalf of his client: “We welcome today’s judgment which impacts on civil liberties nationally. A dangerous precedent would be set if demonstrators were criminalised for racism for protesting against state genocide by Israel or any other country.”

SPSC chair, Mick Napier had mixed feelings about the ruling: “While this particular attempt to criminalise solidarity with Palestine has failed, British Government support for Israel continues. In England, more than 20 prison sentences – some for over 2 years – have been handed out to those who protested Israel’s massacre of 1400 mostly civilians in Gaza last year. On the subject of racism, of the 78 charged, all but two are young Muslims.

“If our case had gone to trial, it would have been Israel in the dock, not us. We had a string of witnesses from Palestine, Israel, and South Africa lined up to discuss the real racism and apartheid that Palestinians face daily. As long as the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues, Israel’s political, cultural, and sporting ambassadors will face boycott protest similar to that faced by the racist apartheid South African regime in the last century.

“It’s time for politicians to fall into line with public opinion. Alex Salmond’s recent call for a review of trade relations with Israel is a step in the right direction, but what that means in practice remains to be seen.”

ENDS

[A link to the written judgement by Sheriff James Scott; and relevant photos will be available soon from the online version of this media release: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk%5D

Notes for editors:

1. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign started in autumn 2000 in response to the Palestinian second uprising against Israeli occupation (Intifada). The SPSC has branches and groups of supporters in several Scottish cities and universities, as well as individual members across Scotland and elsewhere.

For further information, contact:
SPSC Chair, Mick Napier: 0131 620 0052; 07958002591

Email: media@scottishpsc.org.uk (default reply to this email)
Website: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk

Israel Accuses Turkish PM of Anti Semitism

Israel has accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of inciting “anti-Semitism” by making remarks on the war crimes committed against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

A new report prepared by the foreign ministry in Tel Aviv charges that although Erdogan has stresses that anti-Semitism is “a crime against humanity,” he “indirectly incites and encourages” it in Turkey, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

“In our estimate, ever since his party took power, Erdogan has conducted an ongoing process of … fashioning a negative view of Israel in Turkish public opinion,” through endless talks of Palestinian suffering, repeatedly accusing Israel of war crimes and even “anti-Semitic expressions and incitement,” read the report.

The seven-page report written by the Center for Political Research has already been distributed to Israeli embassies and consulates abroad.

“For Erdogan and some of those around him,” the report claimed, “there is no distinction between ‘Israeli’ and ‘Jewish,’ and therefore, [their] anti-Israel fervor and criticism become anti-Jewish.”

“Turkey today, under the leadership of the AKP [Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party], is different from the Turkey with which Israel forged a strategic relationship in the early 1990s,” the report concluded.

Relations between Israel and Turkey began to deteriorate after Erdogan publicly slammed Israel over its late 2008 incursion into Gaza and charged the regime with committing “barbarian” acts against the Palestinian civilians.

(Press TV)
Saturday 30th of January 2010 02:13:17 AM

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