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onsdag 10 februari 2010

Boycott the Jews. In Sweden.

When blood-libels about organ-harvesting don’t work, it’s time to dust off that other weapon that has served racists so well for centuries: the boycott.

Not just any boycott.

A boycott solely against people of one single faith.

People who refuse to betray their own country.

And not just any people either. Academics. The leading thinkers of any democratic society, the progressives who embrace free thought as part and parcel of their pursuit of expertise.

No, we’re not talking about Egypt, whose Muslim majority routinely violate the human rights of the country’s 3 million Coptic Christians.

Neither are we talking about the Shia Muslims of Iraq who slaughter the Sunni Muslims of Iraq in the name of Islam. And vice versa.

Nor are we talking about the Muslim Palestinian Authority in the West Bank (the Jewish provinces of Judea and Samaria where the Palestinian Arabs want to create a second Palestinian state alongside Jordan). In the West Bank, Christian Arabs living in the cradle of Christianity are so relentlessly pursued by their Muslim neighbours that their population in Bethlehem has dwindled to one-third its size in just one generation.

And of course we are not talking about the Gaza Strip, where ethnic cleansing got a head start with the removal of every single Jew, dead and alive, before the territory was handed over to the Gazans as a first step in the establishment of peace and a new nation. What the Muslim-majority Gazans did instead was to turn on the Christian minority, which has since been decimated.

When it comes to use of the boycott as a weapon against people of a single faith, we are, in fact, talking not about any of the above, but about Sweden.

KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, is organizing a “seminar to discuss the case for boycotting Israel”. Presenting the case for a boycott will be such leading lights of democracy and fidelity as Dror Feiler, a communist who renounced his Israeli citizenship and now campaigns in Sweden on behalf of terrorist organizations such as Hamas. He is regarded in many circles as a traitor. He is also President of European Jews for a Just Peace, an organization numbering almost a hundred people. He does not represent more than a handful of Jews in Sweden but is given widespread coverage by a media enchanted with the Palestinian narrative and deaf to any other.

At the KTH event, Associate Prof Jan-Erik Gustafsson will “report about the Birzeit group for international academic boycott”.

So it’s going to be a balanced, fair and above all representative exchange of views, then.

Interestingly, not a word is mentioned by these champions of human rights on the subject of China, which has occupied and annexed Tibet these past fifty years. Or Turkey, which committed unspeakable atrocities against the Armenians and still occupies Armenia. Neither is Russia mentioned, despite its continued occupation of Chechnya. The Kurds still do not have a country of their own and have been hounded over the centuries – yet another subject that KTH chooses not to highlight.

And that’s before we even mention that other paragon of democracy and enlightenment, Iran, which continues to trumpet its determination to erase Israel from the map and is pursuing the development of nuclear technology for that purpose.

The boycott supporters at KTH prefer not to delve into the legion human rights abuses occurring every day in the Palestinian territories – honour killings, systematized rapes of Christian women, the illegal incarceration of the one sole Jew still (hopefully) alive in Gaza – Gilad Schalit who was kidnapped from sovereign Israel three years ago and still held without access to the Red Cross, his family, legal representation (not that he is accused of anything apart from Judaism, a crime in Gaza), the summary executions of political opponents. None of this matters.

There is a considerable risk to constantly crying “anti-Semitism” every time something of a tacit anti-Semitic nature takes place. The term and its meaning risk being diluted.

There is however an even greater risk to ignoring anti-Semitic attacks when they occur in countries that are ostensibly democracies. Because it sets society on the slippery path to indifference. And we know where that leads. Ask the people of Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia, Tibet, Armenia, Kurdistan. And the decimated Jews of Europe.

Interestingly enough, one of the participants at the KTH seminar is the Egyptian propaganda ministry. That may of course explain the utter silence on the plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.

It also raises interesting questions about how one of Sweden’s foremost educational establishments has been infiltrated by a foreign governmental agency with a murky agenda.

For an insight into how Egypt is perceived today, read this article by former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Mr Zvi Mazel.

And for an insight into how Sweden is perceived today, read this interview by Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld.

With Egyptian state infiltration into Swedish academia, Swedish state funding of various anti-Israel NGOs, and the total infiltration of UNRWA by various Palestinian Arab terrorist and criminal gangs, it is time to step back and ponder where we are headed in the Middle East.

Because constellations such as the Sweden/Egypt/Hamas/media/academia axis seem to be working cohesively outside the established policy structures.

The lack of transparency is worrying. Like now at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, which demands that Jewish Israeli academics betray their country if they wish to be treated as equals.

It’s an echo of what Ilmar Reepalu, the mayor of Malmö in southern Sweden said recently: that only Swedish Jews who renounced all affiliations with Israel could reasonably be expected to live in peace and security in Sweden.

He made no corresponding demand on Swedish Muslims.
Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu may well be an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

They certainly speak and act in sync.

Interesting link:
CAMERA reports that government-funded anti-Israel NGOs have been operating for many years.

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upplagd av Ilya Meyer

tisdag 22 december 2009

Attack Bildt but not Sweden

The following is the English version of an article published in Israeli weekly Makor Rishon by Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld, Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).

The recent Swedish proposal to the European Union to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state was a severe hostile act against Israel. The proposal was watered down by other member countries. The attitude of Sweden which, for another few weeks, holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, may tempt Israel to hit back at the country’s government.

For several reasons, however, this strategy would be wrong. The anti-Israel campaign is led by one person, the Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Carl Bildt, who is the dominant figure in this government. Rather than targeting the entire government or country, Israel should focus on its major adversary in the current coalition.

Bildt’s hostile record toward Israel can be easily proved. On a Swedish radio program in April he said: “It is possible to make peace without Hamas the same way it is possible to make peace without Netanyahu on the Israeli side.” An Israeli Foreign Ministry official reacted diplomatically: “He clearly does not understand the difference between the leader of an Israeli political party and a group that is engaging in the terror that threatens Europe as much as Israel.”(1)

Bildt’s anti-Israeli sentiment came to the fore again in the Aftonbladet organ affair. In August this anti-Israeli daily published an article which accused Israel of killing Palestinians in order to acquire organs for transplant. Bildt refused to condemn it, saying that there is freedom of the press in Sweden and that the government therefore cannot condemn the press. When, however, a few weeks later, Aftonbladet published an article by a member of the right wing Sweden Democrats party, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt condemned it. Suddenly, when Israel was not concerned, it was permissible to criticize the same paper.

Ilya Meyer, a writer who has held senior positions in the Swedish Jewish community, has a blog which reports regularly – in both English and Swedish – on Sweden’s misbehavior toward Israel. He notes that the Swedish state finances almost the entire $6 million budget of an extreme pro-Palestinian group in the country, Palestinagrupperna. This body has links to various terrorist organizations. In an annual report Palestinagrupperna claimed that Bildt had told them that he agrees with them on every point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.(2)

There are many friends of Israel in the four parties currently in the Swedish government – the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Center Party. However, the present coalition is severely trailing the opposition in the most recent polls.(3) New parliamentary elections will take place in September 2010.

The opposition consisting of the Social Democrats, Sweden’s largest party, the Green Party and the Left Party is far more hostile to Israel than the present government, with the main exception of Bildt.

During the Gaza Campaign Mona Sahlin, the leader of the Social Democrats, participated in an anti-Israel rally in Stockholm(4) at which Hizballah and Hamas flags were flown and an Israeli flag was burned.(5) Jan Eliasson, the former foreign minister,(6) and Wanja Lundby Wedin, chair of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation,(7) also took part in that event.

Many senior party members participated in such demonstrations. In Norrköping, an ex-parliamentarian and former party secretary of the Social Democrats, Lars Stjernkvist, spoke with a Hizballah flag and swastikas in the background.(8) In Malmö, the Social Democrat parliamentarian, Luciano Astudillo, spoke as someone next to him held up a picture of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.(9)

Sahlin’s attitude toward Israel may develop in directions similar to those of Sweden’s best known prime minister, the Social Democrat Olof Palme. He was the first Western-European prime minister to label Israel as a Nazi state.

In the past few years Israel has missed the opportunity to confront the current government on many anti-Israel matters, including its indirect subsidies to anti-Israel hate bodies, mainly leftovers from the Social Democrat government.

This is especially unfortunate since the Swedish Minister of International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, is currently revising the country’s foreign aid policies. She aims to move funding away from corrupt and dictatorial regimes to democracies and to projects that foster economic and political goals that are in line with those of Sweden. Pointing out how Palestinian organizations which receive major Swedish aid are abusing this could have had some actual influence on the country’s foreign aid policy.

If the current coalition, led by the Moderates, remains in power, one can raise these issues anew and try to solve them over a four year period. If the Social Democrats win the elections, ongoing confrontations with Sweden will be almost unavoidable. This is the more so as, for the first time, the Left and Green parties will probably join the government. There are many possibilities for Israeli retaliation against hostile Swedish acts, but it would be counterproductive to disclose them today.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He has published fifteen books among which :

Behind the Humanitarian Mask, the Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews. (2008)

(1) Gil Hoffman, “Swedish FM Likens Netanyahu to Hamas,” Jerusalem Post, 10 April 2007.

(2) Ilya Meyer, “The Swedish Foreign Minister’s Crusade against Israel,” 9 December 2009.

(3) Opposition poll lead “very worrying”: Reinfeldt, The Local 14 december 2009.

(4) Per Gudmundson, “Mona Sahlin, hakkorsen och Hamasflaggorna,” Gudmundson, 15 January 2009 [Swedish]

(5) “Israelska flaggan brändes,” Dagens Nyheter, 10 January 2009. [Swedish]

(6) Per Gudmundson, “Rödflaggat,” Gudmundson, 13 January 2009, [Swedish]

(7) Per Gudmundson, “Swedish Leading Social Democrats in Rally with Hezbollah Flags,” Gudmundson, 10 January 2009, [Swedish]

(8) Erik Svansbo, “Folkbladet uppmärksammar ‘bloggkupp,’” Svansbo, 14 January 2009, [Swedish]

(9) Per Gudmundson, “Rödflaggat,” Gudmundson, 13 January 2009, [Swedish]

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upplagd av Ilya Meyer

tisdag 3 mars 2009

Bortgången Hederlig Journalism

Det är med stor sorg som vi meddelar att Hederlig Journalism har gått ur tiden.

Hederlig Journalism levde ett långt liv i både Sverige och Norge men gick bort i sviterna efter en svår sjukdom som av experterna bedöms vara farligt nära den dödsbringande åkomman antisemitismen.

Hederlig Journalism genomlevde nazismens fasor i Norge under Andra världskriget och medicinsk expertis gjorde gällande att alla som överlevde den svåra perioden nog var vaccinerade livet ut mot dylika åkommor.

Tyvärr visade det sig inte stämma. Nazisjukdomen muterades och uppstod som islamofascism, en lika svårartad form av rasism som ursprunget, och Hederlig Journalism visade sig inte kunna stå emot angreppet.

Hederlig Journalism dog 090301 i samband med att norsk TV2 bestämde sig för att offentligt ljuga om en judisk statsvetare och tillmäta honom ord som han aldrig sagt.

Nyligen skrev Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld, israelisk författare och statsvetare som specialiserat sig på judiskt liv i den icke-judiska världen, en bok med titeln ”Behind the Humanitarian Mask”.

Där tar han upp relationen mellan de nordiska länderna och Israel samt judarna i allmänhet. Dr Gerstenfeld uttrycker viss kritik mot några skeenden i de nordiska ländernas sätt att särbehandla den judiska staten samt deras undfallenhet gentemot den allt våldsammare muslimska världen.

Gerstenfeld har fått både kritik och beröm för sin bok. En samling texter som grundligt undersöker de nordiska ländernas uppförande såväl historiskt som i nutid kan inte annat än framkalla en het dialog. Dialog brukar anses vara en av demokratins främsta kännetecken.

I dagarna gjorde Norges TV2 en intervju med Gerstenfeld i vilket det påstås att han kallade norrmännen för ett ”barbariskt och ointelligent folk”. Det ska i sammanhanget noteras att TV2s journalist var mycket tydlig med att poängtera att Dr Gerstendfeld är jude; gränsen mellan att hetsa mot den judiska staten Israel och alla judar överallt börjar bli allt suddigare.

När jag intervjuade Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld nekade han kategoriskt till att ha fällt någon förolämpande eller rasistisk kommentar. Intervjun med TV2 gjordes på engelska. Vad den norska speakern har lagt till styr inte Gerstenfeld över. TV2 har kontaktats för att kommentera påståendet men har än så länge inte kunnat bevisa sitt påstående. Så här kommenterar Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld själv det uppdiktade "citatet":

"Jag kan förstås endast ta ansvar för det som jag själv uttrycker på engelska; jag kan inte belastas för det som eventuellt tillskrivs mig av intervjuaren på norska (ett språk Gerstenfeld inte behärskar). Förmodligen fällde intervjuaren sin kommentar på grund av att han inte hade något användbart citat från mig från själva intervjun, som var mycket längre än den korta engelska snutten som redovisades i TV-inslaget.

Det vi diskuterade var nivån på den offentliga debatten i Norge, en debatt som jag anser utom tvivel förs på en låg nivå – och det kan man spåra i stort sett genom hela boken ... Jag skulle aldrig fälla ett sådant generaliserat och rasistiskt påstående som att alla norrmän är barbarer och ointelligenta."

Att Norges TV2 förvränger och ljuger är illa nog. Nu har TT i Sverige valt att publicera och sprida TV2s version utan att kontrollera med källan – Gerstenfeld – för att få bekräftelse eller kommentar. TV2 ljuger ihop en story, och TT gör inte ens den mest elementära ansatsen till journalistik genom att källkontrollera – lektion A1 i journalisthandboken.

Vilket är precis det sätt på vilket TT har uppfört sig under en följd av år vad gäller Mellanöstern. Allt som kan användas mot den judiska staten är tillåtet.

Det var många år sedan TT sysslade med journalistik. I initierade kretsar kallas TT för ”Voice of Palestine – Palestinas Röst”. Problemet är att rösten når ut. Den når lika långt vare sig den ljuger eller talar sanning.

Vilket i och för sig är en hypotetisk situation, för TT talar sällan sanning. TT ljuger inte alltid, men den talar sällan sanning.

Hederlig Journalism är död och begraven. Hoppas bara att det finns andra släktingar som är beredda att ta upp kampen mot medveten förljugenhet, halvsanningar, förvrängda fakta och uteblivna nyheter.

Alternativet är annars att allt fortsätter i samma gedigna anti-israeliska anda som fostrats av norska TV2 och svensk-palestinska TT.

Läs mer i ämnet:
Bertil, Dagen, Corren,

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upplagd av Ilya Meyer