The Portal of Ideas blog has been translating articles by Spanish activist, journalist and former politician Pilar Rahola. Here are excerpts from some of her writings:Why don’t we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris, Barcelona? Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs where there is conflict with Islam? Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan? Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel? Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism? Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist? Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism? An finally, the million dollar question:Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn’t care.
And then, to the concept of freedom. In every pro Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: “We want freedom for the people!” Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hammas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom. The resulting consequence of these ideological pathologies is the manipulation of the press.
The international press does major damage when reporting on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. On this topic they don’t inform, they propagandize. When reporting about Israel the majority of journalists forget the reporter code of ethics. And so, any Israeli act of self-defense becomes a massacre, and any confrontation, genocide. So many stupid things have been written about Israel, that there aren’t any accusations left to level against her. At the same time, this press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel; the indoctrination of children and the corruption of the Palestinians. And when reporting about victims, every Palestinian casualty is reported as tragedy and every Israeli victim is camouflaged, hidden or reported about with disdain.
I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not as anti Israeli as my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews.
As a journalist it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles. Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too.
The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn’t want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.The first question, then, is why so many intelligent people, when talking about Israel, suddenly become idiots. The problem that those of us, who do not demonize Israel have, is that there exists no debate on the conflict. All that exists is the banner; there’s no exchange of ideas. We throw slogans at each other; we don’t have serious information, we suffer from the “burger journalism” syndrome, full of prejudices, propaganda and simplification. Intellectual thinkers and international journalists have given up on Israel. It doesn't exist exist. That is why, when someone tries to go beyond the “single thought” of criticizing Israel, he becomes suspect and unfaithful, and is immediately segregated. Why?
I’ve been trying to answer this question for years: why?
Why, of all the conflicts in the world only this one interests them?
Why is a tiny country which struggles to survive criminalized?
Why does manipulated information triumph so easily?
Why are all the people of Israel, reduced to a simple mass of murderous imperialists?
Why is there no Palestinian guilt?
Why is Arafat a hero and Sharon a monster?
Finally, why when Israel is the only country in the World which is threatened with extinction, it is also the only one that nobody considers a victim?
I don’t believe that there is a single answer to these questions. Just as it is impossible to completely explain the historical evil of anti-Semitism, it is also not possible to totally explain the present-day imbecility of anti-Israelism. Both drink from the fountain of intolerance and lies. Also, if we accept that anti-Israelism is the new form of anti-Semitism, we conclude that circumstances may have changed, but the deepest myths, both of the Medieval Christian anti-Semitism and of the modern political anti-Semitism, are still intact. Those myths are part of the chronicle of Israel.
Tolerant and cultural Islam suffers today the violent attack of a totalitarian virus which tries to stop its ethical development. This virus uses the name of God to perpetrate the most terrible horrors: lapidate women, enslave them, use youths as human bombs. Let’s not forget: They kill us with cellular phones connected to the Middle Ages. If Stalinism destroyed the left, and Nazism destroyed Europe, Islamic fundamentalism is destroying Islam. And it also has an anti-Semitic DNA. Perhaps Islamic anti-Semitism is the most serious intolerant phenomenon of our times; indeed, it contaminates more than 1,400 million people, who are educated, massively, in hatred towards the Jew.
In the crossroads of these defeats, is Israel. Orphan and forgotten by a reasonable left, orphan and abandoned by serious journalism, orphan and rejected by a decent UN, and rejected by a tolerant Islam, Israel suffers the paradigm of the 21st Century: the lack of a solid commitment with the values of liberty. Nothing seems strange. Jewish culture represents, as no other does, the metaphor of a concept of civilization which suffers today attacks on all flanks. The Jews are the thermometer of the world’s health. Whenever the world has had totalitarian fever, they have suffered. In the Spanish Middle Ages, in Christian persecutions, in Russian pogroms, in European Fascism, in Islamic fundamentalism. Always, the first enemy of totalitarianism has been the Jew. And, in these times of energy dependency and social uncertainty, Israel embodies, in its own flesh, the eternal Jew.
A pariah nation among nations, for a pariah people among peoples. That is why the anti-Semitism of the 21st Century has dressed itself with the efficient disguise of anti-Israelism, or its synonym, anti-Zionism. Is all criticism of Israel anti-Semitism? NO. But all present-day anti-Semitism has turned into prejudice and the demonization of the Jewish State. New clothes for an old hatred.
Benjamin Franklin said: “Where liberty is, there is my country.” And Albert Einstein added: “The World is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”. This is the double commitment, here and now; never remain inactive in front of evil in action and defend the countries of liberty.Those who go into the streets claim to do so in favor of the freedom of Palestine. Well, where have they been all these years, as the fundamentalist phenomena that oppressed the Palestinians were on the rise? Does Hamas have anything to do with freedom, or rather, doesn't it have everything to do with Islamism of a fascist tendency? Is freedom defended by training children to commit suicide attacks and by enslaving women? Is freedom defended by Iran, which supports Hamas financially? Does freedom belong to the terrorists of Hezbollah?
Those who protest in the streets also say they do so out of solidarity. Well, solidarity with whom? With Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, who has been less critical of the incursion than any European carrying a sign? With the Palestinians who do not agree with having the financial aid sent to their people being used to build armies and prepare bomb attacks? Do they wonder what happens to these funds? Does solidarity with the Palestinians mean defending terrorism and excusing Hamas' aggressions? Is peace defended by boosting Palestinian leaders who do not believe in it?
It is true that the intolerant left lives better by being anti-Israel. And it is also true that, in the face of complex realities, the vociferous masses prefer the simplicity of the "good" and the "bad." But, beyond prejudice, facts are stubborn. Israel withdrew from Gaza, leaving intact the economic structures it had created. Hamas destroyed them all, and took advantage of the withdrawal to prepare an army of destruction. And hundreds of missiles later, it continues its preparations.
The silence of this left, which is so loud today, has been very significant. What is happening in Gaza is tragic. But it did not start with the Israeli incursion. And to put all the blame on Israel is comfortable and simple, but useless. Because the main enemy of the Palestinian people comes from within.
Labels: Europe» Islamic feminism» left politics» Radical Left
Green Revolution is Dead - Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the leader of Iran's opposition green movement was involved in the massacre of more than 10,000 political prisoners in 1988, according to a report.Labels: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini» East German Politburo» George H.W. Bush» Gorbachev» Green Revolution» Iran» Mir-Hossein Mousavi» Neda Soltan» Tehran» Yeltsin
Photo: REUTERSMr Mousavi, the defeated candidate in last June's presidential election, served as Iran's prime minister when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime's spiritual leader, issued a fatwa that sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death without trial, according to the report by one of Britain's leading human rights lawyers.Mr Mousavi is one of several prominent Iranian politicians who are accused of implementing the order. According to a detailed report published by Geoffrey Robertson QC, who specialises in human rights law, the prisoners were executed for refusing to recant their political and religious beliefs.
if Bret Stephens is right, what Mousavi did is irrelevant to Iran's future: The 'green revolution' is dead.
Suppose that in the days following last year's fraudulent election in Iran, the U.S. and its Western allies had warned Tehran's leaders that their repression at home would be met, swiftly and severely, with consequences abroad. For every Neda Soltan shot dead in the street, an Iranian diplomat posted abroad would be expelled. For every foreigner put on trial in Iran, a Western firm doing business in the country would close its doors. For every opposition activist hanged, deliveries of imported gasoline would be curtailed.
And for every call to wipe Israel off the map, the U.S. would supply the Jewish state with 100 bunker-busters suitable for use against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Had any of that happened, it's just possible that Iran's leaders might have hesitated before moving ahead with their bloody crackdown and, in hesitating, given Iran's democratic opposition the opening it needed to sustain itself. But it didn't happen. In those critical June days, as the regime wobbled, the Obama administration opted to ease the regime's fears instead of multiplying them. And instead of creating leverage for himself, the president conceded it preemptively in hopes of currying favor for a nuclear deal.
A year on, we are living with the consequences of his failure.
Worst of all, the Green movement is, if not extinguished completely, little more than a flickering ember. The three million Iranians who marched for freedom last June may have to wait another generation for a similar opportunity.
Revolutions are also a question of luck and circumstance. In Berlin in 1989, a befuddled East German Politburo member misread his instructions and announced that East Germans were henceforth free to travel to the West. Thus—thus!—did the Wall come down. Two years later in Moscow, some visibly nervous coup plotters took to a stage to announce Gorbachev's early retirement. Their shaky performance allowed Boris Yeltsin to rally Russians against them. It helped that Yeltsin didn't have, in George H.W. Bush, an American president who refused to "meddle" in the country's internal affairs.
In an interview given to Austrian television in December 1988, Mr Mousavi tried to defend the mass executions of the prisoners, many of whom were members of the Marxist "Mojahedin Khalq" organisation, which opposed the Islamic regime established by Khomeini following the 1979 Iranian revolution.
"We had to crush the conspiracy," said Mr Mousavi. "In that respect we have no mercy."
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Over the years, the BBC has regularly found itself on the receiving end of HonestReporting's critiques. Indeed, the BBC has something of a reputation for its slanted reporting on Israel. But the BBC has now come under attack from an unlikely source.In an open letter to the BBC's Director General, some 150 signatories have accused the BBC's coverage of the Gaza flotilla of being "little more than an extension of Israel's PR offensive."We do not wish to deconstruct the entire contents of a letter that barely deserves a response but five observations can be made:
The signatories attack the BBC for not automatically adopting the knee-jerk narrative of events that was debunked by the evidence that emerged in the aftermath of the flotilla incident. They unquestioningly hold to the position that the incident was an act of Israeli "piracy" and "in complete defiance of international law".
The signatories accuse the Israeli evidence, mainly video footage, of being "tainted" simply due to its source and Israel of "resorting to crude forgeries". This, despite there being no evidence that this is the case and logical and reasonable explanations for those cases where there were initial doubts.
The signatories accuse Israel of "attempted genocide" in Gaza and downplay the impact of Qassam missile attacks on Israel. The reference to 'rockets' placed in quotation marks indicates how seriously these people take deliberate terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. They throw the unsubstantiated figure of 7000 dead Gazans in 7 years attempting to use a comparison of casualty figures on either side to whitewash the intent to kill on the part of Palestinian terrorists.
The placement of the word 'terrorism' in quotations indicates that these signatories do not believe that attacks on Israeli civilians are anything of the sort and they make the laughable claim that Hamas would "accept a genuine two-state solution".
The letter even claims that the BBC has been cowed by the Israeli government and its supporters and reporters have been silenced. A look at HonestReporting's long-term studies of the BBC's reporting on Israel would suggest that this is certainly not the case.Needless to say, the list of signatories reads like a who's who of Israel haters. For example:
Professor Mona Baker: dismissed two Israeli scholars from a journal under her directorship as part of her campaign to boycott Israeli academics.
Greta Berlin: co-founder and spokesperson for the Free Gaza movement responsible for the Gaza flotilla; a Hamas supporter.
Dr. Susan Blackwell: prominent leader of the academic boycott of Israel campaign.
Professor Haim Bresheeth: supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and a campaigner against Israeli "apartheid".
Mike Cushman: one of the leaders of the boycott campaign in the University and College Union. In the past he has pushed anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. He has defended union members who passed material from David Duke's website around the union. He has rhetorically employed anti-Semitic stereotypes. He has been feted by the Iranian state propaganda machine. He has fawned over Hamas.
Mark Elf: anti-Zionist who blogs and writes letters to the British press promoting hatred of Israel and its Jewish supporters.
Deborah Fink: prominent member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; referred to Israel as a "Satanic" state; disrupted live performance of Jerusalem Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall. See Fink demonstrating at a pro-Israel rally before being taken away by the police.
Tony Greenstein: "fantastic ignoramus" and "crank of the first order"; founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a member of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and in his personal blog absurdly styles himself as a "Socialist, anti-Zionist, anti-racist". Unsurprisingly, his writings are virulently anti-Zionist espousing views that equate Nazism to Zionism and that the Jews have ethnically cleansed the Palestinians. For more on Mr. Greenstein see here.
Abe Hayeem: director of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine; claimed on Comment is Free that Tel Aviv was built on colonialism and conquest, a city that ethnically cleansed itself of its Arab residents.
Professor Moshe Machover: founder of International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; extremist Marxist ideologue.
Roland Rance: member of Jews Against Zionism; Trotskyite anti-Zionist who campaigns for the "dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel".
Professor Hilary Rose: one of the original initiators of the academic boycott campaign.Other signatories include members and supporters of various anti-Israel organizations such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the International Solidarity Movement and the Stop the War Coalition.In short, this attack on the BBC is led not by concerned members of the BBC licence fee paying public but by a cadre of long-time anti-Israel activists and leaders of various campaigns to demonise Israel and to promote boycott campaigns.[See this newly released document from the Reut Institute on how the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement promotes delegitimisation against Israel.]This includes a number of Jews who use this part of their identity to justify their vitriol and serve as a fig leaf for the wider anti-Israel demonisation campaign. In reality they are but a tiny fringe that is wholly unrepresentative of mainstream Jewry or even mainstream political opinion.Perhaps it is a sign of desperation that in the minds of this motley crew of Israel haters, even the BBC's reporting on the Gaza flotilla has not been sufficiently negative once the genuine Israeli case has been heard. Are these signatories really that frightened of Israel's efforts to present a compelling narrative?
Labels: Flotilla» Non Intervention» reverse flotilla
Non Intervention Will Cause Exponential Violence. For those who are stupid enough to think Ron Paul has any wisdom at all... break out your score card.
This summer promises events that will thoroughly eclipse the diplomatic flurry over the recent Gaza flotilla. What few would have expected is the maritime character of the drama to which we have to look forward. And in a manner reminiscent of some seemingly minor operational decisions during the Cold War, Obama’s response to the challenge will be the most important security signal sent by his administration to date.
The distant drumbeat of the impending climax has been sounding for some time; Iran and Hezbollah have repeatedly threatened shipping in, respectively, the Strait of Hormuz and the waters off Lebanon and Israel, near the northern approach to the Suez Canal. Hezbollah’s most recent threat was issued in May, shortly before the deadly flotilla incident. Both Iran and Hezbollah are actively preparing to make good on their threats. This is not a theoretical menace. A complacent dismissal of their activities would be very dangerous.
Moreover, they are about to get help from — and take direct advantage of — the chaotic maritime situation brewing with the follow-on flotillas now in planning. Avram Rimon at Examiner.com had a good summary of them this weekend: they include a Gaza flotilla sponsored by German Jews; a counter-flotilla of Israelis hoping to bring aid to Cyprus, the Turkish Kurds, and Armenia (the latter under a Turkish blockade for more than 16 years); the Turkish flotilla for which Tayyip Erdogan has promised his own presence and a naval escort; and the flotilla being mounted by Iran, which is scheduled to leave Iran for Gaza on June 18.
The U.S. can do one of two things about these proliferating flotillas. We can organize NATO overtly to monitor and control eruptions in the Eastern Mediterranean, or we can simply leave it all for Israel to handle. Doing the latter will guarantee the early involvement of Hezbollah and Hamas in enlarging the scope of this maritime challenge. A hands-off approach by the Western nations makes it more likely that the terrorists, along with Iran and Turkey, will seek to precipitate crises — which may involve innocent commercial shipping — and press situational advantages. On the other hand, a declaration that the U.S. and NATO will prevent destabilizing eruptions, accompanied by obvious readiness to impose order if necessary, would be a salutary and effective signal. None of this need be done in a bellicose manner: quiet but unyielding is the appropriate demeanor.
Turkey’s involvement in the recent flotilla should already have resulted in a moment of reckoning with its NATO allies, if only behind closed doors. The West’s lackadaisical approach to its core alliance is on borrowed time. If the impending parade of flotillas produces only disorganized posturing from NATO, while allowing Israel’s enemies to create havoc at sea and score propaganda points against Israel, the next challenge is likely to emerge almost automatically in the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened to begin stopping ships in the Strait of Hormuz if the inspection clause of the June 9 UN sanctions is actually applied against Iran-bound cargo. Tehran’s willingness to carry through on this will depend on the U.S. posture, which governs what the Iranians think they can get away with.
A strong stance in the Eastern Mediterranean is the lowest-cost, highest-payoff method of deterring Iran from the outset. Maintaining stability at sea and control of the world’s key chokepoints is an American naval task so basic we rarely think about it, but the impact from breaches of that order is immediate and far-reaching. Doing nothing is courting crisis; we should be working to head this one off at the pass. That approach would be far less costly than reacting to a series of crises.
Labels: Doctor Dhimmis» feminism
The academy's committee on bioethics justified this stance by noting federal law "makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals" of a girl in the United States, thereby driving some families to take their daughters overseas to undergo mutilation. Presumably the ritual "nick" is a compromise to avoid greater harm.
Whatever the intention, however, this policy shift vouchsafes legitimacy to a practice that should not be permitted. How much bloodletting will satisfy parents? And at what point do compromises end?
If Muslim countries allow wife beating and slavery, do we allow a little of these practices in the United States in order to avoid more extreme examples? Perhaps a punch or two would be acceptable?
The counter-argument states that to declare clitorectomies wrong, unacceptable and barbaric indicates "insensitivity" to another culture. But there are humane considerations that transcend cultural practice, and that should be honored everywhere.
via hudson-ny.orgUnacceptable. the doctors should lose their license.
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Israel Matzav: It's official: Government inquiry finds al-Dura 'killing' was a hoax
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