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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Parliament’

Jewish Group: European Report on Iran Lacks ‘Moral Clarity’

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman The European Parliament praised a draft report Thursday surveying the group’s relationship with Iran, but Jewish groups said the report does little to address Tehran’s support for terrorism, its anti-Israel rhetoric and open anti-Semitism, or its systematic violation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Spokespeople for the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee said the text of the report, entitled ‘EU Strategy Towards Iran After the Nuclear Agreement‘ will not been made public until next week. But EP Rapporteur Richard Howitt called the document a “very honest assessment of differences as well as of common interests” between Tehran and Brussels.

In a statement, Howitt addressed human rights in the Islamic Republic, particularly the death penalty, and expressed hopes that the report’s “constructive language” would serve as a platform to overcome a history of misunderstandings and form the basis for better relations between the parties.

He also told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the new report would send a strong political signal to both Iran and to EU member states looking for trade opportunities, as well as to human rights activists looking for support.

At least 15 European countries have sent trade delegations to Tehran since the nuclear deal was signed last year.

Jewish groups and pro-Israel MEPs were less enthusiastic. The AJC Transatlantic Institute, the European office of the American Jewish Committee, slammed the report as little more than a capitulation to Iran’s support for international terrorism, calls for the destruction of Israel and human rights abuses.

“The report in its current form is a serious blow to the standing of the European Parliament as a defender of human rights, justice and freedom,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the Transatlantic Institute.

“As the world watches helplessly the medieval siege and merciless bombardment of Aleppo, it is distressing that the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee didn’t find the moral clarity to admonish Assad’s Iranian enablers.

“By giving Tehran basically a free pass on its crimes at home and abroad, the report undermines Parliament’s credibility as a serious foreign policy voice and abandons the people of Iran and the regime’s other countless victims in the region,” Schwammenthal said.

Howitt rejected Schwammenthal’s claims regarding Israel out of hand. Speaking to TPS by phone, Howitt stressed that the report names Israel “as a country and people whose peace and security should be respected,” and that Iran should ensure that Hezbollah does not receive funding.

“When I was in Tehran I met with Jewish community, and I encouraged Iranian officials to use its Jewish community to reach out to other countries in the region – that’s clearly aimed at Israel,” Howitt said.

Howitt’s defense notwithstanding, Dutch member of the European Parliament Bas Belder added that the report “totally lacks any insight into the nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and reflects poorly on Rapporteur Howitt.

“The rapporteur opposed my amendment that calls on Iran to cease its support of non-state entities and terrorist organizations in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, [as well as my call for Iran] to establish friendly relations with all states in the region, including Israel, and to cease threatening states with military actions against them,” Belder told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“It says a lot about the servile mindset of the rapporteur towards the Iranian regime that he was against my amendment condemning Iran’s repeated threats of destroying the State of Israel and its denial of the Holocaust, the phrase “Death to Israel” on Iranian ballistic missiles during the missile tests and Tehran’s recent International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.

“I feel deeply ashamed about this report in a political, moral and intellectual sense,” Belder added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

‘Anti-Semitism in Europe As Important As Climate Change’

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

On the eve of the Jewish new year, dozens of members of the European Parliament and heads of Jewish organizations gathered in the European Parliament to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism.

The delegates gathered for a conference focused on “The future of the Jewish communities in Europe,” attended by European Parliament President Martin Schulz and his deputy, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT).

“The European Union sometimes has a reputation for talking a lot but delivering little,” observed “Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association (EJA).

“We are on the threshold of the Jewish new year, and unfortunately many of Europe’s Jews live in fear,” said Margolin. “Putting the army outside of our synagogues, radio stations, schools and shops is of course a welcome step to protect the lives of Jews – but this is just a temporary solution that does nothing to change the root cause of the problem.

“The crisis – and it is a crisis – affecting Jews across Europe – deserves the same attention as the EU institutions give to the economic crisis or climate change.

“That starts with a properly funded EU program, that teaches future generations about Jews, the Holocaust and the contributions that we, this small people, have made to the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Abbas Trots Out Medieval Blood … uh… Water Libel For Speech to EU

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas hauled out the tattered old myth about Jews poisoning the wells on Thursday and tried to feed it to his audience at the European Union Parliament.

Adapting the medieval anti-Semitic water blood libel for local use, the claim originated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which said a prominent rabbi had issued a religious decree “allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to poison Palestinian water sources in Palestinian towns.”

Abbas went further, saying in his speech to European lawmakers that it was a special Israeli rabbinical council in Judea and Samaria who had issued the decree.

The lie had already been immediately picked up and passed along by many international media, among them The Independent according to the Israellycool website, which caught the British website’s screaming headline over the horrifying Ramadan holiday disaster.

And now here was the leader that the international community is down Israel’s throat as a “peace partner” spewing out that latest version of a medieval blood libel. Jews were falsely accused in the 14th century of causing disease by poisoning the water across Europe as a plague swept the continent; the blood of countless numbers of Jews ran through the streets as their communities were massacred in response.

It’s not so different from the libelous Al Aqsa Mosque “destruction” lies with which the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s Hamas terrorist group incessantly attempt to ignite violence against Israel among the Arab population.

And since in “honor” of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan Israel has opened its borders to allow Muslims to pray in Jerusalem at Al Aqsa with far fewer restrictions, Abbas instead was forced to seek a new libel.

“Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians,” Abbas claimed from the EU Parliament podium. “Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?” He gave no source for the claim. Yet Haaretz reports that Abbas received a standing ovation from the EU lawmakers after his speech.

Quotes from an alleged “Rabbi Mlmad” on the website of the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry supposedly calling for Jews to poison wells, and citing a ‘Council of Rabbis in the West Bank’ were similarly found by international news outlets such as Reuters and others to be impossible to trace.

Haaretz quoted Gulf News as saying the allegation was sourced from the far-left Breaking the Silence organization, a group comprised of former IDF soldiers who criticize Israel and its relations with the PA. But Breaking the Silence denied issuing this one, Reuters reported. And yet Abbas was able to cobble together fiction with fact — a dangerous combination and one that is powerful when presented in the international arena.

“Senior Israel’s such as [opposition leader Isaac] Herzog, the opposition chairman, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the current deputy chief of staff and senior journalists to speak about growing signs of fascism in Israeli society,” he told the European lawmakers.

Abbas neglected to mention that Isaac Herzog is under police investigation, Ehud Barak is no longer in politics because he’s exhausted his credibility across the spectrum and the remarks by the current IDF deputy chief of staff were made within context of a political framework not relevant to general Israeli society.

As with the updated European blood-to-water libel, Abbas cited sources and myths as if they were facts, and fed the fantasies to the European Union Parliament — and his European audience loved it.

Hana Levi Julian

Paris Court Fines Jean-Marie Le Pen For Calling Gas Chambers ‘Detail of History’

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined Wednesday by a Paris court for the third time in a row for calling the Jewish genocide of World War II a “detail of history.” He was also fined in Nice on the same day for similar talk.

Le Pen, 87, was convicted of contesting crimes against humanity, specifically for saying the gas chambers were only a “detail” of history.”

The founder of the French far-right National Front was fined 30,000 euros ($ 34,247). The penalty follows two prior civil court convictions for the same comments about the gas chambers.

Le Pen first declared his belief on the Holocaust in 1987 and repeated it again years later in Germany. Most recently, he again made the same statement before the European Parliament.

Le Pen was also ordered to pay 10,001 euros ($ 11,417) in damages to the three charities who brought the case to court. The judges who heard the case ordered their verdict to be published in three newspapers.

He was also fined 5,000 euros by a court in Nice, and convicted of “provoking hatred and ethnic discrimination” for remarks in 2013 in which he told a public meeting that Roma were smelly and “rash-inducing.”

French laws against Holocaust denial and contesting crimes against humanity are particularly severe. The collaborating Vichy French government helped the Nazis send 78,000 French Jews to death camps during the German occupation from 1940 to 1944. Thousands of French civilians who fought against the Germans were killed in reprisals by the Nazi army.

In an April 2015 interview with the far-right weekly Rivarol, Le Pen defended Philippe Pétain, leader of the Vichy regime, who was convicted of treason after the war. Le Pen was expelled from the party he founded following a feud with his daughter over his comments. He subsequently sued the party to retain his title as honorary president.

Marine Le Pen took over the National Front in 2011, leading a drive to “detoxify” the group from its anti-Semitic overtones. After her father’s interview with Rivarol, she moved to expel him from the party, saying he was “in a total spiral… somewhere between scorched earth and political suicide.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Hints at Nazi Germany in Reaction to EU’s ‘West Bank’ Labeling

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The European Union promotes anti-Semitism while saying it fights it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu implicitly referred to Nazi Gammy in his reaction to yesterday’s European Union resolution to label products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights as being “made in settlements in occupied territories.”

The European Parliament, as reported here, voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to label products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria “in the spirit of differentiation between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory,” although it is Syria and not the Palestinian Authority that claims the Golan.

Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:

This is unjust. It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace. The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements.

We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labeled Jewish products.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

French Court Indicts Jean-Marie Le Pen for ‘Gas Chamber’ Remarks

Monday, July 27th, 2015

French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has been indicted by a French court for his remarks about the gas chambers of World War II, according to the AFP news agency.

The date of Le Pen’s appearance to stand trial for denying crimes against humanity has not yet been set. Not that the prospect bothers the octogenarian.

“It’s an additional persecution… I’m not very surprised,” the European Parliament member, age 87, told AFP. He added that he does not “for one moment” regret his words.

The summons came in response to Le Pen’s assertion on April 2 the “Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers.

“I continue to uphold the view because I think it is the truth and it should not shock anyone. They have exploited this affair against me, implying this is about anti-Semitism. But I defy anyone to quote me on anything anti-Semitic I have said in my political career,” he said.

It’s not the first time Le Pen has said such a thing. He has made similar comments before, going back as far as 1987, when he was convicted and fined over his racial hatred and comments about the gas chambers.

Le Pen made the remark to BFMTV, igniting a clash with his daughter Marine, who has been trying to move his National Front Party away from its racist, anti-Semitic stance.

Marine Le Pen, 46, took over control of the party in 2011 and publicly split with her father over his remarks; she also suspended him from the membership. However, the elder Le Pen regained that membership and his position as honorary president within a month after launching a legal battle over the issue in a French court.

Hana Levi Julian

European Parliament Puts Off ‘Palestine’ Vote – For now

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Seemingly at the ninth hour, the European Parliament decided Tuesday to postpone its vote on whether to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.

The gathering in Strasbourg decided to reconsider the issue at the European Parliament’s plenary session from December 15-18, rather than this Thursday.

Intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels combined with opposition from Germany and a few other members were partly responsible for the decision.

Disagreement regarding the language of the resolution was also a factor in putting off the vote to a later time.

Similar votes are expected shortly in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia. Israeli officials have accused administration officials in the offices of U.S. President Barack Obama of fanning the flames against Israel across Europe.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that such recognition would be a “big mistake” at a joint news conference with visiting Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

“These twin needs of mutual recognition and solid security arrangements on the ground, which are so essential for peace, these are not addressed by the European countries that unilaterally give recognition to a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said.

A similar resolution has already won approval in Britain, Spain, Ireland and Sweden.

The issue was to come before French lawmakers on Tuesday as well, but there ‘Palestine’ was expected to face a fight.

Israeli representatives in Paris have been working to mobilize the opposition against passage of any resolution approving recognition of the PA as a bona fide state.

Netanyahu had expressed deep concern on Sunday that France would make a “grave mistake” in helping the PA evade its legal responsibilities as delineated under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords to negotiate its final status with Israel.

“Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheading across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he said.
“The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognize the right to have a state for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu pointed out.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/european-parliament-puts-off-palestine-vote-for-now/2014/11/26/

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