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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

European Jewish Leaders: Court Decision on Hamas ‘Legitimizes Murder’

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has expressed outrage over the removal of Hamas from the European Union’s list of officially designated terror organizations, after the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg accepted an appeal filed by Hamas against its inclusion in the list.

“We have reached a new low in moral relativity if an organization explicitly dedicated to the destruction of a nation and people, which actively target and commit terrorist acts against civilians, is no longer considered a terrorist organization,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “One just needs to look at Article Seven of the Hamas Charter to know their proudly stated genocidal aspiration to the mass murder of Jews all over the world.”

“If an organization like that can be removed from a terror list then there is something very wrong with a system, because this decision legitimizes murder and genocide.”

The appeal was accepted because it was argued that Hamas’ inclusion on the list of terror organizations was conducted against EU procedures and does not include sufficient legal evidence to brand Hamas a terror organization.

“It is a ridiculous assertion that there is insufficient legal evidence to brand Hamas a terror organization,” Dr. Kantor continued. “All the judges had to do was read the Hamas Charter and then have someone translate the thousands of videos and statements released to the public in Arabic which openly call for and glorify the murder of innocent civilians, men, women and children.

“This is a very dark day for the European Union and thanks to this decision we as European Jews, who Hamas openly declares as targets for annihilation, feel less secure on our continent.”

EU Court ‘Temporarily’ Removes Hamas from List of Terrorist Groups

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The European Union Court of Justice, so to speak, took Hamas off its list of declared terrorist organizations Wednesday, accepting Hamas’ claims that the court did not have enough evidence to justify the classification.

Hamas’ appeal might boomerang because the European Union can submit more evidence to convince the court to put the terrorist organization back on its rightful place.

In the meantime, Hamas is having a field day celebrating the decision. Senior official Mousa Abu Marzouq said the decision was a “triumph” for all supporters of the right to “resistance” from “colonialism.”

One wonders how much evidence the undistinguished court needs to prove that Hamas is not a group of terrorists, murderers and butchers.

Hamas latched on the a European Union Court decision earlier this year that took a Sri Lankan terrorist group off the of the list of terrorist organizations for the same reasons – lack of evidence. However, it told the European Union it could submit more evidence to prove its case.

The only reason there was not enough proof to keep Hamas on the blacklist is fear – fear of countries to submit classified intelligence files that would be viewed by Hamas and then used by it for its own purposes.

Assuming a better case will be made to the court, it will reverse today’s decision. Until then, Hamas has won another semantic and propaganda victory.

Israel and the United States led an effort in 2003 to place Hamas on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations, but the court ruled Wednesday that the decision 11 years ago was based on “factual imputations derived from the press and internet” not “sound legal judgment.”

“The Court stresses that those annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group,” the ruling stated.

Funds for hams that have been frozen will remain untouchable for a period of time during which time more evidence will be submitted to the court.

Kerry Omits Israel as Essential Stakeholder for ME Peace

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Of course it was just a slip. It had to be, right?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the new European Union’s High Representative Federica Mogherini spoke together to the international press following their “working lunch” in Brussels on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

First Mogherini mentioned some of the topics she and Kerry had just discussed, such as the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, Russian activity in Ukraine, the situation in Syria and Iraq, and the fight against ISIS – she referred to it by the Arabic name, Daesh – and other “terrorists in the area.”

The new High Representative ticked off the “extremely worrying situation” in Libya, implementation of the Minsk Agreement and a “discussion on the Middle East peace process” – the latter being something “where we are looking forward to work together.”

Mogherini let everyone know that the Middle East peace work Kerry “has done in the last months needs to be resumed,” and that the EU knows how dedicated Kerry is to the peace process and stands ready to “support the continuation” of his efforts.

Then it was Kerry’s turn to speak.

The U.S. secretary of state pretty much repeated the list of topics Mogherini had just mentioned. But he strung together a very odd constellation of words to discuss the Mideast peace process.

He did this by starting with a brief feint towards humor or exasperation or something less than diplomatic:

We also talked about the Mideast peace process, which may at this particular moment be a misnomer but nevertheless something that we are deeply committed to, and we will work on it.

Then Kerry explained what he thought was absolutely essential if there is to be any solution achieved with respect to mideast peace.

Kerry ticked off the various stakeholders who need to be committed and who must lend their support to any Middle East peace solution. He said that the global community must support any solution. Kerry also said any solution needs the support of the Arab community, and he also made clear he intends to work with the EU, by consulting and working closely with Mogherini.

Here is what he said about the Middle East peace process:

The United States believes that any solution that is ultimately going to be achieved, if there can be one, is going to achieved on a multilateral basis; it needs the support of the EU, it needs the support of the Arab community, it needs the support of the global community in order to take effect. And we will continue to work, and I will continue to consult with and work closely with Federica with respect to that.

Apparently Kerry forgot that Israel’s support will be essential for any Middle East peace process. At least we hope he just forgot.

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.

Iran’s Best Shot Rapidly Approaching

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Iran is rapidly approaching its last and best chance with the United States to reach a diplomatic agreement over the parameters for its nuclear development program.

The November 24 deadline for the conclusion of negotiations between Tehran and world powers draws closer, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union senior adviser Cathern Ashton locked into intense discussions in Muscat, Oman, that began yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 9) and are continuing into today (Monday, Nov. 10).

The yawning chasm that separates the sides must still be closed before a deal can be reached to prevent Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon, according to U.S. President Barack Obama, who appeared Sunday on “Face the Nation” on the CBS television network.

“There’s still a big gap. We may not be able to get there,” Obama said.

One of the major concerns in the Middle East – and the rest of the planet – is the possibility that once developed, Iran can and probably would sell its nuclear arms and/or technology to the myriad terrorist groups it generously supports. Most of those have set their sites on the destruction of Israel.

But the month of January will also bring with it a whole new world in the House of Representatives and the Senate – and with that, a drop in Iran’s options for compromise as well as possibly any wiggle room for further discussion, period.

U.S. President Barack Obama at that point will also be far more limited in his ability to protect the Iranian regime’s freedom to expand its uranium enrichment, which has allow it to continue its race towards an atomic weapon.

During Obama’s years in office, Iran has managed to enrich uranium far above the minimum level required for development of military-grade nuclear fuel. He approved a number of loopholes and exemptions for countries such as China and Turkey in economic sanctions imposed on international energy trade with Iran. The sanctions were designed to force Iran into compliance with United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requests to inspect sites and recommendations for ensuring Tehran’s nuclear program would remain within the guidelines for peaceful civilian use.

Iran, for its part, has consistently refused to limit its nuclear production or development in any way, ever. The Islamic Republic has also vowed throughout each administration since 1979 — the Islamic Revolution — to annihilate Israel, including very recently, despite the current president’s image as a so-called “moderate.”

Turks Hate Everyone (Except Turks)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

A new Pew Research Poll found that more Turks dislike Israel than dislike either Hezbollah or Hamas. In fact, Israel is the most disliked country in Turkey, according to the poll, with 86 percent having an unfavorable opinion of the Jewish state.

Of course, Israel is portrayed by the leadership in Turkey as a detestable nation, so it is no wonder that the people share their leader’s view.

As Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has grown first slowly and now ever more quickly away from the policies of the secular heavyweight Ataturk, his belligerence and growing Islamic fervor has frequently found expression in his criticisms of Israel.

The most public ugliness between Israel and Turkey was over the Mavi Marmara disaster in May 2010. Erdoğan blamed Israel completely, loudly and with great fervor, despite the anti-Israel, terrorist-supporting Turkish thugs who attacked the Israelis (who were not permitted to use their live side weapons) boarding their ship when it attempted to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza. See the video clip at the end of this article. Ten Turks died in the ensuing meleé and Erdoğan, with his buddy Mr. Obama, demanded Israel both apologize and provide compensation.

Surely the Turks look favorably upon the United States. After all, U.S. President Obama has fawned over the Turkey’s leader Erdoğan, referring to his Turkish counterpart as his closest friend in the Middle East.

No, nearly two-thirds of all Turks have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S., and that less than loving picture has remained fairly constant for more than a decade.

But neither Israelis nor Americans should feel bad. The Turks don’t much like anyone. Other than Turkey. Almost four-fiths of Turks have a positive opinion about their own country.

How do other countries stack up in the opinion of Turks? Not too well. In addition to Israel, the U.S. and Iran being viewed unfavorably by more than three-quarters of all Turks, Russia, Brazil and China are disliked by well more than half of the population.

In fact, the only state which almost – almost – half of the Turkish population does not detest is Saudi Arabia, and still, only 26 percent have what they consider to be a favorable opinion of the Saudis.

Even NATO, of which Turkey has been a member for 60 years, does not rank high with the Turks. Only 19% of the Turkish population has a favorable opinion about NATO, and 70 percent have an unfavorable one.

But perhaps of greater interest is that well more than half of the population has an unfavorable (66 percent) opinion of the European Union, and only a quarter think favorably about the EU. Turkey has been trying desperately for years to join the EU. No doubt its star has fallen with EU members as well.

Another interesting finding is that although Turkey is currently on the hot seat with ISIS gaining strength on its borders, only half of Turkey’s population expressed concern about the growth of Islamic extremism in its country.

What does Israel really detest? Not so much ISIS. It is the tiny Jewish State which is rock bottom as far as the Turks are concerned. Only two percent of the population of Turkey has a favorable opinion of Israel.

UPDATE: With respect to the Mavi Marmari incident: The Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship were not unarmed, as was stated in the original version of this article,they had sidearms. But the Israeli soldiers were not permitted to use their sidearms when they boarded and that order remained in place for the first full hour they were on board, despite the brutal attacks launched on them as they repelled down the ropes, by the ship’s passengers, as seen in the video, above.

Can IKEA Put Together a Middle East Peace Package?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Sweden’s foreign minister has told her Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman’s that she would be happy to send him some IKEA furniture as a model for understanding how to make peace with the Palestinian Authority.

Lieberman, responding to Sweden’s decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a country, said that the peace process is “more complicated than self-assembly furniture at IKEA.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom shot back, “I will be happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put it together is, first of all, a partner. And you also need to cooperate and you need a good manual and I think we have most of those elements,” she said in an interview with CNN.

“If we want to use them also for the conflict in the Middle East and for peace, you need the partners to actually sit down at the same table.”

It really is a simple as putting a round peg in a square hole. If they don’t fit, you simply make the hole square or the peg round, depending on which one is Arab and which one is Jewish.

Israel has been making peace, or trying to make peace, with enemies for 3,500 years, but IKEA was not around, and now Wallstrom has come up with the solution that has been lacking for so many centuries. It’s kind of weird she did not suggest her magic potion for the Ukraine and Russia, Iran and the rest of the world, Obama and Netanyahu and Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber’s, of whom perhaps you, like me, know nothing about without a Google search on “Hollywood fight.”

But, really, let’s give Wallstrom a chance to build peace following the IKEA approach. Maybe she has something going that all of the king’s men and all of the king’s horses never came up with.

Forget Rabbi Kook, whose writings include the phrase that the Land of Israel is not a piece of property.

Forget religion, which always messes up logic.

Forget culture, which ruins conformity.

Forget a future. Just put the pieces together. The worse that can happen is that you throw it out after five years and by another peace package.

But is IKEA so simple, as Wallstrom indicates?

The Digital Trends website has written, “IKEA is a place of heaven for a lot of homeowners, renters and young professionals on a budget. Its furniture pieces are modestly priced and have a minimalist design that suits every kind of lifestyle.

“The problem with IKEA never was its pricing structure or array of furniture lineup, it’s what happens when you bring the box home and realize you have to put these funky-named pieces together yourself.

“Do you fancy a game of real life Tetris?”

The report continues that IKEA is aware that maybe its instructions are not so great, so it now has YouTube tutorials

Digital Trends is not so impressed.

“The MALM bed frame instruction video has been live for about three weeks, and the public’s verdict?

“I watched this and still didn’t understand,” one commenter said.

“IKEA’s YouTube representative responded to the poor commenter… But it’s not exactly the videos that users are truly having a problem with, it’s the basic idea that these instructions are not at all intuitive…. How is someone supposed to figure out how to create a computer desk out of piles of wood with just random figures and barely any words?”

Swedish-American blogger Ken Arneson’s blog offers some helpful insights on why Rabbi Kook was so right and why the simplistic view of the West repeats the idiotic mistake of imposing one’s culture on another.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/can-ikea-put-together-a-middle-east-peace-package/2014/10/31/

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