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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

MK Ohayon to EU Officials: ‘Don’t Let Antisemites Define Hate’

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Likud Yisrael Beitenu MK Dr. Shimon Ohayon met today in the Knesset with groups from the European Union, including a delegation of Members of the European Parliament and the EU Deputy Ambassador to Israel.

Among the topics discussed were the rise in Antisemitism in Europe, especially in light of the soon to be released survey by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) which shows a significant rise in Antisemitism over the last five years.

“Antisemitism in Europe is at its greatest peak since the end of the Second World War and there are now places on the continent where Jews can no longer live and many others where no outward expressions of Jewishness are tolerated,” MK Ohayon, who Chairs the Knesset Lobby for the Struggle against Antisemitism, said. “Europe needs to deal more seriously with this rise in hate which is creating an untenable situation for the Jews of Europe. However, to really fight Antisemitism, the European Union first needs a fundamental definition which law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies can use to prosecute those who target Jews and Jewish institutions.”

“I call on all relevant European agencies to recognize and legally ratify the Working Definition of Antisemitism as adopted in 2005,” MK Ohayon said. In 2004, the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), the predecessor to the FRA, released its first comprehensive study of Antisemitism in the EU. Soon after, the agency adopted the “Working Definition of Antisemitism.”

But while bodies like the American State Dept. make use of the definition, it has never been fully adopted by the European Union or any European member nations. Earlier this year, a British college lecturer took legal action against the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK in the face of what he argued was institutional Antisemitism, which included the union’s decision to reject the EU Working Definition of Antisemitism, thus allowing rampant manifestations of hate against Jews on British university campuses.

“The lack of a unified and vigorous definition means that antisemites will continue to act with impunity knowing that their actions cannot be prosecuted,” MK Ohayon said. “We must not allow antisemites to define hate. Jews need protection before the law and the law needs guidance or it will be rendered useless and irrelevant.”

“There are many antisemites who have been fighting against the ‘Working Definition’ for many years, so they can continue their attacks on Jews and the Jewish State. The European Union needs to tell these people that their racism and hatred will no longer be acceptable and their actions will be punishable by the law.”

To read the Working Definition of Antisemitism, please click here.

EU Climbing Off the Limb after ‘Boycott Judea and Samaria’ Attempt

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The European Union is quietly trying to climb down from a weak limb it stood in July with a statement but Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton “that bilateral agreements with Israel do not cover the territory that came under Israel’s administration in June 1967.”

The Israeli government reacted strongly, and even President Shimon Peres objected to the policy. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Ashton’s bluff by saying that Israel would not participate in the Horizon 2020 program if she did not back down.

Since then, the EU has been excelling in acrobatics saying it really did not mean what it said. A high-level delegation from the European Union is in Israel this week to come up with a clever way to correct its “settlement guidelines” in a way that will not make it look ‘pro-settlement.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin warned that if there is no deal, the Horizon 2020 program, which gets underway this Friday, would lose out on Israel’s contribution of technology and know-how while Israel would lose funding for projects. ”As it stands, we cannot sign Horizon 2020. It would force us to discriminate against our own institutions,” Elkin said.

EU Boosts Trade Ties with Israel despite Judea and Samaria Boycott

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The European Union has brought 65 companies to Israel Monday and Tuesday to strengthen relations despite the controversy over its policy to bar grants for activities in Judea and Samaria.

The “Mission for Growth” was headed by European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani and is focused on space technologies, information and communication technology and tourism.

There is great potential for cooperation in this area because Israel resides in an area suffering from a shortage of water. Tajani met with Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett Tuesday to open an EU-Israel” Business Round Table” and sign a “letter of intent” on industrial cooperation.

The mission is in stark contrast to the EU’s policy to officially bar grants for activities in Judea and Samaria, but the European Union has denied that its objections to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria are designed to stop Israeli companies from operating there.

“There is no requirement in the guidelines that states that beneficiaries of EU grants not operate in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,’ the EU stated to a pro-Arab website.

Turkey: A House Divided

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute

There is no doubt that the Gezi Park demonstrations in May and June, which spread to most of Turkey, represent a seismic change in Turkish society and have opened up fault lines which earlier may not have been apparent. What began as a demonstration against the “development” of a small park in the center of Istanbul ended as a widespread protest against the AKP government — and particularly Prime Minister Erdoğan’s authoritarian rule.

The European Commission in its latest progress report on Turkey has recognized this change when it writes of “the emergence of vibrant, active citizenry;” and according to Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, who in the report is praised for his conciliatory role, this development is “a new manifestation of our democratic maturity.” The Turkish government, however, has chosen to see these demonstrations as a challenge to its authority and has reacted accordingly.

The report mentions various repressive measures taken by the government, including the excessive use of force by the police, columnists and journalists being fired or forced to resign after criticizing the government, television stations being fined for transmitting live coverage of the protests and the round-up by the police of those suspected of taking part in the demonstrations.

However, there is, in the EU report, no mention of the campaign of vilification led by the Prime Minister against the protesters, or reprisals against public employees who supported or took part in the protests; also, measures taken to prevent the recurrence of mass protests, such as tightened security on university campuses, no education loans for students who take part in demonstrations and a ban on chanting political slogans at football matches.

Not only the demonstrators themselves have been targeted but also the international media, which Prime Minister Erdoğan has accused of being part of an international conspiracy to destabilize Turkey. The “interest rate lobby” and “the Jewish diaspora” have also been blamed. As the Commission notes, the Turkish Capital Markets Board has launched an investigation into foreign transactions to account for the 20% drop on the Istanbul Stock Exchange between May 20 and June 19, which had more to do with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering than the Gezi Park protests.

In August, however, a report on the Gezi Park protests by the Eurasia Global Research Center (AGAM), and chaired by an AKP deputy, called the government’s handling of the situation “a strategic mistake” and pointed out that democracy-valuing societies require polls and dialogue between people and the local authorities.

Polarization

The Commission is correct, therefore, when it concludes that a divisive political climate prevails, including a polarizing tone towards citizens, civil society organizations and businesses. This conclusion is reinforced by the observation that work on political reform is hampered by a persistent lack of dialogue and spirit of compromise among political parties. Furthermore, the report emphasizes the need for systematic consultation in law-making with civil society and other stakeholders.

This division was underlined by Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek in June, when, at a conference, he deplored the lack of a spirit of compromise in intellectual or political circles. This lack is not only illustrated by the occasional fistfight between parliamentary deputies, but also when the AKP government in July voted against its own proposal in the mistaken belief that it had been submitted by the opposition. Or when the opposition two days later passed its own bill while the government majority had gone off to prayers.

President Gül, in a message of unity to mark the start of Eid al-Fitr (in August, at the end of Ramadan), had called on Turkey to leave polarization behind and unite for the European Union membership bid. But to create a united Turkey will be difficult, given the attitude of the present government. Even the democratization package presented by Prime Minister Erdoğan at the end of September does not indicate any substantive change in the government’s majoritarian approach to democracy.

Irrespective of the Prime Minister’s reference to international human rights and the EU acquis [legislation], both lifting the headscarf ban for most public employees and a number of concessions to the Kurdish minority can be seen as a move to boost Erdoğan’s popularity ahead of the local elections in March.

While the US Is Aiding Abbas, the EU Says He’s Crooked

Monday, October 14th, 2013

A London newspaper report of a  European Union audit citing gross corruption in the Palestinian Authority is the latest, but not the last, exposure of a PA regime that is a decaying creature living on borrowed time.

In August, the United States signed a $148 million agreement with the Palestinian Authority to support the budget in Ramallah.

U.S. Consul General Michael Ratney stressed how much the Obama administration supports Abbas government in order to strengthen its institutions, all part of the master plan to show that the Palestinian Authority functions as a state. All it needs, according to the U.S. State Dept., is the stamp of approval that it is a country.

The very idea of creating a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders is a dream for President Barack Obama, so he had no trouble in August to waive restrictions set by Congress to send more tax dollars to Ramallah,  part of a prize for resuming the so-called peace talks that are rapidly on their way to joining previous discussions in the grave from which they were exhumed in July.

Shortly after the U.S. aid, France and the Palestinian Authority signed a $15 million agreement to bail out Abbas’ depleted coffers, which have a bottom line of approximately minus $500 million.

Hamdallah then met EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, one of Israel’s biggest thorns in the you know where, to ask for more money.

When it comes to schooring, Abbas has it all over the Jews.

As usual, the PA says it needs money because Israel is choking it as well as Gaza with the famous siege that does not exist., except for that which the Egyptian military regime has imposed. But  that does not count since it is not part of the Zionist lobby.

Make no mistake about it, says Abbas. “Israel exploits our resources and lands which directly leads to an increase in the deficit which we must contend with,” and “the central reason for this is the Israeli occupation.”

That is the magic code word for Abbas to get whatever he wants. If there is not enough rain, it is because of the occupation. If it is Tuesday and not Wednesday, it is because of the occupation.

Now it is October. It’s salary time again, and guess what? Palestinian Authority  Finance Minister Shukri Bishara told Abbas it has no money to pay its workers, who officially comprise nearly 8 percent of the total population in Judea and Samaria, but in fact the number is far larger.

It has been reported year after that the Palestinian Authority is a welfare state and that it cannot exist on its own.

Anyone who simply travels through Judea and Samaria can see for himself huge villas and thousands of luxury cars. What people don’t see, or don’t want to see, is that many of those homes and cars were paid for by the billions of dollars a year that are controlled by officials who make Congressmen’s pork barrel look like small potatoes.

The Times of London revealed Sunday that a European Union audit shows that corruption and mismanagement managed to waste about $2 billion, which is three or four times the annual deficit and also is nearly equal to the total amount of money the EU has given to the Palestinian Authority in the four-year period ending last year.

This is no news to Palestinian Authority Arabs. The EU auditors could have saved themselves a lot of work and trouble if they simply had asked the local Arabs, just like pollsters did last year, when they discovered that an overwhelming 71 percent of Arabs believe that there is corruption in their government.

In order to boost the confidence of Abbas to remain corrupt, Uncle Sam will pay out approximately $440 million to Ramallah this years, which is less than the $513.4 million doled out last year but still $440 million more than zero, not including support for UNRWA.

Aid to Israel is in the billions, but a large part of it is funneled right back into the United States for purchases of Made in USA defense components.

In the case of the Palestinian Authority, the only money that goes back into the coffers of the United States is that which Abbas forks over in restaurants when schnooring in Washington.

EU Aiding Arabs To Dig in for Winter to Take Over Area ‘C’

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The European Union has donated tents to dozens of Arabs in Area “C” in the southern Hevron Hills to help them dig in for the winter in their attempt to create “facts on the ground” and take over the region that officially is under Israeli control as agreed in the Oslo Accords.

The Arabs, most of them squatters on acreage that was state land during the Jordanian occupation from 1949 until 1967, have used the tents for livestock and not just for families. The EU has donated tens of millions of dollars in recent years to move Arabs from the Hevron area into more remote areas of Area C to increase the Arab population.

Many of the Arabs go back to their former homes in the winter, but the sudden presence of the tents indicates that the EU wants to make their presence permanent.

The campaign has been accompanied by reports by Palestinian Authority media of alleged attacks on Arabs by Jewish residents in the area.

La Pen’s Right-Wing Party Makes Strong Gains in EU Election Poll

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

France’s right-wing National Front party headed by Marine Le Pen is leading the country’s two major parties in the polls for May’s elections to the European Parliament.

The Le Nouvel Observateur weekly reported that the party has the support of 24 percent of French voters, compared with only 22 and 19 percent respectively for the center-right UMP and Socialist parties.

The latest poll came as Alain Delon, one of France’s most celebrated actors, expressed his sympathy for the National Front and said he “approved” of the party’s rise, the European Jewish Press reported.

Other right-wing parties in other countries, such as Holland’s Freedom party headed by anti-Islamist Geert Wilder also might win more support. In Britain, the anti-immigration Independence also has won increasing popularity in polls.

Will Israeli Embassies in Europe Expand Services to Include Brit Mila and Shechitah?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

In response to the latest European ban on Brit Mila (circumcision), MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) has put forward the proposal to utilize the diplomatic immunity and extraterritorial status of Israel’s embassies, and allow Jewish families in Europe to perform their Brit Mila ceremonies within the Israeli embassy’s walls.

Jewish Home Knesset Member Nisan Slomiansky

Jewish Home Knesset Member Nissan Slomiansky

Slomiansky wrote to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin stating, “We are witnessing the winds of Antisemitism again blowing through Europe, this time under the guise of humanism and health. It started with the ban on Shechitah (kosher slaughter of animals) that began in a few countries such as Sweden and Poland and it is now expanding throughout Europe. Throughout Jewish history, since the time of Abraham, Jews have given everything to fulfill Brit Mila, and we will continue, with Israel, to do so.”

Slomiansky said that Israel must let European Jews know that in every European country where Brit Mila is banned, Israel will open the embassies to them, where, on Israeli soil, they can perform Brit Mila without breaking the (local) laws.

One wonders if the Israeli embassies will soon be building Shechitah facilities too.

Maybe its just time for European Jewry to return home to Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/will-israeli-embassies-expand-services-to-include-brit-mila-and-shechitah/2013/10/04/

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