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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘German’

Is Israel’s Response ‘Disproportionate’?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The fact that the casualty toll from the first days of the Gaza fighting was three Israelis and 30 Arabs “underscores what critics of Israeli policy called Israel’s disproportionate use of military force,” The New York Times reported on Nov. 17.

If the body count determines whether an army’s actions are justified, then the historical record contains more than a few surprises.

In early 1916, Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries murdered 16 Americans in northern Mexico, and then 18 more in a cross-border raid into New Mexico. President Woodrow Wilson responded by sending American troops, led by Major-General John Pershing, after Villa. In a series of battles between March and June, the Americans lost 15 men, while Villa’s forces suffered about 200 dead.

Did anybody accuse Pershing of using too much force?

Fast forward 25 years. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, left 2,330 Americans dead. The United States responded not with a raid of similar size, but a full-scale war against the Japanese throughout the Pacific, culminating in the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland. By the time the war was over, Japan had lost an estimated one million soldiers and two million civilians, including the approximately 200,000 civilians killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Was America’s response disproportionate?

President Harry Truman didn’t think so. Here’s what he said about using a nuclear weapon: “We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.”

The German blitzkrieg rained terror on London and other British cities every night for eight straight months from September 1940 to May 1941. About 40,000 British civilians were killed in those German bombings.

But in just three nights, the Allied bombing of the German city of Dresden claimed an estimated 20,000 lives. Other Allied bombings of Germany brought the civilian death toll there to far more than what the British had suffered.

The chief marshal of the British air force, Arthur Harris, had this to say about Dresden: “Attacks on cities, like any other act of war, are intolerable unless they are strategically justified. But they are strategically justified insofar as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier.”

Altogether, an estimated 3.2 million German soldiers, and 3.6 million German civilians, died in the war. Compare that to American and British losses. The U.S. suffered 362,561 military deaths in World War II. The British lost 264,433 soldiers, 30,248 merchant navymen, and 60,595 civilians, for a total of 355,276.

By the standards of today’s Mideast pundits, would that mean the Allies’ military actions were disproportionate?

More recent conflicts raise similar questions.

The Korean War, for example. Casualty figures are impossible to determine precisely, but there is no doubt that the North Koreans and their Chinese allies suffered many more losses than the U.S. and South Korea.

The U.S. lost 36,576 soldiers; the South Koreans more than 100,000 soldiers and some 300,000 civilians. By contrast, North Korean military losses were probably around 400,000, and Chinese fatalities were probably in the vicinity of 500,000. Together with North Korean civilian deaths, the casualty total on their side was well over one million. Does that indicate the Americans used disproportionate force?

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The U.S. and its allies came to Kuwait’s defense. About 25,000 Iraqi soldiers and more than 3,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. The U.S. suffered 294 losses; the other members of its coalition lost a combined total of 188. Did the Americans overdo it?

Consider Afghanistan. About 3,000 Americans were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The U.S. and its allies responded by attacking Al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters in Afghanistan. As of this writing, more than 2,000 American soldiers, and more than 1,000 other allied soldiers, have died in Afghanistan, as well as some 10,000 Afghan soldiers. Estimates for Al Qaeda and Taliban casualty totals vary, but they certainly number in the tens of thousands – far more than the Americans and their allies. Should we conclude that the Bush and Obama administrations have used disproportionate force in Afghanistan?

Dr. Rafael Medoff

Der Spiegel: Online Jihad Cool, Getting Cooler

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Jihad marketers are making militant Islam cool, according to a new article in Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper.

Berlin hip-hop artist Deso Dogg has catapulted to fame since taking the name Abu Malik and switching from rap songs like “Gangxta” to Anasheed – Islamic vocals in which he promotes the tenets of jihadist Islam.

To such a degree has Deso Dogg/Abu Malik (given name: Denis Cuspert) garnered a cult following, that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Berlin has requested that three of his songs be labeled harmful to minors due to their inciting nature

His rise to fame is just one example of ways jihadist Islam has taken to the internet to promote its message, according to a new study by the Berlin-based Foundation for Science and Politics, an advising body to the German government.

According to the Der Spiegel report, the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), the worldwide jihad promotion oranganization, was established only at the end of 2005 in Germany, and was quickly utilized by sympathizers of al-Qaida.

Its German leader, Mohamed Mahmoud, was arrested for a GIMF video threatening attacks on Germany and Austria in 2007, and was released in September 2011.

Yet after serving his jail time, Mahmoud continued in his mission, joining forces with Abu Malik to transform the western German city of Solingen’s mosque, the Millatu Ibrahim Mosque, into a nationally-known organization center for Salafist Muslims.

They set up professional, sophisticated websites drawing on youth culture to sell the Islamic message online.

And though Germany could systematically shut down those sites, the Foundation for Science and Politics says it may be too late to stem the tide of Jihad on the web.  According to the organization, Mahmoud’s jail time only serves to impress consumers of his product, and has led to the up-cropping of many smaller follower sites and blogs.

And now that Mahmoud and Cuspert have gone into hiding in the wake of a ban on Millatu Ibrahim Salafist meetings and police pressure against violent acts by Islamic groups in Germany, the two are underground heroes whose periodic online messages draw the excitement of a growing group of adherents.

While authorities can trace and infiltrate jihadist movements more readily online, the anonymity and ease of conversation has led to jihad’s greater cohesion and emboldenment.  No solution to the swell of jihad online has been found.

Jewish Press Staff

‘I Will Answer Only to Allah’

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

An Islamist radical convicted of stabbing two German police officers during a protest against “offensive” cartoons has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Murat K, a 26-year-old German-born Salafist of Turkish heritage from the western state of Hessen, openly admitted that he had attacked and wounded the two police officers with a kitchen knife during the cartoon riots in May. He showed no remorse, however, during his trial at the district court in the city of Bonn; he said he had been morally obligated to follow Islamic Sharia law.

Murat, whose last name has not been made known to the general public due to German privacy laws, claimed that the attacks on the police officers were justified because the German state had allowed offensive images of the Prophet Mohammed to be shown in public. Many Muslims believe that according to Islamic law, it is forbidden to depict Mohammed in images.

During his trial, the judge — who allowed Murat to wear a black jihadist headband in court — asked the defendant whether it was necessary “to use violence to defend Islamic values.” Murat, who was born in the German town of Eschwege, and whose family has been living in Germany for decades, replied: “Yes, of course.”

The judge then asked him to “imagine you are a policeman and it is your job to ensure order. In your view, would you be a justified target?” Murat replied: “Yes. The German state allows caricatures of Mohammed to be shown, so the police are automatically involved.”

The judge continued: “What if a court said it was all right for the caricatures to be shown?” Murat replied: “Your values make it possible to insult the prophet. Islam prohibits that. The price for doing that in Islam is the death sentence. You have your freedom of opinion, but as a Muslim, a believer, Islam must be my opinion.” Murat added: “One cannot expect from a Muslim that he remain calm when the prophet is being insulted.”

On October 19, the district court in Bonn found Murat — who is unemployed and lives on state welfare benefits — guilty on charges of causing grievous bodily harm, disturbing the peace, and resisting a law enforcement officer. The court sentenced him to six years in prison, in line with demands by state prosecutors, who had asked the court to sentence Murat to at least five years and nine months.

The Interior Minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jäger, applauded the conviction. “The verdict is a clear signal that in our constitutional state, brutal attacks against our police officers will be consistently punished.”

Murat’s defense attorney, Johannes Pausch, said he had asked his client if he would at least be willing to apologize to the policemen, not as state employees but as human beings. Murat refused. “It was not possible for him to show remorse,” Pausch said; “he believes he is right.”

Murat responded to the verdict by declaring German courts to be illegitimate. He said: “I do not accept this court as legitimate. I am not sitting here voluntarily. Only Allah alone has the right to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, what is moral and what is immoral.” Murat added: “I will answer only to Allah.”

The stabbings occurred on May 5, when more than 500 radical Muslims attacked German police with bottles, clubs, stones and other weapons in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany, to protest cartoons they said were “offensive.”

The clashes erupted when around 30 supporters of a conservative political party, PRO NRW, which is opposed to the further spread of Islam in Germany, participated in a campaign rally ahead of regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

Some of those participating in the rally, which was held near the Saudi-run King Fahd Academy in the Mehlem district of Bonn, had been waving banners depicting Mohammed (see photo here), to protest the Islamization of Germany.

The rally swiftly disintegrated into violence (photos here and here) when hundreds of angry Salafists, who are opposed to any depiction of their prophet, began attacking the police, whose job it was to keep the two groups apart.

In the final tally of the melee, 29 police officers were injured and more than 100 Salafists were arrested, although most were later released. Murat is the first Salafist to be tried for the violence; 22 other Salafists are still waiting for their trials to begin.

Soeren Kern

Report: Iran Planning Massive Oil Spill in Strait of Hormuz

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Iran may purposefully contaminate the waters of the Strait of Hormuz by performing an oil spill, according to a report in the German weekly Der Spiegel on Sunday.

The plan, codenamed “Murky Waters”, would block oil shipping routes in the Gulf. It would also drive up oil prices and force the west into an emergency cleanup in cooperation with Iran, which would likely reduce sanctions on the country.

The decision whether to implement the plan rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  It is the brain child of Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander General Mohammed Ali Jafari and Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi.

Malkah Fleisher

Germany Proposes Legislation to Protect Bris Milah

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

After a court ruling, that brought the future of Germany’s Jewish community into question, and reminded some of a darker time in German history, proposed legislation to bring resolution.

After months of debate, today the German cabinet decided to establish a new legislation which will clearly enable and support the religious practice of circumcision.

“It is without any doubt a very positive news, this enables the continued growth and development of Jewish life in Germany” says Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin.

The legislation which has been prepared by the office of the justice minister will add a new paragraph in the law (1631d) and will allow circumcision, if the parents are informed and willing and there are no medical dangers. The circumcision can be preformed by a mohel, as well, if the child is under the age of six months.

In May, a local court in Colounge ruled that a circumcision on a child was not allowed as it caused bodily harm. The ruling sparked a debate in Germany, and brought into question the future viability of a Jewish community there, and ignited a conversation around the world.

In August, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yonah Metzger, visited Germany and together with rabbi of the Berlin Jewish community, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, met with the justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and other government officials. During the meeting the Chief Rabbi explained to the minister the importance of having the circumcision done by a mohel in a traditional manner. The minister and her staff listened intently and assured the rabbis the government will do their utmost to try to find a positive solution.

 

Chabad.org

A Muhammed Cartoon a Day

Monday, September 24th, 2012

When Salman Rushdie mocked Islamic sanctities in 1989 in his magical realist novel The Satanic Verses, Ayatollah Khomeini did something shockingly original: He pronounced a death edict on Rushdie and all those connected to the production of his book. By doing this, Khomeini sought to impose Islamic mores and laws on the West; we don’t insult the prophet, he effectively said, and neither can you.

That started a trend of condemning those in the West deemed anti-Islamic that persists to this day. Again and again, when Westerners are perceived as denigrating Muhammad, the Koran, or Islam, Islamists demonstrate, riot and kill.

Khomeini’s edict also had the unexpected side effect of empowering individuals – Western and Islamist alike – to drive their countries’ policies.

On the Western side, Fleming Rose, a newspaper editor, created the greatest crisis for Denmark since World War II by publishing twelve Muhammad cartoons. Florida pastor Terry Jones caused panic for American commanders in Afghanistan by threatening to burn a Koran. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and friends prompted a crisis in U.S. relations with Egypt with an amateurish video, Innocence of Muslims. By publishing vulgar pictures of Muhammad, French weekly Charlie Hebdo is causing the French government temporarily to shut down diplomatic missions in twenty countries. Plans by the German satirical magazine Titanic to publish attacks on Muhammad have likewise caused German missions to be closed.

On the Islamist side, an individual or group took one of these perceived offenses and turned it into a reason to riot. Khomeini did this with The Satanic Verses and Ahmad Abu Laban did likewise with the Danish cartoons. Hamid Karzai goaded Afghans to riot over burned Korans by American soldiers and Egyptian preacher Khaled Abdullah turned Innocence of Muslims into an international event.

In brief, any Westerner can buy a Koran for a dollar and burn it, while any Muslim with a platform can transform that act into a fighting offense. As passions rise on both sides of the democratized Western / Muslim divide, Western provocateurs and Islamist hotheads have found each other and confrontations occur with increasing frequency…

Would repetition inspire institutionalization, generate ever-more outraged responses, and offer a vehicle for Islamists to ride to greater power? Or would it lead to routinization, to a wearing out of Islamists, and a realization that violence is counter-productive to their cause?Which prompts this question: What would happen if publishers and managers of major media reached a consensus, “Enough of this intimidation, we will publish the most famous Danish Muhammad cartoon every day until the Islamists tire out and no longer riot”? What would happen if instances of Koran burning happened recurrently?

I predict the latter, that a Muhammad cartoon published each day, or Koranic desecrations on a quasi-regular basis, will make it harder for Islamists to mobilize Muslim mobs. Were that the case, Westerners could once again treat Islam as they do other religions – freely, to criticize without fear. That would demonstrate to Islamists that Westerners will not capitulate, that they reject Islamic law, that they are ready to stand up for their values.

So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: display the Muhammad cartoon daily until the Islamists get used to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.

This article originally published by FoxNews.com on September 21st, 2012.

Daniel Pipes

Winners of “Face of the German Tourist” Contest Arrive in Israel

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

An Austrian couple is enjoying the sites in the Holy Land after winning an Israel Government Tourist Office competition for “the face of the German tourist in Israel.”

Some 350 couples registered to compete for the Grand Prize – a 10-day visit to Israel and participation in a film for the German tourist campaign, designed to encourage tourism from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to Israel.

The winners are Barbara and Roman Egger, a Christian couple from Salzburg, Austria, aged 38 and parents to  a 4-year-old girl.

In their application, the couple wrote “Whether it is in the desert, at sea, at the Western Wall or the Galilee, Israel has fascinated us for a long time. We are eager to visit and hope our smile will pave the way for our journey.”

Upon their return to Austria, the couple will hold a press conference and will participate with the Israel Government Tourist Office for a year on various advertising campaigns.

During the first half of 2012, approximately 132,000 tourists from Germany arrived in Israel, a 4% increase over the same period last year.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/winners-of-face-of-the-german-tourist-contest-arrive-in-israel/2012/09/12/

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