Posts Tagged ‘June’
Former London mayor Boris Johnson has told the Sunday Telegraph that the European Union is behaving like Adolf Hitler, striving to create a super-state. “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically,” he said.
Johnson is a leader of the campaign to pull the UK out of the EU at the June 23 referendum. At this point the polls show the supporters and opponents of leaving the EU are split almost down the middle. Johnson’s comments received strong criticism from opponents who called them “offensive,” saying he showed a “lack of judgement.”
For his part, Johnson argued that “fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”
A group of concerned British ex-pats and Israelis has launched a public campaign to encourage pro-Israel Britons to “vote leave” in the upcoming EU Referendum. The “Support-Israel — Leave Europe” website focuses on four major reasons why Zionists should oppose the EU and seek to weaken it by encouraging Britain to leave.
The Thursday, June 23 referendum will decide whether Britain should leave or stay in the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold the referendum if he won the 2015 general election, seeing as so many in his own Conservative party, as well as the UK Independence Party (UKIP), argued that UK voters had not been asked since 1975—when they voted to stay in the EU—whether or not they thought this was still a good deal for them. And since the EU has changed tremendously since then, controlling every European citizen’s daily lives, Cameron announced: “It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.”
The Brexit (combination Britain and Exit) camp believes the UK is being held back by the EU, which imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees with little in to show for it (Britain has held on to the Pound, unlike everyone else in the union who have switched to the euro, whose value is being controlled in Brussels).
The Brexit camp wants Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming over to work. One of the main principles of EU membership is “free movement,” which means citizens of all EU countries don’t need to get a visa to go and live in other EU countries. And, as Boris Johnson has put it so eloquently, citing historic examples, the anti-EU British object to the “ever closer union” and the move towards the creation of a “United States of Europe.”
The Bank of England on Thursday warned that a vote for the UK to leave the European Union would hurt the economy and send the pound sharply lower, MarketWatch reported. The central bank said the “most significant risk” to its economic forecasts concern the so-called Brexit referendum on June 23.
“A vote to leave the EU could materially alter the outlook for output and inflation, and therefore the appropriate setting of monetary policy. Households could defer consumption and firms delay investment, lowering labor demand and causing unemployment to rise,” the BOE said in a statement accompanying its decision to keep its key rate at a record low of 0.5%. The BOE also said the pound is likely to depreciate further, “perhaps sharply,” in case of a vote to leave the EU. The pound has dropped 9% since its November peak, half of which reflects the risks associated with the referendum, the bank said, noting that “there are increasing signs that uncertainty associated with the EU referendum has begun to weigh on activity.”
Nevertheless, Conservative Party MP Iain Duncan Smith, who served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions until March 2016, defended Johnson’s “historical parallels,” saying, “He talked about this nonsensical idea of trying to drive these different countries [together]. It’s a historical fact of life that if you go through Napoleon, Hitler, everyone else … I think the whole process of trying to drive Europe together by force or by bureaucracy ultimately makes problems.”
The Financial Times Brexit “poll of polls” shows 46% of UK voters want to stay in the European Union, while 43% would like to leave. However, the most recent poll, conducted on May 8 on a sample of 2,005 likely voters, showed almost the reverse picture: 46% want out, 44% prefer to stay, 11% are undecided.JNi.Media
A couple of days later, in an almost supernaturally handy turn of events, we had the answer: yes. The U.S. did exactly that at the end of July, agreeing to release five Taliban terrorists we’ve been holding at Guantanamo, in order to jumpstart the initiative – mainly ours – for talks with the Taliban.
Daniel Greenfield points out at FrontPage that in June, the Taliban offered to exchange U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for the five Taliban at Gitmo. The Haqqani network of the Pakistan Taliban has been holding Bergdahl since late June or early July of 2009, shortly after he went missing close to Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.
But the Gitmo Five were released without an exchange for SGT Bergdahl taking place. This will have to be a blow to his family in Idaho (not to mention a blow to Bergdahl).
It will also be another blow to U.S. credibility, already on the ropes. It certainly dents the credibility of detention as a deterrent to terrorism. Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, had a hilariously timed oped in Friday’s Washington Post online in which he argued that the Obama administration should declare that the “war against al Qaeda” – yes, that al Qaeda; the one that has our embassies shut down across the Muslim world this weekend – is over. Instead of acting on a war footing and killing terrorists, says Mr. Roth, we should be going with President Obama’s own expressed preference to “detain, interrogate, and prosecute” them.
Now, I have been a critic myself of Obama’s overreliance on drone killings as a method. And detention and interrogation, while important for intelligence gathering, are not methods of deterrence, nor is prosecution. I don’t argue for them as a substitute for drone attacks.
I’m getting those points out of the way so we can focus on what matters here, which is that detention is as close to meaningless as makes no difference, if we’re just going to turn terrorists loose anyway, to everyone we might have a yen to have “talks” with. The Obama administration, just a few days before his oped appeared, provided Kenneth Roth with a conversation-stopping answer to his proposition that we should kill less and detain more. The answer leaves Roth in the dust: whether we stop killing terrorists or not, we should release the ones we have detained in order to get terrorists to have talks with us.
I guess, technically, there would be a purpose for detaining a few from time to time, on the assumption that we may want to have talks with their comrades in terror in the future. This kind of preemptive hostage-taking is gang-and-guerrilla behavior, of course. The degrees by which the mode of thinking shifts from “responsible statesman” to “mob boss” are not subtle here.
In any case, we can reassure Mr. Roth that the U.S. ended the war on terror in 2009. Perhaps that’s not the same thing as the “war against al Qaeda,” but in the latter regard, Roth would do well to try and keep up: al Qaeda has been “decimated” and has been “on the path to defeat” for a year or more, according to the Obama administration.
The die seems to be cast; we can at least hope that God really does watch out for fools, drunks, and the United States, because our president certainly isn’t doing it. Given the reigning jumble of confused soundbites and incoherent actions that now masquerades as U.S. policy on the global threat of terrorism, we may justly ask, with our former secretary of state: what difference, at this point, does it make?J. E. Dyer
Two members of Congress are in Bolivia to press for the release of an American Jewish businessman who has been jailed there without charges for 18 months.
Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) arrived this week to seek the release of Jacob Ostreicher, a haredi Orthodox father of five and grandfather of 11 from Brooklyn, N.Y., who has been held in Bolivia without formal charges and bail since June 2011.
In a release Thursday, Smith, who has led congressional efforts to win Ostreicher’s release, said that according to Bolivian law, persons may be held without charges for no longer than 18 months.
Last month, authorities arrested seven people, including top government officials, for attempted extortion in the case.
Ostreicher has said since his arrest that corrupt Bolivian officials desired to keep him in jail in order to sell for their own profit the 18,000 metric tons of rice they confiscated from him and to extort him for money in exchange for promises to help get him released.JTA
The New York Yankees reportedly offered Jewish free agent Kevin Youkilis a one-year, $12 million contract.
Youkilis, a three-time All Star for the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in June, was leaning toward accepting the offer, a source told The New York Times.
The offer would have Youkilis play third base, replacing Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to be sidelined until next June because of hip surgery. The Cleveland Indians are also said to be interested in signing Youkilis, according to the Times.JTA
The New Israel Fund recently announced that it “is undertaking a comprehensive survey to identify those most involved in inciting racism and violence.”
Incitement to violence and intolerance is a particularly troubling problem plaguing Israeli society today. This problem is all the more severe when the incitement comes from respected public figures and political leaders. But will the New Israel Fund will also include anti-Jewish incitement which comes from the Israeli Left?
A brief online search unearthed a myriad of following examples which should be included in the NIF’s survey – all from the Israeli Left.
Incitement against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria:
“Fascism cannot be stopped with rational arguments. This can be stopped only by force, and when there is willingness to risk a civil war. When necessary, we shall have to forcibly deal with the settlers in Ofra or in Elon Moreh. Only those ready to storm Ofra with tanks will stem the fascist tide, which threatens to engulf Israel’s democracy.”
— Prof. Zeev Sternhell, Davar, April 4, 1988. Sternhell was later awarded the Israel Prize.
“My true contribution would be if I grabbed a sub-machine-gun, instead of a pen and pencil, and killed them.”
— Artist Yigal Tumarkin, Hadashot, September 28, 1988. Tumarkin was later awarded the Israel Prize.
“It a messianic junta, closed-minded and cruel, a band of armed gangsters, perpetrators of crimes against humanity, sadists, pogromists, and murderers, who crept out of some dark corner of Judaism… from out of cellars of bestiality and defilement… in order to impose their a bloodthirsty and insane blood worship.”
— Writer Amos Oz, Yediot Aharonot, June 8, 1989.
“The time has come to bury them.”
— “Peace Activist” and Gush Shalom founder Uri Avnery, HaOlam Hazeh, November 1988.
“They are not my brothers… [There] will be a civil war, [and] I will run to it… and I will crush their flesh with mighty blows, to rout them… I will go forth to the foe in order to fight, for once, a justified war… Much blood will be shed.”
— Editorial, HaKibbutz newspaper, August 1995.
“The Palestinians aren’t the first we drove insane. Look what happened to the Germans… What brought the Germans and brings the Palestinians to such hatred of us? … We have a tough history. We came here out of a Jewish experience and the settlements are messing it up.”
— Author A. B. Yehoshua, Ma’ariv, June 20, 2002.
In response to a question about what to do with settlers who refuse to willingly evacuate their homes: “I will say this in clear words: There is more than one ‘Altalena’ in the life of every state or nation… The political leadership in the State of Israel has already taken difficult decisions when the alternative was clear, and in the future the political leadership will have to take difficult decisions when the alternative is clear.” (Note: In the ‘Altalena’ incident of June 1948, the Irgun ship ‘Altalena’ was sunk by the Palmah, and 16 unarmed survivors who jumped overboard were then shot to death while trying to swim from the ship to shore).
— Former GSS chief Ami Ayalon, interview, Yedioth Ahronoth, November 14, 2003.
“If a settler child or two get killed, the settler parents say: ‘No problem. We’ll make four instead and all will be OK.'”
— Artist Yigal Tumarkin, February 13, 2004. Tumarkin was later awarded the Israel Prize.
“When I fashioned a pig wearing tefillin, I merely meant to display a fetish to deride those settlers, because settlements are idolatry. Because of them we’re in trouble with the whole world and our neighbors.”
— Artist Yigal Tumarkin, April 22, 2004, on why he sculpted a pig wearing tefillin.
“They should not try to frighten a nation — tens of thousands of whose sons were killed in wars to ensure its very existence — with [the prospect of] the shedding of blood in the cause of peace.”
— Journalist Yoel Marcus, Haaretz, “Don’t Try and Frighten Us with Bloodshed, July 9, 2004.
“If, heaven forbid, they will force us, we will be compelled to open fire [against the settlers]… It will be necessary to pull the trigger, slowly, responsibly, coolheadedly, and intelligently.”
— Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan, interview with Ari Shavit, Haaretz, September 5, 2004, discussing the prospect of a civil war against the settlers.
“The desirable thing here is that there be a civil war between Left and Right — a war between the settlers and leftists… Civil war is the way to solve the problem we face. We’ve tried all other means and none worked… long live death.”
— Filmmaker Judd Ne’eman, Ma’ariv, July 7, 2011.
Incitement against various Religious Jewish Communities in Israel:
“The settlers are lunatics, I get angry even if I only hear about them… I cannot tolerate small children with peyot [sidelocks], that they have a mori [traditional Yemenite teacher], who teaches them to be Yemenites and not Israelis. I wanted to grab their mori and break his bones.”
— Actor Shaike Levi, Yedioth Aharonot, November 2003.
“The knitted kippot on the heads of IDF soldiers remind me of the swastikas worn by Nazi soldiers.”
— General (Res) Shlomo Gazit, public speech, March 1998.
“Secular Israel is the occupied territories of the religious parties. If the secular desire to live here, they have no choice but to start an intifada. Yes, I am prepared to throw the first stone.”
— Poet Yonatan Gefen, Maariv, May 1998.
“The hareidim should be hung from electric poles.”
— Editorial, Hadashot newspaper, October 1992.
“Only if we succeed in wiping out this terrible evil thing, the taking over of our life by the black devil, can we nurture all that is good in the state.”
— Former Meretz MK Naomi Hazan, Humanist Judaism Federation convention, 1992.
“When I see the hareidim, I understand the Nazis.”
— Artist Yigal Tumarkin, Tel Aviv Magazine, November 4, 1988 (see above).
“We have established anti-haredi reconnaissance units that will knock off the heads of the hareidim.”
–Tel Aviv-Jaffacity councillor Michael Roeh, Meretz party faction meeting, June 1998.
“The hareidim should be hung from an electric pole.”
— Professor Uzi Amnon, interview, Kol Ha’ir newspaper.
“The hareidim suck from the same sinister passions which nurtured the Nazis.”
— Meretz founder Shulamit Aloni.
“We have to storm Meah Shearim with machine guns and mow them down.”
— “Peace Activist” and Gush Shalom founder Uri Avnery.
“I would take all those weird people from Shas, Aguda, Degel HaTorah, tie their beards together, and light a match.”
— Journalist and Ma’ariv Editor, Amnon Dankner.
“Hareidim are dancing outside my house in central Carmel. Is it possible to ask Hitler to return for just an hour to help? … My hatred for hareidim such as they are is no different from to the hatred of Hitler for the Jews. I do not intend to apologize for this, nor I do not intend to understand, to include, or to accept them. So long as they are sucking [the blood] of this state — it is best that they should die.”
— Orly Mizrachi,Haifaleftist activist, on Facebook, June 4, 2012.
Incitement against Israel’s Prime Minister:
“I was angry, and I wrote that I had a wet dream that I shot Bibi Netanyahu twice. They didn’t print this. And why is it permitted to print… while they continually reject my wet dream about rubbing out Bibi Netanyahu?”
— Poet Yonatan Gefen, Maariv, 1996.
“We need to take a political decision and start fighting in an organized way. We should stop being so stately. We should cut off Netanyahu’s head.”
— Labor MK Ephraim Oshaya, Labor party faction meeting, August, 6, 1997.
“We should roll up our sleeves and shoot in all directions. I agree with Oshaya, who said we should behead Netanyahu.”
— Labor MK Eitan Cabel, Labor party faction meeting, August, 6, 1997.
Miscellaneous Incitement Against Jews:
“The Jew’s outward strangeness and the pretentious notion that God chose us… caused violent surrounding cultures to clash… with this arrogant minority… The image of the cunning, ambitious scoundrel, lending money at exorbitant interest, turned the bent, hook-nosed, bearded Jew into the enemy of civilization… which didn’t help belatedly-enlightened Jews.”
— Artist Yigal Tumarkin, op-ed, Hadashot, November 14, 1988 (see above).
“There is no doubt regarding the legitimacy of the armed resistance in the territories proper [as opposed to inside the Green Line]. Were the Palestinians wiser, they would concentrate their attacks against the settlements… instead of placing bombs on the western side of the Green Line.”
— Prof. Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz, May 11, 2001. Sternhell was later awarded the Israel Prize.
“If you want to picture what true peace is, then picture the head of Ehud Barak impaled on a stake… The only thing good about the wall is that one day we will be able to stand up all the people from the Labor Party and the Likud, and all those sons of bitches who man checkpoints; we can stand them all up in a row and simply shoot them all, one by one.”
— “Anarchists Against the Wall” leader Federico Gomes, Tel Aviv, Channel 2, September 2008.
“I call on the world to come and help break these scoundrels’ necks.”
— Dr. Eyal Nir, lecturer in chemistry at Ben Gurion University, Facebook, June 11, 2011, on people who marched through Jerusalem with flags on Yom Yerushalayim.
“There is little difference between Hebron youth and Hitler Youth, between the motivation and conditions of service in some of the IDF’s elite units and that of the Waffen SS, between Israeli soccer fans and those of the Third Reich, and between the Old Testament and Mein Kampf.”
— Hebrew University Professor Moshe Zimmerman.
“The common and well-worn motto is that the greatest part of the justification for the establishment of Israel lies in the Holocaust. If that is so, then we owe thanks to Hitler.”
— Hebrew University Professor Moshe Zimmerman.
So again, will the New Israel Fund will also include anti-Jewish incitement coming from the Israeli Left?
Ritual circumcisions have resumed in the Cologne region of Germany, ending a controversy started in a Cologne court in June, when judges decided ritual circumcision constituted “bodily harm” to boys and religious coercion.
Though the court decision only prevented Jewish and Muslim circumcisions in one portion of Germany, religious rights groups decried the decision and feared the legal precedent would lead to the ban of circumcisions throughout the country.
The groups invoked Germany’s history of religious intolerance and vowed to fight for ritual circumcisions in the courts and through public campaigns.
The Justice Ministry has issued new legislation to reinstate ritual circumcisions, but only provided that families endure a thorough medical elucidation of the risks and processes of circumcision by a professional, and utilize “the most effective pain relief possible” when performing the ceremony. The legislation is still pending.
Approximately 4 million Muslims and 120,000 Jews live in Germany.Malkah Fleisher