On October 31, 2016 – 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary — Sweden has officially declared World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg dead.
Wallenberg was formally pronounced dead by Swedish authorities, according to a report published Monday in the Expressen newspaper, confirmed by the Swedish Tax Authority. He is believed to have died in captivity in the hands of the Soviet Union.
The authority set the date of Wallenberg’s death as July 31, 1952, in accordance with a rule that a missing person is presumed dead five years after his disappearance.
Wallenberg dropped out of sight after his arrest by the Red Army in 1945. After an initial denial, the Soviet Union claimed in 1957 that Wallenberg had died of a heart attack in a USSR prison on July 17, 1947.
The decision to formally declare him dead was reached on October 26 after an application from Wallenberg’s trustee, according to the Associated Press, quoting Pia Gustafsson, head of the Swedish Tax Authority’s legal department.
The Swedish envoy is credited with having saved the lives of at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.
Calling Bob Dylan. Calling Bob Dylan. Uh, hello? Bob? Mr. Dylan, sir? You’re on in …. wow, man, you’re missing your cue altogether. What’s the deal there, buddy?
Legendary folk music artist and song writer Bob Dylan, 75, has still not responded to calls from the Royal Swedish Academy, telling him that he has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Nor has he mentioned the honor even once before, during or after several performances he’s played, in the nearly two weeks since.
One might wonder if the prize will be revoked, given the discourteous behavior of the world-renowned performer.
But the Nobel Prize Committee and its foundation are made of sterner stuff. Apparently, one cannot refuse the title, although one can certainly refuse the prize money – a check for $900,000. The statues of the Nobel Foundation state that Nobel Prizes cannot ever be returned or rescinded.
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, calmly told The Telegraph last week that whether Dylan attends the award ceremony, or acknowledges his receipt of the honor, is irrelevant. “If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come,” she told the site. “It will be a big party in any case and the honor belongs to him.”
Danius told Sweden’s state radio station, SR: “Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough.”
Sweden’s King Carl Gustav is expecting to present the performer with the Nobel Prize at the awards ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10 – if the musician attends. It won’t be a total surprise if he is a no-show, however: Dylan has been rude before, skipping a ceremony at the White House in 2010 where he was to receive the National Medal for the Arts, and skipping a similar award from the Crown Prince of Spain in 2007.
Dylan apparently did decide in 2012, however, that it was important enough to show up at the White House to allow U.S. President Barack Obama to present him with the presidential medal of freedom.
As for the Nobel awards ceremony, Danius is still optimistic, telling media: “I am not at all worried. I think he will show up.”
by Ilana Messika
The Zionist Federation in Sweden organized its fifth annual rally on Sunday under the theme of “Taking Back Zionism” in order to attempt to re-acquaint the Swedish public with the original Zionist concept, so as to confront the term’s misappropriation by the media and state institutions.
“The main goal of the rally is to create a safe forum for Jews and non-Jews alike to safely declare their pro-Zionist sentiments,” Swedish Zionist Federation Director Saskia Pantell told Tazpit Press Service.
“The objective is also to re-educate the Swedish population about the meaning of Zionism as the basic human right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland. As such, being a Zionist is not confined solely to the Jewish population, but to all political and religious streams,” she added.
“The meaning of Zionism has been distorted; in Sweden it tends to symbolize right-wing extremists,” Jewish Swedish Student Union Chairwoman Nina Tojzner explained to TPS.
“Jewish youth need Israel as a safe haven to secure the future of the Swedish Jewish community due to the direction that anti-Semitism is taking in our country,” elaborated Tojzner. “We have to be able to support Israel openly without fear of harassment.”
In a paper published in June 2016, Swedish scholars Lars Dencik and Karl Marosi noted a significant discrepancy between figures recorded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2013 and a survey of Swedish Jews conducted that year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights (FRA).
The ADL claimed that four percent of the population in Sweden exhibited classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, while the FRA survey showed that 60 percent of Swedish Jews considered anti-Semitism to be a fairly-to-very big problem in their country.
The paper, published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, attributed the disparity to the fact that the criteria the ADL used to record anti-Semitism did not take into account what is now called “new anti-Semitism,” expressed in the form of opposition to Israel and the demonization of Zionism.
“I believe anti-Zionism is the new form of anti-Semitism and thus the institutional disdain for Zionism is actually an extension of classic Swedish anti-Semitism under the guise of political correctness,” Pantell declared.
“For example, most cases of hate crimes do not even make it to trial because they are dismissed beforehand as expressions of ‘anti-Zionism’ rather than expressions of anti-Semitism,” said Pantell. “As such, Jews in Sweden are afraid to express their Jewishness and their Zionism in public.”
Israeli-Swedish relations have been especially strained since Sweden became the first EU member in Western Europe to officially recognize a Palestinian Authority state in October 2014, and since Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström recently declared the Israel-PA conflict to be a causal factor in the Paris terror attacks of November 2015.
“The Swedish media and governmental institutions are decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-BDS and we have already received death and bomb threats that have attempted to disrupt the rallies,” noted Pantell.
“However, this is our fifth rally and there has been a noticeable amelioration in the attitude of the Swedish collective towards Zionism,” Pantell claimed. “It is especially noticeable this year through the participation of Ebba Busch Thor, a member of the Christian Democrats Party in the Swedish parliament.”
A number of Israeli political figures attended the rally, such as the Israeli Ambassador to Stockholm Isaac Bachman and Yesh Atid party chairman MK Yair Lapid. Lapid had also been involved in the March 2016 pro-Israel rally outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva as part of his efforts against the BDS movement.
Just two days after two Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists ritually sacrificed an elderly Catholic priest by slitting his throat on the altar of his own church as he was serving Mass, the people of France has once again bestowed the title of “Honorary Citizen” upon another cold-blooded terrorist killer.
Palestinian Authority terrorist Marwan Barghouti is the darling of the movement to create a new Arab state nestled right up against the State of Israel. He is also popular on the Palestinian Authority street, where citizens still vote for him during elections though he is sitting in a jail cell. Hamas has attempted during every parlay with Israel to free him; but he is one of the terrorist prisoners least likely to ever be released.
The leader of the Tanzim paramilitary terrorist organization, Marwan Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the particularly brutal murders of five Israelis. Among the dead was a 3-year-old girl.
That doesn’t include the deaths of the “hundreds of civilians, both Israelis and citizens of other states,” that he is also responsible for, said Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Ben-Nun (Bin Nun) in an open letter published in France.
This is the eighth time since 2009 that Paris has bestowed the honor upon Barghouti. No fewer than 20 cities in France have honored the child-killer with the title of “honorary citizen,” according to the French L’Humanite newspaper.
None have invited him to come live within their municipal boundaries, however.
Ben-Nun expressed “deep shock and worry” in her letter, saying that French officials who pay tribute to Barghouti are “not only guilty of supporting terrorism but also have denied values that are cherished in both France and Israel.”
There have been repeated struggles between Israel and France over the latter’s attempts to portray Barghouti as a folk hero, including one attempt this past spring by Paris to present the killer to the world as some sort of “Nelson Mandela.”
In fact, a Paris auction house was ordered to remove a painting in which the chief of the Tanzim terrorist organization was actually presented as a Palestinian Authority version of the South African president and leader. “Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist in the 1950s,” wrote the artist in the inscription.
But the Paris government didn’t issue the order until the auction house received a letter from the Israeli embassy, expressing disapproval of the comparison made by the artist between Mandela and Barghouti. The letter pointed out that Mandela opposed violence; Barghouti, on the other hand, is a real terrorist and a convicted killer. He is serving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the heinous murders he committed.
He’s the kind of terrorist who would fit right in with the bloodthirsty murderers who slaughtered the 84-year-old priest who was celebrating Mass at the altar of his church two days ago, and who forced his fellow priest to film the event as they did so.
Perhaps that’s why France again has awarded him the honor, so close to the barbaric murder of the gentle man of God in Normandy?
Equally strangely, both chambers of the Belgian Parliament voted in May 2016 to nominate Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize. A letter was sent to the Nobel Committee in which the killer was called a “peace activist and a key figure in Palestinian-Israeli settlement.”
In terrorist-besieged Belgium, this is akin to something like the Stockholm Syndrome.
One wonders whether any of the security officials in either of these countries have considered the message being sent to the world’s terrorist community — and it is a real community, make no mistake — and how that warm welcome gets played to the budding lone wolves being recruited online.
Could be the leadership may only be ‘talking the talk’ about declaring “war on terror” for the cameras.
If so, then it looks like Brexit came just in time.
The Stockholm Air Traffic Authority grounded all aircraft on Thursday due to a “network communications” problem.
“No planes are allowed to take off at the moment and we’re taking down the planes in the air,” said spokesman Per Froberg. “It’s a network communications problem.” Froberg declined to provide further details.
The move came just as Egyptian and French officials were informing media that Egypt Air Flight MS804 had crashed earlier in the day in the Mediterranean Sea. No cause has yet been determined for the tragedy.
Members of Belgium’s parliament on Wednesday nominated Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize, referring to the security prisoner serving five life sentences as the “Palestinian Mandela” and a symbol of peace. The recommendation cited a group of Nelson Mandela’s fellow prisoners on Robben Island, who in 2013 called for the release of “Palestinian political prisoners” held by Israel.
Before we explore the decision and its possible outcome for Israel, it is essential to establish the differences between Mandela and Barghouti, lest a lie be allowed to be perpetuated unchallenged.
In July 1963, Mandela and about a dozen other members of the African National Congress, including three Jews, were arrested in their farm hideout, in the Rivonia suburb of Johannesburg. Ten of them were tried for recruiting individuals and training them to carry out attacks against the Apartheid government; carrying out such attacks themselves; serving world Communism; and raising funds abroad for their illegal enterprise. Mandela spent the next 18 years in prison.
Barghouti, on the other hand, was convicted of 5 counts of murder of innocent civilians, including authorizing and organizing the March 2002 seafood market attack in Tel Aviv in which 3 civilians, including a Druze policeman, were murdered. He was given five life sentences for five murders altogether, and 40 years imprisonment for an attempted murder.
Now that we’re clear on the differences between the South African and the Arab terrorist, we should note that it is hard to imagine the Norwegian parliament not giving the Nobel peace prize to Marwan Barghouti. In fact, if the Netanyahu government had not been rattled this week by right-shifting coalition changes, it could be expected to support the award, at least tacitly.
Marwan Barghouti, with his record as the leader of the First and Second Intifadas, may be the only viable alternative to rule the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas (81) leaves office–most likely on a stretcher. Barghouti has the political skills and experience to run the PA effectively. In fact, at one time he said he supported the peace process, but when he realized that Israel was not ready to capitulate on key issues such as the right of return for Arabs, or the unhindered formation of a terrorist haven on its borders, he launched the 2000 Al-Aqsa Intifada.
At this point, outside the Gaza Strip, only Marwan Barghouti has the street cred and the political wherewithal to rule the PA, which should be a source of concern to Israel. Indeed, this is the final outcome of the Oslo fiasco, the fact that the only legitimate leadership alternatives in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria are murderous criminals with Jewish blood on their hands.
This is the entire rationale of the Belgian nomination, which tells the Norwegian prize committee: “By granting the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who embodies the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, but also their aspiration to achieve peace, a leader who can unite Palestinians around a political project that clearly includes a two-state solution on 1967 borders, more threatened than ever by colonization and the absence of a political horizon, the Committee for the Nobel Prize would be helping to resurrect the indispensable hope of creating a way out of the current [political] impasse.”
And they emphasize: “Peace requires the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all of the political prisoners, and more generally the freedom of the Palestinian people living for decades under occupation.”
It’s a well crafted proposal and, as we mentioned, it is very likely going to yield the authors’ desired outcome. It follows two earlier endorsements of Barghouti, one by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the other by a unanimous vote of the Arab League’s Arab Parliament. Once Barghouti gets the nomination, Israel would be urged by all its many friends and well-wishers around the world to respond in kind with its own magnanimous gesture, release the glorious leader from his jail cell and put him on a (roundtrip) flight to Stockholm. The word “opportunity” would be thrown around a lot, and although Barghouti would not offer even one measly concession more than Abbas has done—in fact, he’d likely cut down on all that Abbas “good will”—Israel would still be perceived as the oppressor and illegal occupier, while the new peace prize winner would be crowned king of peace. In fact, whether it lets Barghouti out or doesn’t, Israel would still be condemned.
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, has issued a length report to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that calls for withdrawing recognition of Israel unless Jerusalem recognizes the PA.
The Ma’an News Agency, based n Bethlehem and with close ties to the Palestinian Authority, reported Thursday:
In a report entitled ‘Determining Palestinian-Israeli relations: Changing, not merely improving, the situation’ the PLO official recommends that the Palestinian leadership consider retracting its recognition of Israel until the Israeli government issues a reciprocal recognition of a Palestinian state.
As seen in the video below, Yasser Arafat in 1988 explicitly said at a Stockholm press conference:
We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.’
The declaration helped succeed in advancing the “peace process” by which the PLO, which is the superior body to what now is the Palestinian Authority, wrangled hundreds of concessions from Israel without any compromise on its part.
Arafat’s declaration fell short of satisfying American demands that it recognize Israel’s right to exist under U.N. resolutions 242 and 348 that were the basis for a negotiated peace agreement that never happened.
Arafat also renounced terrorism.
Then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres recognized Arafat’s remarks for what they were and called them a ”cunning exercise in public relations” while lacking “a commitment in reality.”
Plenty of blood has been spilled since then, as is well-known by relatives of thousands of victims of Palestinian Authority terror.
Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Arafat after his death, brilliantly brought the Palestinian Authority to the brink of achieving its stated aim, but he has refused to recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state because doing so would make it almost impossible to force Israel into accepting millions of foreign Arabs into the country, leaving Jews as a minority.
Erekat now has gone even further with his report that urges the PLO not to recognize Israel at all, Jewish or not, unless the same recognition is given to the Ramallah regime.
The chief negotiator went off the face of the Earth and said, according to Ma’an:
Efforts [should] be made for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the PLO’s Executive Committee and [he] urged the PLO and Palestinian factions to support popular resistance and the boycott of Israeli settlement products.
The PLO official also recommended that the Palestinian leadership play a better role in assisting the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon and Syria.
At first glance, it seems that Erekat has lost his marbles.
He knows very wall that Israel will not recognize the Palestinian Authority because doing so would be an implicit agreement to turn over the country to Ramallah.
Erekat knows very well that inviting Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO executive would rip the cover off the Palestinian Authority as sponsor of terror.
He probably does not understand that the Boycott Israel movement has reached its peak and is going the way of the Palestinian Authority, a moribund entity.
So what could be going in his mind?
Considering the mayhem in the Palestinian Authority government, which this week dissolve or did not dissolve depending on which official was the last to speak, Erekat could be jockeying to replace Abbas, who is 80 years old and in the eight year of a four-year term to which he was elected.
Erekat fits the bill to take over the reins because the ambition of any Palestinian Authority leader is exactly the opposite of what the world thinks it wants.
Neither Abbas nor Erekat want to see it become a state because it would collapse like a house of cards, all of which are jokers.