Category Archives: Israel

(DW) Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg slammed by Germany over Holocaust comments

(DW) Mark Zuckerberg has backtracked on comments he made about allowing Holocaust deniers to post their beliefs on his social media platform. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned Zuckerberg’s comments.

    
Mark Zuckerberg (picture-alliance/dpa/AP Photo/J. Sanchez)

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for saying that while he finds Holocaust deniers abhorrent, they should still be allowed to post their beliefs on Facebook.

Maas said in a tweet that “Nobody should defend anyone who denies the Holocaust. On the contrary, worldwide, everything must be done to protect Jewish life.”

Heiko Maas

@HeikoMaas

darf nirgendwo einen Raum haben.
Wer den Holocaust leugnet, den sollte niemand verteidigen. Im Gegenteil: Weltweit muss alles getan werden, um jüdisches Leben zu schützen.

FAZ.NET

@faznet

Guten Morgen, liebe Leser. Mark #Zuckerberg will Posts von Holocaust-Leugnern auf @facebook nicht entfernen und hat dafür eine sehr eigenwillige Erklärung: https://buff.ly/2mrkqUd 

In Berlin, the Justice Ministry also chimed in and said that Zuckerberg caused outrage by saying his platform should not delete such comments.

“There must be no place for anti-Semitism. This includes verbal and physical attacks on Jews as well as the denial of Holocaust,” said Justice Minister Katarina Barley on Thursday.

“The latter is also punishable by us and will be strictly prosecuted,” Barley said.

Heiko Maas in Yad Vashem (picture-alliance/dpa/I. Yefimovich)Heiko Maas recently visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial site

Zuckerberg made the comments during a recent interview with tech website Recode. He said that while Facebook was dedicated to stopping the spread of fake news, certain beliefs that were sincerely held would not be taken down.

The controversy began when Zuckerberg gave an unprompted example of Holocaust deniers to Recode host Kara Swisher to make a point about allowing hoaxes to be published on the site.

Zuckerberg was forced to backtrack after the remarks caused a backlash on social media. He said that if any post advocated violence or hate against a group, it would be removed.

Online Holocaust deniers a problem

There are laws in Germany that impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($58 million) on social media sites that fail to remove hateful messages promptly. Officials made it clear that Holocaust denial was a punishable crime and it was Maas who, in his previous job as justice minister, introduced the Facebook law.

Earlier this month, a study from the Technical University in Berlin showed that online anti-Semitism has become a “worrying phenomenon” in Germany. The study analyzed more than 300,000 entries from Facebook and other online forums.

The study demonstrated that the proportion of anti-Semitic content in German social media rose from 7.5 percent in 2007 to more than 30 percent in 2017.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said the study empirically proved that online anti-Semitism was increasing and becoming more aggressive.

Josef Schuster in a file photo at Augsburg Synagoge (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Puchner)Central Council of Jews in Germany head Josef Schuster in a file photo

Zuckerberg later sent an email to Recode to clarify his comments, saying that if something is spreading and rated as false by the site’s fact checkers, “it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed.” And added, “…of course if a post crossed (the) line into advocating for violence or hate against a particular group, it would be removed.”

Kara Swisher

@karaswisher

I got an email today from Mark Zuckerberg in which he clarifies some stuff we discussed: https://www.recode.net/2018/7/18/17588116/mark-zuckerberg-clarifies-holocaust-denial-offensive?utm_campaign=www.recode.net&utm_content=entry&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter  via @Recode

Mark Zuckerberg clarifies: ‘I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely…

The Facebook founder has attracted controversy for how the social network deals with content that is offensive to many, such as Holocaust deniers

recode.net

The episode was an unwelcome distraction for Facebook after it held a briefing on the company’s new policy to remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.

The new strategy being rolled out across the global social network was tested in Sri Lanka, which was recently rocked by inter-religious violence over false information posted on the platform.

A Facebook spokesman announced that the platform may remove inaccurate or misleading content, such as doctored photos, created or shared to stir up or ignite volatile situations in the real world.

Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules and are removed.

(Economist) Why Binyamin Netanyahu is fudging east European history

(Economist) Israel’s prime minister has reasons to suck up to nationalist politicians in eastern Europe, even if they revise their countries’ controversial history regarding Jews

YAD VASHEM, Israel’s national authority for research and commemoration of the Holocaust, is a staid institute, as befits its role, and usually shies away from political controversy. So a public announcement by its leading historians on July 5th, denouncing a joint statement by the prime ministers of Israel and Poland, which it said contained “grave errors and deceptions”, was highly unorthodox.

The statement had been issued a week earlier by Binyamin Netanyahu and Mateusz Morawiecki, to end a crisis in relations between the two countries caused by a new Polish law on the death camps in Poland. It had threatened fines or imprisonment for anyone who blames the Polish nation or state for their part in the Holocaust. Many historians viewed this law as an attempt by the conservative Polish government to revise history, by playing down the willing participation of many Polish citizens in the murder of 3m Polish Jews by Nazi Germany. After months of talks, the Polish government agreed to amend the law, deleting the criminal clauses. In return, Mr Netanyahu signed a statement saying that both countries “reject the actions aimed at blaming Poland or the Polish nation as a whole for the atrocities committed by the Nazis”. The statement also asserts that “the Polish government-in-exile created a mechanism of systematic help and support to Jewish people.”

The historians of Yad Vashem argue that this flies in the face of documentation and historical research which “yield a totally different picture”. Historians say the Polish government-in-exile did little to aid Poland’s Jews and that the Polish resistance, though it fought the Germans, “not only failed to help Jews, but was also not infrequently actively involved in persecuting them.” Though there had been cases of Poles saving Jews, these were “relatively rare”.

This forthright reaction from some of Israel’s most respected historians led to an unusually chastened answer by Mr Netanyahu. “I have listened to the historians’ comments,” he acknowledged. “I respect them and will give them expression.” But there was no question of his changing the joint statement with the Poles.

Mr Netanyahu’s move seems out of character. A historian’s son, he is deeply aware of the Jewish people’s past. Some complain that Mr Netanyahu has exploited the trauma of the Holocaust in his speeches, especially to warn against Iran’s nuclear programme and that he overuses the Holocaust for his political ends.

But Mr Netanyahu has a particular interest in keeping the Polish government happy. In recent years he has pursued closer ties with the central and east European members of the European Union in the hope that they will oppose the block’s support for Palestinian statehood and its members’ joint refusal to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also wants to weaken the EU’s commitment to abide by a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Mr Netanyahu has identified the Visegrad Four, consisting of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as his main allies within the EU.

The increasingly nationalist Visegrad leaders have given Mr Netanyahu a warmer hearing than he gets in Brussels or Berlin. In July 2017 he was their guest at a Visegrad summit in Budapest.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, is due to arrive on his first official visit to Israel on July 18th. Leaders of the Jewish community in Hungary have repeatedly condemned the government of Mr Orban’s Fidesz party for minimising the role played by the country’s regime during the Holocaust in the deportation and murder of over half a million Hungarian Jews. More recently, it protested against the government’s virulent campaign against the financier George Soros, whose Open Society Foundation sponsors pro-democracy groups in Hungary. The campaign against Mr Soros, who is Jewish, used well-worn anti-Semitic themes, portraying him as a “global capitalist” and puppeteer, who tries to control Hungary from behind the scenes.

Israel’s leaders have generally been the first to support Jews around the world on such matters. But Mr Netanyahu has pointedly refused to condemn the attacks on Mr Soros. He seems content to let Poland and Hungary revise history as long as they serve his political purposes.

(ynet) Panthéon burial honors French rights icon, Holocaust survivor Simone Veil

(ynet) Thousands of people gather in Paris to pay their final respects to Simone Veil a year and a day after she died at the age of 89; ‘She’s not going into the Panthéon as a Holocaust victim but as someone who overcame this horror and that’s why she’s in people’s hearts,’ one French citizen says.

Thousands of people gathered in Paris on Sunday to pay their final respects to Holocaust survivor and women’s rights icon Simone Veil as she was given the rare honor of burial at the Panthéon a year and a day after she died.

Veil’s death at the age of 89 prompted an outpouring of emotion as she had long been considered one of France’s most popular and trusted public figures.

The Panthéon in the heart of Paris houses the remains of many great French figures, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. But Veil is only the fifth woman to be buried there, being laid to rest alongside her husband Antoine, a high-ranking civil servant who died in 2013.

French Republican Guards arrive to carry the coffins of Simone Veil and her husband Antoine Veil to the Panthéon on Sunday (Photo: EPA)

French Republican Guards arrive to carry the coffins of Simone Veil and her husband Antoine Veil to the Panthéon on Sunday (Photo: EPA)

 

Their two coffins were escorted by Republican Guards through Paris from the Holocaust Memorial where they had stood for 48 hours to allow the public to pay their last respects. The coffins were then placed on funeral biers before carried by pall-bearers on a blue carpet leading to the Pantheon.

Among the crowds were many women wearing T-shirts with the slogan: “Thank you Simone.”

Simone Veil had long been considered one of France's most popular and trusted public figures (Photo: AFP)

Simone Veil had long been considered one of France’s most popular and trusted public figures (Photo: AFP)

 

“She broke every glass ceiling, in terms of women in society, but also that of (France’s role in) the extermination of the Jews: it was taboo,” said Bernard Greensfeld, one of those standing outside the Holocaust memorial.

“She’s not going into the Panthéon as a Holocaust victim but as someone who overcame this horror and that’s why she’s in people’s hearts,” he told AFP.

The 5th woman

Simone Veil was 16 when she was deported along with family members in 1944 to Auschwitz. Her mother, father and brother were killed in the Holocaust. After her return, she became a resolute advocate of women’s rights as well as European reconciliation, securing her biggest political victory in 1974 by convincing the French parliament to legalize abortion despite fierce opposition.

She also became the first elected president of the European Parliament in 1979, a post she held for three years.

 (Photo: EPA)

(Photo: EPA)

 

The move to have Veil’s remains transferred to the Panthéon began immediately after her death on June 30, 2017, with two petitions quickly gaining hundreds of thousands of signatures.

Until now, only four women have been interred there: scientist Marie Curie, Sophie Berthelot, who was buried alongside her chemist husband Marcellin Berthelot and two resistance fighters Genevieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz and Germaine Tillion.

A national decision

As the sun beat down, a large crowd gathered for the ceremony which was attended by members of her family, and a host of politicians and dignitaries, among them the former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.

At the ceremony, President Emmanuel Macron said the decision to bury her in the Panthéon was a decision taken by the entire nation.

President Macron stands by the coffins (Photo: EPA)

President Macron stands by the coffins (Photo: EPA)

 

“It is… what all French people wanted,” he said. “With Simone Veil, all the women that have made France are here.”

The transfer of Veil’s remains had began on Friday, when the couple’s coffins were exhumed from the Montparnasse cemetery and brought to the crypt of the French Holocaust Memorial in central Paris, which she helped found.

After Macron’s address, the two coffins were transferred into the Panthéon where the coffins will lie in state until Monday, with admission free until July 8.

(Haaretz) New Iraqi Leader Proclaims Jews Can Return: ‘They Are Welcome’

(Haaretz) Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who formed a coalition with a pro-Iranian political bloc, is known to call for ending sectarianism in Iraq.

Jewish writings on the tomb are seen at a Jewish cemetery in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq March 29, 2018. Picture taken March 29, 2018.  REUTERS/Wissm Al-Okili
\ WISSM AL-OKILI/ REUTERS

The newly elected Iraqi leader, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said that Jews, who were expelled decades ago, are welcome to return, Newsweek reported Tuesday.

Al-Sadr, who recently formed an alliance with a pro-Iranian political bloc, said that “If [Jews’] loyalty was to Iraq, they are welcome.” He stated that Jews who wanted to return would receive full citizenship rights. Currently, the Iraqi constitution does not recognize Judaism as one of the country’s official religions.

Iraq’s Jewish community is one of the most ancient in the world. Before Jews either left or were displaced from Iraq following the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, they accounted around two percent of the country’s population, around 150,000 strong. In 1951 most Iraqi Jews immigrated to Israel, to be followed in the following decades by the few thousand who remained. All in all, Iraq expelled 120,000 Jews, and today few Jews remain.

In this Dec. 29, 2015 file photo, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr speaks during a press conference in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq.
AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File

Al-Sadr’s political bloc, the Sairoon Alliance, won the largest number of parliamentary seats in elections in mid-May. Al-Sadr then announced that he was teaming up with a pro-Iranian political bloc, the National Iraqi Alliance, led by Hadi al-Amiri, in order to form a coalition.

The comments from the cleric come amidst political upheaval in Iraq, as the country is still reeling from a contentious election, which members of the political opposition have alleged was rigged.

Al-Sadr’s comments welcoming Jews are not new. He made similar remarks in a 2013 interview, saying he “welcomes any Jew who prefers Iraq to Israel and there is no difference between Jews, Muslims or Christians when it comes to the sense of nationalism. Those who do not carry out their national duties are not Iraqis even if they were Shiite Muslims.”

(AP) Poll shows deep divisions between Israelis and American Jews

(AP) An opinion poll published Sunday shows deep divisions between Israelis and American Jews, particularly in relation to President Donald Trump, highlighting the growing rift between the world’s two largest Jewish communities.

The survey of the American Jewish Committee showed 77 percent of Israelis approved of the president’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. Jews disapproved, while only 10 percent of Israelis did.

The polarizing Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocated the American Embassy there, upending decades of U.S. foreign policy and an international consensus that the city’s fate should be decided through peace negotiations. The Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as their future capital, were outraged by the move and cut all contacts with the U.S. in response.

Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported the embassy move, while only 46 percent of American Jews did.

The AJC surveyed 1,000 Israelis and Americans and had a margin of error of 3.1 and 3.9 percent, respectively.

The survey was released ahead of the opening of the AJC Global Forum in Jerusalem, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address later Sunday.

Netanyahu has forged a close bond with Trump, and their hard-line policies toward the Palestinians have strong support in Israel and among its Republican backers in the U.S. But most American Jews are Democrats who are highly critical of Trump and Netanyahu. Experts have been warning for years that the two communities are drifting in opposite directions politically, undermining the kinship between the two groups, which make up the vast majority of Jews in the world.

The poll showed 59 percent of Americans favoring the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel but only 44 percent of Israelis supporting the idea.

The communities share similar views on the importance of good ties between the “extended family.” But they differ greatly on matters of religion and state, particularly on the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over religious affairs in Israel. The vast majority of American Jews identify as either Reform or Conservative, the more liberal streams of Judaism that have a very small foothold in Israel.

On one of the most contentious issues, regarding a mixed-gender prayer area next to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, 73 percent of American Jews express support, compared to just 42 percent of Israelis.

(Haaretz) Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich Reportedly Immigrating to Israel

(Haaretz) Following Britain’s refusal to extend his visa, the Russian-Jewish billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich is seeking Israeli citizenship. Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption claims it has no such information

רומן אברמוביץ'
 Toby Melville/רויטרס

Following Britain’s refusal to extend his visa, the Russian-Jewish billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich is seeking Israeli citizenship, an Israeli daily reported.

Abramovich, who owns the British Chelsea Football Club, landed Thursday in Israel to finalize his aliyah, or immigration to Israel. However, a spokeswoman at Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption told Russia’s state-owned Sputnik news agency that she had no such information.

Abramovich’s British visa expired last month, according to the Israel Hayom daily. His previous visa was granted before more rigorous regulations were instituted in April 2015.

Abramovich will have to explain the source of his wealth to receive the new visa, according to reports. There is no evidence that Abramovich has done anything wrong, but the United Kingdom has scrutinized Russian businesspeople and diplomats more carefully since the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, in March. Several Russian diplomats were expelled following the incident.

Abramovich missed Chelsea’s Football Association Cup final victory over Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday night. He has owned the team since 2003 and has been present at nearly every game, until his visa problems began, The Jerusalem Post reported.

(OBS) O mito fundador que é a desgraça dos palestinianos – José Manuel Fernandes

(OBS) É fácil e popular culpar Israel por todos os massacres. Mais difícil é perceber que nunca haverá paz enquanto os palestinianos forem reféns de uma cultura de vitimização mitificada na sua “catástrofe”.

Nakba. A palavra árabe para “catástrofe”. Nakba, o mito identitário que os palestinianos celebram – o mito que enquanto for glorificado tornará impossível a paz e continuará a alimentar uma espiral de violência sem fim. Como a desta semana.

Vimos as imagens de violência, sabemos que morreram dezenas de pessoas, ignoramos que eram quase todos (50 em 62) operativos do Hamas e logo culpamos acefalamente ora Israel, ora o Presidente Trump por ter decidido transferir a embaixada dos Estados Unidos para Jerusalém. Mas quantos procurámos conhecer o significado de a campanha de manifestações e protestos ter sido baptizada como a “Grande Marcha do Retorno”?

E quantos fizemos estas perguntas simples: Retorno aonde? Retorno de quem? Retorno quando?

A resposta a estas perguntas dá-nos a chave para a eternização deste conflito sem fim. O retorno de que falam os promotores destas manifestações “não violentas” é o retorno dos palestinianos não aos territórios ocupados por Israel há meio século, na Guerra dos Seis Dias, mas a todo o território de Israel, a todo aquele território que resultou da guerra de independência de 1948. O retorno que reivindicam implica o puro e simples desaparecimento do Estado de Israel. O retorno com que sonham não comporta a presença de judeus no Médio Oriente.

A reivindicação do retorno está indissociavelmente ligada à celebração da Nakba, a “catástrofe”, ao que os palestinianos recordam como sendo a traumática expulsão de centenas de milhares de árabes das aldeias, vilas e cidades de Israel durante a guerra de 1948. A reivindicação do retorno traduz o desejo de voltar a travar essa guerra de há 70 anos na esperança de, desta vez, conseguirem o que na altura não conseguiram: empurrar literalmente os judeus para o mar até que não restasse na Palestina um só defensor da existência de uma pátria judaica.

Para compreendermos esta realidade não basta olharmos para as miseráveis condições de vida em Gaza ou elaborarmos longas tiradas sobre “a maior prisão a céu aberto do mundo”. É preciso recuar aos turbulentos anos de 1947 e 1948 e, em vez de remexermos nos arquivos e vasculharmos a memória à procura de quem cometeu mais brutalidades, mesmo atrocidades, nas diferentes guerras que cruzaram a Palestina entre o fim do mandado britânico e a consolidação do Estado de Israel – a guerra civil entre árabes e judeus, a guerra de ambos contra os ingleses e, por fim, a guerra do nascente estado judaico contra todos os estados árabes vizinhos –, ficarmo-nos pelo reconhecimento de que se criou então uma nova realidade. E essa nova realidade chama-se Estado de Israel.

Não tinha de ser como foi. A partição decidida pelas Nações Unidas, se tivesse sido aceite pelos árabes, teria garantido aos palestinianos um território mais vasto e Jerusalém teria ficado sob mandato internacional. Mas os árabes não aceitaram e os fundadores do Estado de Israel, com Bem Gurion à cabeça, prefiram aceitar, declarar a independência e depois lutar, mesmo que fossem escassas as hipóteses de, sozinhos, derrotarem cinco exércitos árabes (Egipto, Síria, Líbano, Jordânia e Iraque). Mas a verdade é que derrotaram.

Estima-se que, nessa altura, 700 mil árabes tenham fugido das suas casas nas zonas que ficaram sobre controle do novo Estado recém-proclamado.

A historiografia ainda hoje se divide sobre as razões fundamentais desse êxodo. Do lado palestiniano fala-se de limpeza étnica deliberada. Do lado israelita de uma fuga que teve muitos motivos mas que também foi incentivada pelos líderes árabes e palestinianos da época. Certo é que a maioria dos árabes fugiu então de suas casas, uns em pânico, outros por não quererem viver sob as novas autoridades, outros ainda forçados a partir pelo exército judaico.

Mas esses refugiados não foram os únicos que essa guerra gerou: ao mesmo tempo que os árabes fugiam de Israel, os países árabes expulsavam centenas de milhares de judeus que neles viviam, por vezes em comunidades com quase dois mil anos. O destino dessas vagas de refugiados é que foi diferente – tão radicalmente diferente que em boa parte explica a teimosa persistência do conflito.

Os refugiados judeus foram acolhidos por Israel e integrados no país que então nascia. Juntaram-se às vagas de refugiados que continuaram a chegar da Europa e da então União Soviética, e se a sua absorção nem sempre foi fácil, ela acabou por determinar o DNA do novo Estado.

Já os refugiados palestinianos foram – literalmente – atirados para campos de acolhimento provisórios mas onde ainda hoje vivem muitos dos seus descendentes. Os países árabes não os quiseram acolher. Os vizinhos árabes nem sequer permitiram a constituição de uma Palestina independente: depois da derrota dos exércitos árabes em 1948, a Jordânia anexou a região a que então se chamava Cisjordânia – hoje conhecida por Margem Ocidental – e o Egipto tomaria a seu cargo a Faixa de Gaza. Só quase duas décadas depois, na sequência da Guerra dos Seis Dias, Israel ocuparia esses territórios, assim como os Montes Golã, a norte, e a Península do Sinai, a ocidente.

Na prática os refugiados de 1948, espalhados por esses territórios assim como pela Jordânia e pelo sul do Líbano, ficariam como que reféns da estratégia árabe de nunca reconhecer Israel e de nem sequer aceitar a presença dos judeus na Palestina. Gradualmente a Nakba foi-se tornando no principal elemento da identidade palestiniana, uma identidade que não existia antes, nem no período do Império Otomano, nem sequer durante o Mandato Britânico. Com o culto e a celebração da Nakba veio também a reivindicação permanente do retorno, alimentada quer pelo discurso dos líderes palestinianos (tanto dos moderados como dos radicais) e materializada em relíquias guardadas nos campos de refugiados e mostradas em manifestações ou aos jornalistas estrangeiros, como as chaves das casas abandonadas aquando do êxodo de 1948.

Alguns perguntarão se não é razoável aceitar esse “direito de retorno” como forma de facilitar a resolução do conflito. A resposta só pode ser negativa e importa perceber porquê.

Antes do mais, o que é que nos ensina a história, nomeadamente a história europeia dos século XIX e XX, o que é que ela nos mostra sobre como tem sido possível manter a paz neste nosso continente? Muitos responderão que foi a União Europeia, mas se investigarmos um pouco melhor veremos que, para que esta fosse possível, a Europa passou antes, no quadro da primeira e da segunda guerra, por um gigantesco processo de transferência de populações.

Recorro ao insuspeito Tony Judt e à sua obra fundamental Pós-Guerra — História da Europa desde 1945 para recordar como nesse período as fronteiras foram redesenhadas e as populações rearrumadas. Ocorreu primeiro, e desculpem a brutalidade dos termos, uma limpeza étnica genocidária promovida por alemães e soviéticos, depois uma limpeza étnica profiláctica pacificamente assumida pelos vencedores. É esta última que nos interessa, pois é aquela com a qual podemos estabelecer um paralelo. Os números são impressionantes: a Bulgária transferiu 160 mil turcos para a Turquia; a Checoslováquia trocou com a Hungria 120 mil eslovacos por outros tantos húngaros; 400 mil jugoslavos viajaram do sul para o norte do país para ocupar o vazio deixado pela partida de 600 mil alemães e italianos; a Checoslováquia, para acabar com o “problema alemão”, expulsou três milhões de germânicos dos Sudetas, sendo que 267 mil morreram pelo caminho; 623 mil alemães foram também expulsos da Hungria, mais 786 mil da Roménia, meio milhão da Jugoslávia e mais de oito milhões da Polónia, neste caso sobretudo devido à definição de uma nova fronteira, 200 km mais a Ocidente do que a anterior.

O essencial destas “transferências de populações” foi decidido na cimeira de Potsdam entre as potências vencedoras e, ao contrário do que previu na altura Anne O’Hare McCormick, do New York Times, este não foi um “crime contra a humanidade” sobre o qual a história exerceu “uma vingança terrível” – foi quando muito, na interpretação de Tony Judt, um crime contra a humanidade que possibilitou uma novahistória. Uma história de paz.

É possível encontrar no passado do próprio Médio Oriente outros episódios semelhantes (com destaque para as trocas de populações gregas e turcas na sequência da Primeira Guerra), mas não vou continuar a dar exemplos. A verdade é que ao nunca aceitarem que a Nakba criou uma realidade nova e um país novo – Israel –, os palestinianos nunca procuraram realmente construir o seu Estado, mesmo quando tiveram essa oportunidade.

A situação na Faixa de Gaza é disso gritante exemplo. Em 2005 – ou seja, há já 13 anos – Israel retirou unilateralmente daquele território. Foi uma decisão do governo de um “falcão”, Ariel Sharon, e o exército teve de intervir para retirar os colonos que se tinham instalado naquele território que estava ocupado desde 1967. De imediato os palestinianos invadiram os colonatos e destruíram tudo à sua passagem. Passado pouco tempo os radicais do Hamas tomariam o poder em Gaza, expulsando a Fatah, e o território, que tem fronteira com o Egipto e poderia ter sido gerido com interferência mínima de Israel, passou a seu usado como plataforma para ataques usando mísseis improvisados ou promovendo infiltrações através de túneis escavados por baixo da vedação erguida na fronteira.

Claro que Israel tem muitas culpas em toda esta evolução e neste momento julgo que, lamentavelmente, a maioria dos seus cidadãos já nem sequer acredita numa solução de dois Estados, aquela que estava prevista nos Acordos de Oslo de há 25 anos. Não sei também se não teria sido possível evitar tantas mortes nos confrontos associados a esta “Grande Marcha do Retorno” (mas por isso mesmo não posso falar de “crime contra a humanidade”, conhecendo como conheço os métodos do Hamas e o seu absoluto desprezo pela vida dos “mártires” que mandou marchar em direcção à vedação fronteiriça).

Acontece que o meu ponto, neste artigo, não é esse. É sublinhar a impossibilidade de chegar a algum acordo de paz enquanto a identidade palestiniana estiver presa à Nakba e à reivindicação do direito de retorno, enquanto persistir numa cultura de vitimização e rejecionismo, o que significa que está prisioneira do conceito irredentista de que a própria existência de Israel é um acto de colonialismo e, por isso, um Estado ilegítimo que tem de desaparecer.

E também enquanto, para alimentar esse mito, os mais altos responsáveis palestinianos continuarem a defender que nunca houve judeus na Palestina, que nunca houve sequer um Templo de Salomão no monte onde hoje se situa a Esplanada das Mesquitas em Jerusalém ou mesmo que o Holocausto é uma invenção para justificar o apoio do Ocidente a Israel. Trata-se de um discurso adoptado ao mais alto nível, mesmo pelos supostos moderados: ainda no passado dia 30 de Abril, num discurso ao Conselho Nacional Palestiniano, Mahmoud Abbas, o sucessor de Arafat, defendeu que Israel “é um corpo estranho nesta região” e que o Holocausto sucedeu por causa do “comportamento social” dos judeus, nomeadamente por serem banqueiros. É verdade que já pediu desculpa por essas palavras, mas será que podemos acreditar na sua sinceridade quando na sua tese de doutoramento contestou os números do Holocausto e acusou os sionistas de colaborarem com os nazis?

Poderão os palestinianos algum dia ultrapassar este trauma? Poderão algum dia encarar a Nabka como uma das bases da sua identidade mas não como uma catástrofe que tem de ser revertida e vingada? É que enquanto isso não suceder não terão condições para construir um Estado capaz de viver ao lado de Israel, nem para serem uma nação capaz de se rever nos seus feitos e não nas suas derrotas.

Por isso não se iludam: a “Grande Marcha do Retorno”, o protesto que encaminhou dezenas de milhares de pessoas contra as vedações que separam Gaza de Israel nunca poderia ser definido como uma manifestação pacífica, antes como um chamamento à guerra. E foi precisamente a isso que assistimos.

P.O. (BBG) Iran, EU Face Uphill Fight to Keep Nuclear Deal Alive Post-Trump

P.O.

…Make no mistake…

…The Iran nuclear deal is dead and buried…

…Today’s announcement was only the public notice of the funeral…

…No deal can survive with a veto from the United States…

…Just imagine if the US’s legal authorities start going after all the world’s companies that deal with Iran, on reinstated full sanctions…

…No way Jose.

…Regardless of all the crap one might listen to…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(BBG) Donald Trump didn’t kill the Iran nuclear deal. He just shrank its membership by one.

That was the line taken by the European Union immediately after the U.S. president announced his withdrawal from the 2015 accord. Germany, France and the U.K. all said they’ll stick to their commitments. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he wants to see them deliver.

“I don’t trust these three countries either,” Khamenei said on his website. “If you want to have a deal, we need practical guarantees otherwise they will do the same as the U.S. If they can’t give definitive guarantees, it won’t be possible to continue.”

But it’s not clear whether the EU, China and Russia will be able to ensure Iran receives the promised economic benefits — including free access to international oil markets and accelerating flows of trade and investment — that persuaded the Islamic Republic’s leaders to sign up to an agreement capping its nuclear program.

Before Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he’ll pull the U.S. out of the deal, Western businesses had already been reluctant to take the plunge into a country still subject to multiple curbs imposed by Washington. The exit throws billions of dollars of European investments that had been planned into disarray. President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will push to make the deal work but may step up uranium enrichment again if the efforts of the remaining parties don’t yield tangible results.

“The international reach of U.S. sanctions makes the U.S. the economic policeman of the planet, and that is not acceptable,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday in an interview on France Culture radio. He branded Trump’s decision a “major mistake” and said he’ll lobby Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week to grant exemptions for European firms. French President Emmanuel Macron is due to speak to Rouhani later in the day.

Oil rebounded to trade at the highest level since 2014 with the sanctions aimed at cutting exports from OPEC’s third-largest producer. Brent for July settlement climbed as much as 3.1 percent to $77.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange and was 2.9 percent higher at 12:46 p.m. in the British capital.

Trump’s now promising to introduce a host of new restrictions that will test an economy already under strain. Iran’s rial has hit record lows against the dollar in recent months, forcing Rouhani’s government to impose currency controls. Protests that spread through several Iranian cities in December and January were linked to stagnation and rising costs of living, as the nuclear deal failed to deliver economic liftoff.

‘Wind Down’

In Iran’s capital, where many were glued to Trump’s speech on TV, 32-year-old masters student Golnaz said she’s worried that hard times may be ahead. “What if the Europeans also apply sanctions,?” she said by phone from north Tehran. “If people go back to those times when money was tight, food was even difficult for many to buy, it’ll be really bad.” She declined to be identified by her family name because of the sensitivity of speaking to foreign media.

“Iran will now turn to the Europeans and say: “This happened. What are you going to do?’,” said Amir Handjani, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

“Iran wants more than just political rhetoric from European leaders,” he said — and that won’t be easy to deliver. “It’s one thing for the EU to say we remain committed and we won’t take steps that will undermine the deal. It’s another for European companies and banks to trade and invest in Iran.”

The EU has policy tools available that it’s used in the past to protect companies from U.S. sanctions — but they’re often outweighed, in the eyes of executives, by the risk of losing access to the world’s biggest economy.

Pulling the Plug

French oil giant Total SA, for example, says it will pull out of a joint venture in Iran if Trump re-imposes sanctions and it can’t win an exemption. Siemens AG Chief Financial Officer Ralf Thomas said he is assessing the impact for business in the country and the company will always comply with export regulations. Volkswagen AG, which began selling vehicles in the Islamic Republic last year, also vowed to stick to the rules.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany will also be seeking talks with the Iranian government to work out what happens next, describing the U.S. decision as “grave.” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged Trump’s criticisms of the deal — Tehran’s ballistic missile program, the sunset clause on the nuclear restrictions, and its regional meddling — but insisted the accord should serve as a foundation for broader agreement.

“Those are issues are need to be addressed and we are working with our European and other allies to do just that,” May told lawmakers in London Wednesday.

Russia said late Tuesday it was “deeply disappointed” by the U.S. decision to pull out of the deal, and ready to work with other parties to keep it alive. China urged all parties involved to continue efforts to implement the agreement.

Rouhani said in a televised address that it was already clear the U.S. under Trump wasn’t committed to an accord also signed by Russia and China. He said his foreign ministry will start talks with all the other participants on how it can still be made to work. But Iran has ruled out renegotiation.

P.O. Bibi’s key words in the CNN video

CNN: “The nuclear deal we are discussing is premissed on the assumption that Iran will somehow become a peaceful country.

It is not. 

It’s became an Empire that is devouring one country after the other.

And that they are doing before they have nuclear weapons

This deal will give them unlimited enrichment of uranium.”

“Second it does not address their ballistic missiles in which they could carry the bombs”

That’s what this is all about.

Everything else is crap in my opinion.

FCMP

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.O. (FT) US decision on Iran nuclear deal ‘humiliating’ for Europe

…Of course it’s “humiliating” for Europe…

…But what Europe could expect after constantly trying to humiliate President Trump…?

…A slap in the face.

…And that is what Europe got.

FCMP

 

 

 

The FT’s US foreign policy and defense correspondent Katrina Manson says Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal is an ‘extraordinary shift for the transatlantic alliance’.

(GUA) Howard Jacobson: ‘Jews know what antisemitism is and what it isn’t. To invent it would be a sacrilege’

(GUA) I still think Britain is a fine country to be a Jew in. But it is as though I now live in the shadow of an unseen enemy

Howard Jacobson.
 Howard Jacobson. Photograph: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images

Ihave been spat at in the street for being Jewish only twice. The first time was in Port Said in the 1960s and I was able to put that down to heightened regional tensions. The second time was 25 years later in Clapham, south London where there were no heightened regional tensions. I knew that I was being spat at for being Jewish in Clapham because my assailant followed the spit with the words, “Now get yourself a shower, and you know what sort of shower I mean.”

I did. I suspect that any Jew over the age of 10 would have known what sort of shower she meant. She. Why her sex surprised me, I can’t say. Maybe I automatically think of antisemites as men. Is that insulting to women? Again, I can’t say. But because she was a woman, the sense of physical danger I might have experienced had she been a man was supplanted by a sort of sadness. I am a mother’s boy and expect a woman to nurture, not abuse me. My sadness encompassed both of us. It was as though, in the act of aspersing me, she was violating her own nature. And in the act of being aspersed I was somehow, not to blame, but implicated. What had I done to be so hateful to her?

What I did next increased my dissatisfaction with myself. I did nothing.

That’s not quite true. I mouthed some such ineffectuality as “How dare you?” or “You should be ashamed of yourself”, at which she laughed. And there I left it. What else could I do? Call the police? Make a citizen’s arrest? Buy her coffee?

If I am looking to report the pains of being Jewish, these are small pickings. But I am touching wood as I say that, for there is no knowing who might do or say what to me next. My superstition, which I don’t think is uniquely Jewish, but certainly has marked Jewish components, warns against tempting fate. It’s not for nothing that there are security men positioned outside synagogues and Jewish schools. We live in a rage-filled, hate-stoked world. And where the hate precedes the cause of hate and only later looks for reasons, the Jew will always do as pretext.

I wasn’t left long distressed by the spitting incident. There is such a thing as Jewish self-hatred, though it is considered unacceptable to say so. As in all instances of abuse – and antisemitism is abuse – you introject the ill-treatment and disparagement. But in my experience the disparagement you introject is the remote, historical or even Biblical sort. Am I the stiff-necked Israelite who made God wonder whether Creation had been such a good idea? Am I the pitiless, legalistic Jew the Venetians saw in Shylock? Anything closer to home and I rally my resources. The one-to-one contact of a living antisemite makes me strong. What poisonous propaganda has my assailant been reading, I ask. What can I write to counter its effect? This is a pretty literary, chair-bound version of strength, I grant you, but we can fight only with the weapons we possess. My father wasn’t averse to using his fists.

Howard Jacobson
Pinterest
 ‘At a time when Jews are being accused of faking antisemitism, it is important to stress that our default position is to make light of it,’ says Howard Jacobson. Photograph: Courtesy of Howard Jacobson

I don’t have a Jewish chip on my shoulder. My parents didn’t arm me against a hostile world. A few things might be said in my hearing that I might not like, they warned, but I wasn’t to go looking for them. My father attended Oswald Mosley’s rallies and was once arrested, he claimed, for knocking out the horse the fascist leader was riding. He’d aimed his punch at Mosley and missed. Whatever had or hadn’t happened, I was not to go out and do something similar. “Stay stumm,” was my father’s advice, no matter that he didn’t heed it himself. “Keep your head down.” It’s not impossible he thought he was talking to the horse.

Among my Jewish friends, the person who saw an antisemite under every bush was a stock comic figure. For all the care they took to bring us up as citizens of this country, proud of our inheritance but free of ancient perturbation, our parents were still inclined, for themselves, to see enemies everywhere. This was hardly surprising. If they didn’t have their own memories of pogroms and similar acts of anti-Jewish violence in eastern Europe, they remembered hearing their parents relate their memories of them. We forget how many thousands of Jews were slaughtered in that part of the world long before the Holocaust. So antisemitism was bound to be more real to our mothers and fathers than it could ever be to us. Yes, a few of our teachers made derogatory remarks; ascribed our cleverness in some areas to a diabolically smart Jewish gene, and our ineptitude in others to a hopelessly defective one. Occasionally, we were angry, sometimes we were hurt, but mainly we laughed. None of it halted our running gag against the unenlightened shtetl Jew who thought antisemites were the sole authors of our misfortunes. “Antisemitism?” we’d ask darkly when one of us got a bad mark at school, or failed to win a prize, or lost a girlfriend. We particularly enjoyed this joke if the organisation awarding prizes, or indeed the girlfriend, was Jewish. At a time when Jews are being accused of faking antisemitism, it is important to stress that our default position is to make light of it.

This country must take some credit for our civilised amusement. Mosley aside – and my father knew how to fix him – there was little in the national discourse to upset us. But then came Israel. Or rather, as Israel had been there throughout our childhoods, the systematic anathematising of Israel to the point where it became an abomination.

I was not brought up a Zionist. For a long time, I never really knew what a Zionist was. Some of my friends went to summer camps that were a sort of trial run for life on a kibbutz, but I never fancied them. They involved too much dancing with people of one’s own sex. But it was a respectful ignorance. As a rule, our families subscribed to the lifeboat argument for Israel. We would, in all likelihood, need a place to run to again one day. I subscribe to that argument still.

Generally, there was great sympathy for Israel among the general population in the 1950s and 1960s. The left gave its support, seeing in the kibbutz a fine example of socialism in action. Winning the six-day war changed that. I recall my father-in-law celebrating the victory but saying it would return to haunt us. Us? Yes. You didn’t have to be a Zionist to feel that the victory belonged to you. Jews hadn’t won anything for a long time. Many peeled off again, of course, as Israel became an occupying force, whether or not it wanted to be. Disillusion was understandable; more bewildering was how quickly an old affection turned into a new and peculiarly virulent hatred, and how it wasn’t just the Israeli politics of the hour that people decried, but Zionism itself. That made no sense to me. If the left, in particular, could have understood the necessity and sung the praises of Zionism once, why did they have to junk it completely now? A thing doesn’t all at once become evil because it loses its way.

Howard Jacobson and his wife Jenny De Yong at their wedding in 2005
Pinterest
 Howard Jacobson and his wife Jenny De Yong chose to have a religious Jewish ceremony when they married in 2005. Photograph: Courtesy of Howard Jacobson

The Israel-loathing that began to consume the left altered my sense of being Jewish in this country. Past slights – the odd teacher wondering if Jews controlled the Nobel prize committee, my tutor at university calling me Finklebaum one day and Goldfinger the next – had been as nothing. A panto. But suddenly no one was laughing. I didn’t walk the streets in fear. I didn’t think of emigrating. And I didn’t consider becoming less conspicuously Jewish. Thirteen years ago, my wife and I chose to be married in a religious Jewish ceremony, and I continue to proclaim my brand of otherwise largely non-observant Jewishness as zestfully as I ever have. I still think Britain is a fine country to be a Jew of any complexion in. But it is as though I now live in the shadow of an unseen enemy. There are people not far away who hate beyond reason an enterprise to which I am only tenuously connected, but connected nonetheless.

If I think back to moments of Jew-related tension I’ve experienced in the second half of my life, they have almost all been to do with Israel. There is no point in citing instances. They aren’t personal to me. And they are more to do with a changed atmosphere than deeds. You can say I’m the lucky one. Post the emergence of anti-Zionism as a faith, Jews have been attacked and, in some European countries, killed. So far, I have had only to tolerate the vituperation that trails my articles.

But the atmosphere of which I speak is of a sort to which no group should be subjected. It manifests itself in habitual abuse on social media, the drowning out of any speech considered dissonant in universities, local councils and debating chambers, that cold-eyed contempt of which Jeremy Corbyn is master, and the undisguised assumption, within leftist politics, that when a Jew complains of antisemitism, he is lying. Most Jews know what antisemitism is and what it isn’t. Its history is written on the Jewish character in blood. To invent it where it is not would be a sacrilege.

The incantatory repetition of the charge that Jews cry antisemitism only in order to subvert criticism of Israel or discredit Corbyn is more than fatuous and lazy, and it is more than painful to those many Jews who own an old allegiance to the Labour party and who are not strangers to criticising Israel. It is the deepest imaginable insult. I cannot speak for all Jews, but a profound depression has taken hold of those I know. For myself, I feel I am back in that lightless swamp of medieval ignorance where the Jew who is the author of all humanity’s ills lies, cheats, cringes and dissembles. And this time there is no horse to punch.

(City) Jeremy Corbyn’s Jewish Problem

(City) Leftist anti-Semitism is inseparable from leftist economic doctrine.

April 4, 2018

Britain’s next prime minister might well be an anti-Semite. No one can say for certain whether Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is a sincerely held prejudice or merely a matter of electoral calculation: there are now more than ten times as many Muslims in Britain as Jews, and it therefore makes electoral sense to appeal more to Muslims than to Jews. But either way, his failure to condemn anti-Semitism in his own party, his penchant for consorting in friendly fashion with extremist anti-Zionists of genocidal instincts, and his defense of a mural depicting lupine Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of naked minorities are cause for anxiety among British Jews unknown since the rise—and thankfully swift fall—of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British fascists in the 1930s.

In all the commentary about Corbyn’s anti-Semitism, real or feigned, no one seems to have noticed that anti-Semitism is perfectly logical for someone of Corbyn’s cast of mind. It has often been said that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools; it would be more accurate to say that socialism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals (at least in modern conditions). Anti-Semitism and socialism proceed along the same lines, using the same kind of presuppositions and evidence.

A few years ago, a survey appeared breaking down household wealth in Britain by religious affiliation, and Jews came first. For someone as suspicious of and hostile to wealth and the wealthy as Corbyn, whose fundamental economic idea is that money is the product of exploitation, and that equality of outcome is desirable, attainable, and just, it is only natural to suppose that both wealthy individuals and groups must have been up to no good, grabbing by illicit means a larger slice of the economic cake than is theirs, according to his own conception of justice. It is therefore perfectly reasonable, or at least in keeping, for him to be anti-Semitic: he hates none more than the independently successful.

Unfortunately, the zero-sum idea of an economy as a cake, and every part of it as a slice, to be shared by the dictates of social justice (that is, equally), is still popular among the disgruntled, among intellectuals, and among those who would like to be in charge of measuring and doling out the pieces. It appeals to the most reliable and longlasting of all human emotions—resentment. Anti-Semites make constant reference to the wealth and cultural, intellectual, and social influence of Jews, as if these could be explained only by conspiracy, or at least injustice.

Jews no longer play the part that minorities are supposed to play in the mind-set of such as Corbyn, that is to say of the downtrodden, who need such as him to save them. It is notable that no one in Britain ever talks of the need to help the Sikhs, because they have been able to look after themselves, and according to the survey are the second-richest British religious group, though not long ago there was prejudice against them. The rise of the Sikhs to prosperity indicates that Britain remains a relatively open society—precisely the kind of society that Corbyn hates and hopes to destroy. His ant-Semitism is all of a piece with this.

+++ V.V.I. (BBG) Saudi Crown Prince Says Israel Has Right to State: Atlantic

(Bloomberg) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said
in interview published in The Atlantic that he believed both
Israelis and Palestinians have right to their own land, but that
a peace agreement is needed to assure stability.
* “We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque
in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people.
This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any
other people”
* “There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if
there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel
and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like
Egypt and Jordan”
* Said Saudi government does not finance terrorist groups
** “Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia who financed
terrorist groups. This is against Saudi law”
* Bin Salman hopes to be friendly with Qatar again; said one
problem in relationship is that they have not been letting the
country use the financial system to collect money from Saudis to
give to extremist organizations
** “We hope they learn fast. It depends on them”
* On Iran’s supreme leader: he’s “trying to conquer the world.
He believes he owns the world. They are both evil guys. He is
the Hitler of the Middle East”
* On Yemen: there are “bad decisions and worse decisions”
** “Our campaign is focused on helping the legitimate government
and bringing stability”
* Bin Salman says he wants to “move on” from guardianship
customs for women and “figure out a way to treat this that
doesn’t harm families and doesn’t harm the culture”
** “Saudis don’t want to lose their identity but we want to be
part of the global culture”
* NOTE: Earlier, A Wild Ride Behind the Scenes as Saudi Crown
Prince Does America

(Reuters) Saudi crown prince says Israelis have right to their own land

(Reuters) Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land in an interview published on Monday in U.S. magazine The Atlantic, another public sign of ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv appearing to grow closer.

Asked if he believes the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland, Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying:

“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”

Saudi Arabia – birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest shrines – does not recognize Israel. It has maintained for years that normalizing relations hinges on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war, territory Palestinians seek for a future state.

“We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people,” said Prince Mohammed who is touring the United States to drum up investments and support for his efforts to contain Iranian influence.

Increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fueled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they see as a common Iranian threat.

“There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries”, Prince Mohammed added.

Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel last month, which an Israeli official hailed as historic following two years of efforts.

In November, an Israeli cabinet member disclosed covert contacts with Saudi Arabia, a rare acknowledgment of long-rumored secret dealings which Riyadh still denies.

Saudi Arabia condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last year, but Arab officials told Reuters at the time that Riyadh appears to be on board with a broader U.S. strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan still in its early phases of development.

(OBS) Teremos sempre Israel? – Helena Matos

(OBS) Depois do voto na AR sobre a Catalunha como vai agir o parlamento perante a crise em Gaza? O “realejo de disparates” vai continuar a ser dirigido pelo activismo de votos de pesar do BE e do PCP?

Enquanto escrevo sente-se nos sites noticiosos aquela espécie de calma que precede as grandes tempestades noticiosas. Ela lá está a notícia que já não é apenas uma, mas duas, às vezes três sobre a situação na faixa de Gaza.

A discussão sobre a manipulação das imagens já começou pois esta “guerra” perdida que foi pelos árabes no campo de batalha, ganha-se com imagens. Ou será que já esquecemos a importância que tiveram imagens como as da morte de Mohammed al-Dura, o menino palestiniano baleado em Setembro de 2000 enquanto o pai o protegia com o seu próprio corpo? E de Huda Ghalia, gritando diante da família morta numa praia de Gaza onde faziam um picnic?

Infelizmente quando novos dados questionaram a responsabilidade do exército israelita nestas atrocidades já era tarde. Sendo certo que todos os exércitos têm o seu rol de actos condenáveis – e o israelita não é excepção – convirá que não se esqueça que do outro lado estão movimentos terroristas que há muito perceberam como o Ocidente das causas e do activismo consome as mais grosseiras manipulações sejam elas protagonizadas por mulheres, invariavelmente apresentadas como mães avós de crianças mortas por soldados israelitas mesmo que essas mulheres apareçam sucessivamente chorando a perda doutros filhos e netos noutros dias e noutros locais. Ou os depósitos de material de guerra que são sempre apresentados como escolas e hospitais. Ou as crianças feridas na faixa de Gaza que afinal são crianças sírias e feridas no conflito sírio…

Pessoalmente espero viver o suficiente para ainda ver os palestinianos libertos desse estatuto subalterno a que a fanfarronice da Liga Árabe os condenou há setenta anos, em Maio de 1948, quando, em vez de terem apoiado a declaração de independência do estado Palestiniano (previsto na mesma resolução da ONU que criou o estado hebreu) optaram por atacar Israel.

Se a violência continuar, tudo isto e muito mais será provavelmente debatido com o fervor do costume nos próximos dias. Entretanto cabe perguntar: e nós de que lado estamos? Sim, Portugal que posição vai tomar?  Teremos sempre Israel como “o nosso lado”?

A pergunta faz todo o sentido. Em primeiro lugar porque Portugal tem nos últimos tempos divergido do que é o seu posicionamento histórico em assuntos de política externa. O caso da recente crise diplomática com a Rússia é um exemplo dessa divergência mas nem sequer é o caso mais relevante. O que aconteceu no nosso parlamento na passada semana a propósito dos votos apresentados pelo Bloco de Esquerda e pelo PCP sobre a Catalunha é um sinal ainda mais preocupante.

Com o parlamento transformado em matéria de política externa, no que o deputado socialista Sérgio Sousa Pinto definiu como crescente “realejo de disparates”, onze deputados do PS votaram um texto do BE (e doze abstiveram-se como se não tivessem noção do que liam!) em que se escrevem sandices deste teor: “A condução do processo catalão por parte do governo do Reino de Espanha merece condenação dos países democráticos. A existência de presos políticos e exilados, juntamente com a violência policial nas ruas perante manifestações pacíficas, são tradução direta da suspensão dos mais elementares direitos democráticos que o estado espanhol impôs ao povo catalão.”

Independentemente da posição que se tenha sobre o futuro da Catalunha é preciso não ter noção do que se viveu e vive em Espanha para subscrever um texto destes. Que o BE o faça não espanta. Que onze deputados do PS subscrevam isto e doze se abstenham é que não se entende. E menos se entende ainda que o grupo parlamentar do PS – partido ao qual pertence o primeiro-ministro – tenha com uma ligeireza que aterra achado por bem votar favoravelmente, o parágrafo do texto do PCP em que se “Apela a que seja encontrada uma solução política para a questão nacional em Espanha, no respeito pela vontade dos seus povos e, consequentemente, da vontade do povo catalão, e da salvaguarda dos direitos sociais e outros direitos democráticos dos povos de Espanha.” Será a Espanha um país distante, mergulhado numa qualquer guerra civil? Lendo isto acredita-se que sim.

Na próxima semana o nosso parlamento vai exprimir a sua apreensão pela situação na Mayotte, um território ultramarino francês onde a instabilidade e a violência proliferam? Ou quiçá dedica-se ao problema da Córsega. Ou – porque não? – questionam a decisão do governo da Áustria de conceder a cidadania daquele país aos italianos residentes no que para os austríacos é o Tirol do Sul e para os italianos o Alto Aldige. Enfim,  é só pegar no texto do PCP que se expediu para Espanha e substituir Espanha por França, Áustria, Itália… O senhor Macron vai adorar receber o seguinte voto do parlamento português: “Apela a que seja encontrada uma solução política para a questão nacional em França, no respeito pela vontade dos seus povos e, consequentemente, da vontade do povo da Mayotte, e da salvaguarda dos direitos sociais e outros direitos democráticos dos povos de França.”

Ou será que para a semana os deputados descansam deste labor internacional porque têm entre mãos esse extraordinário avanço legislativo representado pelo facto de aos 16 anos, e sem passar por qualquer apreciação médica, se poder mudar de sexo?

PS. Outro mistério da nossa política externa é a concessão de asilo político a cidadãos provenientes de Marrocos. A descoberta de que dois homens agora acusados de terrorismo, Hicham el Hanafi e Abdessalam Tazi, tinham recebido do Estado português o estatuto de refugiados políticos deve levar-nos a perguntar: quais são os critérios que levam Portugal a conceder asilo político a cidadãos marroquinos que dizem ser perseguidos pelas autoridades daquele país? Alguns destes cidadãos integram movimentos bem menos democráticos que o governo de Marrocos. Não estamos propriamente perante democratas em fuga mas sim face a intolerantes que integram movimentos muito mais intolerantes que as autoridades marroquinas. Querem mesmo ver esta gente no poder em Marrocos? Alguém já pensou nas consequências para Portugal da instauração no agora reino de Marrocos de uma espécie de Líbia com vista para o Algarve?

P.O. (BBG) Israel to Investigate Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica Leak

P.O.
…Big trouble coming…
Israel is not exactly known for allowing breaches in privacy and security…
Any action taken by Israel against Facebook will have an imediate impact with the American Jewish Citizens.
The worst scenario would be a recomendation to ban Facebook.
And it’s not to be ruled out…
Big trouble ahead.

Francisco (Abouaf)de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Bloomberg) — Israeli Privacy Protection Authority
notified Facebook that it has opened investigation over
potential infringements of privacy law in wake of reports about
data transfers to Cambridge Analytica, according to press
release sent from Justice Ministry.
* Israeli law allows use of data only for stated purpose, with
individual’s consent
* Facebook spokesman in Israel did not immediately reply to
request for comment
* NOTE: Facebook Sued Over Data Disclosure to Cambridge
Analytica (1)
* NOTE: Israel Warns Twitter of Legal Steps Over Terrorism;
Shares Fall

(Arutz Sheva) Portugal grants citizenship to nearly 1,800 Sephardic Jews

(Arutz Sheva) A soaring number of Sephardic Jews acquired Portuguese citizenship in 2017.

 

Portugal

Portugal

Nearly 1,800 descendants of Sephardic Jews acquired the Portuguese nationality in 2017 under a law enacted two years earlier, with another 12,000 still in the application process, officials in Lisbon said.

The tally for last year is six times higher than the total for 2016, during which the application of the law hit bureaucratic snags amid political changes.

The increase in naturalization under the law, which Portugal passed in 2013 and enacted in 2015 as a form of making amends for the persecution of Jews during the Inquisition that began in the 16th century, comes amid a host of initiatives by the government to strengthen the country’s ties to Jewish audiences and recognition of its Jewish heritage.

A similar push is underway in Spain, which passed a similar law of return simultaneous to the Portuguese one and which has naturalized more than 5,000 applicants. Spain and Portugal’s economies are heavily reliant on foreign investment and tourism, and both have high unemployment relative to the rest of the European Union — 17 and 8.9 percent, respectively – and especially among young people.

In Lisbon, a large Jewish museum is under construction and is on schedule to open next year.

The Rede de Juderias network of cities with Jewish heritage sites, which was established in Portugal in 2011, has grown to include 27 municipalities nationwide. A new program called Rotas de Sefarad, or Sepharad Routes, was launched in 2014, involving some of these city councils plus sites in at least 17 venues.

The renovation works under the Rotas de Sefarad ended in December with a total investment of $5.7 million, most of it from Portuguese government funding.

Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, in a visit this month to the United States she met Jewish community leaders to raise awareness to these developments.

“We want a Jewish presence in Portugal,”Godinho said in a statement, adding “And we look to Jewish investment.”

She also said: “We have a vast Jewish heritage and a very ancient and profound connection to Jewish communities.”

(Arutz Sheva) ‘We want a Jewish presence in Portugal’

(Arutz Sheva)

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism reaches out to Jewish communities in US, calling for Jews to visit and live in Portugal.

Portugal

Portugal

iStock

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho has just ended a whirlwind visit to the U.S., where she met with a variety of Jewish leaders and communities, specifically in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We want a Jewish presence in Portugal,” said Secretary Mendes Godinho, “and we look to Jewish investment.” Citing low unemployment and calling Portugal the “third most peaceful country in the world,” she stressed the importance of bringing Jews to visit and live in Portugal.

During events with dozens of Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Sephardi Federation and Anti Defamation League, Secretary Mendes Godinho talked about the long and strong history and connection between Portugal and the Jewish People.

“As we have a vast Jewish heritage and a very ancient and profound connection to Jewish communities – we have evidence of Jewish presence in Portugal since 390 AD – we identified as a priority the promoting of the Jewish Legacy and of the Jewish routes in Portugal,” she said. “It is quite interesting to remember that in the 15th century, circa 20% of the Portuguese population was Jewish, so we always say that every Portuguese may have a Jewish origin.”

“The Jewish communities have had crucial roles in Portuguese history, namely Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil, and in the United States, the oldest synagogue, Shearith Israel, located in New York, was founded by Portuguese Jews. This is why we have created a special law to grant Portuguese nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews, and we have been experiencing a very high demand.”

Accompanying Secretary Mendes Godinho was Gabriel Steinhardt, President of the Lisbon Jewish Community (Comunidade Israelita de Lisboa) and Rabbi Natan Peres, the new chief rabbi of Lisbon, himself of Portuguese background. Rabbi Peres spoke about the importance of Portuguese Jewish history and Diaspora.

“With regard to the core real Portuguese Jewish heritage I feel our story hasn’t been properly told in terms of the real impact we had in Jewish and world history, not only in Portugal but also in the Portuguese diaspora communities,” Rabbi Peres said. “While they were established outside of Portugal, they maintained very close cultural ties with their former home, like the use of the Portuguese language to this day in communities like Amsterdam, London and New York for services, and the angle of what our Portuguese Jewish legacy has to contribute to current Judaism challenges.”

The Jewish legacy in Portugal also includes years of persecution, including an expulsion in 1496, four years after Jews were expelled from Spain. Beginning in 1536, Portugal carried out an Inquisition against those Jews who had fled Spain for that nearby country, during which an estimated 40,000 conversos (New Chrisitans, Jews who had converted to Christianity but were suspected of secretly adhering to the Jewish faith) were killed. A square in Lisbon, for example, was put in “kherem”, a rabbinic injunction prohibiting Jews from walking there for 500 years, due to the auto-da-fe in which Jews were burned at the stake in its center. The Inquisition was formally ended only in 1821, but the twentieth century saw a renewal of Jewish life in Portugal.

(EUobserver) EU diplomats oppose Trump on Jerusalem

(EUobserver) EU diplomats oppose Trump on Jerusalem

  • Trump visited Jerusalem in May last year prior to his announcement in December (Photo: State of Israel)

EU diplomats in the Middle East have proposed ways to undermine Donald Trump’s decision to establish Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The EU counter-measures were put forward in a confidential report filed by EU states’ ambassadors in East Jerusalem and Ramallah, in Israeli-occupied Palestine, after the US president, on 6 December, unilaterally recognised Israel’s claim to the holy city.

Trump’s decision was “a fundamental shift in US policy”, the 49-page EU report, seen by EUobserver, said.

“This is the first time that one of the final status issues has been subject to a policy change by a third party since the … Oslo Accords [in 1993],” it added.

EU leaders should send out a “common message”, the text said, that Europe will “continue to respect the international consensus” that Jerusalem should be shared by Israel and Palestine as part of a two-state solution.

EU states should also “ensure that the location of their diplomatic missions remains in line with its provisions on location until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved,” the report said, after Trump promised to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The EU report on Jerusalem is a yearly exercise meant to steer talks by ministers in Brussels.

The 2017 edition contained several new recommendations designed to hamper Trump’s plan.

It urged EU capitals: to push their line on Jerusalem in all “bilateral and multilateral contacts” in 2018; to “unequivocally oppose” Israeli laws to alter the city’s status; and to consider “development of further actions on distinguishing between the territory of the state of Israel and the occupied territories”.

Previous EU actions included blocking grants for Israeli settler firms and publishing label guidelines for settler products in European retailers.

The 2017 report also called for “systematic media outreach in support of … [the] EU policy on Jerusalem”.

It said high-level EU visits to the city should “ensure that logistics follow EU policy, e.g. through choice of hotel, change of transport between East and West”, referring to Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem and Israel’s West Jerusalem.

There was less violence in the city last year despite “confrontations” between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police after Trump’s announcement, the EU text noted.

Thirteen Palestinians and seven Israelis were killed in violent incidents in total in Jerusalem in 2017, compared to 23 people the year before, and 41 the year before that.

Settler surge

But Israeli settlers were seizing Palestinian land at a “record” pace “including in areas identified by the EU and its member states as [being] key to the two-state solution”, the EU report warned.

Israel advanced plans for more than 3,000 housing units in East Jerusalem last year, it said.

This added to the 215,000 settlers who have moved there since Israel conquered it in 1967 to live among the 317,000 Palestinians who are still left.

“Developments in 2016 to 2017 indicate that the Israeli authorities are taking active measures to prepare for settlement expansion in [the E1] area,” the EU ambassadors added, referring to a zone that would cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine and would cut the West Bank into two cantons if it fell into settlers’ hands.

The EU said Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had systematically ignored its appeals.

“International objections were met by more announcements [of settlement expansion],” the EU ambassadors said.

The diplomats also painted a grim picture of life under Israeli occupation.

They spoke of Israel’s “long-standing policy of political, economic, and social marginalisation” of Palestinians, which “worsened” last year and which caused the kind of “high levels of stress and depression” that were fertile ground for violence.

They condemned killings on both sides, but singled out Israeli soldiers for “excessive use of force”.

They also said Palestinian economic activity in East Jerusalem halved over the past 10 years and that 75 percent of Palestinians now lived below the poverty line.

That figure rose to 84 percent among Palestinian children, half of whom dropped out of school.

“The city has largely ceased to be the Palestinian economic, urban, and commercial centre it used to be,” the EU report said.

EU ambassadors meeting in the political and security committee in Brussels will discuss which of the recommendations, including a long-standing one to impose EU visa bans on “known violent settlers”, to take forward.

Common message?

All the EU missions in East Jerusalem and Ramallah signed off the text, but that was no guarantee of European unity higher up the command chain.

When EU states voted on a UN resolution on 21 December that damned Trump’s Jerusalem decision, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Romania abstained.

Meanwhile, a UN survey out this week showed that EU corporations are not following EU diplomacy in “distinguishing” between Israeli and occupied territory.

It said there were 27 private firms from 10 EU states, including seven German companies and five Dutch ones, with links to Israel’s “illegal” settler economy.

That figure compared to 22 from the US, the UN noted, confirming Europe’s role as the settlers’ number one business partner despite the diplomats’ niceties.