Thursday, March 04, 2004

British Anti-Semitic Nicompoops: Conservative Jews as Targets 

Fagin and the Labor Party
By Sharon Sadeh sadeh@haaretz.co.il
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/400920.htmlThu., March 04, 2004 Adar 11, 5764

LONDON - So, the chairman of the Labor Party in Britain called Oliver Letwin, the Jewish shadow chancellor of the exchequer, a "Fagin for the 21st century." Big deal. He certainly wasn't referring to the Jewish crook in "Oliver Twist." At most he meant ... what did Labor Party chairman Ian McCartney mean? After all, for the British public, Fagin, like Shylock, is a code word, a euphemism that means a Jewish crook, greedy and scheming.

McCartney said it out loud and in public in a speech to Labor activists in Scotland. His message was simple: If you elect Conservatives, not only will you get a Jewish chancellor but also of the worst kind, like Fagin. The Jewish community preferred to deal with the spittle as if it were rain. "McCartney is not an anti-Semite, but he should be more careful," was the response of the Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of the Jewish community.

Even if McCartney is innocent of anti-Semitism, the use of terms with anti-Semitic connotations is not accidental. His speech exposed a cynical election strategy, which has crossed the boundary of what is legitimate.

A poll published last month by the Jewish Chronicle found that a fifth of Britons would not vote for a Jewish prime minister;

one out of seven Britons believe discussion of the Holocaust has become exaggerated and one of out five believes the Jews have too much power.

That is all highlighted against the background of the fact that the Conservative Party leadership now includes a particularly large number of Jews, starting with the party leader, Michael Howard, through Letwin and to the chairman of the Tories, Lord Maurice Saatchi, as well as the former foreign minister, Malcolm Rifkind. Through the use of negative and threatening imagery, McCartney has labeled the Conservatives as the "Jewish party," which should be avoided.

The struggle between Labor and the Tories is not only over votes, but over money. Ever since Howard was elected head of the Conservatives, there has been a sharp drop in the extent of contributions to Labor by Jewish businessmen. The party is very worried about that. To block the erosion, Chancellor Gordon Brown, the designated heir to Tony Blair, has stepped up his meetings with the community and with representatives of Israel. His speeches, which already had a pro-Israel tone in the past, are more pleasing than ever to Jewish and Israeli ears.

The Labor government speaks in two voices. In the one hand it condemns anti-Semitism and is very flattering to the Jewish audience, while on the other hand it winks at voters with prejudices, in a reality in which Jews are still perceived as a fifth column when they reach positions of political power. That perception is not only prevalent in the extreme right, among Muslim fundamentalists or in the lunatic left. It is present in the heart of the establishment itself, no matter how many ceremonies and Holocaust Days are held in Britain.

Lord Greville Janner, a Labor Party member and chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, will never forget the day when he accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury to an official ceremony. When they entered the House of Lords, he heard someone say, "Who's that walking with the Archbishop?" and heard the answer, "It's that Jew, Janner." Author Salman Rushdie says someone once treated him rudely and afterward apologized, saying, "I was mistakenly informed you are a Jew." Rushdie recalled: "I have never felt a stronger urge to be a Jew, than at that moment."

Delegitimizing Israel in the British media has long since been accepted as natural, as if it were fate, while it has been proven that it is directly translated into an increase in anti-Semitic incidents. With his unfortunate remarks, McCartney opened a new front of delegitimization that has penetrated political discourse and inevitably is going to harm, once again, the security of the Jewish community.

Hitler is a Youth Idol, Mein Kampf is a Bestseller  

Article by Amos Nevo, "Yediot Ahronot", March 10, 2000
See: http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0gwc0

Extremism in the Palestinian media: Holocaust denial, anti-Semitic cartoons, calls for a jihad

Hitler is a Youth Idol, Mein Kampf is a Bestseller

A wave of seditious anti-Israel publications is flooding the Palestinian Authority. Newspapers and television broadcasts have been recruited for a propaganda campaign, historians on talk shows explain that the Western Wall was built by Arabs. "Nazi, fascist and racist" Israel is accused of injecting children with the AIDS virus, of pushing drugs and marketing poisoned food. Journalists who strayed from the official line were arrested by the Palestinian security services

Everybody in Gaza is talking about Israeli onions, of all things. A few weeks ago, as the Arab fantasy goes, Israel smuggled large quantities of spoiled onions to the Gaza Strip, onions that had been watered with unpurified sewage, with the goal of poisoning the residents. There was a minor panic, the goods were removed from the shelves, but nobody died and the onions went back to the salad.

Rumors have come from various places in the "Autonomy" about settlers who poison beehives belonging to Palestinians and, abetted by the security services, sell them spoiled food that causes disease and death to people and animals. From time to time Israel is accused of pushing drugs and of injecting children with the AIDS virus. A few months ago, while Hilary Clinton was visiting Israel, Suha Arafat, wife of the "Ra'is," complained to her that Israel is deliberately polluting the Palestinians' water sources and is using carcinogenic tear gas.

Now even Israeli Radio is dangerous: "It allocates the most dangerous part of its programs with the goals of capturing a significant portion of our young people," writes the Al-Hayat Al-Jedida newspaper, which is published in Ramallah. "It's time to appoint people to monitor the danger of these programs."

A murky wave of anti-Semitic publications is flooding the lands of the Palestinian Authority. The official media has recruited the top newspaper reporters and television directors for this mission The sermonizers in the mosques call on the faithful to fight the Jews in every way. Textbooks in the Palestinian schools call on children to join the suicide bombers and annihilate Israel. The wording is harsh, sharp and extremist.

The official TV station broadcasts movies in which children kill Israeli soldiers. Reports from summer camps show children training with weapons and singing bellicose songs and songs of praise for the "shahids" [suicide bombers]. The map of Greater Palestine, which covers the area of the entire State of Israel, is often shown, and the name "Israel" is not mentioned. All of Israel's cities are presented as the cities of Palestine. The spokesmen nurture among viewers a longing and a love for these cities and a promise to return to them soon: Israel is a "racist country that uses the same method of ethnic cleansing that Nazi Germany used against the Jews." Israel is a temporary existence, and its end is decreed by the heavens.

The Jews are presented as the enemies of Islam, "wild animals," "locusts," "swindlers," "traitors," "aggressive," "war-mongers," "robbers," "sly," "avaricious," "disloyal," "thieves," and their end, too, will come. A cartoon in one of the newspapers showed a dwarf with a Star of David, his face like the face of the Jew from the Nazi Stuermer, with the caption "The disease of the century." In another cartoon an Israeli soldier is barbecuing Arabs. One by one he takes them off the grill and eats them with relish. Zionism, according to these harsh and seditious cartoons, is equivalent to Fascism and Nazism.

"I remember this from somewhere," sighs Esti Vebman, an expert on anti-Semitism, from the Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University. Vebman leafs through a pile of Arab newspapers that are published within the boundaries of the Palestinian Authority, and is shocked time and again. She has been following anti-Semitism in the Arab world for the past eight years, and has seen no change with regard to Israel. "Back in the Middle Ages," says Vebman, "the Christians used this motif of poisoning wells. The Arabs are now adopting the Christian anti-Semitism of the Middle Ages and Nazi anti-Semitism; they are adding Islamic motifs and integrating it into their anti-Israel propaganda."

"Everything is directed from above"

Television stations and newspapers that voiced criticism of the Palestinian Authority have been shut down. Journalists who strayed from the official line have been fired or arrested, beaten and tortured by the Palestinian security services and, as a condition for their release, were required to sign a commitment to submit their articles to the police prior to their publication. "This is not journalism. Everything is propaganda for the Palestinian Authority, and woe to anyone who criticizes it. There is no independence and no freedom of expression," claims Palestinian journalist Mohammed Najib.

"I have no doubt that it is Arafat's office that is encouraging articles denouncing Israel, or is at least turning a blind eye to them," says Bassam Id, general director of the Palestinian Human Rights Organization, who spent approximately one year studying what has been happening in the Palestinian media. "The journalists know it," says Id. "Others confessed to me that that on more than one occasion they have been forced to publish, faute de mieux, articles replete with hatred and lies against Israel, in order to hold on to their jobs."

"Everything is directed from above," says Orientalist Professor Rafi Yisraeli of Hebrew University. "Some of the Palestinian media are controlled directly by the Palestinian Authority and serve as its mouthpiece. People from the Palestinian Authority and those who are closely connected with the Palestinian Authority work there. It is the leaders who pay the salaries and it is they who call the shots and dictate the style."

There is tension in the Palestinian Authority. The negotiations are bogged down, the Palestinian people are desperate and Arafat is depressed. "This is a time when hatred breeds," explains Orientalist Dan Shiften of Haifa University. "Hatred is constantly in the air. It appears in waves in accordance with the progress of the negotiations with Israel and events in the region. Even when the Palestinians receive something in the negotiations, the frustration due to what they did not get is so great that even then, they cannot restrain themselves, and they broadcast hatred in all directions."

The Holocaust used as a backlash

Hitler is one of the heroes of Palestinian youth, reveal researchers from the University of Hamburg, who are conducting an international study on the perceptions of democracy among young people around the world. Booksellers in the territories report that Hitler's book Mein Kampf is one of the most popular there, a best-seller from their point of view.

Palestinian journalists are in the habit of comparing Israel's actions in the territories with those of the Nazis. Alongside the anti-Semitic publications, Israeli leaders are portrayed as oppressors: Binyamin Netanyahu, while serving as prime minister, was portrayed as a Nazi and described as "a Zionist terrorist who is worse than Hitler." Now Ehud Barak, in Arafat's eyes, is worse than Netanyahu.

Moreover, the Holocaust has become a tool for undermining in the hands of Palestinian Holocaust deniers: "It was a good day for the Jews, when the Nazi Hitler began his campaign of persecution against them," writes Sif Ali Algeruan of Al-Hayat Al-Jedida. "They began to disseminate, in a terrifying manner, pictures of mass shootings in directed at them, and to invent the shocking story about the gas ovens in which, according to them, Hitler used to burn them. The newspapers are filled with pictures of Jews who were mowed down by Hitler's machine guns, and of Jews being led to the gas ovens. In these pictures they concentrated on women, babies and old people, and they took advantage of it, in order to elicit sympathy towards them, when they demand financial reparations, contributions and grants from all over the world. The truth is that the persecution of the Jews is a myth, that the Jews dubbed "the tragedy of the Holocaust" and took advantage of, in order to elicit sympathy towards them."

Even the crossword puzzles that appear in the newspapers contain definitions such as "a Jewish center for commemorating the Holocaust and the lie," as a definition for Yad Vashem. "Some of them go hand in glove with the Holocaust deniers," says Esti Vebman, researcher of anti-Semitism. "It is true that there have been of late intellectual circles that are willing to agree that such a historical incident, like the Holocaust, did indeed happen, but from the deniers' point of view there were no gas chambers and no six million who died."

"History will not be distorted"

The Palestinians are currently engaged in rewriting their history. "While constructing their national myths, they are erasing Jewish history, dispossessing the Jews from their status as a people, determining that the Jews are tribes and not a people and, therefore, do not deserve the land and that those who do are the Arabs who, in their opinion, are the descendants of the Canaanites," says Professor Yisraeli.

The Palestinian media is full of fabrications of this type. The TV studios host Moslem historians who exchange views and answer viewers' phone-in questions. "We are the most ancient people, and the most ancient culture is the culture of Palestine," historian Professor Atzam Sisalam explains to the viewers. "The Hebrews are an Arab tribe. The land belongs to us and to our Christian brethren. As a historian I challenge any of their historians who claims that the ruins belong to them."

The host: "Palestine went through many periods, and there are witnesses: our heritage, the history, the mosques, the archeological sites. The other side (the Israelis) has nothing to turn to and nothing that can prove its claims."

Sisalam: "That's right. Everywhere you go you will find our ruins. History will not be distorted and will not be denied… In the months ahead the final destiny of this land will be determined. Those who came from Arab countries, like the members of Gesher, David Levy and others, go back to Morocco that protected you and provided you with security. Go back to Algeria and to Tunis; you are part of the Arab fabric…We will die for our right to this land.

With their verbal nonsense the Palestinian experts wipe out the days of the First and Second Temples, and determine that the Western Wall was built by Arabs. "All the excavations did not prove the location of the holy place that they invented," said Arafat in an interview on Palestinian Television in 1998. "For over thirty years they occupied the land, and they did not succeed in bringing one shred of proof with regard to the site of the temple."

They invent and they fantasize, says Professor Yisraeli, and sometimes they cite sources that do not exist and present them as the absolute truth, and they conceal archeological findings. They reiterate their claim over and over again until it becomes a "fact."

"In a situation like this," says Shiften, "it looks to me as if there will never be a change. The closer we get to a permanent settlement, if ever, the more obvious it will be to them that Israel cannot provide a solution to many of their hopes, like the Right of Return, and then their frustration will grow, and the hostility will not subside.

"We can learn a lot from what happened with Egypt. We made peace with Egypt and gave in to their demands, but nevertheless the hatred there did not diminish. On the contrary. The explanation for this is rooted, inter alia, in the fact that the Egyptians feel that we imposed the agreement on them under conditions of weakness, and this humiliation is like a thorn in their side," says Shiften. "This helplessness, which stems from the fact that they were destined, according to the Koran, to emerge strong and now they are forced to stand - weak and miserable, as it were - before the strong Jews who were destined for a life of misery. This envy of successful and thriving Israel in contrast to their own weakness in the progressive world can offer a good explanation for the hatred whose end is not in sight."

"Every student should yearn to die in a war against israel"

The instruction books for teachers in the Palestinian Authority propose lesson plans on the subject of hatred of Israel. A discussion in the first grade: How to educate a person to become a "shahid."

The seditious activity in the schools, and education geared towards hatred of Israel, take place with the explicit guidance of the Palestinian leadership. This was revealed in a new study conducted by the New York based "Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace" and by the Jerusalem based "A View of the Palestinian Media Institute," headed by Itamar Marcus. Both are organizations with no political ties. The study examined 28 instruction books for teachers, published by the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority.

As early as the first grade lessons are devoted to the "shahids." The Palestinian Ministry of Education instructs teachers that "it is necessary to instill in the student's heart the desire to die the death of a martyr for the sake of Allah." Teachers must clarify "the significance of dying for the sake of Allah" in the classroom and must discuss, together with the class, "how to educate a person to become a "shahid"" The students learn that "death for the sake of Allah is the highest honor among the faithful."

Third-grade teachers are asked to explain the word robber to the children: "a person who takes something from another against his will. In this case, a robber is the enemy who took away our homeland." The authors of the book suggest that the teacher asks the students during the lesson: "What will we do if the enemy tries to conquer part of our homeland? How will we seek vengeance on our enemies and defeat them? "Jihad," the students are supposed to answer out loud.

In a sixth-grade grammar lesson the teacher is requested to "instill in the student's heart the values and the aims that appear in the text: The sensation of revenge vis-a-vis the foreign robber, who tore away parts of our homeland and scattered its inhabitants to the four winds."

Seventh-grade teachers are requested to read and analyze the following poem together with the class: "Mother, the trip draws near, so prepare my shroud. / Mother, I am advancing towards death, I will not falter. / Mother, do not cry if I fall, limbless / because death does not frighten me, and it is my destiny to die like a "shahid.""

Instructions for eleventh-grade teachers, in the book "The Modern History of the Arabs and the World": "The student will learn the following definitions: 1. Zionism is a racist and aggressive movement. 2. The sense of racial superiority is at the heart of Zionism and Fascism-Nazism. The student will acquire the following skills: (1) He will associate Zionism with racial discrimination; (2) He will trace the link between Zionism and modern terrorism; (3) he will compare the principles of Fascism and of Nazism with the principles of Zionism. The teacher will present the text entitled "The danger of the Jews in Palestine" in the form of a problem. After reading the text the teacher will ask for solutions on coping with this problem and group discussions will be held."

"There is no incitement here"

Ziad Abu-Ziad, the Minister for Jerusalem in the Palestinian Authority, said in response: "I do not believe this is incitement. There is no incitement and no anti-Semitism towards Israel here in the Palestinian Authority, not in the media nor in the textbooks. It's all a figment of the imagination of your people, who are trying to hurt us and harm the peace process. On the contrary, bring me examples and prove what you are saying, and if it's true, I, as a member of Parliament, promise to deal with the matter."

Hitler’s book in Arab hands: Their Kampf 

By David Pryce-Jones, from the July 29, 2002, issue of National Review

Their Kampf
Hitler’s book in Arab hands.

Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf is as vile as any book ever published. Written in 1923 while he was in prison as a revolutionary agitator and at that point unlikely ever to be anything else, Hitler built on the connected emotions of hatred and self-pity. It is the work of a failure, what is more of a man who knows himself to be a failure. The failure is everyone's fault except his own. And all these people are against him because they belong to different races: That is the key. In the book he invents a "racial ladder" with Germans naturally at the top of it and Jews down at the bottom. If only they had been properly German, all those other people would have recognized his greatness. But by definition they couldn't be German, and they stood in his way, and so he had to kill them, stamp them out. On the one hand, thwarted ambition; on the other hand, a hatred of humanity. The combination still has the power to send a shiver down the spine.

Hitler's fate, and the mass-murder he inspired, did not put an end to the malignant appeal of his book.

There are plenty of people who know themselves to be failures and blame everyone for it except themselves. They too fantasize that they have enemies who can never be anything else because they belong to another race, and the only solution is to massacre the lot. Almost 80 years after its first appearance, Mein Kampf remains an international hit. The Bavarian state owns the copyright but whether it collects royalties is unclear. The book is banned in Germany, but for some years Random House has been marketing an English translation, defending itself with the argument that it is a historic text which has to be studied.

Communism was perhaps the most spectacular political failure in history, killing tens of millions, and wasting the lives of hundreds of millions more. These victims mostly came from societies that were still traditional, usually agricultural. How were they to explain to themselves the calamity which Communism visited upon them? The arrival of democracy in Russia and its former satellites has brought into these countries fresh editions of Mein Kampf in half a dozen languages. In Poland the initial print-run was 20,000 copies (a significant quantity there). A minority evidently believes that Communism was all a Jewish plot, and Hitler had got things right. The authorities crack down half-heartedly.

Muslim and Arab society is today a failure much as Communism used to be. Muslims and Arabs live under absolute and despotic government which prevents them from enjoying anything like the freedom and prosperity that they see in the West and wish for themselves.

On the whole they realize that they have long ago taken their history and destiny into their own hands, and so are responsible for themselves. But so dire are the injustices and the poverty, and so threatening is the tyranny over their heads, that many are lost in pity for themselves, and hatred of everyone else. A slew of racists, radicals, and Islamists share a frame of mind that the West is selfishly conspiring against them, with the Jews once again secretly in charge. Catering to such people since the early '60s, editions of Mein Kampf have been put out in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and it is reported to be a bestseller in the Palestinian Authority area. It is available in London stores selling Arabic books. As its Arabic translator Luis al-Haj expresses it in his preface, "National Socialism did not die with the death of its herald. Rather, its seeds multiplied under each star."

In traditional society in the Middle East, Arabs were the masters and Jews were second-class subjects, protected though under rather demeaning conditions. European-style anti-Semitism, usually spread by missionaries and diplomats, came in during the 19th century.

Zionism, another import from Europe, redefined Jews according to nationality rather than religion, and the accompanying improvement in their lowly status abruptly challenged Arab assumptions of superiority. These second-class people could surely never have done it on their own; they could only be obtaining their new power from outside — it had to be a plot. Hitler says so too in his book. He believed Zionism was "nothing but a comedy," and he could see through "this sly trick of the Jews." He wrote in Mein Kampf:

They have no thought of building up a Jewish state in Palestine, so that they might inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.

The Third Reich and the Arab East, by Lukasz Hirszowicz, a Polish-born scholar, was published almost 40 years ago but remains a definitive work.

It examines in careful detail how Hitler's Germany sought to woo Arabs through anti-British and anti-Jewish policies. Nazi personalities like Josef Goebbels and Baldur von Schirach of the Hitler Youth carried out goodwill tours. Various German agents financed and armed clandestine Arab fascist groups. The first Arabic translation of Mein Kampf appeared in 1938, and Hitler himself tactfully proposed to omit from it his "racial ladder" theory.

Of all the Arabs convinced of Hitler's coming triumph, none was so eager as Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Palestinian Arabs in the Hitler years.

Vincent Sheean, the Thomas L. Friedman of the day, thought that Haj Amin had "great gifts." Along the lines that "my enemy's enemy is my friend," Haj Amin converted the Palestinian cause into a local branch of Hitler's worldwide anti-Jewish persecution. Fleeing from the British, he spent the war in Berlin. A friend and admirer of Himmler's, he raised a division of Bosnian Muslims for the SS. Hitler made grandiose promises to him, but was cautious enough to add that they could be met only after victory.

Fanaticism had led Haj Amin into utter delusion.

Hitler, the expected savior, had in reality the settled conviction that Arabs were Untermenschen and he had no intention of doing them any favors. On that racial ladder of his, Arabs occupied a servile place, held in much the same contempt as the Jews. All sorts of Arab leaders were to follow Haj Amin's example and fall into the racist trap Hitler set for them, including Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar Sadat, the Syrian and Iraqi Baathists, and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia.
It cannot be proved, but I suspect that many — probably most — Arabs accept Israel as a fact of life, created by the millions of individual choices which make up history, and over which nobody has any control. But the leadership, the intellectuals particularly, have internalized and perpetuated Hitler's fantasies about Jews and a Jewish state. In one Muslim country after another, leaders who may describe themselves either as Islamist or secular call for the State of Israel to disappear from the map, and its people to be annihilated. It does not seem in the least shocking to them to be proposing mass-murder.

On the contrary: It is only natural in an absolute ruler to seek to kill off his enemies. Ahmad Ragab, a columnist for the Egyptian government paper Al-Akhbar, is only one example among many opinion-makers to "give thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory," and regretting only that Hitler had not extracted revenge for Palestine by murdering every last Jew. Arab propagandists contradictorily go in for versions of Holocaust denial. The present mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, said quite typically before his recent meeting with Pope John Paul II that the numbers of Holocaust victims had been exaggerated. "The Jews are using this issue, in many ways, [including] to blackmail the Germans financially." That has become a standard notion and it chimes perfectly with Mein Kampf and its lies about "rogues" endowed with "prerogatives."

But if really Hitler and his henchmen are role models to be imitated, then it is confused and confusing that Arab media regularly publish articles and cartoons caricaturing Israelis as Nazis, twisting the Star of David into a swastika, and so on. In today's Muslim and Arab world, Hitler and the Holocaust are labels bandied about without regard to historical truth, in order to promote hatred on the one hand, and self-pity on the other — twin signals of intellectual and moral failure.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Combating Antisemitism by Israel 

Subject: Report on the Activities of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "Combating Antisemitism" (Greece, Romania etc.)

New York Jewish Times

23 February 2004

Report on the Activities of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "Combating Antisemitism"


During the course of the last three years the Jewish people and the State of Israel have been the target of a wave of antisemitism such as has not been seen since the end of World War II. The challenge before us is to mobilize the political leadership of Europe to actively oppose antisemitism.

With proper encouragement, utilization of political capital and persuasion we believe that it is possible to find allies in this struggle. For example, at the last European Summit a specific condemnation of antisemitism was included in the final communique. We believe that in principle the European political leadership abhors antisemitism, but this opposition cannot be taken for granted and must be continuously nurtured. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with Minister Natan Sharansky, has expended much effort in combating antisemitism, especially but not exclusively, within the sphere of government to government contacts and in coordination with Jewish organizations.

On the basis of evidence gathered over these past years, we reached the conclusion that antisemitic agitation in Europe is to be found among three main socio-political groupings.

Classic antisemitism - This phenomenon is found mainly on the extreme right, and in reactionary Church circles. As a rule these groups are more vocal and problematic in Central and Eastern Europe.

Extreme Leftwing Antisemitism - This denies Israel's right to exist as a state for the Jewish People

(And therefore singles out the Jews as not "meriting" the natural right of self determination). Moreover, this type of propaganda holds Israel to standards which are applied to no other country (singling out). These phenomena tend to emanate also from anti-globalization and anarchist groups in Western Europe.

Islamic Antisemitism - This is found among the Moslem and Arab populace in Western Europe.

Most Moslems in Western Europe tend to be immigrants who are alienated from the general society which hosts them. Satellite broadcasts from the Arab World have a tendency to inflame already frustrated and alienated youth who vent their anger violently on Jews. Moreover, we have witnessed, over the course of the past year, the deadly partnership which has evolved between Islamic genocidal terrorism and murderous antisemitism (Istanbul, Casablanca and Jerba).

While the above groups each pursue their own broad agendas, sometimes in conflict with one and other, we have also witnessed strange, or unnatural, alliances. For example, it is not unheard of for extreme rightwing groups, who have heretofore evinced no sympathy for Arabs, as immigrants or neighbors, to glorify Palestinian terror attacks.

Thus, during the past 7 months we have dealt with the following issues/incidents, among others:

* Building coalitions with enlightened governments, in Europe and elsewhere, to actively combat antisemitism.
* Countering Romanian denial of Holocaust atrocities occurring on its territory.
* Encouraging Hungary to adopt legislation aimed at curbing hate speech and thereby outlawing antisemitic propaganda and those antisemitic rightwing groups which disseminate it.
* Reacting to the antisemitic statement of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohammed.
* Reacting to the antisemitic statement of the Greek composer Theodorakis.
* Placing the question of antisemitism on the agenda of the United Nations.
* Bringing about the endorsement of the OSCE for a Conference on Antisemitism to be held in Berlin at the end of April 2004.
* Combating the inflammatory and antisemitic broadcasts of the Hizballah TV station, Al-Mannar.

There is an acute need, especially in Europe, to promote the remembrance of the Holocaust. This is necessary so that the vast majority of Europeans will not fall prey, out of ignorance, to the specious claims of Holocaust deniers.

The following is, therefore a sample of some of the main activities of the Ministry in the field of combating antisemitism, during the past seven months.

In June 2003 the Government of Romania stated in an official communique that "Holocaust atrocities did not occur on the territory of Romania during the years 1940-45." In July 2003 the President of Romania stated in an interview in the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" that the fate of Jews during the Holocaust was not unique.

In contacts with the Romanian government, at the highest level, it was made clear that these statements were inconsistent historical truth, that they would adversely impact the good bilateral relations between our two countries, and that steps were needed to be taken to rectify the situation.

The Romanian Government decided, in consultation with Israel and Jewish organizations, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum to establish an international historical commission to study the events of the Holocaust in Romania. This commission, which is headed by Prof. Elie Weisel, is made up of experts from Israel, the U.S. and Romania. Experts from Yad Vashem will play an active role in the deliberations of the commission.

The Ministry has, for some time, drawn the attention of the Government of Hungary to the need for enacting legislation to outlaw hate speech, which includes antisemitic rhetoric.

Unfortunately, until now various Hungarian political groups (the MIEP Party and the "Blood and Honor" organization) have felt free to engage in 'Jew baiting' at public demonstrations and through the media. The Embassy of Israel in Budapest has raised this issue continuously with the relevant governmental authorities.

In August 2003 the Hungarian Minister of Justice, Peter Barandy, conducted an official visit to Israel. Discussions were held which emphasized Israel's expectation that the proposed legislation restricting hate speech would be presented to the Hungarian Parliament in an expeditious manner. Our Embassy in
Budapest engaged in lobbying key political figures on this manner. Our concerns were also made known at the EU, as Hungary is a candidate for membership in 2004.

In December 2003 the proposed legislation was passed by the Parliament. Unfortunately, before signing the law, the President of Hungary exercised his prerogative to request an opinion from the Constitutional Court as to whether the law in question conflicted with Hungary's constitutional commitment to
freedom of speech. We are continuing to monitor this situation.

The vicious antisemitic statements of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed at the meeting of the OIC in October 2003 shocked and dismayed right thinking people and leaders throughout the World.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working in concert with various Jewish organizations and through our Embassies, began intensely lobbying friendly governments to condemn these
obnoxious remarks in no uncertain terms.

Many Western governments roundly condemned the remarks. Some Western European states chose not to release independent statements, but rather to rely on the Presidential statement of the EU, others spoke out independently. It should be noted that many countries in South Asia, most of which have extensive economic relations with Malaysia, chose not to react officially to the remarks.

Disappointing also, was the non-reaction of Russia, whose head of State, President Vladimir Putin, attended the conference and was in the hall when these remarks were made. Upon the request of the Ministry this matter was raised by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his subsequent meeting with President Putin.

The antisemitic remarks of the celebrated Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, in November 2003 occasioned serious consultations between Israel and Greece.

As a result of these consultations the Foreign Minister of Greece proposed the formation of an official Israel-Greece bilateral commission to advise the Government of Greece on the best ways to prevent antisemitism and to counter it. Consultations are continuing at present in order to define the modalities and parameters of the commission.

That the United Nations is not a hospitable environment for the voicing of concerns which are of importance to Israel and the Jewish People, is an understatement. Nevertheless, we have demanded that antisemitism be condemned in all the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly which deal with discrimination, racism and bigotry.

In the course of the struggle against antisemitism it is necessary, at times, to "force the issue" and create situations which will not allow for ambiguity or ambivalence. The UNGA provides a forum for doing just that, perhaps to the chagrin of those states which would rather not have to declare their position on this issue in this particular forum.

It is worth noting that among the resolutions which were passed by the UNGA this year was one which was sponsored by Brazil, on "The Incompatibility Between Democracy and Racism", which explicitly condemned antisemitism.

In keeping with our policy we requested that Ireland include an explicit condemnation of antisemitism in its "traditional" resolution condemning religious intolerance. The Irish in turn requested that instead of including antisemitism in the resolution they would propose a "stand alone" resolution
condemning antisemitism. This resolution was supported by all EU member states as well as by those who are scheduled to join the EU this year. Unfortunately, the Irish found that they were incapable of standing up to the onslaught of Arab pressure, and subsequently withdrew the resolution. We feel that the Irish were
more than somewhat embarrassed by their inability to bring the resolution to the floor, in the face of Arab opposition. Israel's palpable disappointment was expressed when, for the first time, we failed to vote in favor of the "traditional" Irish resolution against religious intolerance; thereby breaking what had heretofore been a consensus (in fact Israel co-sponsored this
resolution in the past, on a number of occasions).

Israel, together with major Jewish organizations, has placed an emphasis on continuing the struggle against antisemitism within the framework of the OSCE. The organization has a European orientation with a trans-Atlantic membership. The long standing commitment of the OSCE to upholding human rights and democracy makes it uniquely suitable to playing a role in the fight against antisemitism.

In June 2003 the OSCE held its first conference devoted exclusively to antisemitism in Vienna. While this conference was a success and had an impact beyond that which was expected, especially in the International media, it was not a forgone conclusion that a second "follow up" conference was going to be
held. The Ministry, together with a coalition of Jewish organizations, worked assiduously to make sure that the invitation tendered by Germany to hold the second conference in Berlin would be accepted by the OSCE.

From our point of view the holding of the second conference devoted to fighting antisemitism, in Berlin, is only the first step towards the building of a sustained framework to monitor and combat antisemitism in Europe. If such a framework can function as a constituent organ of the OSCE, or its subsidiary the ODIHR, that will be a major accomplishment. However, we are also prepared to consider other options.

During the month of December 2003 (corresponding to the Moslem holy month of Ramadan) the Syrian produced television series "Al Shataat" (Diaspora) was broadcast throughout the Arab World and Europe via satellite on Hizballah's TV channel, Al Mannar. This series was patently antisemitic; it portrayed the Jewish People as seeking World domination and in a vile episode it graphically depicted a "ritual murder" of a Christian child for the purposes of using his blood in the baking of Matzot.

The Syrian television program follows the paradigm which we witnessed last year in the Egyptian series "Knight without a Horse."

The Ministry, in coordination with Minister Sharansky, who brought this abomination to the attention of the diplomatic community in Israel, is in contact with the governments of Germany and France so that legal sanctions will be invoked to end the broadcasting of such vile and venomous programs. It should
be noted that both Germany and France have legislation against broadcasting racist programs on both radio and television.

Israel continues to play a leading role in the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Research and Remembrance.

This forum is an important vehicle not only for educating the current generation of historians and teachers regarding what transpired during the Shoah but also for inculcating the message of tolerance and understanding which are at the heart of its educational programs.

In an effort to continue the Ministry's long term goals of building an international coalition against antisemitism, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sylvan Shalom, proposed the formation of an Israel-Europe inter-ministerial committee to combat antisemitism at the meeting
of the Association Council in December 2003. We are now engaged in the process of setting up this commission."

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