Sunday, November 28, 2004

Rising Anti-Semitism in France means more Jews are leaving for Israel 

From: "Eretz Israel" at Year5765@zahav.net.il

As attacks rise in France, Jews flock to Israel

By Andrea Stone

Barbara and Moshe Journo left Lyons, France, with their 1-year-old daughter, Lital, four months ago to move into a cramped apartment at the Beit Canada Absorption Center here. They have no jobs, little money and despite intensive Hebrew immersion remain more inclined to
answer yes with a oui than a ken.

But like thousands of other French Jews who have moved to Israel in the past four years, they are glad to be here. Back in France, they say, rising anti-Semitic attacks by Muslim immigrants and the anti-Israel bias of the French government and media had made life increasingly
uncomfortable for them.

"We want our daughter to grow up in Israel and not France, (where) it's dangerous because of the Arabs," says Barbara, 28. Asked if suicide bombings here by Palestinian terrorists aren't even more dangerous, she shakes her head. "Israel is ours," she says. "We feel here that God helps us."

Last week, Jews from 23 countries were living at the new immigrant complex in southern Jerusalem. But only the French - usually a third of the families who spend six months here
adjusting to their new country - cite anti-Semitism as a prime motivator for emigrating, known here as "making Aliyah," or "going up."

"It's there in the air" of France, says Ahuva Volk, the center's cultural coordinator. "They all felt it at one time or another."

Sunday, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Strasbourg from Adolf Hitler's troops with a speech that condemned the increase of anti-Semitic and other hate crimes in France. Last month, 88 tombs in a Jewish cemetery in Brumath, near Strasbourg, were painted with swastikas and "SS" initials.

"The wrong committed here is too deep for the state not to react with extreme severity and firmness toward all those who are nostalgic for racism and anti-Semitism," Rafarrin said.

Anti-Semitic incidents are not confined to France. Thursday, an Orthodox Jew was shot and killed in Antwerp, Belgium.

Increased attacks on Jews

A dwindling number of émigrés from the former Soviet Union and the 4-year-old Palestinian uprising have reduced immigration to Israel. But the number of French Jews making Aliyah
is rising.

Since 2001, more than 2,000 French Jews have arrived each year, double the rate of the 1990s and more than from any other single country, says the Jewish Agency, the quasi-governmental agency that oversees immigration and absorption. That's a far larger proportion than from the USA, home to 10 times more Jews. There are about 600,000 Jews in France (about 1% of the population) vs. 6 million in the USA. France has the world's third-largest Jewish community after the USA and Israel.

Although most come here for religious or ideological reasons, the recent influx stems directly from increased attacks against Jewish schools, synagogues and cemeteries, and harassment of Orthodox Jews. Jewish leaders complain that few cases are prosecuted.

The number of violent anti-Semitic attacks in France increased to 193 in 2002 from 32 in 2001, and anti-Semitic attacks accounted for half of all racist attacks in France in 2002, according to a report by France's National Consulting Committee on Human Rights, an independent watchdog group. In 2003, the number of attacks fell to 125, according to the committee.

Some of the perpetrators are Muslims who sympathize with the Palestinian cause. They are among as many as 6 million Arab immigrants from North Africa who make up about 10% of France's population.

Much of the French Jewish community shares those roots. About 70% are one or two generations removed from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. But the increasing Arab population has convinced many "that the game is over for the Jew" in France, says Avi Zana, director of the Jewish Agency's European desk. Volk says nearly every French émigré family arrives with stories of persecution.

"France is an Arab country. That's enough for us to leave," says Moshe Bendrihem, 50, a Morrocan-born Jew who moved from a Paris suburb four years ago to Eli, a West Bank settlement. Bendrihem wears a skullcap, or kippah. He didn't always. "It is impossible to wear a kippah in France," he said, for fear of being singled out for attack.

At a welcoming ceremony for 200 French Jews this summer, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon advised all French Jews to "move immediately" to Israel. The comment enraged French officials.

But there is no doubt that anti-Zionism has morphed into anti-Semitism in many parts of France. Jews complain that French media rarely display the same level of outrage over anti-Jewish violence by French Muslims as Israeli attacks against Palestinians here. The Jewish community was infuriated that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was treated at a French military hospital, where French President Jacques Chirac paid a visit.

"Paris became the capital of Palestine" for two weeks, Zana says. Such events "are one other fact that goes into the decision" to leave France for Israel, he says.

The mutual admiration is apparent in the Palestinian territories, where French flags and portraits of Chirac adorn storefronts. After Arafat died Nov. 11, the French president eulogized the man the United States and Israel blamed for terrorist attacks against Israelis as "a man
of courage and conviction."

Gerard Araud, France's ambassador to Israel, says his country "is neither better nor worse than other European countries" when it comes to anti-Semitism. He blames anti-Jewish violence in
part on "a transfer from the intifada (uprising) to the suburbs of European cities." Araud says
France has increased penalties for hate crimes, added school programs that teach tolerance and
worked with Israel to shut down anti-Semitic Web sites.

The law of return

France has had a mixed record in its treatment of Jews. In the early 19th century, Emperor Napoleon emancipated European Jewry, removing economic and social restraints that had confined them to ghettos. In 1936, Leon Blum became France's first Jewish prime minister.

But Blum was later arrested and turned over to the Germans by the French Vichy
government, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, when tens of thousands of
Jews were deported to death camps. "To remember this period is very, very difficult for
the Jews," Zana says. They think, "If they (did) it before, it's possible they will do it again."

French anti-Semitism helped spur the creation of Israel. As a journalist in Paris in 1894, Theodor Herzl reported on the trial of Alfred Dreyfus, an army officer falsely accused of treason mainly because he was Jewish. Two years later, the father of Zionism published The Jewish State. It said Jews could only be safe in a country of their own.

French Jews are among many who have taken advantage of Israel's law of return, which guarantees every Jew the right to become an Israeli citizen. French TV stations now share
the dial with Russian channels here. French language bookstores have opened in
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Now, real estate offices post door signs saying, "On Parle Français."

"Because of the political situation in France, I feel a real increase of interest from the French Jews to come here," says Mikael Azran, owner of Hamishkenote real estate here. He says business has soared in the past two years, with 80% of his French clients buying property as a hedge against worsening conditions at home.

Many French Jews buy small pieds-a-terre they can trade in for bigger homes if they decide to
immigrate here later. The buying spree has forced real estate prices to climb in areas favored
by the French: Jerusalem, Netanya north of Tel Aviv, the port city of Ashdod and the Red Sea
resort of Eilat.

"They buy for security," says Lev Stern, 59, as he browses magazines at Vice-Versa, the French
bookstore here. "It's like insurance."

Interest in the Jewish state can be gauged by the number of visitors. Nearly 200,000 French tourists came to Israel in the first nine months of 2004, a 74% jump over the same period last year. "Many want to feel closer to Israel," says Leon Rozenbaum, president of Unifan, a French immigrants association here. "They want to look at what could be a future in Israel."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

United Nations' Anti-Semitism 

Three articles by Anne Bayefsky:

The U.N. discovers the cause of anti-Semitism: Jews.

BY ANNE BAYEFSKY, Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ms. Bayefsky (http://www.bayefsky.com/) is an international lawyer and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute (http://www.hudson.org/ ) Read more about her below.

Yesterday the House International Relations Committee revealed that money from the United Nations Oil for Food program, which was supposed to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, helped pay the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. This shouldn't come as a surprise. The U.N. has a problem with anti-Semitism: It doesn't know what it is.

In order to figure it out, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and Unesco invited a group of experts to Barcelona last week. Their mission: to provide the U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diéne, with advice on anti-Semitism as well as "Christianophobia and

From whom did the U.N. get advice? There was Tariq Ramadan of Switzerland's Fribourg University, who was denied entry to the U.S. in August on the basis of a law concerning aliens who have used a "position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity" or are considered a "public safety risk or a national security threat." But apparently the U.N. thought it was worth listening to the views on racism of someone who said on Sept. 25,
2001, that "[Osama] Bin Laden is perhaps a useful straw man, like Saddam Hussein, whose diabolical representation perhaps serves other geo-strategic, economic or political designs."

Then there was anti-Semitism expert Esther Benbassa from the Sorbonne. She wrote in September 2000, "Today, especially in the United States, Jewish philanthropy is exerted in the name of the perennization of the memory of the Shoah [Holocaust]. The money flows to create pulpits on anti-Semitism and the genocide, to finance museums, and research. As if nothing else were significant or had ever existed."

In her written contribution to the meeting, she artfully refers to "merging the image of the extermination with the might of Israel against the Palestinians, the one image reducing the significance of the other, and the Jew as both victim and executioner." Maybe the U.N. tapped her for her expertise at encouraging anti-Semitism?

Also in Barcelona were two Israelis who sit on the board of the same nongovernmental organization, the Alternative Information Center, a perennial U.N. favorite though it is on the fringes of Israeli society. The Center's co-chairman Michael Warshawski wrote in a 1996 newsletter: "Ethnic cleansing is a basic Zionist principle and policy." Fellow board member and Tel Aviv University professor Yossi Schwartz presented a paper at the center's workshop
this past May "with the support of the Basque Government" entitled "Anti-Zionism Not Anti-Semitism." Calling for the elimination of the Jewish state is not new to Mr. Schwartz, who has written--after quoting from Trotsky's "epoch": "The solution of the working class to the national question in Israel/Palestine is not one or two or three capitalist states but a socialist federation of the Middle East."

Some invited Jews canceled their participation in the Barcelona conference, though some did attend, including another Israeli. They were compelled to spend their time taking exception to contributions from experts such as "superimposing the Jewish symbol of the Magen David on the Nazi swastika is not anti-Semitism."

At the end of the meeting a draft report, prepared with the assistance of U..N. staffers, was shared with participants, who now have a few days to confirm the outcome. The report will become a U.N. document, and it will be disseminated around the world. Here are some excerpts from the U.N.'s contribution to combating anti-Semitism:

"In practice, it is often difficult for an anti-Zionist type of expression not to be seen as simultaneously anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, several participants maintain that it is necessary to conserve the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, whilst defending the right to be anti-Zionist without being branded an anti-Semite and also bearing in mind that most Jews were anti-Zionists before 1935...
"The genuine Zionism of many Jews helps to explain the fact that many people wrongly feel that most Jews lend their unconditional support to Israeli policies. That is why we have seen attacks on synagogues, arson attacks on schools, desecration of cemeteries, for reasons that have nothing to do either with religion, or education, or the peaceful rest of the deceased, but that
have a great deal to do with a political and a territorial conflict...
"In the past, anti-Semitism as a phenomenon was absent from the Arab-Muslim world. Here, the Arab-Israeli conflict plays an essential role, but another important element is the perception of the State of Israel as the "Trojan horse" of the West in the Middle East. Anti-Semitism would therefore be a particular manifestation of the hatred felt for the West, partly for financial reasons..."


"...The leaders of Jewish communities should also act to distinguish defence of the State of Israel from the fight against anti-Semitism... "Contextualising the memory of the Holocaust with that of other genocides and serious events in contemporary history in order to make sure that at the end of the day everyone can feel the Holocaust as their own tragedy, both Jews and non-Jews."

In other words, according to the U.N. experts' draft report, discrimination against individual Jews is bad, while "anti-Zionism"--the denial to the Jewish people of an equal right to self-determination--is not. Since it is the perception of unconditional Jewish support for Israel that leads people to attack a Jewish cemetery, and anti-Semitism was absent from the Muslim world
prior to the Arab-Israeli conflict (the mufti of Jerusalem and his friend Hitler notwithstanding), the way to defeat anti-Semitism is for Jews to cut loose defense of the state of Israel. And by the way, anti-Semitism will diminish if only we stop emphasizing the unique horror of the Holocaust.

It may not be surprising to learn that Mr. Diéne seems to have had pretty fixed ideas about anti-Semitism before the meeting even began. In his October 2004 report to the General Assembly, he wrote:
"The cycle of extreme violence triggered by the dynamics of occupation .... has fuelled profound ethnic antagonism and hatred. ... The Palestinian population... is... suffering discrimination. Even if Israel has the right to defend itself... a security wall... constitutes a jarring symbol of seclusion,
erected by a people... marked by the rejection of the ghetto. One... effect of this conflict is its... contribution to the rise of... anti-Semitism."

Simply put, Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism. Or, if it weren't for Israel's annoying insistence on defending itself, on the same terms as would be applied to any other state faced with five decades of wars and terrorism aimed at its obliteration, Jews would be better off.

It is interesting to compare the U.N. expert's incisive analysis of the underlying hatred in Sudan. After noting in the same report that two million Sudanese have died and four million have been displaced, he muses that: "...massacres, allegedly ethnically motivated, are continuing to claim
victims in the Darfur region. ... The Special Rapporteur therefore proposes to give greater priority to this region with a view to conducting... an investigation... of the ethnic dimension of the conflicts ravaging it."

Another day, another U.N. meeting, another UN report, and another serious step backward in combating anti-Semitism. And don't forget, another American taxpayer dollar.


U.N. vs. Israel: Telling standards.

by Anne Bayefsky
April 20, 2004


GENEVA — The U.N. response to the death of Abdel Aziz Rantissi, and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin before him, exposes a disturbing fault line in the war against terror.
Hamas has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, as well as the European Union, Canada, and Australia.

The 1988 Covenant of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, speaks for itself. It begins "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." It continues: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." Its violent message is invoked in the name of defeating the "plan of World Zionism" "embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion." In Rantissi's words of July 2001: "I urge all the brigades to...target the Israeli political leaders and members of parliament..."; "the Hamas political leadership has freed the hand of the brigades to do whatever they want against the brothers of monkeys and pigs."

In plain language, the Hamas aim to obliterate the Jewish state is about pure, unadulterated antisemitism.

Rantissi himself (and others, such as Yassin) was named by the State Department as a "specially designated global terrorist." Last month the Bank of England froze the assets of Rantissi because "the Treasury have reasonable grounds for suspecting that...Rantissi, is or may be a person, who commits, facilitates or participates in" "the commission of acts or terrorism."

As soon as Rantissi took over the leadership of Hamas on March 23, 2004, after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) killed Yassin, he called for further bloodshed, "The doors are wide open for attacks inside the Zionist entity."

Israelis keeping the grim statistics have counted at least 425 Hamas attacks killing 377 Israelis and wounding 2,076 in less than three and a half years of violence, including 52 separate suicide attacks. Hamas terrorists have blown themselves up among teenagers at a discotheque, families at a Passover seder, in restaurants, in a pedestrian mall, and on commuter buses. Only one day prior to Rantissi's death Hamas claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing which killed another Israeli.

The international legal framework, therefore, could not be clearer.

Rantissi was a combatant in a war. His killing was not "extrajudicial" because the legal term, by definition, applies only to individuals entitled to judicial process before being targeted. Combatants — including the unlawful combatants of Hamas who seek to make themselves indistinguishable from the civilian population — are not entitled to such prior judicial process. Furthermore, the manual on the laws of armed conflict of the International Committee of the Red Cross, states that civilians who take a direct part in hostilities forfeit their immunity from attack. Even beyond that, judicial process in these instances is not an option, since it would place both IDF and Palestinian civilians at much greater risk of harm.

The overriding legal limit on the conduct of war and the targeting of combatants like Rantissi is the rule of proportionality. In the words of the Geneva Conventions, an attack on a military target "which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life" is prohibited if "excessive." The likelihood of civilian casualties must be carefully considered prior to taking action.

With zero civilian casualties (the only deaths being that of Rantissi and two Hamas accomplices, one a bodyguard, the other his 27-year-old son), the Israeli action could not have been more precise, and hence, proportionate.

The United Nations response to the legality of the killing of Rantissi (and Yassin) is therefore enormously revealing.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan led the way: "The Secretary-General strongly condemns Israel's assassination... Yassin...[E]xtrajudicial killings are against international law." On April 17, he used the identical words to condemn the "assassination of Rantissi."

Almost immediately following Yassin's death (along with eight others at least four of whom were also Hamas terrorists), on March 22, 2004, the U.N. Human Rights Commission convened a special sitting. This move was despite the fact that the commission was already in session, and at that very moment set to consider the only country-specific agenda item at the commission for the past 34 years — on Israel. The suffering of Yassin's victims, or the current genocidal plight of Sudanese in the Darfur region — reported by international agencies to involve 10,000 dead in the past year, and which may now have reached 1,000 dead per week — didn't move the commission to hold a special sitting. But they did see fit to schedule an extra three hours to denounce Israel over the death of one man — a man who personally instigated and authorized suicide bombing, ordered the firing of missiles at Israeli communities, and repeatedly exhorted his followers to "armed struggle" against Israelis and Jews "everywhere."

Having glorified the terrorist in particular, the commission went on to sanction terrorism in general. On April 15, the commission adopted a resolution, sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which aimed to condone suicide bombing by referring to "the legitimacy of the struggle [against] foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle" and the "right...to resist." The resolution passed by a large majority.

Shortly thereafter, resolutions which would have criticized Zimbabwe, China, and Russia (in relation to events in Chechnya) were either blocked by procedural maneuvers or voted down. The total tally of country specific votes coming from the 2004 Commission now stands at:
Rest of the World-4
(the other states being Belarus, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Turkmenistan).

While those other country resolutions were being considered, the U.N. hosted a two-day meeting on Israel's security fence, April 15 and 16, directly across the hall from the commission. The juxtaposition was staggering. The same facilities were provided for a meeting on Israel as were provided for human rights on the remainder of the planet. And hours before the meeting ended on its second day, the "Final Document" — condemning Israel — was distributed to the public claiming to be based on discussions which had not yet occurred.

Sooner or later one can only hope a light will go on. Whatever superficial lip service is paid to the contrary, according to the U.N., Israel has no right of self-defense. Everything the U.N. does in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict — whether it be calls for the return to 1967's indefensible borders, declarations that Jerusalem is occupied territory, demands for the return of Palestinian refugees ending the Jewishness of the state, or efforts to isolate and demonize Israel as the worst human-rights violator in the world today — emanates from the standpoint that the Jewish side is not entitled to fight back.

This publication was originally published on National Review Online (http://www.nationalreview.com/ ) on April 20, 2004


W.’s U.N. Mandate: Time to rethink this relationship.

By Anne Bayefsky
November 09, 2004, 7:53 a.m.

No faces were more sullen the day after the election than those of the diplomats and bureaucrats skulking around the halls of the United Nations. Secretary-General Kofi Annan eked out a brief statement last Wednesday in which he "warmly congratulate[d] President Bush on his re-election" and pledged his "commit[ment] to continuing to work with President Bush and his administration on the whole range of issues facing the United Nations and the world." Though such U.N. doublespeak rarely raises eyebrows anymore, one element of the "political capital" that the president received upon reelection warrants some plain language.

President Bush has a mandate to rethink American relations with the United Nations.

The campaign gave voters two clear alternatives. Senator Kerry's would-be foreign policy was based on a "global test" that involved dealing "at length with the United Nations," in marked contrast to the president's position that American interests diverge in important respects from U.N. proclivities. The president reminded voters of a decade of U.N. huffing and puffing on Iraq and of the dangers of political adventurism by the U.N.'s International Criminal Court. Then the American people chose.

The campaign also smoked out something more sinister than impotence or ineptitude at Turtle Bay, namely, a U.N. secretariat dedicated to undermining the president's success. Their tactics should not be forgotten in the wake of their ultimate failure. There was the U.N. refusal of American protection for U.N. officials in Iraq, minimal support for Iraqi-election preparation and institution-building, the venting of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's personal belief that the war on Iraq was illegal. And in the last weeks of the campaign, the director general of the U.N.'s Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed El-Baradei, sought to draw as much attention as he could to weapons missing from the Iraqi facility at Al-Qaqaa for the last 18 months and representing a fraction of the munitions destroyed and secured since the fall of Saddam Hussein. With a Gallup poll on the eve of the election saying eight of ten Americans were following the issue of the missing explosives closely and that 58 percent were apportioning at least a moderate amount of blame to the president, a 6,200 U.N. staff in the middle of America's largest metropolis with a 3.16 billion-dollar biennium budget for 2004-05 is a force to be reckoned with.

The day of reckoning has come. In an election that turned so much on values, what values does the U.N. promote? To name a few, the U.N.'s primary human-rights body, the Commission on Human Rights, includes such role models as China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Not surprisingly, of 86 separate votes held at the 2004 Commission, the U.S. was in the minority 85 percent of the time. Reports estimate that more than two million people have been killed in Sudan over two decades of conflict, 70,000 have been murdered in the Darfur region since March, and another 1.6 million persons are currently displaced. But there has been no U.N. General Assembly emergency session on Sudan, just as there wasn't for Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia. That's because the Assembly's emergency sessions are reserved for denouncing Israel, the "tenth" emergency session having now been "reconvened" 13 times in the past seven years. Instead, the U.N. has sent a commission of inquiry to Sudan to "determine whether or not acts of genocide have occurred or are still occurring" and to report in three months. Zhila Izadi, a 13-year-old Iranian girl, is currently under a sentence of death by stoning for the crime of being raped and impregnated by her brother. But the U.N. response to a criminal "justice" system that stones, amputates limbs, and publicly hangs children was to abolish the post of U.N. investigator of human-rights violations in Iran in April 2002. So much for values.

In the past four years, largely as a result of the predilections of Secretary of State Colin Powell, American policy toward the U.N. has been inconsistent. Unfettered American handling of Arab-Israeli diplomacy has been modified by Powell, Annan, and the EU. They spawned the quartet with its promise to make the U.N. itself an indispensable player, despite its gross bias against Israel.

The president told the U.N. in September 2002 that there had to be serious consequences for the failure of Iraq to abide by a decade of Security Council resolutions, but then spent six months lending credence to the view that the Council's approval for imposing those consequences was required.

The differences between the president's and the U.N.'s agenda should no longer be papered over. Success in the war against terrorism requires identifying the enemy. The U.N. has no definition of terrorism. Close to a third of its members actively participate in the Organization of the Islamic Conference and stand in the way of a comprehensive convention against terrorism or any resolution that would unequivocally condemn the use of all available means in the name of a struggle for self-determination.

Success requires an accurate assessment of priorities. The U.N. thinks the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the greatest impediment to world order — not a nuclear Iran, not a bellicose North Korea, not the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists, and not violent Islamic fundamentalism.

Success depends on distinguishing causes from effects. The U.N. claims the root cause of militant Islamic terrorism the world over is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, while in fact the occupation results from failed (and continuing) Arab attempts to destroy the Jewish state.

And success depends on an accurate assessment of responsibility. The U.N. Arab Human Development Report says "Arab countries...evince the lowest levels of freedom among the world regions compared.... When it comes to voice and accountability, the Arab region still ranks lowest in the world." The report notes "the virtual absence of good governance," "the relative backwardness of the Arab region in this vital area" of "knowledge acquisition, absorption and use." But when it came to assigning responsibility, the report points a finger at "the severe impediment of human development" caused by "the Israeli occupation of Palestine" and explains that "the issue of freedom in Arab countries has become a casualty of the overspill from the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq."

On every one of these counts — the names of the terrorists and their state sponsors, renouncing terrorism and committing to democratic reform first, the refusal to answer the question of "why do they hate us?" by self-flagellation, and the placement of responsibility directly at the feet of the despots — President Bush has staked out a dramatically different course from that of the U.N. Therefore it is time that U.S. taxpayers had an in-depth accounting of the 22 percent of the U.N. budget that comes from their blood, sweat, and tears.

Anne Bayefsky is an international lawyer and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute (http://www.hudson.org/ )


(Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow with Hudson Institute http://www.hudson.org/ . Before joining Hudson she was an adjunct professor and associate research scholar from 2002 to 2004 at Columbia University Law School in New York. She was a visiting professor at the law school from 2001 to 2002.

In January 2003 she launched http://www.bayefsky.com/ , a major human rights website dedicated to enhancing the implementation of the human rights legal standards of the United Nations. The site has attracted over 500,000 visitors from 96 countries.

In 1996 Bayefsky began her tenure as a full professor in the Department of Political Science at York University in Toronto. She is currently on leave. From 1996 to 1999 she was the director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies. From 1998 to 2004 she served as project director for the university’s Human Rights Treaty Study, a major international review of the U.N. human rights treaty system. In 2001 she published a report in collaboration with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

From 1981 to 1996 Bayefsky was a professor of constitutional and international law at the University of Ottawa.

Bayefsky has been the recipient of many honors. Each July from 2002 to 2004 Bayefsky has been a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was the 1992 recipient of the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research, Canada’s annual premier human rights research fellowship, and she was a 1995-1996 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant in Peace and International Cooperation.

She is a member of the International Law Association Committee on Human Rights Law and Practice and on the Governing Board of U.N. Watch, an ECOSOC-accredited NGO based in Geneva. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the series "Refugees and Human Rights", published by Brill.

In 2001 she was a delegate of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists to the NGO Forum and a delegate of UN Watch to the Durban World Conference against Racism. She has served as an academic member of the Canadian Delegations to several international meetings, including the U.N. Human Rights Commission (1993-1996), the U.N. General Assembly (1984 and 1989), and the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights (1993). In 1995 she was a delegate of the American Society of International Law to the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women.

She holds a B.A., M.A. and LL.B. from the University of Toronto and an M.Litt. from Oxford University. She is a barrister and solicitor of the Ontario Bar.)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Climate of hate rocks Columbia University 

Climate of hate rocks Columbia University
By Douglas Feiden
New York Daily News (front page story)
November 21, 2004

It's a capital of "thuggery" - a "ghastly state of racism and apartheid" - and it "must be dismantled."

A voice from America's crackpot fringe? Actually, Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.

Columbia is at risk of becoming a poison Ivy, some critics claim, and tensions are high.

In classrooms, teach-ins, interviews and published works, dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast.

In three weeks of interviews, numerous students told the Daily News they face harassment, threats and ridicule merely for defending the right of Israel to survive.

And the university itself is holding investigations into the alleged intimidation.

Dabashi has achieved academic stardom: professor of Iranian studies; chairman of the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department; past head of a panel that administers Columbia's core curriculum.

The 53-year-old, Iranian-born scholar has said CNN should be held accountable for "war crimes" for one-sided coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. He doubts the existence of Al Qaeda and questions the role of Osama Bin Laden in the attacks.

Dabashi did not return calls.

In September in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, he wrote, "What they call Israel is no mere military state. A subsumed militarism, a systemic mendacity with an ingrained violence constitutional to the very fusion of its fabric, has penetrated the deepest corners of what these people have to call their soul."

After the showing of a student-made documentary about faculty bias and bullying that targets Jewish students, six or seven swastikas were found carved in a Butler Library bathroom last month.

Then after a screening of the film, "Columbia Unbecoming," produced by the David Project, a pro-Israel group in Boston, one student denounced another as a "Zionist fascist scum," witnesses said.

On Oct. 27, Columbia announced it would probe alleged intimidation and improve procedures for students to file grievances.

"Is the climate hostile to free expression?" asked Alan Brinkley, the university provost. "I don't believe it is, but we're investigating to find out."

But one student on College Walk described the campus as a "republic of fear." Another branded the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department the "department of dishonesty."

A third described how she was once "humiliated in front of an entire class."

Deena Shanker, a Mideast and Asian studies major, remains an admirer of the department. But she says she will never forget the day she asked Joseph Massad, a professor of modern Arab politics, if Israel gives warnings before bombing certain buildings so residents could flee.

"Instead of answering my question, Massad exploded," she said. "He told me if I was going to 'deny the atrocities' committed against the Palestinians, I could get out of his class."

"Professorial power is being abused," said Ariel Beery, a senior who is student president in the School of General Studies, but stresses he's speaking only for himself.

"Students are being bullied because of their identities, ideologies, religions and national origins," Beery said.

Added Noah Liben, another senior, "Debate is being stifled. Students are being silenced in their own classrooms."

Said Brinkley: If a professor taught the "Earth was flat or there was no Holocaust," Columbia might intervene in the classroom. "But we don't tell faculty they can't express strong, or even offensive opinions."

Yet even some faculty members say they fear social ostracism and career consequences if they're viewed as too pro-Israel, and that many have been cowed or shamed into silence.

One apparently unafraid is Dan Miron, a professor of Hebrew literature and holder of a prestigious endowed chair.

He said scores of Jewish students - about one a week - have trooped into his office to complain about bias in the classroom.

"Students tell me they've been browbeaten, humiliated and treated disrespectfully for daring to challenge the idea that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish nation," he said.

"They say they've been told Israeli soldiers routinely rape Palestinian women and commit other atrocities, and that Zionism is racism and the root of all evil."

One yardstick of the anti-Israel sentiment among professors, critics say, is the 106 faculty signatures on a petition last year that called for Columbia to sell its holdings in all firms that conduct business with Israel's military.

Noting that the divestment campaign compared Israel to South Africa during the apartheid era, Columbia President Lee Bollinger termed it "grotesque and offensive."

That didn't stop 12 Mideast and Asian studies professors - almost half the department - and 21 anthropology teachers from signing on, a review of the petition shows.

To identify the Columbia faculty with the most strongly anti-Israel views, The News spoke to numerous teachers and students, including some who took their courses; reviewed interviews and published works, and examined Web sites that report their public speeches and statements, including the online archives of the Columbia Spectator, the student newspaper.

Their views could be dismissed as academic fodder if they weren't so incendiary.

Columbia's firebrands

In the world of Hamid Dabashi, supporters of Israel are "warmongers" and "Gestapo apparatchiks."

The Jewish homeland is "nothing more than a military base for the rising predatory empire of the United States."

Nicholas De Genova, who teaches anthropology and Latino studies. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls him "the most hated professor in America."
At an anti-war teach-in last year, he said he wished for a "million Mogadishus," referring to the slaughter of U.S. troops in Somalia in 1993.

"U.S. patriotism is inseparable from imperial warfare and white supremacy," he added.

De Genova has also said, "The heritage of the victims of the Holocaust belongs to the Palestinian people. ... Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust."

De Genova didn't return calls.

Bruce Robbins, a professor of English and comparative literature.
In a speech backing divestment, he said, "The Israeli government has no right to the sufferings of the Holocaust."

Elaborating, Robbins told The News he believes Israel has a right to exist, but he thinks the country has "betrayed the memory of the Holocaust."

Joseph Massad, who is a tenure-track professor of Arab politics. Students and faculty interviewed by The News consistently claimed that the Jordanian-born Palestinian is the most controversial, and vitriolic, professor on campus.
"How many Palestinians have you killed?" he allegedly asked one student, Tomy Schoenfeld, an Israeli military veteran, and then refused to answer his questions.

To Massad, CNN star Wolf Blitzer is "Ze'ev Blitzer," which is the byline Blitzer used in the 1980s, when he wrote for Hebrew papers but hasn't used since.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be likened to Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, he once declared.

"The Jews are not a nation," he said in one speech. "The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist."

Massad didn't return several calls. On his Web site, he says he's a victim of a "witch hunt" by "pro-Israel groups" and their "propaganda machine."

George Saliba, a professor of Arabic and Islamic science. His classroom rants against the West are legendary, students have claimed.
One student says his "Islam & Western Science" class could be called "Why the West is Evil." Another writes that his "Intro to Islamic Civilization" often serves as a forum to "rail against evil America."

A recent graduate, Lindsay Shrier, said Saliba told her, "You have no claim to the land of Israel ... no voice in this debate. You have green eyes, you're not a true Semite. I have brown eyes, I'm a true Semite."

Saliba did not return calls.

Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said professor of Arab studies. He's the academic heir to the late Said, a professor who famously threw a stone from Lebanon at an Israeli guard booth.
Columbia initially refused to say how the chair was funded. But The United Arab Emirates, which denies the Holocaust on state TV channels, is reported to have provided $200,000.

When Palestinians in a Ramallah police station lynched two Israeli reservists in 2000 - throwing one body out a window and proudly displaying bloodstained hands - the professor attacked the media, not the killers.

He complained about "inflammatory headlines" in a Chicago Sun-Times story and called the paper's then-owner, Conrad Black, who also owned the Jerusalem Post, "the most extreme Zionist in public life."

Reached at Columbia, Khalidi declined to comment on specifics.

"As somebody who has a body of work, written six books and won many awards, the only fair thing to do is look at the entire body of work, not take quotes out of context," he said.

Lila Abu-Lughod, a professor of anthropology, romanticizes Birzeit University in the West Bank as a "liberal arts college dedicated to teaching and research in the same spirit as U.S. colleges."
But it is well-established that Birzeit also is the campus where Hamas openly recruits suicide bombers, stone-throwers and gunmen.

As in her published works, Abu-Lughod gave a carefully nuanced response when reached Friday by The News:

"The CIA has historically recruited at Columbia, but that's not the mission of Columbia. The mission of Birzeit is to educate students, and they're working under very difficult circumstances to do that."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Half a Million Jews were Killed in Romania's Holocaust 

From: Jewish_World@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Jewish World] Digest Number 614
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 13:11:15

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 21:57:18 +0200
From: "Eretz Israel" Year5765@zahav.net.il


BUCHAREST - Half a million Jews were killed in Romania's Holocaust, many
more than previously thought, a special commission set up to shed light on
the country's Nazi past says, according to media reports.

It also recommended Romania, an ally of Adolf Hitler in World War II, face up to its history by building a memorial to those who died and teaching children about the Holocaust in school.

The international commission was appointed last year after the government denied the Holocaust happened in the Balkan country, prompting a diplomatic row with Israel.

"For us, this was our sacred mission: to honour truth by remembering the dead," said the commission's chairman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel. "For them it is too late but not for their children, and ours."

The report said between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were killed by Romanian civilian and military authorities in Romania and territories under its control.

Another 135,000 Romanian Jews living in the then Hungarian-controlled Transylvania and 5,000 Romanian Jews living outside Romania also died, it said, and over 25,000 Roma people were deported of whom 11,000 died.

According to previous figures in the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust some 420,000 people from Romania's pre-war Jewish community of 750,000 died.

Only around 13,000 Jews now live in Romania.

Directives to degrade and destroy Jews and Jewish institutions came from wartime leader Ion Antonescu, the report said.

Until two years ago, Antonescu, who was executed in 1946 for allying Romania with Hitler and sending hundreds of thousands of Jews and gypsies to death camps, was deemed an anti-communist hero and immortalised in statues across the country.

But these were demolished when Romania, which is hoping to join the European Union, passed legislation banning the use of fascist, racist and xenophobic symbols.

The commission recommended Romania annul war criminal rehabilitations, of which it said there had been a number of cases in the 15 years since the overthrow of Stalinist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

It also said a national Holocaust memorial and museum should be built in Bucharest and that the school curriculum and textbooks be changed to include the Holocaust.

Romanian-born Wiesel, 76, a prolific writer on the Holocaust who has drawn from his own experiences in Nazi death camps, said he hoped the commission's report would "take its place in Romania's history".

The commission also included Tuvia Friling, the head of the Israeli Archives, Holocaust survivors and experts and historians from Israel, the United States and Europe.


And From Haaretz:

Study: Up to 380,000 Jews killed in Romanian Holocaust

By Grig Davidovitz, Haaretz Correspondent
Sun., November 21, 2004 Kislev 8, 5765

"The number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust in territories controlled by Romania has not been finally determined. Nevertheless, the commission concludes that between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews were murdered or died during the Holocaust in territories under Romanian control," according to a wide-reaching 400-page report submitted Thursday to Romanian President Ion Iliescu by an international commission set up to investigate the Romanian Holocaust.

The commission is just one step, which some are calling the most important, in a process of improvement of relations between Romania, Israel and the Jewish world. This comes in the wake of a decline over the past year after the Romanian government declared that "there was no Holocaust inside Romania's borders" and when Iliescu said in an interview with Haaretz "the Holocaust was not unique to the Jews."

His remarks instigated furious responses from Israel and from around the world. Under immense pressure, Romania agreed to create an international committee to investigate the fate of its Jews and Gypsies.

Iliescu now sounds different.

"The creation of the commission was a necessary step. The report presents objective and scientific information," Iliescu said Thursday, promising to adopt all recommendations made by the commission.

The commission, established in October 2003 by Iliescu, is made up of 32 historians and public figures from the United States, Romania, Israel, Germany and France. The commission is headed by Professor Elie Wiesel.

It is not a coincidence that the report does not pinpoint the exact number of Jews killed by Romania during the Holocaust.

"There was serious disagreement over the numbers," said a source close to the commission. The differences in the numbers were also the result of differences in interests.

Romanian historians came with findings supporting lower numbers while Israeli historians provided data indicated that close to 400,000 were murdered.

Commission members decided in the end not to make a decision regarding the exact number of murdered Romanian Jews.

"We are aware of the tremendous responsibility," the report said. "The commission decided not to release a figure on the number of Jews killed in Romania and in the territories under its control. The commission decided to quote the range of figures as they appear in the research, with the hope that future research will determine the exact number of victims. Nevertheless, it is possible that there will never be a clear statistical picture of the number of Romanian Holocaust victims."

The report said that "between 45,000 and 60,000 Jews were killed in Bessarabia and in Bukovina by Romanian and German forces. Between 105,000 and 120,000 Jews died during forced deportation to Transnistria. Between 115,000 and 180,000 Jews were killed in Transnistria and at least 15,000 Jews were murdered in a pogrom in Iasi and as a result of other events."

Gypsy deaths were also discussed by the report. "Between 11,000 and 25,000 Gypsies deported to Transnistria died. Entire communities vanished never to return."

The report places unmistakable blame on the Romania's Holocaust-era Antonescu regime for the crimes.

"The orders issued by Antonescu facilitated death sentences for the Jews of Bessarabia and Bukovina," the report read. "Romania is responsible for the murder of more Jews than any other nation during the Holocaust, aside from Germany. Romania carried out genocide against the Jewish nation. The fact that some of Romania's Jews survived does not change this reality."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Belgian Jews face serious Anti-Semitism and deaths 

Orthodox Jew from U.K. shot to death in Antwerp
By News Agencies
From http://www.haaretz.com/
Thu., November 18, 2004 Kislev 5, 5765

BRUSSELS - An Orthodox Jew from Britain was shot in the head in Antwerp early Thursday and died about 14 hours later in a hospital, the local public prosecutor's office said amid concern in Belgium about a rise in anti-Semitism following the stabbing of a Jewish youth in June.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said the motive was unclear. "We do not exclude any motive, but so far there are no indications that the motive was racist or extremist," said Dominique Reniers.

Police were looking for witnesses to the shooting of Moshe Naeh, a 24-year-old Orthodox Jew and a father of five.

Naeh, who is British but has been living in the Belgian port city, was shot once in front of his home in Antwerp's Jewish neighborhood, Reniers said. He was a secretary to a rabbi in Antwerp.

Yehuda Ceitlin, a local aide of Israel's Zaka rescue services, said that, though racial harassment had increased in recent years in Antwerp, it was the first shooting of a Jewish victim in a long time.

"It caught everyone by surprise," he said. Antwerp, some 50 kilometers north of the capital, has one of the biggest Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in western Europe.

Reniers called the victim a "devout young man" who was shot once from close range. He slumped onto the road, where he was discovered by passers-by who initially thought he was a traffic victim.

There have been a series of incidents involving physical attacks and
intimidation of Jews in the city this year, often blamed on youths from the large Arab immigrant community.

In June, a 16-year-old Jewish student nearly died after being stabbed, apparently by Arab youths, outside his Jewish school in an Antwerp suburb. Days later, a 43-year-old Jewish man was beaten unconscious.

The stabbing prompted a national outcry and highlighted the anxieties of the city's 15,000-20,000 Jews, half of them Orthodox. Antwerp has been home to a large community of Orthodox Jews for more than 700 years.

Belgium's second city also boasts a large immigrant population, with some 10 percent of its 500,000 inhabitants of North African descent.

The leader of Belgium's Jewish community, Dr. Joseph Wybran, was shot to death in Brussels in 1989, and four young people were injured in 1982 when gunmen opened fire on a Brussels synagogue. Both attacks were blamed on Palestinian groups.

In 2002, 18 shots were fired into the facade of a synagogue in the southern city of Charleroi without causing injury.

The federal government has vowed to crack down on anti-Semitism. Belgium's official anti-racism center said in July it had registered as many anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2004 as in the whole of 2003.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Vandals spray swastikas on Jewish gravestones in England 

By Reuters
From http://www.haaretz.com/
Wed., November 17, 2004 Kislev 4, 5765

LONDON - Vandals have sprayed swastikas and other Nazi insignia on 15 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in southern England, police said Wednesday.

They said the anti-Semitic graffiti had appeared on the gravestones in Aldershot, Hampshire, over the past month.

"This is about the lowest thing anybody can do," Police Constable Andy Gardiner of Hampshire police said. "Any sort of vandalism would be bad enough but to put symbols like these on Jewish graves is a despicable act."

As well as swastikas, the vandals had sprayed SS on some of the graves - a reference to the Schutzstaffel, a paramilitary unit of the Nazi party.

Attacks on Jewish graves have been relatively rare in Britain, home to around 265,000 Jews.

However, members of the Jewish population have warned that anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Simon Wiesenthal Center Protests Assassination in Holland 

From: "Simon Wiesenthal Center"
To: simshalom@att.net
Subject: SWC: Holland Must Act Now To Stop Extremism
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 02:24:10

Simon Wiesenthal Center
1399 South Roxbury, Los Angeles, California 90035

Issues the following statement:

The brutal killing last week of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh who was stabbed to death in Amsterdam while cycling to work shocked the world. Moreover, a five-page letter pinned to Van Gogh's body with a knife included antisemitic rhetoric reminiscent of Nazi propaganda and threats against Amsterdam's Jewish Mayor Job Cohen and other Jewish personalities.

Prosecutors believe the killer was an Islamic radical Dutch-Moroccan who was part of a terrorist group with international links. As a result, Dutch authorities are treating the killing as a terrorist act. The murderer attended the Al Tawheed mosque, long considered a hotbed of extremism whose Imam refers to Christians and Jews as "kindling for hell fire." As in many Western European countries, Jews in recent years have often been the first targets of extremists' rhetoric and hate crimes whose openly espoused goal is a European Continent governed by Islamic rule. In addition, there is scant sympathy for Israel's struggle against Palestinian terrorism, and as a result chants like "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas," have gone unchallenged at Dutch football (soccer) matches.

In recent years, authorities have been aware that some Dutch Muslims, primarily from Morocco have become adherents of radical Islamic ideology. The extremist agenda has been promoted by Imams who immigrated to Holland and via websites that celebrate the likes of Osama Bin Laden.

In view of these tragic and troubling developments, we are asking our supporters to join the Simon Wiesenthal Center in urging Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, (pictured right) who is also currently serving as President of the European Union, to take specific measures to stem the rise of Islamist extremism by doing background checks on any religious leader from abroad seeking entry into Holland, to track extremist websites and to deport any so-called religious leader who promotes hatred and terrorism against any group in Holland.

Tragically, the execution of Theo van Gogh and the Nazi-like rhetoric in the letter pinned to his body fits into a larger pattern of emerging Islamist rhetoric that is surfacing across the globe from Holland to Canada. The challenge before all freedom-loving people residing in democracies is the need for society to protect individual freedoms while simultaneously protecting the safety and security of its citizens – European nations, including Holland, must meet this challenge head on!"

Send inquiries to: information@wiesenthal.net

Or send mail to: Simon Wiesenthal Center
1399 South Roxbury, Los Angeles, California 90035


This e-mail was sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
an international organization with 400,000 members,
promoting tolerance and combating antisemitism worldwide.


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