Sunday, December 31, 2006

Antisemitism in Australia 

Australia Jews feel 'threatened' by upsurge in anti-Semitic acts

By Daphna Berman
Thu., December 28, 2006 Tevet 7, 5767

Australia has experienced an upsurge in anti-Semitism in recent months and the country's Jewish community is feeling increasingly "vulnerable and threatened" as a result, a leading communal figure said this week.

"Schools, institutions and synagogues have been targeted relentlessly over the past few months," said Manny Waks, executive officer of the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation Commission, a national organization that aims to combat anti-Semitism and racism.

"People [in Australia] are used to seeing swastikas here and there, but when it becomes systematic and often, people are concerned. Over the last few months, the Jewish community has felt vulnerable and threatened," he added.

According to a recent report on anti-Semitism in Australia, during the 12 months preceding September 30, 2006, more than 440 reports of anti-Semitic acts were received by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. The report also noted a sharp increase in the number of violent attacks against Australian Jews.

In the most recent incident in October, an ultra-Orthodox man was attacked in Melbourne by a group of footballers who allegedly screamed, "F... off Jews" and "Go Nazis." According to reports, he was attacked and punched in the face, in front of his two young children. The incident marked the fifth physical assault on a Jew in Australia in 2006.

Despite the rise, though, Waks said that cases of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe "are much more severe" that in Australia.

"The Jewish community in Australia has it good and there is no question about it," he insisted. "But we need to be proactive about these issues."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ukrainians can't give up hating Jews 

Poll: Ukrainians Want Jews Out.

Country’s citizens don’t want Jews, but hate others more, according to a new survey.

Vladimir Matveyev - JTA
Thursday, December 14, 2006 / 23 Kislev 5767

Kiev, Ukraine — One-third of Ukrainians do not want Jews in their country, a new survey found.

Conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, the study found that 36 percent of respondents do not want to see Jews as citizens of Ukraine, compared to 26 percent in a similar survey conducted in 1994.

Researchers also found that anti-Semitic attitudes were especially widespread among younger respondents.

According to the survey, 45 percent of respondents aged 18 to 20 do not want to see Jews as citizens of Ukraine.

“The attitude toward Jews is not the worst; it’s in the middle of our diagram,” Vladimir Panioto, director of the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, told JTA. “Ukrainians harbor even more negative feelings to Gypsies and black people.”

Regarding Gypsies, or Roma, 71.8 percent of respondents said they did not want to see them as citizens of Ukraine, and 61.4 percent expressed a similar attitude toward ethnic Romanians.

Moreover, the survey found, 6.6 percent of Ukrainians do not want Jews to come to Ukraine, compared to 14.6 percent of those who do not want to see Americans in the country and 0.7 percent of respondents who do not want Russians to visit Ukraine.

The survey of 2,000 respondents in 24 regions of Ukraine was conducted Oct. 13-24 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Jewish leaders and activists differed in their assessments of the survey.

One activist said it was an accurate reflection of widespread anti-Jewish and xenophobic moods in Ukrainian society.

Moreover, said Alexander Naiman, Ukrainian authorities are exacerbating the situation by not doing enough to improve it.

Authorities thus far have failed to take “a proper stand on the problems of ethnic minorities in Ukraine,” said Naiman, who heads the country’s Anti-Defamation League in Kiev, a group that is not affiliated with ADL in the United States.

Those who agree with Naiman believe that anti-Jewish sentiments have become even more common in this country of 47 million as a result of the situation in the Middle East, particularly in the wake of Israel’s war with Hezbollah this summer.

“Xenophobia is on the rise in Ukraine partly because Ukrainian authorities do nothing to curb it and partly because of biased information concerning the situation in the Middle East” in the Ukrainian media, said Mikhail Frenkel, a Jewish journalist and the head of the Association of Jewish Media in Ukraine.

According to an annual audit of anti-Semitism in Ukraine published earlier this year by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks against individuals in Ukraine increased 50 percent in 2005 over the previous year.

Frenkel and other activists also blamed the Interregional Academy for Personnel Management, or MAUP, a Kiev-based private university that has become a major purveyor of anti-Semitic propaganda in Ukraine.

Jewish leaders tend to agree that despite some recent developments, particularly the closure of several MAUP regional branches, Ukraine is not doing enough to stop anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli propaganda by the school leadership.

But some leading figures in the community said that findings of the survey required a more balanced approach and that the Jewish situation in Ukraine is not as bleak as the survey suggests.

“There is xenophobia and there is MAUP, but we should take into account that all ethnic minorities continue to develop freely in Ukraine,” said Josef Zissels, leader of the Ukrainian Va’ad and one of the most influential figures in the Jewish community.

One of Ukraine’s chief rabbis agreed with him.

The level of anti-Semitism is high in Ukraine, “but I consider it’s much lower” than the survey suggested,

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, chief rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine, told JTA.

In a related development, a group of Jewish lawmakers and activists have called on the Ukrainian authorities to stop the sale of xenophobic and anti-Semitic books and periodicals in Kiev’s main square. Officials have yet to respond.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Hate and Holocaust Denial from Iran 

Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'
By Haaretz Service and Agencies
Wed., December 13, 2006 Kislev 22, 5767

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday told delegates at an international conference questioning the Holocaust that Israel's days were numbered.

Ahmadinejad, who has sparked international outcry by referring to the systematic murder of six million Jews in World War II as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map", launched another verbal attack on Israel.

"Thanks to people's wishes and God's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is [headed] downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want," he said.

"Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added.

His words received warm applause from delegates at the Holocaust conference, who included ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist Jews and European and American writers who argue the Holocaust was either fabricated or exaggerated.

The White House on Tuesday condemned the gathering of Holocaust deniers in Tehran as "an affront to the entire civilized world as well as to the traditional Iranian values of tolerance and respect."

A statement from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow noted the meeting coincided with International Human Rights Week, which renews the pledges of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafted in the wake of World War II atrocities.

"The Iranian regime perversely seeks to call the historical fact of those atrocities into question and provide a platform for hatred," Snow said.

He said the United States will continue to support those in Iran and elsewhere who seek to promote human rights "and will stand with them in their efforts to overcome oppression, injustice and tyranny."

On Monday the U.S. State Department dismissed the conference as "just awful."

Participants at the conference praised Iran's hard-line president Tuesday, saying the gathering gave them the opportunity to air theories that cast doubt on the Nazis' attempt to eradicate the Jewish people, something that is banned in parts of Europe.

The government-sponsored conference in Tehran, which has drawn Holocaust deniers from around the world, has continued to be the focus of international condemnation.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the conference "shocking beyond belief" and branded it "a symbol of sectarianism and hatred."

He said he saw little hope of engaging Iran in constructive action in the Middle East, saying, "I look around the region at the moment, and everything Iran is doing is negative."

Ahmadinejad initiated the two-day gathering in an attempt to bolster his image as a leader standing up to Israel, Europe and the U.S. - an image he has used to whip up support at home and abroad.

"Ahmadinejad's Holocaust comment opened a new window in international relations on this issue. Twenty years ago, it was not possible to talk about the Holocaust and any scientific study was subject to punishment. This taboo has been broken, thanks to Mr. Ahmadinejad's initiative," Georges Theil of France told conference delegates on Tuesday.

Theil was convicted earlier this year in France for "contesting the truth of crimes against humanity" after he said the Nazis never used poison gas against Jews.

Michele Renouf, an Australian socialite supporter of "Holocaust skeptics," called Ahmadinejad "a hero" for opening a debate about the Holocaust. Renouf, a blonde former beauty queen, addressed the audience wearing a green robe and Islamic headscarf, abiding by Iranian law requiring women to cover their hair.

The 67 participants from 30 countries - who include some of Europe's most prominent Holocaust deniers - were expected to meet Ahmadinejad later Tuesday.

"This conference has an incredible impact on Holocaust studies all over the world," said American David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and former state representative in Louisiana.

"The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder," Duke told The Associated Press.

In Germany, Austria and France, it is illegal to deny the Holocaust or question some aspects of it, and several of the Tehran conference participants have been prosecuted. They and the conference organizers have touted the gathering as an expression of academic free speech.

Participants milled around a model of the Auschwitz concentration camp brought by one speaker, Australian Frederick Toben, who uses the mock-up in lectures contending that the camp was too small to kill mass numbers of Jews. More than 1 million people are estimated to have been killed there.

Toben, who was jailed in Germany in 1999 for questioning the Holocaust, has toured Iranian universities in the past, delivering lectures.

Also among the participants are two rabbis and four other members of the group Jews United Against Zionism, who were dressed in the traditional long black coats and black hats of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Members of the delegation, representatives of the Neturei Karta group, say the existence of the state of Israel violates Jewish law and argues that the Holocaust should not be used to justify its founding.

Many of the speakers at the conference insisted the extent of the Holocaust had been largely exaggerated, some contending Jews had exploited it to win backing for the creation of Israel.

In response to the forum, the Vatican issued a statement calling the Holocaust an "immense tragedy before which we cannot remain indifferent ... The memory of those horrible events must remain as a warning for people's consciences."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "we reject with all our strength the conference taking place in Iran about the supposed nonexistence of the Holocaust."

"We absolutely reject this; Germany will never accept this and will act against it with all the means that we have," Merkel said at a news conference alongside visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The gathering coincided with an independently convened academic conference on the Holocaust in Berlin, Germany, where historians affirmed the accuracy of the Nazi genocide data and questioned the motives of those behind the Tehran forum.


Pols Blast Iran Holocaust Forum.

Ahmadinejad event a ‘platform for hatred,’ says White House.

James D. Besser - Washington Correspondent
Thursday, December 14, 2006 / 23 Kislev 5767

This week’s Holocaust denial festival in Tehran, sponsored by the Iranian government, has provoked strong reactions in Washington, as well as naturally fierce denunciation from Jewish groups around the world.

On Monday the White House got into the act, calling the conference a “platform for hatred” and an “affront to the entire civilized world, as well as to the traditional Iranian values of tolerance and mutual respect.”

In Congress, lawmakers last week passed a resolution strongly condemning the week’s “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision” conference.

The resolution also condemns “all vile anti-Semitic statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders,” and calls on the United Nations to “publicly repudiate all of Iran’s anti-Semitic statements made at such conferences and hold accountable United Nations member states that encourage or echo such statements.”

And the lawmakers called on the Security Council to “strengthen its commitment to taking measures necessary to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear power.”

The measure was sponsored in the House by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who said that “The Iranian regimes’ public anti-Semitic, anti-U.S. and anti-Israel policies underscore the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.”

The Senate quickly passed its own version of the bill, authored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists his only goal is to promote debate on the subject, but the cast of characters who turned up in Tehran this week suggested darker motives.
Attending were Holocaust denial enthusiasts from around the world, as well as assorted neo-Nazis and a fringe Jewish sect that rejects Israel.

David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader and politician, said in a speech to delegates that the conference “shall one day deem as one of the most important of the 21st century.”

Duke praised Ahmadinejad for having “the knowledge, the foresight and the courage to convene this conference to offer free speech for the world’s most repressed idea, Holocaust revisionism.”

The text of the speech was posted on Duke’s Web site—which also features stories such as Duke’s “Is Russia the Key to White Survival?”

Also appearing at the conference: representatives of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect.

Rabbi Aharon Cohen, a leader of the ultra-Orthodox group, did not deny the Holocaust in his address to delegates, but said that it has been used as “one of the pillars of justification for Zionism,” which the group rejects.

This week Jewish groups were intensifying their public relations campaign against the conference and its claims.

On Thursday the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations scheduled a public event featuring a team of diplomats and legal experts to counter the claims at the Iran conference.

Scheduled to appear are outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, former Canadian Attorney General Irwin Cotler and former Israeli UN ambassador Dore Gold.

The panel will call on the UN International Court of Justice to charge Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide through his threats to the United States and Israel and for policies resulting in discrimination against Jews and Christians.


New UN chief denounces Iran for denying Holocaust, threatening Israel

By Reuters
Thu., December 14, 2006 Kislev 23, 5767

UNITED NATIONS - Incoming United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Iran on Thursday it was unacceptable to deny that the Holocaust took place or to call for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Ban was responding to a question asked at a news conference about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who since coming to power in August last year has caused an outcry by terming the Holocaust a "myth" and calling Israel a "tumor" in the Middle East.

Ahmadinejad just ended a two-day international conference on the Holocaust that was dominated by speakers who questioned the extermination of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in World War Two.

"Denying historical facts especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust is just not acceptable," Ban said.

"Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of states or people," Ban said. "I would like to see this fundamental principle respected in both rhetoric and practice by all the members of the international community."

A former South Korean foreign minister, Ban spoke to reporters after he took an oath of office in the UN General Assembly as secretary-general to succeed Kofi Annan. He assumes his post on January 1.

Ban left open the possibility of visiting Tehran on a series of issues.

"Whenever and when the situation requires me to do, I am prepared to engage in dialogue with the Iranian people," he said.

But he avoided commenting on questions about Iran's nuclear ambitions, now the subject of a resolution before the UN Security Council.


Satmars: Hasidim who attended Shoah denial conference are 'reckless outcasts'

By Shlomo Shamir
Sun., December 17, 2006 Kislev 26, 5767

NEW YORK - Leaders of New York's ultra-Orthodox Satmar community vehemently denied any connection with the Hasidim who participated in the Holocaust denial conference held in Tehran last week and met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

New York Satmar leaders, who usually avoid all contact with members of the media, on Friday took the unusual step of issuing a press release slamming the "reckless outcasts" who took part in the Tehran gathering. The statement said that through their participation these individuals turned themselves into Holocaust deniers and joined those who dismiss the extent of the murder and cruelty and diminish the number of the victims who were murdered because they were Jewish.

A separate press release issued by the Satmar Congregation Yetev Lev in Brooklyn took pains to establish that those who participated in the Iran conference do not belong to their community.

It is a big mistake, the statement continued, to call them rabbis or Hasidim just because of the way they dress.

The position of the Jewish delegates, the Satmars said in the unusual press release, "is contrary to the teachings of our venerated Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, the founder and leader of the Satmar movement."


Why Deny the Holocaust?
Iran views Holocaust denial as a strategic propaganda tool.

by Caroline Glick
27 Kislev 5767 / 18 December 2006

There is something terribly confusing about Iran's penchant for denying the Holocaust. Given Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stated desire to see Israel wiped off the map, it would seem more reasonable for Iran to be celebrating the Holocaust than denying it.

But Ahmadinejad is slicker than that. He embraces not the Holocaust but the nation that pulled it off. In his August missive to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he referred to the German nation as "a great contributor to progress in science, philosophy, literature, the arts and politics" who have had a "positive influence in international relations and the promotion of peace." These lines of course are open to interpretation. He could be referring to Goethe and Schiller and he could be referring to Heidegger and Goebbels. So why is the guy who is gunning for a new Holocaust belittling the last one?

First of all, by doing so he empowers those Germans and friends of Germany who carried it out. By denying the Holocaust Ahmadinejad turns the Nazis into victims and so provides a space for them to express themselves after a 60-year silence. Indeed, in Germany neo-Nazism is a burgeoning political and social force that proudly parades its links to Iran.

The German fascist party NPD's followers demonstrated in support of Iran at the World Cup in Germany last spring. This week, Der Spiegel reported that attacks against Jewish children have increased markedly in recent years. Jewish children and their non-Jewish friends have been humiliated in anti-Semitic rituals unheard of since the Nazi era. "Jew" has become one of the most prevalent derogatory terms in use in Germany today.

Iran's adoption of Holocaust denial as an official, defiant policy gives legitimacy to this striking phenomenon. This is especially the case since Iran is blaming the Jews for silencing these poor fascists. In his same letter to Merkel Ahmadinejad wrote, "The perpetual claimants against the great people of Germany are the bullying Zionists that funded the Al Quds Occupying Regime with the force of bayonets in the Middle East."

Ahmadinejad of course does not limit his efforts to the Nazis. He is also setting the cognitive conditions for the annihilation of Israel for the international Left by presenting Israel's existence as a direct result of the Holocaust. As Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said this week, "If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt."

In short, Iran views Holocaust denial as a strategic propaganda tool. By downgrading the Holocaust, Iran mobilizes supporters and paralyzes potential opponents. Its coupling of the last Holocaust with the one it signals daily it intends to carry out wins it support among the Nazis and the Sunnis alike. Its presentation of the Holocaust as a myth used to exploit Muslims wins its support in the international Left which increasingly views Israel as an illegitimate state. So by denying the Holocaust Iran raises its leadership profile both regionally and globally.

Indeed, even if the Left doesn't buy into Holocaust denial, it can still agree with Iran's conclusion that Israel has no right to exist. As Mottaki explained, "If during this [Holocaust denial conference] it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Muslim people of the region and the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis' crimes?"

So from Mottaki's perspective, Israel is illegitimate whether the Holocaust happened or not. In making this point, Mottaki closed the gap between Iran and a loud chorus of voices in both Europe and the US who claim that Israel was established only because of European guilt over the Holocaust and consequently the Jewish state has no inherent legitimacy. This is a view that even Jewish leftists like Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen and New York University Professor Tony Judt have expressed.

Inevitably, those who hold this view come to believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. After all, if Israel is but an illegal European colony on stolen Arab lands, then any act of self-defense that Israel takes is by definition an act of aggression. So from this perspective, all Israel can do is give away land and accept that it must pay for all the pathologies of the Arab world.

The view that every problem in the region is somehow or other bound up in Israel's stubborn refusal to disappear is clearly reflected also in the policy prescriptions of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, in former president Jimmy Carter's anti-Semitic attacks against Israel and in the position paper authored by professors Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer about the so-called "Israel Lobby" (which is due to be published as a full-length book ahead of the 2008 presidential elections).

And so, by framing its Holocaust denial around an interpretation of the Arab world's war against Israel propounded by radical leftists and foreign policy "realists" of the soft-Right, the Iranians enable them to find a comfort level with what Iran is doing today. This comfort was displayed by the new US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his Senate confirmation hearing where he justified Iran's nuclear weapons program by claiming that it was a deterrent measure in response to the fact that Pakistan, Russia, the US and Israel all have nuclear weapons. Gates of course served on the Baker-Hamilton commission and no doubt supports its recommendation that Israel be forced to give the Golan Heights to Syria and Judea and Samaria to Hamas.

Not only does Iran's Holocaust denial attract potential supporters, it also confuses and so neutralizes potential opponents who neither like nor dislike Jews and are too confused to understand the threat Iran poses to the US.

Although it has not for a moment desisted from its calls of "Death to America," its vision of a world without America or its threats to attack Europe, Iran has made Israel the focus of its propaganda. In so doing it has provided cover for "realists" like Mearsheimer, Walt and James Baker who claim that the war is really just between Israel and the Muslims and that the only reason that the US finds itself caught in the middle is because of its support for Israel. That support, in turn, is the result of Jewish subversion of Washington through the so-called all powerful "Israel lobby," which Carter claims, as he sells his latest screed, no politician will risk bucking up against.

This view, now emerging into the mainstream political debate in the US, has already won the debate in most of Europe. There the view is that European Muslims are only attacking their non-Muslim countrymen because states like the US and Micronesia have yet to abandon Israel.

For Merkel, the centerpiece of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to Germany Tuesday was her furious denunciation of the Iranian conference. "I would like to make it clear that we reject with all our strength the conference taking place in Iran.... Germany will never accept this and will act against [Holocaust denial] with all the means that we have."

Merkel's breathless furor is an example of the final problem that Ahmadinejad has created for his opponents by adopting Holocaust denial as a central plank of Iran's foreign policy. Bluntly stated, he gives people a way to be perceived as being against Iran without actually doing anything to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Merkel and her fellow Germans have spent an inordinate amount of time over the past three years condemning the Nazi Holocaust. This week they even organized a special Holocaust-condemning conference in response to the Iranian Holocaust-denying conference.

Yet over the same time period, they have conducted negotiations with Teheran as part of the EU-3 that have enabled Iran to continue its nuclear progress; obstructed US efforts to levy sanctions on Iran; and maintained active trade relations with Iran. Merkel's government has continued the practice of providing loan guarantees to German firms doing business with Iran. In 2005, German-Iranian trade stood at about $5 billion.

Now, after three years of disastrous negotiations with the mullahs, Germany has finally come around to supporting the European draft sanctions resolution against Iran being debated in the UN Security Council. The problem is that the proposed sanctions are so weak that they will have no impact on Iran's ability to move on with its nuclear bomb program.

The obvious fact that the sanctions will have no impact on Iran has not made a dent in Merkel's refusal to support military action against Iran under any circumstances -- a refusal she reiterated while standing next to Israel's prime minister on Tuesday.

Were Israel to base its diplomatic, military, informational and economic policies on a single-minded commitment to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities, it would succeed. Unfortunately, under the Olmert government Israel is doing nothing of the kind on any level.

On the public diplomacy level, were Israel to take concerted action against Iran's Holocaust denial program, it could destroy the program and so enact a positive change in the public discourse on Iran. Merkel's stated refusal to support military action against Iran's nuclear facilities was an ideal opportunity to launch such action. If Olmert had reacted in disgust to Merkel's statement and announced that it was unacceptable, he would have stood the Iranians' propaganda on its head.

Imagine what the impact would have been if Olmert had rejoined, "Excuse me, but it is quite possible that at the end of the day a military strike against Iran will be the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic bombs and so committing another Holocaust. Given this, your blanket opposition to the notion of military strikes constitutes Germany's effective acceptance of another Holocaust. Shame on you, Angie. Shame on Germany."

Such a statement would have changed the entire dynamic of the international discourse on Iran.

If we are willing to do what is necessary, Israel can prevent the next Holocaust.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.


Indict Ahmadinejad

by Jeff Jacoby
3 Tevet 5767 / 24 December 2006

Iran's intentions are nakedly, malignantly clear. What is not clear at all is what the civilized world will do about it

Simon Bikindi was once the most famous musician in Rwanda. Twelve years ago he was also the most lethal.

In 1994, as Hutu militants slaughtered more than 800,000 of Rwanda's minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, it was Bikindi's inflammatory songs that dominated the country's airwaves. Radio Milles Collines, which egged on the death squads and coordinated their attacks, "played Bikindi's music constantly during the 100 days of killing," the New York Times recalled in 2002. "In Rwanda, almost no one reads newspapers or owns a television, and radio is king. According to eyewitness reports, many of the killers sang Bikindi's songs as they hacked or beat to death hundreds of thousands of Tutsis with government-issued machetes and homemade nail-studded clubs."

Today Bikindi is being tried by the international tribunal created to bring Rwanda's accused war criminals to justice. The central charge against him is that he incited genocide with his songs. He is not the only Rwandan to be put on trial for incitement. Among those already convicted are a founding director of Radio Milles Collines and the one time editor of Kangura, a virulently anti-Tutsi newspaper.

Words can be deadly, opening the door to murder on a vast scale. That is why the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide unambiguously makes it as much of a crime to incite acts of genocide with words as to physically commit them with weapons. And if that is true of words uttered by a singer or an editor, surely it is even truer of exhortations to mass murder by a head of state .

So if Simon Bikindi has been charged with incitement to commit genocide, why hasn't Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

In New York last week, a number of prominent lawyers and diplomats -- including John Bolton, the outgoing American ambassador to the United Nations -- called for making the indictment of Ahmadinejad an international priority. The gathering was organized by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which issued a brief setting out in detail the legal case for prosecuting the Iranian president and the regime he represents.

There is nothing cryptic about Iran's genocidal intentions. Ahmadinejad has called openly for Israel to be "wiped off the map." In 2005 he hosted a conference anticipating "The World Without Zionism"; last week he convened another to deny that the Nazi Holocaust ever took place. He vows that Israel "will be purged from the center of the Islamic world" and that "the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple." He demonizes Jews as "bloodthirsty barbarians" and "very filthy people" who have "inflicted the most damage on the human race." In August he warned: "They should know that they are nearing the last days of their lives."

These are not the ravings of some obstreperous politician whom Iran's clerics would be wise to muzzle. Ahmadinejad's words echo genocidal threats made at the highest levels of the Tehran regime.

"There is only one solution to the Middle East problem," declares Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, "namely, the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state." Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, routinely described in the West as a "moderate," explains the asymmetrical advantage of a nuclear attack on Israel: "The use of a nuclear bomb against Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas [any Israeli retaliation] would only damage the world of Islam." Iran is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons; it already has the long-range missiles needed to launch them. When those missiles are paraded behind signs reading "Israel must be uprooted and erased from history," it requires willful blindness not to perceive what Ahmadinejad and the mullahs have in mind.

For many months preceding the Rwandan genocide, there was similar incitement to mass-murder. Yet international authorities did nothing to silence the inciters -- with catastrophic results.

The situation in Iran today is frighteningly similar. But as the JCPA brief, which was written by human-rights scholar Justus Reid Weiner argues, there is one critical difference: "While the Hutus in Rwanda were equipped with . . . machetes, Iran, should the international community do nothing to prevent it, will soon acquire nuclear weapons." At that point Tehran would be poised to commit the first "instant genocide" in history.

At the New York symposium, Ambassador Bolton remarked that historians looking back at horrific acts of evil often wonder how responsible officials at the time didn't see them coming. "How was it that they missed . . . clear signals from the people who were about to commit acts of great barbarity and atrocity -- who never made any effort to conceal what their intentions were?"

Iran's intentions are nakedly, malignantly clear. What is not clear at all is what the civilized world will do about it. An indictment of Ahmadinejad under the Genocide Convention would not, by itself, eliminate the threat of a second Holocaust. It would, however, make a good first step.

Author Biography:

Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. To see a month's worth of his recent columns, please visit www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/jacoby/


Prominent lobbyist Perle: U.S. will attack Iran if it obtains nukes

By Yossi Melman and Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondents
Tue., January 23, 2007 Shvat 4, 5767

President George Bush will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities while he is still in office, Richard Perle told the Herzliya Conference on Sunday. Perle is close to the Bush administration, particularly to Vice President Richard Cheney.

The leading neoconservative and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute addressed the session on Iran's nuclear program. He said that the present policy of attempting to impose sanctions on Iran will not cause it to abandon its nuclear aspirations, and unless stopped the country will become a nuclear power.

A less decisive opinion was expressed by Dr. Robert Einhorn, who until 2001 was senior advisor to the secretary of state on nuclear nonproliferation, chemical, biological and missile delivery systems. Einhorn told the conference that of all available options, including the military one, he preferred continued pressure on Iran that would force its leadership to pay a political, economic or other price and conclude on its own that its nuclear aspirations were harming its interests.

Einhorn emphasized, however, that the military option still exists and can be carried out on short notice. Natanz, the nexus of Iran's uranium enrichment program, would be a major target of such action.

Dr. Gary Samore, Director of Studies at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, told the Herzliya Conference he believed Iran was still years away from attaining nuclear weapons capability, He admitted that at this stage it would be difficult to judge whether Iran has a second, secret nuclear program parallel to its declared one. Samore said that even if it this is the case Iran still cannot yet create enough fissionable material to make its first nuclear bomb.

Dr. Eli Levita, deputy director of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, did not discuss the Israeli position. Instead, he emphasized that since 1989 the world has been in what he called the "third nuclear age." He said this age, which would continue until approximately 2011, was characterized by destabilization of the nuclear order and the appearance of new nuclear powers. The war in Iraq, Levita explained, was the first war to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The next age, the fourth age according to Levita, could see the rise of Iran as a nuclear power, the disintegration of Pakistan as a result of its possession of nuclear weapons, serious consequences resulting from the continuing crisis in North Korea and the danger of nuclear weapons finding their way to terror groups.

Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Iranian nuclear threat extensively in his speech at the conference. According to Netanyahu, the threat should be countered with a series of steps to explain the situation in the international arena, as well as with economic sanctions.

He proposed starting with a divestment by major U.S. pension funds of companies doing business in Iran.

"I call on the world that did not stop the Holocaust to stop investing in Iran to prevent genocide," he said, recommending garnering international support to bring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to trial for genocide.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jimmy Carter's new anti-Semitic book 

Jimmy Carter: Israel's 'apartheid' policies worse than South Africa's
By Haaretz Service
Tue., December 12, 2006 Kislev 21, 5767

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said in remarks broadcast Monday that Israeli policy in the West Bank represented instances of apartheid worse even that those that once held sway in South Africa.

Carter's comments were broadcast on Israel Radio, which played a tape of an interview with the ex-president, but did not specify to whom Carter was speaking. But has made similar remarks in recent interviews, such as one to CBC television.

"When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa."

Carter said his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" was meant to spark U.S. discussion of Israeli policies. "The hope is that my book will at least stimulate a debate, which has not existed in this country. There's never been any debate on this issue, of any significance."

The book has sparked strong criticism from Jewish figures in the United States. Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has said that some comments from the former president border on anti-Semitism.

"When you think about the charge that he has made that the Jewish people control the means of communication, it is odious," Foxman was quoted as saying last week. "If the Jews controlled the media, how come he is traveling around the country speaking about this book on talk shows?"

Carter has rejected the criticism of the book and its use of the word apartheid.

"I feel completely at ease," said Carter, about his commitment to the book, which accuses Israel of oppressing Palestinians. "I am not running for office. And I have Secret Service protection."

"The greatest commitment in my life has been trying to bring peace to Israel," Carter told the Atlanta Press Club last week.

"Israel will never have peace until they agree to withdraw [from the territories]."


Jewish Criticism Of Carter Intensifies.

Charge of anti-Semitism from one leader as ex-president deepens his critique of Israeli policy in West Bank.

James D. Besser - Washington Correspondent
Thursday, December 14, 2006 / 23 Kislev 5767

Former President Jimmy Carter has crossed the line into outright anti-Semitism as he promotes his controversial new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” according to at least one major Jewish leader.

Facing attacks from pro-Israel heavyweights, Mideast analysts and book reviewers for what many see as a one-sided, factually flawed analysis of the conflict, Carter has upped the ante by claiming that Israeli policies in the West Bank are “even worse” than the apartheid policies of the former government in South Africa—and accusing pro-Israel groups of stifling legitimate debate on U.S. Mideast policy.

Speaking in an Israel Radio interview, Carter cited roads connecting more than 200 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and rules prohibiting Palestinians from crossing the roads, which he said “perpetuates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.”

That has led to an escalating response from the Jewish side as the book, Carter’s 21st, climbs the charts to No. 7 on the New York Times best-seller list, up from No. 11 last week.

“I believe he is engaging in anti-Semitism,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “For a man of his stature and supposed savvy to hold forth that the issues of Israel and the Middle East have not been discussed and debated because Jews and Zionists have closed off means of discussion is just anti-Semitism.”

Foxman particularly objected to Carter’s claim in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that while issues of peace are hotly and freely debated in Israel, “for the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee [sic] and the absence of any significant contrary voices.”

That, Foxman argued, is anti-Semitism because it reinforces the anti-Semitic canard that “our power is so great that you can’t even talk about these issues.”

Foxman said that Carter’s success in promoting the book refutes his claims about Jewish control of the debate.

“If we’re so powerful, why is he traveling across the country, appearing on every television show in the world?” he asked.

On Tuesday Carter met with the Phoenix Board of Rabbis and repeated his criticisms of Israeli policies in the West Bank.

But he also promised to be “more vocal” about his admiration for Israel as a democracy while speaking during his book tour, according to one participant. Carter also promised to be clearer in his denunciation of Palestinian terrorism.

The group presented Carter with a copy of a siddur for Jewish military service personnel. The meeting concluded with the group holding hands in a circle and praying.

Initially, Jewish leaders worried mostly that the use of the word “apartheid” in the title would serve as a rallying cry for anti-Israel forces in this country and damage Israel’s standing around the world.

Since the book’s release and Carter’s appearance on the talk show circuit, some leaders now worry more that he will provide added legitimacy to the chorus of voices claiming that Israel and the pro-Israel lobby here are skewing U.S. foreign policy in ways contrary to the national interest.

“What’s particularly worrisome is the accretion factor,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee.

Harris said Carter’s charges come “on the heels of Walt and Mearsheimer,” the two prominent foreign policy academics whose April article accusing the pro-Israel lobby of distorting U.S. foreign policy continues to gain traction with groups on the right and the left.

Harris said Carter’s views could give added and unwarranted credibility to claims the pro-Israel lobby is damaging U.S. national interests and squelching the views of those who publicly make that case.

Several Jewish leaders said sales of the Carter book have been boosted by growing interest in the Walt-Mearsheimer analysis—and in the report of the Iraq Study Group, released last week, which links progress in getting U.S. troops out of Iraq to renewed efforts to push Israel and her neighbors to the bargaining table.

“The surprise is that Tim Russert [host of NBC’s Meet the Press] and others are taking this book so seriously,” said Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, a group that does pro-Israel outreach work. “But it’s not just because of Jimmy Carter; it’s the timing, at a time when the Baker report was just about to come out, when there were rumors about recommendations to put more pressure on Israel. From Carter’s perspective, he got lucky.”

Laszlo-Mizrahi called Carter’s analysis “lazy,” but said it gains currency because “he is a former president, because he is someone who, after leaving the presidency, went out and did very good work on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. He has a very clean image, but now he’s selling a very dirty rag. And he has a very large megaphone.”

Laszlo-Mizrahi said Jewish groups need to counter both specific assertions in the book—such as Carter’s claim that Israel did not make a credible offer to the Palestinians during the 2000 Camp David peace talks—and the broader charge that the pro-Israel lobby is at the center of a conspiracy to shut down legitimate debate on Mideast issues.

Some Jewish groups are mounting an aggressive counterattack to do just that.

Foxman said his group will “follow President Carter as he criss-crosses the country to bring attention to his skewing of the Middle East.” ADL’s primary weapon: ads in major newspapers claiming that “there’s only one honest thing about President Carter’s new book: the criticism.”

Others are working quietly, behind the scenes, to line up prominent political figures to speak out against Carter’s harsh view of Israel.

One top Jewish leader said that he is hoping former President Bill Clinton can be enlisted to speak out against the apartheid charge—and “speak the truth about what happened at Camp David in 2000.”

Former Carter administration officials and associates of the former president after he left office in 1981 have also been approached.

Stuart Eizenstat, Carter’s domestic policy chief, said in an e-mail that he has “expressed my strong views to President Carter privately about his book,” but declined public comment.

Last week Kenneth Stein, a longtime fellow at the Carter Center in Atlanta and its former director, resigned, calling the book “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments.”

Stein, a top Mideast scholar, said that his “continued association with the Center leaves the impression that I am sanctioning a series of egregious errors and polemical conclusions which appeared in President Carter’s book. I cannot allow that impression to stand.”

AJC director Harris said Jewish groups face a difficult strategic choice in dealing with the outspoken former president at a moment when pro-Israel forces are already being accused of stifling debate.

“We don’t want to be silent as he says these things,” Harris said. “He is getting tremendous attention from the media; I’ve never seen so many softballs thrown to a guest on the talk shows.”

At the same time, he said, the 2004 controversy surrounding Mel Gibson’s controversial film “The Passion of the Christ” offers a cautionary tale about how an aggressive campaign to counter anti-Israel or anti-Jewish slurs by prominent public figures can backfire.

“It’s tricky,” Harris said. “The Mel Gibson story should be a reminder to those whose intentions are good, but whose actions may only lead to an increase in book sales.”

Although Carter uses the word “apartheid” in the title, he does not say in the book that Israel is an apartheid state. “I am referring to Palestine and not to Israel,” he writes. “Arabs living in Israel are citizens of Israel and have full citizenship, voting and legal rights, and so forth.”

That led Harris to accuse Carter’s use of the word apartheid to be “false advertising.”

While the Carter book has roiled Jewish organizational boardrooms across the country, its footprint in Washington has been almost undetectable.

“It’s not having a significant impact here,” said Jess Hordes, ADL’s Washington director. “For people in the political world, these are not particularly new positions for Carter, and they are easily discounted.”

Hordes pointed to the top Democratic leaders who quickly and forcefully distanced themselves from Carter’s views, including incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) -- a longtime critic of Israel’s policies.

And he said Carter’s perspective is largely discounted by Washington’s political and foreign policy elites, as well as by the vast majority in Congress.

Not all Jewish leaders have rallied around the anti-Carter flag.

In an op-ed, Rabbi Michael Lerner, leader of the Tikkun Community, called the attacks on Carter “astounding” and repeated Carter’s claim that he is not calling Israel an apartheid state, but merely referring to the “de facto apartheid situation” in the West Bank.

“Jimmy Carter is speaking the truth as he knows it, and doing a great service to the Jews,” he wrote.


Jimmy Carter: Not Just Peanuts

by Bennett Zimmerman
December 14, 2006

Let's be clear before Jimmy Carter does any harm to the sole democracy in the Middle East. Israel's Arabs have full citizenship and full rights to vote. If a plurality of their fellow citizens deems it appropriate, any Arab of appropriate age can become the prime minister of Israel.

In the midst of the 1948 attack from six neighboring countries, Israel reached out to her Arab minority with a Declaration of Independence that should be a model of enlightenment for anyone interested in democracy. This, while Jimmy Carter rode around in Plains, Georgia, where Black Americans could not eat in the same restaurant with him, sleep in the same hotel next to him, and most could certainly not vote with him. And today, the radical Hamas government is elected while hall monitor, "My Name is Jimmy Carter," not only tolerates, but salutes, their victory.

Southern segregation was bad. Real bad. And the guilt of it has driven Jimmy Carter's political outlook ever since. Reaching out with love to Black Americans, descendants of slaves who wanted nothing more than to be part of the USA, was long overdue.

But every issue in the world is not defined in the same terms. Or in South African terms. And Jimmy Carter's provincialism is what made his the worst presidency of our lives. His contribution laid the seeds of the current crisis faced by the world today, a crisis he continues to fuel with his current book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

An Enlightened Peanut Farmer From Georgia

In Israel, there are 7 million people, 1.35 million of them Arab and all of them with equal rights before the law. There are another 1.4 million in the West Bank, a zone that wanted independence and impunity to attack Israel. That's 16% of the population in Israel and the West Bank. When Jimmy Carter recommends Israel annex the West Bank, he may then argue for Israel's democracy to bring another 16% into its system - while he figures out what to do with his democratically elected regime in Gaza. But Jimmy Carter demands another solution for the territory.

The Camp David Accords

As Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Cy Vance plotted an international conference to drag concessions from Israel, Anwar Sadat of Egypt was alarmed at the naivete of Jimmy Carter bringing the Soviet Union back into the Middle East. Sadat made the bold move (although it was a move Israel was always willing to make) and went to Israel's Knesset. He hit the jackpot. He received the enormous Sinai Peninsula, three times the size of Israel, oil wells producing a billion dollars a year, and a Carter-endorsed $2 billion a year of aid (which was unnecessary for a deal Sadat had already decided to make). Carter forced Israel off each grain of Sinai sand and established a horrible precedent of Israeli withdrawal from all disputed territory (rather than "from territories"). And Carter passed Israel $3 billion a year, which, I'm sorry to say, was the price Israel sold the Sinai Peninsula for a bailout of the debts of the 1973 War, and an Israeli GDP of $30 billion. (No one ever discusses the economics, but they are overwhelming.)

Jimmy Carter added another complication. He personally resurrected the idea of Palestine. UN Resolutions 242 and 338 did not call for the establishment of another state. It was the Arabs who rejected Palestine, as Jordan and Egypt grabbed the land for themselves. But Jimmy Carter pressured Israel to concede eventual Palestinian Autonomy zones, in addition to other mass concessions to Egypt. That only emphasized Jimmy Carter's long love affair with regimes led by dictators, excused of moral judgment.

The Carter Years

Even as a high school student, something struck me as wrong. President Carter explained US leadership as the result of historic anomaly after World War II. Power would soon be shared with other nations, including the Europeans, the Soviets, China and Third World blocs.

Before he could yell, "Retreat!" the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The formerly peaceful nation entered into a blood revolt led by the Mujahadeen, the precursor to Al-Qaeda. The Shah of Iran, an ally of both the US and Israel, and a counterweight to the Arabs, flew from capital to capital in search of support, and finally into exile. A cleric named Khomeini living in Paris was welcomed by Jimmy Carter with a note, "religious man to religious man," who understood revolutions in the natural order of progress. It wasn't long before the gas lines started, the misery index exploded, and Americans were taken hostage in their own Embassy. Jimmy Carter hid in the Rose Garden to manage a crisis he had created.

Latin America Provides a Clue

I was in Panama in December 2004. You see homage everywhere to Omar Torrijos, the strongman selected by Jimmy Carter to receive the Panama Canal. In the national museum, there he is in all his glory, smiling "my name is Jimmy Carter" with the beaming eyes of a lunatic, as he embraces a dictator, while fulfilling their mutual dream: the USA giving strategic assets to bad guys. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, a Democrat at the time, caught Ronald Reagan with this clear thinking: "When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies... they blame America first." She could not have penned anything more accurate about Jimmy Carter.

Thank G-d for Ronald Regan. And thank G-d for Ambassador Kirkpatrick, a clear voice that sadly left us this month. With simple honesty, they called the Soviet Union by its true name, the "Evil Empire," and stared it down and outspent it; and the empire was gone before a decade passed. That might have been humbling for an ex-president. Not for Jimmy Carter.

Lowering Golf Scores or World War III

Ex-presidents usually gain a modicum of respect. The nation forgave Richard Nixon as he seemed contrite and perhaps a bit embarrassed about the excess, and respected him for his wisdom and his legacies, opening the door to China among them. Others had the grace to go play golf and understand their term was up. And Americans are a polite lot. We are happy to let ex-presidents go play golf or return to life on the peanut farm or to build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

But Jimmy Carter, you are responsible for the madness in the world today: The Islamofascists plot our destruction, with a near-nuclear, insanity-based government in Iran that thinks G-d will be pleased if they use their weapons. And while it's almost axiomatic to describe the Camp David Accords as a success, the multi-billion dollar shakedown by Anwar Sadat will never aid the US in Iraq, and might well be seen by history as a disaster if the Egyptian army you've modernized, bought and paid for ever shows its true purpose.

With a record like that, sir, you would be best not to lecture anyone on anything. You've screwed up the world and have no authority, moral or otherwise, to judge anyone.

Your time is through.

Copyright 2006

Bennett Zimmerman is Managing Director of Israel Emerging Growth Fund, L.P., which he runs from Los Angeles. (He supported Jimmy Carter at age 13, but reports that he was, happily, too young to vote for him.)


Carter talks with U.S. rabbis about controversial new book

By The Associated Press
Wed., December 13, 2006 Kislev 22, 5767

PHOENIX - Former President Jimmy Carter prayed with rabbis who are angered by his new book's reference to apartheid in describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he did not change their minds.

The Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix said they would not call for a boycott of Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," but they also would not suggest that anyone read it.

"I don't know if he gets the evil that we are facing," said Rabbi Bonnie Koppell of Scottsdale.

Carter, 82, was met by a crowd of protesters Tuesday as he appeared at a book store in suburban Tempe to autograph copies of the book.

He said he chose the title to shine light on the festering conflict and give Americans a different point of view than what they're used to.

"I wanted to provoke debate," Carter said. "I wanted to provoke discussion."

Carter's book follows the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians during his presidency in 1977-1980.

He is critical of all players in not reaching a better accord, but he is especially critical of the Israelis.

He previously told The Associated Press that Americans are rarely exposed to anything other than pro-Israeli views in the news media.

Koppell said Carter's word choice was "gratuitously provocative" and meant to add fuel to an already incendiary subject and sell more books.

"I don't really see the book as helpful," said Koppell, who has read it.


Jimmy Carter or David Duke?

The Rush Limbaugh Show
December 13, 2006


RUSH: I mentioned yesterday David Duke was over in Iran attending the Holocaust-Didn't-Happen Convention sponsored by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and I said, "If you listen to David Duke, you can't tell the difference between him and Jimmy Carter," and a lot of people wrote me, "You can't say that! David Duke has become... You can't say that!" Yes, I can, and now I'm going to prove it. We have two side-by-side comparisons. First up, David Duke yesterday on PMSNBC live with Rita Cosby. She said, "The president of Iran just said a short time ago that the Zionist regime will soon be wiped out. Do you understand why that's so offensive to so much of the world?"

DUKE: What he said was that the Zionist government, a government that oppresses and has ethnically cleansed the Palestinian people, that commits torture, that's invaded Lebanon, that commits human rights violations and that, by the way, has led America to disaster in Iraq pause we're in Iraq -- America is in Iraq because the Jewish extremist neocons have brought us into Iraq.

RUSH: Now, do I even need to play Jimmy Carter for you? I will, but Jimmy Carter is out there talking about the neocons and how Israel is responsible for us being in Iraq. So he was on The Tonight Show. (Jay Leno, what are you thinking? You have a comedy show there, and you've got Jimmy Carter?) By the way, Jimmy Carter was in Tempe, Arizona today to sign his book and a lot of protesters showed up, which is healthy news. So here's Jimmy Carter, and Jay Leno was interviewing Jimmy Carter about apartheid.

CARTER: I don't want to see Apartheid, but in Palestinian territory there's horrible persecution of the Palestinians who live on their own land. They have occupied the land, they have confiscated, they've colonized it and they've forced Palestinians away from their homes, away from their pastures, away from their fields, cut down their olive trees and severely persecuted the Palestinians.

RUSH: David Duke, Jimmy Carter: you can't tell the difference. By the way, this business of cutting down the olive trees? I'm sorry, Jimmuh, but it's the other way around. If anybody desecrated the mountain of olives, it was the Palestinians -- in one of the wars. This is just caca. But we've got two more. David Duke blaming the Jewish lobby for preventing criticism of Israel.

DUKE: Why should we be supporting Israel which has violated every nuclear idea, they have nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction. Iran has been a member of the atomic energy inspection, allowed inspections, and yet Israel allows none. We have a double standard because of the Jewish lobby and its power over the American government.

RUSH: Here is Tim Russert asking Jimmy Carter about the Jewish lobby. He says, I read your book. This struck me, particularly from somebody in political life. You went on to say, "There's no doubt there's a stronger version to criticizing Israel in this country. I wouldn't say it's all because of intimidation, but that's one factor."

CARTER: It's almost completely unacceptable in this country for any public official to criticize the policies of Israel, even if they are horribly abusive against the Palestinians. (Unintelligible). The Jewish lobby may be part of it.

RUSH: David Duke. Jimmy Carter.



Carter's book presents only Palestinian, Arab positions.

Your views

The Gainesville Times
Opinion - Thursday, December 14, 2006

As someone who was born in South Africa and has visited Israel four times (including the disputed West Bank), I can tell you Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," is wholly unbalanced and only presents the Palestinian and Arab narrative on the conflict in the Mideast.

President Carter might consider that the reason Americans are generally supportive of Israel is not due to his view that the media is pro-Israel (he obviously doesn't watch ABC, CNN, read the New York Times or Washington Post or listen to NPR), rather that Americans hold dear the same values that Israel does: A vibrant democracy, free press, freedom of religion, rule of law, emancipation of women, and protection of minority rights. President Carter, Israeli citizens did not hand out sweets and honk their car horns in celebration of 9/11, but mourned our tragedy with us.

Et Gentin


Originally published Thursday, December 14, 2006


Carter's Indefensible Book

by Alan M. Dershowitz
3 Tevet 5767 / 24 December 2006

Why won't Carter debate his book?

You can always tell when a public figure has written an indefensible book: when he refuses to debate it in the court of public opinion. And you can always tell when he's a hypocrite to boot: when he says he wrote a book in order to stimulate a debate, and then he refuses to participate in any such debate. I'm talking about former president Jimmy Carter and his new book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

Carter's book has been condemned as "moronic" (Slate), "anti-historical" (The Washington Post), "laughable" (San Francisco Chronicle), and riddled with errors and bias in reviews across the country. Many of the reviews have been written by non-Jewish as well as Jewish critics, and not by "representatives of Jewish organizations" as Carter has claimed. Carter has gone even beyond the errors of his book in interviews, in which he has said that the situation in Israel is worse than the crimes committed in Apartheid South Africa. When asked whether he believed that Israel's "persecution" of Palestinians was "[e]ven worse . . . than a place like Rwanda," Carter answered, "Yes. I think -- yes."

When Larry King referred to my review several times to challenge Carter, Carter first said I hadn't read the book and then blustered, "You know, I think it's a waste of my time and yours to quote professor Dershowitz. He's so obviously biased, Larry, and it's not worth my time to waste it on commenting on him." (He never did answer King's questions.)

The next week Carter wrote a series of op-eds bemoaning the reception his book had received. He wrote that his "most troubling experience" had been "the rejection of [his] offers to speak" at "university campuses with high Jewish enrollment." The fact is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz had invited Carter to come to Brandeis to debate me, and Carter refused. The reason Carter gave was this: "There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

As Carter knows, I've been to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, many times -- certainly more times than Carter has been there -- and I've written three books dealing with the subject of Middle Eastern history, politics, and the peace process. The real reason Carter won't debate me is that I would correct his factual errors. It's not that I know too little; it's that I know too much.

Nor is Carter the unbiased observer of the Middle East that he claims to be. He has accepted money and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan , saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11. Carter's acceptance of money from this biased group casts real doubt on his objectivity and creates an obvious conflict of interest.

Carter's refusal to debate wouldn't be so strange if it weren't for the fact that he claims that he wrote the book precisely so as to start debate over the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. If that were really true, Carter would be thrilled to have the opportunity to debate. Authors should be accountable for their ideas and their facts. Books shouldn't be like chapel, delivered from on high and believed on faith.

What most rankles is Carter's insistence that he is somehow brave for attacking Israel and highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people. No other conflict in the world -- not even the genocides in Rwanda and Sudan -- evokes more hand-wringing in the media, universities, and human rights organizations than the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Jimmy Carter isn't brave for beating up on Israel. He's a bully. And like all school-yard bullies, underneath the tough talk and bravado, there's a nagging insecurity and a fear that one day he'll have to answer for himself in a fair fight.

When Jimmy Carter's ready to speak at Brandeis, or anywhere else, I'll be there. If he refuses to debate, I will still be there -- ready and willing to answer falsity with truth in the court of public opinion.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Globe.

Author Biography:

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School and author of The Case for Israel.


Jimmy Carter's offensive against U.S. Jewry

By Bradley Burston
Wed., January 17, 2007 Tevet 27, 5767

Shortly after Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" began appearing in bookstores, the former president stated that one ultimate goal of the book was "to help restart peace talks (now absent for six years) that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbors."

One might assume, then, that Mr. Carter might be troubled by the signal lack of interest and comment the book has stirred in Israel.

Unless Carter's beef was not really with Israel. Unless, that is, Carter's true intended target was the organized American Jewish community.

If Carter's intent had been to foster a revival of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, then - as scathing critics Alan Dershowitz and Abraham Foxman have both explicitly remarked - the book can indeed be judged by its cover, and written off as a failure.

Carter's use of the word apartheid, going so far as to say in an interview broadcast on Israel Radio that Israeli policies on the West Bank were worse than those which held sway in the former South African regime, assured that Israelis would associate his stance with that of Yasser Arafat at the close of his career, and dismiss the book out of hand.

In Israel, the Carter issue remains a non-issue. His words - by any measure, in America, fighting words - merit barely a passing nod in the Israeli national discourse.

In fact, even if Carter's intent, as some observers have suggested, was to curry favor with the Palestinians and be seen and celebrated as an honest broker on the Middle East, even that effort has fallen short.

"The glaring error in Carter's book," wrote UCLA Prof. Saree Makdisi in the San Francisco Chronicle "is his insistence that the term 'apartheid' does not apply to Israel itself, where, he says, Jewish and non-Jewish citizen are given the same treatment under the law. That is simply not true."

Organized U.S. Jewry, meanwhile, makes for the ideal Carter target.

Jimmy Carter knew just what to expect when he named his book. No matter how American Jewish leaders react, they do the former president's bidding. If they choose to ignore him, they lend evidence to Carter's contention that U.S. Jewish figures are cowed into silence over Israel. If they choose to lambaste him, they lend credence to Carter's argument that pro-Israel bias obviates any genuine discussion of the issues.

Best of all, from Carter's standpoint, is the blistering flak he has taken from an A-list of prominent American Jews. The criticism grants weight to Carter's carefully worded accusations as to Jewish control of the American media, a self-fulfilling charge if ever there was one, and one sure to keep the hardcovers flying off bookstore shelves.

"For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts," Carter wrote in the Los Angeles Times last month, in a reference to what may be called The Case for Palestine.

"This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee [sic] and the absence of any significant contrary voices," Carter wrote.

"When you think about the charge that he has made that the Jewish people control the means of communication, it is odious," Anti-Defamation League national director Foxman said in response to Carter's statements. "If the Jews controlled the media, how come he is traveling around the country speaking about this book on talk shows?"

What Carter reveals, in the end, is that he knows the organized Jewish community of the United States in ways he will never know the Jewish community - or for that matter, the Palestinian community - in the Holy Land. He knows America's Jewish leadership as do few American Jews. He was, after all, twice the nominee of the Democratic Party.

These people elected him president. They applauded him at Camp David. They sang his praises for forging the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab nation.

Carter knows these people, all right. He knows their vulnerabilities, their gut fears, their feelings for Israel. He knows what makes them tick. He knows what makes them squirm. He knows what makes them livid with rage. And Carter plays them, all of them, all at once, with the brio of a virtuoso on his farewell concert tour.

Jewish control of government? "It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians."

Jewish Control of the media? "What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land."

Jewish fears over relations with African Americans? "The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories," Carter writes, adding "In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid."

Small wonder, then, that on Thursday, when the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinic body of the largest demonination of religiously affiliated American Jews, announced the cancellation of a scheduled visit to the Carter Center in Atlanta, and that it would "firmly disassociate ourselves from Mr. Carter and the Carter Center," the rabbis' dominant tone was one of having been betrayed by a once-cherished ally.

Speaking of "our sadness," the group noted how in the past Carter and his center had been known for dialogue, honest brokering, justice and lovingkindness.

For a final flourish, Carter at once set up and hyped the next round of confrontation with U.S. Jewry, likely to focus on a High Noon showdown with his academic nemesis, Dershowitz. Appropriately, Carter's challenge is framed as a kvetch:

"My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professors."

If what Carter really wanted, as he relentlessly reiterates, was to stimulate discussion, he has succeeded beyond measure.

It may be no coincidence, however, that in this curious, furious Last Hurrah, the focus of the debate has not been Palestine, nor Israel, nor peace, but Jimmy Carter himself.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Anti-Semitic vandalism in Israel 

Acre yeshiva vandalized with anti-Semitic and pro-Islamic graffiti
By Jack Khoury
Wed., December 06, 2006 Kislev 15, 5767

Acts of serious vandalism were discovered on Saturday at an ultra-Orthodox school in the northern coastal city of Acre, police sources said yesterday.

Chief Superintendent Moshe Cohen said that offensive graffiti was written in the school, including praise for Hamas and Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, as well as swastikas, and that the crime was most likely perpetrated on Friday night.

According to the Acre police station chief, there is no guard at the school and the perpetrators had no difficulty entering the school grounds, where they destroyed property, including equipment in the computer room.

Police sources noted that the modus operandi is similar to a case of vandalism that took place in the city about a month ago, and investigators suspect that the same persons were involved in the two incidents.

Acre's chief rabbi, Yosef Yashar, came to the school and expressed his outrage at the incident, demanding that the police solve the crime and arrest those responsible.

Rabbi Yashar said that this incident is much worse than one that took place in the Wolfson neighborhood about six weeks ago, a confrontation between students of a local yeshiva student and Arabs residents of the Arab neighborhood.

He called on the leaders of the Arab community in the city to denounce the incident and embark on an educational campaign among Arab youth in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The police said that at this stage they have not carried out any arrests and their efforts are focused on intelligence gathering.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Add things to your sidebar here. Use the format:
  • Link Text
  • +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -->