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July 25, 2002
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Journalist from Malta faces charges for opposing Palestinian Terrorism

Malta Today (www.maltatoday.com.mt) reports that Malta police is pressing charges against Simone Zammit, a journalist, for speaking up against Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorism.


Simone Endrich, single Mom,
Persecuted for speaking up
against Palestinian terrorism
"MaltaToday spoke to Simone Zammit Endrich, an opinionist and columnist, who on 9 October will have to appear in court accused of spreading racial hatred.

"I do not know whether I am living in a democratic country anymore. Everyone can speak freely against the Israelis, against the European Union, against the government but one can't dare to speak against the Palestinians."

Back in April, Simone Endrich wrote an article criticizing Malta's Prime Minister and other politicians for participating in a pro-Palestinian demonstration. In the article she also opposed Palestinian suicide bombings and Arab hatred, making some excellent points:

Do the Palestinians want peace? No. They want revenge. The homicide bombings they commend so nauseatingly are symptomatic of their Islamic roots. Nothing martyrish about them. Just typical cowardly acts of barbarism; an instilment of terror which is heroically viewed throughout the Arab world, and one which Palestinian leader Arafat himself has never bothered to disassociate himself from. [...]

Are the Palestinians tolerant of and willing to coexist with their historical kin, the Israelis? We all know that anti-Semitism is rampant in the Arab world. In their heart of hearts, the majority of Arabs view the extermination of the Jewish race as the epitome of a clean-up to the world. Nowhere is this trait more overt than in the Middle East. We refuse to be party to it.

Do the Israelis want peace? No. They want to survive with or without peace. They refuse to let the world pierce through their armour now that they have dug their roots. Death is not a new phenomenon to the Jews. They are used to gratuitous death. They know only too well that if rendered weak and defenceless, the world would turn its back on them just as it did during the Holocaust; just as it has always done throughout three-quarters of the entire history of civilised humanity. Theirs is a war for survival. We do not condone their violence, but neither do we condemn them for calling their dues.

Due to Arab pressure, including pressure from the Lybian high commissioner, the police in Malta is now pressing charges against Simone Endrich for "inciting hatred against Arabs and Palestinians". Furthermore she also lost her job:

Regarding what The Independent had to say about the article, she said that she claimed a right of reply but the replies were never published. She resigned from her post with the newspaper.

This story has troubled me and I have sent a few emails around. If you are as upset as I am about this:

1) Send a message of support to Simone, her email address is sze@mail.global.net.mt . If you have any way of helping, please do so.
2) Send an email to the Malta independent, criticizing them for not backing their journalists when they are attacked by Arabs and anti-Semites, their email address is tmid@independent.com.mt
3) You may want to CC your emails to 'Malta Today', the newspaper which interviewed Simone. Their email address is editorial@networkpublications.com.mt.

I copy below the interview with Simone Endrich and her original article. Unfortunately, I could not find the original article on the Malta Independent's website, they seem to have taken it down.

Diplomatic pressures led to police taking criminal action
Malta Today, July 21 2002
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/
2002/0721/simone.html

RAY ABDILLA speaks to Simone Zammit Endrich, about the controversy of her opinion article regarding the Arabs and the Jews, which resulted in the police taking action against her

THE CONTROVERSY about Simone Zammit Endrich’s opinion in a local newspaper still raves on. She is being accused by the police of committing a criminal act by inciting racial hatred against Palestinians. People in the street, politicians and programmes have already been aired on TV and radio stations on the matter.

MaltaToday spoke to Simone Zammit Endrich, an opinionist and columnist, who on 9 October will have to appear in court accused of spreading racial hatred.

"I do not know whether I am living in a democratic country anymore. Everyone can speak freely against the Israelis, against the European Union, against the government but one can't dare to speak against the Palestinians.

"First of all I am not a racist. But I have my views on all that happens around the world. I am in favour of the Palestinians to have a country of their own and live in peace. Why not? They have the right to believe in whatever they want because that is part and parcel of life.

"But what applies for the Palestinians, applies for everyone. In this case the Israelis have the same rights. In this war, which unfortunately looks like to be an ever ending one, the Palestinians are being made as if they were the sole victims."

Ms Zammit Endrich also said that when there is a war between two parties and the scales are turning completely on one side, as if the other is some kind of saint, when that is not the case, someone has to stand up and say so.

"I know that many people believe that the Israelis are not the Satans in this conflict. I believe that both have their right and wrongs. So when I wrote the article I wanted to show some sentiment for the underdog in this matter.

"Yes maybe because I come from a Jewish origin, many might argue that I will always side the Israelis. No, not necessarily. Even when I spoke about the intelligence and cultures of both people, I only said what the mass media and what the facts state about the two countries.

"Why did the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the President of Malta take sides in this issue when we are supposed to be a neutral country."

Ms Zammit Endrich said that she is against the European Union, she is against Malta's accession into the EU and will vote against when the referendum takes place. But she has nothing against Europe.

"I do not want to be part of a big bloc such as Europe. I am in favour of Malta keeping it's identity. But that does not make me anti-European. I wrote a lot against Malta's adhesion with the EU and that Malta's place is definitely not within such a big organisation. But does that mean that there is something wrong with the Europeans? No."

Ms Zammit Endrich said that she thinks that the reason that her story made a lot of noise is because she is a woman. "The Arabs do not like it all when they see a woman speak freely for herself. They are not like Europeans who have the right to say what they want," Ms Zammit Endrich said.

Regarding what The Independent had to say about the article, she said that she claimed a right of reply but the replies were never published. She resigned from her post with the newspaper.

As far as the media is concerned she also said that she has received a lot of support. Most journalists simply did not believe that such things happen in Malta, a democratic country with the right of freedom of speech.

Ms Zammit Endrich interest in journalism goes back some six years when together with Dr Emmy Bezzina, she started the Divorce Movement. She always thought divorce is a right that the people should have.

She was also interviewed by the BBC on this subject and had also started to speak about her opinions and movement on Radio Live FM.

"Then the interest in journalism increased and I started writing opinion matters in practically every newspaper. But the reason I am not a full-time journalist is that I can't work long hours being a single mother.

"My girl comes first and foremost. So it's something I have to face. Unfortunately in Malta single mothers haven't got an easy life. Social benefits are in the region of Lm17 a week, a miserable sum of money that one can't live on.

"If a single-mother works she has to pay taxes practically in full and that is not fair. Unfortunately because we are a minority no government has really tackled this issue," Ms Zammit Endrich said.


Bitter harvest
by Simone Zammit Endrich
The Malta Independent, posted on April 22, 2002 (Unfortunately, I could not find the original article on the Malta Independent's website, they seem to have taken it down).

By whose authority do our three political leaders – the President, Prime Minister and Opposition leader – give a public display of support to the Palestinian cause? How dare they – our representatives – take the liberty on behalf of the Maltese people, in ways that are decidedly undemocratic, unethical, and uncalled for? Are they aware that, aside from the political class and the usual small but noisy peace-screaming groups, the rest of the country is howling in protest?

Apparently not!. Or shall we qualify that to – yes, they are pretty much aware of the national climate but are also pretty much intent on sacrificing it for a “higher” cause, which they like to call by the pretty name of peace but which really translates to “let’s see where the wind is blowing in the global arena and whether our stand will ultimately take us places”.

Peace? What is peace? Everybody talks of peace almost like it was that shining star temptingly within reach when, in truth, stars are unreachable. Mouthing the right words won’t get anybody any closer. Wearing ridiculous Palestinian emblems and marching in the streets under Palestinian flags and anti-Israeli slogans, even less so. Peace is anti-nobody; pro-tolerance at all times. That Valletta march was anything but a march for peace. It was a protest march, period.

Which means that the President, Prime Minister and Opposition leader had no business being there that day. Peace, like charity, begins at home. With a full-scale cold war on our very own doorstep and a spate of anger and hatred given vent to at every turn by the same leaders that now patronise us with peace aphorisms, do these three musketeers honestly expect to be taken seriously?

Frankly? No.


Peace is but a fancy word

So let us be realistic. Let us forget the fancy words and get down to brass tacks.

Do the Palestinians want peace? No. They want revenge. The homicide bombings they commend so nauseatingly are symptomatic of their Islamic roots. Nothing martyrish about them. Just typical cowardly acts of barbarism; an instilment of terror which is heroically viewed throughout the Arab world, and one which Palestinian leader Arafat himself has never bothered to disassociate himself from.

Are the Palestinians tolerant of and willing to coexist with their historical kin, the Israelis? We all know that anti-Semitism is rampant in the Arab world. In their heart of hearts, the majority of Arabs view the extermination of the Jewish race as the epitome of a clean-up to the world. Nowhere is this trait more overt than in the Middle East. We refuse to be party to it.

And lest the world forgets, the Palestinians were the first to take to the streets in celebration following the barbaric 11 September attack on the US. They rejoiced in the mass murder of innocent American people. Why? Simply because they were American. Possibly because many of them had Jewish origins. Those that did not rejoice openly did so in their hearts, as in the way they attempted to equate such a horrific deed with pay-back time for the US’s support of Israel. I can see nothing tolerant about such deep-rooted hatred.

Today, the Palestinians have some gall in playing the victims with the aim of rallying world support. But they would be obtuse to expect the US to play along to appease European leaders. The US is as much on the defensive against this sort of terrorism as Israel is. And it has every right to be.


The Jewish perspective

Do the Israelis want peace? No. They want to survive with or without peace. They refuse to let the world pierce through their armour now that they have dug their roots. Death is not a new phenomenon to the Jews. They are used to gratuitous death. They know only too well that if rendered weak and defenceless, the world would turn its back on them just as it did during the Holocaust; just as it has always done throughout three-quarters of the entire history of civilised humanity. Theirs is a war for survival. We do not condone their violence, but neither do we condemn them for calling their dues.

The way I see it, the world today is reaping the bitter harvest of its previous crimes; crimes it has conveniently disguised or rationalised. They could have been crimes of commission or of omission, it matters not which. They are crimes nonetheless, and the most atrocious at that. The fact that the whole world (with, perhaps, the exception of the US) has gone into denial mode again, just as it did in the 1950s and 1960s, can only serve to increase Israeli frustration and resolve. Jews have a psychological need to experience international solidarity, if only to make up in a minor way for past indifference. They have been let down yet again, of course!

The Jewish people are unique in that they are the only race on earth that can never rationalise or undervalue such a searing experience. It has haunted, traumatised and victimised too many generations; tortured the spirit of a whole race for way too long. That they have endured this long through such appalling adversities is to their credit alone. Their extreme defensiveness today is a natural by-product of a beleaguered past. They are entitled to it. Before peace can be achieved the world needs to understand this fact of life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian theologian who was hanged in the concentration camp at Flossenburg in 1945, put the Jewish perspective very succinctly and very precisely in one of his writings: “We have learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of those who are excluded, under suspicion, ill-treated, powerless, oppressed and scorned, in short those who suffer.” Indeed, Jewish suffering is timeless.

Well, the Jews are no longer the underdogs now. They are a force to be reckoned with. This is the message they are sending out to the world.


The anti-Semitic cult

The stereotype of the Jew as the exploiter and usurer of profits from the loss of others still lives on in the modern world, as is the myth of the all-powerful “Jewish conspiracy” capable of bending the course of the world to its own will and profit. Anti-Semitism lurks furtively in the world at large; among Muslims it proudly rules. As opposed to the past, at which time this cult used to be a Christian phenomenon, today it is the Muslims who are the most vibrant and explicit anti-Semites.

Where does all this hatred stem from? Certainly not from the tanks over Bethlehem (with apologies to Lino Spiteri). Jews just make an ideal scapegoat. Why? Jealousy, of course. As Albert Einstein, himself a Jew, put it : “… because despite the fact that Jewish people have always been thinly populated in various countries, they have always had a disproportionate number of outstanding public figures.”

As a matter of fact, the typical Jew is clever, quick, perceptive, industrious, able in all economic and financial affairs, in short – successful. On the flipside, the typical Arab is lazy and confined to religious idiosyncrasies, with violence and intolerance at the hub of his culture. Arabs loathe the Israelis in very much the same manner they harbour anti-American sentiments. They are the embodiment of all they would have liked to be.


Give them an inch and they’ll take a yard

The Israelis understand these sentiments well enough. Frankly, I think that today’s Arab world is paying the price of its ancestors’ barbarism. Even if it seems like Palestinians are the underdogs in the Middle East scenario, given their character – their extreme resort to violence, their historic brutal invasions and appropriation of lands, their misplaced sense of superiority over the rest of the world – I’m not in the least surprised that Israel is wary of allowing them even the remote possibility of taking the upper hand. As the saying goes – give them an inch and they’ll take a yard. One cannot be too careful in the circumstances.

The two nations are at war. Israel has every right to invest its human and military resources in defence of its cause. The world has no right to impose its judgement. Least of all the European Union, which still bears the marks of the worst genocide in history – six million, not a few hundreds, of innocent lives taken at the whim of one powerful nation.

As for the Palestinian marchers in Valletta, what can I say? It’s so easy to protest in a land that has cushioned them from the ravages of their war-torn homeland, isn’t it? I feel nothing but pity for that sorry lot. If they love their country as much as they claim to, I wonder why they haven’t packed their bags and joined their Palestinian brothers yet?

Ah, well, that’s what a life of sheer luxury does to you. You eventually lose sight of your priorities. There’s not much sweat lost in a sissy march in designer jeans, is there? Whereas there’s a hell of a lot at stake in the trenches. The same goes for Arafat’s wife, a staunch advocate of homicide bombers, who lives comfortably in Paris. (Ahem!)


Mission impossible

If tolerance is nowhere in sight, war is a foregone conclusion and peace just a mesmeric dream. Peace is a process, not an end; a long learning process achievable only through many minor or major, cold or fierce wars. Considering the intransigence of human nature, I doubt the ideal can ever be achieved.

Negotiation? Let us please not kid ourselves, for heaven’s sakes, as witness to Colin Powell’s “mission impossible” last week. The hearts that are really on fire won’t be around any table; their passions not easily doused by childish promises they cannot keep. War and peace are scorching personality issues. One rebel is enough to set ablaze any peace treaty of a thousand nations.

Learning through pain and loss is, unfortunately, a necessary human evil. Sometimes there is no other way of wiping the slate clean off prejudice passed down from one generation to the other. This is the bitter harvest that humanity has to deal with through each successive generation. Our actions today are a legacy too. The peace talks may bear fruit one day but not before the lessons have been learnt. The hard way.


For more information on Malta, click here.

Posted by David Melle at July 25, 2002 08:55 PM
Comments

While I don't agree what she wrote I believe in the freedom of speech and expresion and she is entitled to her opinion.

Posted by: ANTHONY SCOTTO on August 28, 2002 07:52 AM

I hate stereotyping, but the above article vis-a-vis Arabs does ring a bell with regards to my experience with Arabs. The Arabs I know tend to be very friendly and generous people, but when it comes to open-mindedness I am afraid to say that intollerance and hard-line fundamentalism are the orders of the day. Both Jews and Arabs are guilty of murder in the Holy Land, but I believe the Israelis (or some of them, at least) have done more in the way of peace in the last years. I hate to see Sharon in power, but it was the Palestinian fanatics who put him there by refusing to shake Ehud Barak's generous hand. As for Simone Endrich's article, I think she should be allowed to express her beliefs freely and that Malta, an aspiring member of the EU, should teach the world what democracy and freedom mean. I am only baffled how Ms Endrich - dedicated as she is in pursue of freedom - opposes her own country's membership in the world's bastion of freedom in the area which is the European Union...

Posted by: Donald Miller on October 10, 2002 04:40 AM

Just want to repetition coment made by French filosofer:

"I don't agree with what you say, but I'm ready to die to defend your right to say it."

To you Ms Simone Endrich. I hope Maltese democracy and freedom to prevail on persons who think they can opress opinion of others.
Yours,
JB

Posted by: J. BREITNER on October 10, 2002 05:41 AM

I totally disagree with simone. She is in favour of hatred. She writes articles which do not support the truth. She even wrote things which could never be true about gozitans (maltese citizens too) In her aricle about gozitans she says, "Gozitan youth are people with large thighs and their faces full of acnee" - She seems she writes what she wants. - I would be happy if she gets some time in jail. She maybe would learn that not all arabs are lazy.;

Posted by: Joe Buhagiar on October 24, 2002 11:35 AM

I fully agree with Simone and she is entitled to her freedom of speech like every person who sent his comment on this page. One can see that peace is virtually impossible there. The new Palestinian PM and Israel accepted the new peace plan but Hezbollah and Hamas did not. By doing this the new Palestinian PM better be careful not to be assasinated by one of these extremist groups that do not want peace at all costs.

Posted by: Chris Xuereb on May 7, 2003 11:36 PM

freedom of expression does not include stereotyping of race, or pasing crude and untrue remarks about Islam. Islam is not terrorism, I am a Muslim and proud of it.

Posted by: ramona on May 29, 2003 11:00 AM

I am disgusted how the Libyans and various Arabs have prevailed upon the police to persecute not prosecute Simone.
So much for Maltese democracy , as for the Prime Minister , The President , and all the assorted poltroons who support terrorism , perhaps they are afraid that if they board a plane , it might be blown up over Lockerbie or elsewhere , like your beloved Libyans are expert in doing. I would like to know where all this "love" for palestinians comes from , knowing the Maltese psyche I am sure that Malta must be receiving a lot of Islamic money.I believe in freedom of speech , and no muslim will ever take it away from me. I live in a Country that gives me the right to express my opinions freely.

Posted by: peter sammut on August 6, 2006 12:12 PM
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