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December 15, 2003
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Leftists and Liberals lead Europe in racism and intolerance

The San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.con) has published an article on how many Leftists and Liberals lead Europe today in racism and intolerance:

On Britain's National Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Independent newspaper runs a cartoon of a bloodthirsty Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon devouring a Palestinian baby. Despite many complaints, it is named best cartoon of 2003 by the U.K. Political Cartoon Society.

Anti-globalization groups in Germany invoke old stereotypes of Jews as global manipulators by suggesting that Jews played a major role in planning the Iraq war and the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

A book alleging that the CIA and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency conspired to plot the attacks on New York and Washington sits on the German best-seller list for months. [...]

"It is now almost impossible to have a decent discussion with people on the left about Israel because it is regarded as being entirely responsible for everything that has gone wrong" in the Middle East, David Aaronovitch, a columnist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, wrote in a recent BBC News Online forum.

Some observers believe that the criticism is so ferocious in its tone and so one-sided in its analysis that it is stoking a surge of anti-Semitism in Europe already being fed by hostility toward Jews among the continent's millions of Muslim immigrants. In some cases -- as with the leftist Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, who declared in November that the Jews are "the root of evil" -- the attacks have become incendiary.

This leftist/liberal hatred of Israel (and many times Jews) is not new for those that watch Fox News, read LGF or FactsOfIsrael.com, but this might come as a surprise for SF Chronicle readers. The SF Chronicle is known for its anti-Israel bias, ironically since its hatred of Israel is probably based on leftist ideology as well.

I copy the full article below.

Fears of anti-Semitism sweep Europe Leftists, intellectuals blaming Israel for world's ills
Veronique Mistiaen, Jody K. Biehl and Elizabeth Bryant, Chronicle Foreign Service, Link

London -- On Britain's National Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Independent newspaper runs a cartoon of a bloodthirsty Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon devouring a Palestinian baby. Despite many complaints, it is named best cartoon of 2003 by the U.K. Political Cartoon Society.

Anti-globalization groups in Germany invoke old stereotypes of Jews as global manipulators by suggesting that Jews played a major role in planning the Iraq war and the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

A book alleging that the CIA and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency conspired to plot the attacks on New York and Washington sits on the German best-seller list for months.

Anti-Semitism has existed in Europe since pre-medieval times, finding its ultimate expression in the Holocaust. While often associated with lower classes of society, historians agree that intellectuals played a key role in the rise of Adolf Hitler by providing justifications and excuses for his racist doctrine.

With that dismal record in mind, alarm is growing over the increasingly frequent and strident attacks being launched, in leftist and liberal circles, by European academics, politicians and media figures against Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

"It is now almost impossible to have a decent discussion with people on the left about Israel because it is regarded as being entirely responsible for everything that has gone wrong" in the Middle East, David Aaronovitch, a columnist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, wrote in a recent BBC News Online forum.

Some observers believe that the criticism is so ferocious in its tone and so one-sided in its analysis that it is stoking a surge of anti-Semitism in Europe already being fed by hostility toward Jews among the continent's millions of Muslim immigrants. In some cases -- as with the leftist Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, who declared in November that the Jews are "the root of evil" -- the attacks have become incendiary.

Most critics of Israel, including Theodorakis, deny that they are anti-Semitic, either on a conscious or unconscious level. They insist that criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians is perfectly legitimate. But Jews feel that their long and bitter experience as political and societal scapegoats gives them a sharp sense of when the fine line dividing responsible free speech from outright bigotry is being crossed.

A milestone was reached last month, when the European Union released a poll showing that Europeans believe that Israel is the biggest threat to world peace -- ranking higher than North Korea, Iran and the United States.

The poll stunned Jewish and Israeli leaders alike.

Nathan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident who is now an Israeli Cabinet minister, angrily urged the EU "to stop the rampant brainwashing against and demonizing of Israel before Europe deteriorates once again to dark sections of its past."

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the poll "shows that anti-Semitism is deeply embedded within European society, more than any other period since the end of World War II."

The phenomenon of extreme criticism of Israel morphing into bigotry against Jews as a people has surfaced strongly in Britain, the Western European nation that has historically been the most tolerant toward Jews.

"The demonization of Israel had led to the demonization of its supporters and Jews in general," said Emanuele Ottolenghi, a fellow at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Middle East Center at St. Antony's College, Oxford.

There is a feeling among the 300,000 or so Jews living in the United Kingdom that they are being silenced, adds Ottolenghi. "In order to live quietly, it is advisable not to identify yourself as a Jew, unless you do so in conjunction with strong condemnation of Israel. The feeling is that Jews in Europe today are on probation. And the U.K. is no different."

In Britain, Ottolenghi and others say, the trend has been led primarily by the left-wing and liberal press. They cite the growing number of Judeophobic statements and characterizations since Sept. 11.

Only slightly less over the top than the cartoon of Sharon, the cover of the New Statesman magazine's Jan. 14, 2002, issue featured a huge, glistening gold Star of David piercing a British flag under the headline: "A kosher conspiracy? Britain's pro-Israel lobby."

In an interview with Vanity Fair in May 2003, Tam Dalyell, a parliamentary member of the ruling Labor Party, complained that a "cabal of Jewish advisers" unduly influenced Prime Minister Tony Blair. He mentioned Lord Levy, Blair's Middle East envoy; former top aide Peter Mandelson, whose father is Jewish; and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, one of whose grandparents was Jewish.

Glasgow MP George Galloway, who has since been expelled from the Labor Party for his outspoken criticism of the Iraq war, called for Scots to boycott goods from Israel in response to the violence in the Middle East. His appeal followed a motion calling for a suspension of trade with Israel signed by 71 MPs.

Last July, two Israeli academics were removed from the editorial boards of two U.K. linguistics journals as part of a boycott of academic contacts with Israel.

Ottolenghi complained that while the liberal, left-wing press and elements of academia "are quite prepared to denounce right-wing anti-Semitism, they deny any wrongdoing on the left and within the Muslim communities, whence the worst attacks come from."

Similar troubles are occurring in Germany, where Jews number 98,000 in a country of 82 million.

While anti-Semitism was in recent decades mainly the domain of the right wing, the uneducated and disenfranchised youths, it is now cropping up in places where it was once taboo -- intellectual, political and leftist circles. In the past 20 months, five cases of openly anti-Semitic rhetoric and one in a novel by a prize-winning author have rocked the nation and instigated a flurry of discussion about the state of German-Jewish relations.

Many believe that part of the impetus for the "new" anti-Semitism is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the overwhelmingly negative attitude Germans and the German press have toward Sharon and his aggressive treatment of the Palestinians.

The sentiments have become common enough to prompt the highly respected Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper to suggest last month that anti-Semitism has become so open that it is once again salonfaehig -- socially acceptable -- within intellectual circles.

Deirdre Berger, managing director of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin, agreed that anti-Semitism is "much more widely spread and expressed now than in past years."

She added that the Mideast standoff is "the excuse that is used. It's allowing people to express feelings that are already there."

The most prominent recent case of alleged anti-Semitism occurred on Oct. 3 when Martin Hohmann, an obscure Christian Democratic member of parliament, was forced to resign after he compared Jewish participation in the Russian Revolution with atrocities committed by the Nazis.

In his speech in Fulda, titled "Justice for Germany," Hohmann said Germans were tired of being depicted as the 20th century's main bogeymen and that although Jews are always seen as victims, they, too, have "black marks" in their history. He said that in some cases -- such as in the 1917 Bolshevik takeover -- they could be seen as Taetervolk, a race of perpetrators.

After hearing of the speech, Gen. Reinhard Guenzel, a revered commander of the elite KSK army division, wrote Hohmann a letter extolling his "courage" and saying, "You can be sure that you are doubtless speaking for the majority of our nation."

Even after the Jewish community and Israeli Embassy later expressed outrage, the Christian Democrats, the major opposition party, gave Hohmann a chance to apologize. He refused, and it took the party a week to decide to force him out. Guenzel was immediately fired by the defense ministry.

Other recent cases involved:

-- Juergen Mollemann, a leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party, who was expelled from the party and then died in a suspicious jump from a plane after trying to win votes in November's election by distributing anti-Israel flyers;

-- Jamal Karsli, a Syrian-born member of the Greens and later the Free Democrats, who was expelled in May 2002 because of inflammatory statements comparing Israelis to Nazis and accusations of a "Jewish lobby" at work;

-- Novelist Martin Walser, whose book "Death of a Critic" was described as a "document of hate" by literary critics in its blatant attack on a prominent Jewish media commentator. Walser is also infamous for calling the Auschwitz death camp Moralkeule (a moral club) against Germans.

The three authors of "Operation 911," the book alleging an Israeli role in the 2001 events, are not far-right hotheads but rather a former editor at the respected Berlin daily Die Tageszeitung; a prominent Social Democrat and ex-member of the lower house; and a long-time journalist for the nationalWDR broadcast network.

Equally disturbing, an American Jewish Committee survey commissioned last year found that 52 percent of Germans believe Jews are exploiting the memory of the Holocaust for their own purposes, and 59 percent agreed with the statement that "many people in Germany are afraid to express their true feelings about Jews."

France -- home to 600,000 Jews, the largest community in Europe -- has seen a sharp spike in anti-Jewish incidents over the past three years. Most of the beatings, firebombed synagogues and desecrated cemeteries are blamed on Muslim immigrants.

In 2002, 60 percent of the violent incidents reported to France's human rights commission were directed at Jews, some of whom have subsequently emigrated to Israel.

"Jews are questioning whether they can continue living in France," Nissim Zvili, Israel's ambassador to France, said in a recent interview. "They're particularly worried about the apparent indifference of French society (to the new) anti-Semitism."

The government is frequently critical of Israel, and some suggest that the pro-Palestinian sympathies of French reporters and leftist politicians thinly disguise anti-Jewish sentiments.

"Many intellectuals will say they are anti-Israel or anti-Zionist -- not anti-Semitic," said Emmanuel Weintraub, a senior member of the Representative Council of Jews. "That's a semantic swindle."

But prominent Jewish historian and writer Esther Benbassa does not believe most French intellectuals are anti-Semitic.

"There is a wave of anti-Semitism among France's ethnic North African population, but not a single real intellectual or politician has made a remark that can be suspected of being anti-Semitic," said Benbassa, chair of the Sorbonne's history department. "On the contrary ... in political circles there is significant support for Jews."

Indeed, French authorities have won kudos for their new get-tough approach toward anti-Jewish actions, after years of being skewered for half measures.

The center-right government of President Jacques Chirac, who declared a "zero tolerance" policy against anti-Semitism and racism, asked Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to head a special commission to tackle the problem. New plans include screening broadcasts for hate remarks and drafting pamphlets on how to combat anti-Semitism in schools.

After taking those steps, Chirac declared, "When a Jew is attacked in France, it is an attack on the whole of France."

Veronique Mistiaen reported from London, Jody K. Biehl from Berlin and Elizabeth Bryant from Paris.

Posted by David Melle at December 15, 2003 08:56 AM
Comments

Let's support our troops! -Susan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have indeed confirmed the fact that Starbucks charged rescue workers $130.00 for 3 cases of bottled water on September 11, 2001, so the following info that was passed on to me would not be surprising to me at all!!

Dear everyone: Please pass this along to anyone you know, this needs to get out in the open. Recently Marines over in Iraq supporting this country in OIF wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffee and try to score some free coffee grounds. Starbucks wrote back telling the Marines thanks for their support in their business, but that they don't support the War and anyone in it and that they won't send them the Coffee. So as not to offend them we should not support in buying any Starbucks products. As a War vet and writing to you patriots I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this War might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting street to street and house to house for what they and I believe is right. If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can discard it and I'll never know. Thanks very much for your support to me, and I know you'll all be there again here soon when I deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co
1st Plt PLT RTO

-------------------------------------------------------
Note from David Melle, editor at FactsIfIsrael.com:

This story about Starbucks not supporting our troops is not correct. See for example:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/starbucks-iraq.htm

TruthOrFiction.com contacted Starbucks about the story.

Starbucks says that the originator of the email, Sgt. Howard Wright, and talked with him about his complaint.
He has now sent a follow-up email to his email list, which appears below.

Starbucks assured him of their support of the military and that the only reason any coffee was not donated was because the official Starbucks donation policy authorizes such gifts to officially designated public charities, including libraries and schools, and that the U.S. military or military personnel do not qualify.
It was not meant to be a comment on the war or the service of military personnel in the war.
The company said that there have been employees that have showed their support through donations of coffee.
Starbucks told us that many of the company's employees (called "partners" by Starbucks) receive one pound of free coffee each week and some of that coffee has gone to members of the military or related organizations.
For example, the employees in the Starbucks in Atascadero, California, decided to send their weekly free coffee to troops in Afghanistan and there are other such stories about Starbucks coffee finding its way into the hands of military personnel.

Posted by: Susan Otto on March 6, 2006 10:31 AM
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