Saturday, April 30, 2011
FRANKFURT/MAIN – The two men who stand under suspicion of murder a British citizen on Easter Monday in the Frankfurt Disco U60311, are the police known members of a local Turk-Arab bouncer Gang, Ömer H. (29) and Antanasios G. (35). Especially one of the two is feared as a brutal bat, he is particularly conspicuous by the tattoos on his head and neck (Photo). This is previously withheld by the German media.
How insider of the Frankfurt disco scene now say, the two offenders and other gang members can be seen in the below video of the Arab hate-rapper “Haftbefehl (arrest)”.
Meanwhile, new details have become known over the committed crime. The bouncers had attacked the British for no apparent reason. According to witness statements, one of the bouncer held the man while the other beaten on him; one of them is a Boxer. They beating him with a quartz sand-filled glove, what explains the very serious internal injuries of the victim. The witness said, that the victim had no chance!
The U60311 has a dubious reputation in the Frankfurt Disco scene. After police knowledge, there has been repeated personal injury and drug sales around the club in the past.
The Disco U60311, which was closed after the brutal murder has reopened yesterday – the party can go on.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday morning, Rainer Griesbaum, deputy federal prosecutor, said although the group had been planning to set the bomb off in a big group of people, no specific target had been chosen.They were, “still in the experimental phase,” he said.Griesbaum said one of the three men arrested – named only as Abdeladim K. - had received the order to plan an attack in Germany from an important member of al-Qaida last year.The 29-year-old from Morocco, is said to have been in regular contact with the al-Qaida man who is in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. Griesbaum identified the other two men arrested as 31-year-old Jamil S., a German-Moroccan, and 19-yaer-old Amid C., a German-Iranian.He said it would seem possible that they were considering attacking some big event in the Düsseldorf area, such as the Eurovision Song Contest which is to be held there on May 14. Jörg Ziercke, president of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA), said the ringleader had been in Germany since last November – illegally – in order to prepare the attack. He had connections to Austria, Morocco and Kosovo, said Ziercke. Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that not only the German secret service but also the CIA and the Moroccan authorities had been involved in the three-month operation codenamed Komet which resulted in Friday’s arrests. The BKA had planted a Trojan virus on the computer of one of those arrested, enabling them to listen to his phone calls and watch his emails. The arrests were ordered after investigators heard the three men planning a test, shortly after having bought a variety of chemicals which could be used in a bomb.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Authorities did not say whether the three had planned specific targets and offered few details, but security officials said that all three suspects were of Moroccan origin. They also said that two were arrested were in the western German city of Duesseldorf and one in nearby Bochum. The arrests were based on suspicion they were planning a terror attack, they said.
The arrests “succeeded in averting a concrete and imminent danger, presented by international terrorism,” German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement. They showed “Germany remains a target of international terrorists.”
Germany has escaped any large-scale attack by an Islamic terror organization, such as the Madrid train bombings of 2004 and the London transit attacks of 2005. But Germany’s presence as part of the NATO coalition in Afghanistan has sparked anger and at least two major plots have been thwarted or failed in Germany before they could be carried out.
The suspects had been under surveillance since November when Germany increased security across the country in response to heightened terror threat warnings in Europe, but authorities only had enough evidence to launch an official criminal investigation starting April 15, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors said earlier they had ordered Germany’s federal police to arrest the trio, but gave no further information about the timing or location of the arrests. Officials were planning a news conference for Saturday.
Berlin — Syrian president Bashar Assad’s ongoing destruction of the country’s pro-democracy movement has catapulted Europe into the spotlight, since the EU has unique financial leverage over Syria’s regime. The EU is Syria’s second-largest trade partner.
But the EU still adheres to the myth that Assad can be turned into a reformer with some doses of behavioral therapy. (One of the more alarming developments over the last few years has been the EU’s adoption of the U.S.’s foreign policy toward Syria, e.g. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton terming Assad a “reformer.”) According to the Guardian, “For all the talk of sanctions, the emphasis in Europe was still on offering Damascus an opportunity to change its behaviour.”
Last year, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said during his visit with Assad that Syria is indispensable for a “constructive solution” in the Mideast. Westerwelle, like his counterparts in the EU, was largely fixated on Syria’s contribution to the Israel-Palestinian peace process, rather than the fulfillment of democracy in Syria itself. As to his reasons for not traveling with his gay partner to Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries last year, Westerwelle gave this explanation: “We want to encourage the idea of tolerance around the world but we don’t want to achieve the opposite either, by acting imprudently.” And the German Foreign Ministry’s main think-tank adviser ,Volker Perthes, described Assad in a March New York Times opinion piece as a “modernizer.” Syria’s democracy movement should not expect too much from Germany.
A resident of Dara’a summed up the absurdity of the EU and U.S. position succinctly: “Let Obama come and take Syria. Let Israel come and take Syria. Let the Jews come. Anything is better than Bashar Assad.”
The late Sidney Hook — arguably the greatest American social and political philosopher — defined freedom as a “fighting word” and believed that “man’s vocation should be the use of the arts of intelligence in behalf of human freedom.” Hook’s intellectual output contributed enormously to debunking Soviet-style totalitarian Communism, which was viewed by many delusional Western liberals and leftists to be the fulfillment of democracy. It’s part of why President Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It seems highly likely that had Hook lived to see the fight for democracy in totalitarian Syria — the Mideast bastion of former Soviet aid and current Iranian military patronage — he’d be penning essays and organizing conferences calling for support of the Syrian freedom movement. Hook never dithered or wavered over confronting fiercely anti-democratic regimes.
“If there is any ethical injunction valid for all periods, it is awareness in action,” commented the late Jeane J. Kirkpatrick on Hook’s philosophy. Sadly, the Obama administration and the EU posture toward Syria’s democrats is largely wallowing in non-action.
There is, however, a blueprint for the U.S. and Europe. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is filling Hook’s philosophy with contemporary content and meaning. She plans to introduce legislation to enhance the Syria Accountability and Liberation Act and implement U.S. sanctions, as well promote democracy in Syria.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Duisburg District Attorney Rolf Haferkamp said authorities were probing the possible criminal use of unconstitutional symbols. Germany has strong hate-speech laws which generally forbid anti-Semitic literature or the use of swastikas in propaganda.The document, which The Left party has since has disavowed, was discovered on the homepage of the party's Duisburg branch this week. It featured a Jewish star of David with a swastika inside of it. The leaflet denied the holocaust, called for a boycott on Israeli goods and vilified Israel as a “true rogue state with warmongers.”Hans-Werner Rook, spokesman for The Left, said he didn’t know how the leaflet got on the website and said party officials were searching for its author. The link was taken down as soon it was discovered.“We are totally outraged. That’s all far-right radical nonsense,” said Rook, speculating that an extremist mole burrowed himself into the party and posted the flyer onto the website.The pamphlet was first reported on by regional blog Ruhrbarone, which said it had apparently been available for download for years.The Left's Duisburg chapter has a history of causing a stir with its strident views on Israel. In 2009, the party's mayoral candidate resigned after he supported a boycott of the country.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
BERLIN - On the Web server of their local chapter Duisburg in the German state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, the party DieLinke offers a flyer to download, who surpasses everything in his anti-Semitism what the communist comrades of the former East-german SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) have hatched so far in the past.
In their pamphlet the party-comrades no longer try to hide their anti-Semitism behind so-called “Israel criticism.” They quite openly refer to religious sources as an alleged cause of “world domination ” of the Jews and their “war mongering”. There are also stickers to download, with which the Communists want to stigmatize stores who offering goods from Israel. The appeal culminated in the claim: “Oppose the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust! Wahrheit macht Frei! (Truth makes free!)“. Based on “Arbeit macht Frei!” above the entrance gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Here is an excerpt from the German DieLinke Party Duisburg flyer (the link to the flyer has now been cleared!), which is designed with a graphical combination of the Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish faith, and the swastika:
„Islamism in Germany has deep roots, stretching back to a symbiosis between the German state and radical religious elements during the First World War. These ties endured during the Second World War, fueled by the Third Reich’s close ties to the Grand-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Hussaini, and throughout the decades of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, before emerging to challenge the stability of the Federal Republic in the post-Cold War era.“
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Berlin—Many European reactions to the recent murders by radical Islamists of pro- Palestinian Israeli filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis and Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni replicate the typical recurrence of the same: Shift the blame to Israel in an a priori fashion without delving into existing empirical evidence.
Take the example of Inge Höger, a Left Party member of the German Bundestag, who blamed both executions on the Israeli government. Relying on German taxpayer funds to pay for her Left Party website, she said:
The question one must pose is: Who profits from this terrible crime? First of all, now two of the activists most ‘dangerous’ for Israel, because they were the most engaged, well known and noted, are eliminated. The murders of Vittorio and Juliano could also be a means of dealing a serious blow to the international solidarity movement – especially given the upcoming second flotilla and the fact that international activists still won’t let themselves be prevented from going to Palestine.
She continued, “In the past there have been many documented false flag attacks (for example, the Lavon Affair [in 1954]), and in the Palestinian territories there are constantly cases of collaboration by Palestinians with Israel in the murder of Palestinians – for money, for a new ID card, for travel permits.”
Radical Salafists were responsible for Arrigoni's murder in the Gaza Strip. And it is widely believed that hardcore Islamists also killed Mer-Khamis in Jenin.
With the exception of Die Welt journalist Henryk M. Broder, who termed Höger a “flawless anti-Semite” last week because of her crude anti-Jewish and anti-Israel conspiracy theory, there has been an eerie silence from Germany’s major media outlets.
Sadly, Merkel's coalition, and the for the most part Germany's news organizations, seemed to have acquiesced to the eternal return of Israel bashing.
In standard Pavlovian form, the Merkel administration supported the Lebanese government’s U.N. resolution in February, blasting Israeli construction in the disputed territories as “illegal.” Germany had reneged on its strong assurance to Israel that it would join the United States and veto the biased U.N. Security Council resolution.
Germany's support for the anti-Israel U.N. resolution followed last year's Bundestag resolution blaming Israel for intercepting the jihadist-controlled Mavi Marmara, which attempted to violate Israel's legal blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Höger, for her part, agreed to be lodged in the segregated women's deck aboard the vessel.
The same phenomenon has happened in Italy, too. Writing in the Milan-based Italian daily Il Giornale, Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Italy's Chamber of Deputies and chair of the Committee for the Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, noted that Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano attributed the murder of Arrigoni to the lack of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. She wrote, “[I]nstead of laying the blame on Islamic fundamentalism, he asked that 'a negotiated solution be found to the conflict which sees bloodshed in the region.'...Yet instead, Israel is being summoned to face some mysterious responsibility.”
One might even wonder if in Europe charges will be levied against Israel for the murder of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was killed on Sunday after praying at Joseph's Tomb. The evidence in this case is clear, too: Livnat was killed by the Palestinian Authority. According to a Ynet report, “Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, who is Ben-Yosef's aunt, eulogized the victim saying: 'My brother's son was murdered by a terrorist masked as a Palestinian police officer, for no more reason than his wish to pray, he was innocent."'
Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
by Carl Savich
The Chetnik guerrilla resistance movement led by Draza Mihailovich reached superhuman dimensions in the U.S. during World War II. Indeed, his exploits became the stuff of legend, rivaling the superheroes in comic books. Draza Mihailovich himself became a comic book hero and the Chetnik guerrillas assumed the status of superheroes.
Before television and mass market paperbacks, comic books were a dominant, mainstream form of entertainment in the U.S. The period from the late 1930s to the late 1940s became the Golden Age of Comics, a period when comic books proliferated the market. In the early 1940s, there were 125 different regular comic books published in the U.S. with sales of 25 million copies per month with a total yearly revenue of $30 million. The superhero archetype was developed during the 1930s with the appearance of Superman in June, 1938 in Action Comics #1 and Captain Marvel in the 1940s.
The first major appearance of Draza Mihailovich in an American comic book was in the September, 1942 issue of Real Heroes Comics, the cover story “The Chief of the ‘Chetniks’: Draja Mihailovich”, issue #6, published by Parents’ Magazine Press, a division of the Parents’ Magazine Institute in New York. The comic book was about real-life people: “Real Heroes Comics … Not about impossible supermen, but about real-life heroes and heroines who have made and are making history!” Draza Mihailovich, “Chief of the Chetniks”, was across from New York Yankees icon “Iron Man” Lou Gehrig on the cover. The comic book series featured stories on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eddie Rickenbacker, Molly Pitcher, “PT Boat Hero” John D. Bulkeley, and Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Lawyers representing victims of the Berlin disco bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 200, have written to the government asking for around €600 million to be set aside for them, according to Der Spiegel magazine. A 21-year-old American soldier and a 28-year-old Turkish woman were killed in the blast at the West Berlin disco, while another badly injured soldier died a few weeks later. A bomb containing metal shrapnel was detonated near the dance floor. It not only killed the three who died, but left others with missing limbs and burns.The small group who planted the bomb, in revenge for the American sinking of two Libyan patrol boats the previous month, were thought to have been told to do so by the Libyan government, although this has not been proven. This week’s letter, which has been sent to Economics Minister Rainer Brüderle and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, puts the government in an awkward position as it has not yet decided what to do with the Qaddafi money. Around €6 billion of the Libyan dictator’s fortune has been frozen in Germany, which Brüderle has already suggested could be used to pay for humanitarian missions to help the people of Libya. Such a move is only thought to be legally feasible as part of a coordinated European Union move to use all the frozen Qaddafi money for such missions, possibly via the United Nations.But now lawyers in Germany are arguing that the injured Germans and the Turkish woman who was killed in the bombing, should see some of the money. They were paid some money via Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam’s foundation as a ‘humanitarian gesture’, but this was said to have been well under the level which might have otherwise been expected.
Friday, April 22, 2011
There is general confusion in European capitals over German unwillingness to accept the role of savior when all it needs to do is pick up a majority of the bill for the debts of cash-strapped partners in the eurozone. It's downright un-German. For a bit -- perhaps rather a lot -- of money, Germany effectively could buy its way into establishing a Fourth Reich.
Perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, but certainly Germany has a chance to be the great benefactor and thus the acknowledged suzerain of contemporary Europa -- at least starting with the supplicant states of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and to some extent Spain. In addition there is an imposing list of others eager to relinquish their "virtue" in exchange for Germanic financial protection. Unfortunately for them, that seems to be just what Germany doesn't seek.
The last thing Germany wants is to be disliked, but it also has no particular desire to be dominant -- or hegemonic, as is the fashionable term in today's European political society. After rising from the ashes of its crushing defeat of 1945 (and with initial aid from the Marshall Plan), Germany painstakingly has pulled itself to a level of ascendancy among its eurozone associates. Nonetheless it is not at ease with its own success. It certainly has no interest in taking on the responsibility of caring for its economically sick and needy compatriots -- if that is what success means.
Some would say that Germany's reluctance to assume the lead in ameliorating the debt crisis of its fellow EU members is just another manifestation of Germany's carefully hidden desire for revenge for its WW2 military defeats and civilian devastation. While there may be an appearance of logic in that assumption, the problem with that theory is that there have been over two generations of Germans since that time 66 years ago. Germany's modern history has had several chapters since then. Even the reunification of the country after the fall of the Soviet Union has meant going through a new period of national structural and psychic change.
In any case, Germany is no longer a defeated country. It is not only the most populous but economically the most powerful nation in the EU. This marks the first time in European history that such predominance has not brought with it a parallel drive for even greater power. From an analytical standpoint France is now clearly a junior partner of Germany in their shared leading role among the nations of the European Union. French President Sarkozy's instinct for center stage may have annoyed Chancellor Angela Merkel, but she has been clever enough to not let it show -- at least not too obviously.
Germany's refusal to join in the Libyan expedition may have been a shock to Sarkozy and the foreign press, but it certainly wasn't to the German public. Germans, and their politicians on most all sides, are happy with their economic leverage within the eurozone. Their instinctive reaction to involvement in foreign military ventures is understandably negative. Even their limited role (in relation to Germany's assets) in Afghanistan is not pursued with any great enthusiasm. German diplomats off the record have explained that their government sees little to be gained from military adventures "operating under the guise of humanitarian actions."
When Angela Merkel inspired the establishment of a permanent "crisis resolution mechanism" that would reinforce the eurozone, her ambition was to emphasize the importance of each country devoting itself to its own national economic strength in order ultimately to strengthen the European Union as a group. This was shocking to the functionaries of Brussels, who tend to see the bureaucratic instruments of the EU, such as the European parliament and commission, as the bulwark against parochial national interests.
Germany no longer sees its role in a united Europe merely as one among equals, if it ever actually did. For Germany the future lies in its continued economic superiority. Becoming involved in what it views as fringe regional matters outside of Germany is not part of its long-range plan nor any other plan. German ascendancy through its economic development is all that it wishes.
Of course this carries with it much consternation for France, among others, who expected the old aggressive Germany to be part of a new group dynamic within the unified European concept. The French would always be the diplomatic and political leader in their perception of future Europe. The advantage for Europe of having a strong yet benign Germany is a construct most Germans view as not including any elements of their own past imperial ambitions or anyone else's. This view rejects France's ever-present perception of itself as, at the very least, the political philosophical leader of the new Europe.
For Germany today insularity is its guiding principle -- that and economic advantage. One thing hasn't changed from the past: Germany wants what it wants. It just doesn't want what it wanted before. Being the EU's dominating economic power is quite adequate --- just so long as Germany isn't expected to pick up the tab for the others or fight in wars not immediate to its interest.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Citing security concerns, the authorities said if he doesn’t depart on his own, he could be arrested and forcibly deported.Philips, who was born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, spoke in Frankfurt earlier this week on the subject “Islam, the Misunderstood Religion” alongside German Islamist preacher Pierre Vogel – who authorities have no way to deport – after a court allowed the event over the objections of Frankfurt officials.Arid Uka, the 21-year-old Kosovar who has admitted to killing two US airmen in Frankfurt in March, is thought to have established contact to radical Islamist preachers including Vogel before the shooting.Police said up to 1,500 people, separated by gender, attended the rally, where Philips appeared as a surprise guest. The 64-year-old has been on a tour of sorts around Europe, recently surfacing in Denmark.Although Philips has failed to deliver extremist messages during his European appearances, he’s attracted plenty of protesters, including 500 in Frankfurt.Philips, who runs an online university has attracted the ire of officials for his previously inflammatory messages and alleged links to Muslim extremists. He is alleged to have preached that homosexuals should received the death penalty, although in Frankfurt he said he doesn’t hate gays at all.In previous interviews he has also accused Western governments of oppressing him by falsely associating him with terrorism.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
But her latest move has shocked some of those fans, and enraged those closest to her.
Posing provocatively on the cover of German Playboy magazine with one breast exposed, Sila Sahin seems to be sending a clear and deliberate message to her conservative Turkish family.
'I did it because I wanted to be free at last,' she said. 'These photographs are a liberation from the restrictions of my childhood.'
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
“Truth and reason are eternal,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to Rev. Samuel Knox in 1810. “They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail . . . ” Jefferson was wrong. His belief that “Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it” was naive. As Patrick J. Buchanan proves in a passing reference in his otherwise sound latest column, even men of generally sound understanding and good intentions end up the victims of the disinformation campaigns that pass for media reporting. “In none of the Libyan towns affected by fighting in recent weeks,” Buchanan writes, “has anything like the massacre in the Ivory Coast taken place, let alone Srebrenica.” It is noteworthy that “Srebrenica” is used here not as a geographic location that needs to be preceded by a noun (“the massacre in…”) but as a stand-alone term that denotes horror, on par with “Auschwitz,” or “Katyn,” or “Hiroshima.” “Srebrenica” used in this sense has established itself as a myth based on a lie. As the introduction to an enlightening recent article points out, we need to transcend the routine banalities of the Srebrenica debate which turns mostly on numbers; but the very term “debate” is rejected by those who should be on one of the two sides in that debate: They deny as a matter of principle that there is anything to debate. So many thousand prisoners were executed and a distinguished international judicial forum of unquestioned authority has found it to constitute genocide. (These are the “routine banalities” that define the parameters of Srebrenica as an issue at least, if not as a debate.) According to our hypothetical debating partners there is nothing to debate because everything is settled and clear. Reasonable people with no ethno-religious axe to grind in the Balkan quagmire have long fought such “routine banalities,” including the claim that as many as 8,000 Muslims were killed in cold blood and the systematic misuse of the term “genocide.”
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Draza Mihailovich and the Chetnik guerrillas created an unprecedented sensation and frenzy in the U.S. in 1942 and 1943. This is reflected in their appearance in all phases of American media. They were featured on magazine covers, newspapers, eight comic books, five major novels, and a major Hollywood movie. It was not long before they were featured on American radio. The U.S. Treasury Department, the Radio Section of the War Savings Staff, made a radio recording, program 101, Treasury Star Parade, “The Chetniks”, starring Orson Welles and Vincent Price with David Broekman and His Orchestra and Chorus. The script was written by Violet Atkins. The record was made by the Allied Record Manufacturing Company of Hollywood, California. It was produced by William A. Bacher, the first producer of the show, who was a writer and radio producer whose credits included Maxwell House’s Showboat and Campbell’s Hollywood Hotel series produced in 1942 and 1943. Created by the U.S. Treasury Department to stimulate sales of war bonds and stamps, Treasury Star Parade was produced in New York and Hollywood and syndicated to radio stations across the U.S. The program recruited major writers for radio such as Arch Oboler, Neal Hopkins, Violet Atkins, and others to write “patriotic” scripts based on the scenario “if Hitler won the war, America will have to expect…” The radio series featured major American actors from Broadway and Hollywood such as Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Lynn Fontanne, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Hull, Fredric March, Alfred Lunt, Vincent Price, and Orson Welles. Actress Jane Froman was a frequent contributor to the show. These actors and many others donated their time in producing 15-minute performances to support the war effort. Musicians such as Bing Crosby, Kay Kyser, Bob Crosby, Harry James, Xavier Cugat, Fred Waring, and Ted Lewis, were also on the show.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Islamic schooling in Germany
Not extremist Islam, just classic, run of the mill Islam. If this doesn’t blow you away, only a soldier of allah can.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Only hours before German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Berlin on Thursday, her government did a deal worth billions with the greatest threat to Israel’s existence. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle arranged for the German central Bundesbank and the Hamburg-based European-Iranian trade bank (EIH) to facilitate a massive crude oil transaction between India and Iran, pumping billions of euros into Tehran’s coffers. Though, EIH is subject to U.S. sanctions, Westerwelle’s Foreign Ministry allowed the Bundesbank to clear a crude oil payment from India to the regime that controls National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The U.S. had twisted arms at India’s Asia Clearing Union to block the payment, but the Merkel administration agreed to do the job. If past is prologue, these oil funds will soon fill the pockets of Iran’s most dangerous men, allowing them to advance their military and nuclear ambitions, and support their terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. All of this helps explain why Germany’s main business daily, Handelsblatt, quoted Israel’s local embassy spokesman Yinam Cohen calling for the closure of EIH on its front page earlier this week. The troika – Bundesbank, Germany’s Foreign Ministry, and EIH – reveal Germany’s deep involvement in sustaining the Iranian regime, allowing it to repress its pro-democracy movement, and sweeping its vast human rights abuses under the rug. While Chancellor Merkel reacted slowly to the disturbing revelations about Germany’s financial dealings with Tehran, she did stop payments to Iran on Wednesday, the day Netanyahu’s plane landed in Berlin. Her decision to turn the screws on EIH arose not from her supposed commitment to Israel’s security but, rather, because the U.S. Treasury said it “is concerned about recent reports that the German government authorized the use of E.I.H. as a conduit for India’s oil payments to Iran,” Sadly, Merkel only seems to moderate her government’s substantial economic cooperation with Iran when she fears it could endanger German firms’ access to American markets. The German firm Siemens and its Finnish partner Nokia sold the Iranian leaders surveillance equipment in 2008, which they promptly used to repress Iran’s pro-democracy movement the following year. The Siemens-Nokia technology (“Intelligence Platforms”) can also be used to monitor flight and traffic movements and intercept telecommunications to and from the Jewish state. Last July, the European Union—perhaps under pressure from Germany and Finland—excluded telecommunications equipment from the list of technologies subject to Iran sanctions. Germany also persuaded the EU not to block EIH. In 2008, Merkel told the Israeli Knesset that Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped, and that Israel’s security is “non-negotiable” for her country. Yet Germany remains Iran’s number one European business partner, with an annual trade volume of roughly €4 billion. If Germany were serious about Israel’s security, it would ban EIH, and initiate tough unilateral sanctions on Iran in the model of those enacted by the U.S. in 2010. Instead, last year, the Bundestag chose to smack Israel with a resolution for “violating the principle of proportionality” by employing self defense measures against the radical activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, who were in violation of Israel’s defensive naval blockade of Gaza. Merkel stood by as members of her governing coalition voted unanimously to condemn Israel. The measure passed without a single dissenting vote among the more than 600 members of parliament, an eerie reminder of Kaiser Wilhelm II's famous line: "I know no more parties, I know only Germans!" The Israelis understandably viewed Merkel’s equivocal stance on the resolution as a step back from her pledge before the Knesset to protect their security interests. At the very least, Merkel could juice her domestic industries by doing business with Israel. She could green light the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine, which the Israelis requested this week. In response, Merkel vaguely stated that she had discussed Israel’s “comprehensive security situation” with Netanyahu. Will she ever match words with actions?
Friday, April 08, 2011
Two Pakis got married by phone, the woman never once having met the man. A German registrar refused to recognise the legitimacy of their marriage but has now been overruled by a court. Although German law requires marriage partners to be physically present with one another when the marriage takes place, foreign laws and customs should prevail, the judges said.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
BERLIN – Diplomatic fissures between Israel and Germany over Berlin’s pro-Iran trade and bank policies, peace talks with the Palestinians, and Germany’s endorsement of an anti-Israel UN resolution will animate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s meeting on Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.The first Berlin-based meeting of 2011 between the two leaders will also involve a request by Netanyahu to acquire a sixth German-made Dolphin-class submarine to ratchet up Israel’s security against rising threats in the region.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Merkel administration tells 'Post' “Iran sanctions will be discussed with Netanyahu"; German Jewish leader slams Iran funding. BERLIN - The new president of Germany's 105,000-member Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, launched on Monday a withering attack on German companies, the Merkel Administration and the country's central bank (Bundesbank) for their continued business deals with an Iranian regime that denies the Holocaust and supports terror movements.“That far too many German firms continue unimpeded to conduct their repugnant business with the Iranian terror regime, the reigning world champion in Holocaust denial, is unfortunately a fact, and continues to be a crying shame," said Dr. Dieter Graumann in the main business Germany daily Handelsblatt. In sharp terms he criticized the Merkel Administration for failing to include the EIH, the Hamburg-based European-Iranian trade bank, in the EU sanctions list against Iran. US Treasury Department termed the EIH one of the most important financial conduits in Europe for Iran's nuclear and missile programs. According to a Handelsblatt article on Tuesday, Merkel stopped EIH's (and the Bundesbank) future processing of India's Iranian oil crude payments, but did not pull the plug on the EIH financial operation, which continues to operate in Hamburg.A Merkel Administration wrote to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, saying that it is “likely that in the discussion between the Federal Chancellor and Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu Iran will also be a topic and, if necessary, the implementation of Iran sanctions.”Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are slated to meet on Thursday in Berlin. When asked if the the Merkel Administration will close the US-sanctioned EIH, her spokeswoman said the EU does not bar transactions with the EIH because the EIH is not included on the EU sanctions list.However, Gerhard Schick, the financial spokesman for the powerful opposition Green Party said Monday in Handelsblatt, “Foreign Minister Westerwelle and Economics Minister Brüderle must as fast as possible make sure that the EIH is finally in the EU sanctions list.”Merkel and Westerwelle have resisted the inclusion of the EIH in the EU sanctions list during last year's EU Iran sanctions negotiations.Since Graumann assumed office in late 2010, he has taken an assertive role in criticizing Germany's roughly 4 billion euro annual trade relationship with Iran. Traditionally, Germany is Iran's most important EU trade partner. Amid the fury last week that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle appears to have green lighted billions of euros in Iranian crude oil payments via the Hamburg-based European-Iranian trade bank (EIH), which raised troubling concerns from the US Treasury department. Graumann said: "This bank should not be in the German banking world, this bank should be prohibited. It has long been known that this institute is an instrument and henchman of the Tehran regime, which provides the fanatic mullahs there with significant financial means, with which they in turn finance hatred, terror, death, and the nuclear program there."An Israeli diplomat in Berlin told the Post that the Israeli government took notice of the EIH scandal and the matter is being seriously discussed in the Foreign Ministry. Yinam Cohen, an Israeli Embassy spokesman in Berlin, told the Post last week that the EIH bank operation ought to be shut down.Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, facilitated the commercial transactions for the EIH and Foreign Ministry. Graumann lamented that the German authorities have "persistently refused" to include the EIH on the EU terror list. "If this attitude were now finally going to be corrected in Germany, that would be more than appropriate," said Graumann in the Handelsblatt.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Friday, April 01, 2011
New disclosures earlier this week have catapulted the scandal-plagued Hamburg-based Iranian bank Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH), the German Foreign Ministry and Germany’s Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) into a new controversy about Germany circumventing sanctions against Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. According to a front-page story in the main German business daily The Handelsblatt, “although President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s country is subject to strict economic sanctions by the EU and USA, Germany helps in circumventing them.” Handelsblatt wrote that the Foreign Ministry – run by the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) – “rubber stamped” massive Iran oil transactions. The FDP is the party of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. India’s central bank informed Germany in February that it intends to conduct Iranian oil financial transaction worth 9 billion euros via the Bundesbank. India has been transferring the funds in connection with its purchase of Iranian crude oil for several weeks to the Bundesbank, which serves as the international conduit for the EIH in Germany. “Israel’s position remains : The EIH should be shut down,” Yinam Cohen, a spokesman for Israel’s Embassy in Berlin, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. According to the US Treasury department, the EIH, is “one of Iran’s few remaining access points to the European financial system. EIH has facilitated a tremendous volume of transactions for Iranian banks previously [blacklisted] for proliferation.” In addition to financing Iran’s nuclear program, the Treasury Department asserts the EIH is also involved in Iran’s missile program. When asked whether the Bundesbank is financing Iran’s nuclear program, Magnus Mäkelä, a spokesman for the Bundesbank, wrote the Post by e-mail on Thursday, “If an account holder asks the German Central Bank to make a payment that is permissible under these European Union regulations, the German Central Bank is required to carry out the transaction.” Mäkelä declined to immediately answer Post’s questions via telephone and email regarding whether the Federal Bank has a responsibility toward the security of Israel and the international community. He said the Central Bank’s board of directors is reviewing the Post’s questions about the Bank’s Iran business and the deals endangering the security of Israel – as well as the Bank’s ostensible refusal to honor the German government’s security pledge toward the Jewish state because of the Holocaust. The Central Bank is a state-owned financial institution, and Merkel has repeatedly said that Israel’s security interests are “nonnegotiable” and integral to the Federal Republic’s national security. On Thursday The New York Times reported an Obama Treasury department official said, “Treasury is concerned about recent reports that the German government authorized the use of EIH as a conduit for India’s oil payments to Iran. Treasury will continue to engage with both German and Indian authorities about this situation, and will continue to work with all our allies to isolate EIH.” Critics argue that revenues from the Indian oil transactions can be used to finance Iran’s nuclear program and its support for international terror – including its allies Hamas and Hezbollah. In February, a bi-partisan Senate letter – signed by 11 Senators, spanning Republicans and Democrats (and one Independent) – urged Westerwelle to take action against the EIH. Andreas Peschke, a spokesman for Westerwelle, said Monday, “there is no legal basis to block its business activities.” Asked about if the foreign minister had responded to the senators, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry wrote the Post, “In his response to the US Senators, Foreign Minister Westerwelle emphasized that the European-Iranian Trade Bank is strictly monitored by the German Bank supervision authorities, and the federal government actively pursues any evidence of activities relevant to proliferation relating to Iran. This is true of all businesses based in Germany, including the European-Iranian Trade Bank.” He continued that “Germany shares the concerns of the international community, especially Israel, regarding the Iranian nuclear program. A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable. Therefore, with our E3+3 partners, we have succeeded in further strengthening the UN and EU sanctions and continue to keep up heavy pressure on Iran. Iran must comply with Security Council requirements and cooperate with the IAEO in answering all open questions surrounding its nuclear program.” A spokesman for Merkel wrote the Post by e-mail, and referred to a press statement in which Merkel’s chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the EIH is “strictly controlled.” Germany has made no efforts to place the EIH on the EU Iran sanctions list. During the negotiations last year, Germany resisted the inclusion of the EIH as a banned entity. The German-Iranian trade volume last year amounted to 3.7b. euros, making Germany the third most important exporter to Iran, after UAE and China. Many German businesses, which are active in Iran, use the EIH to process financial transactions. A report last week in The Hindustan Times, an Indian newspaper, alluded to possible closure of the EIH. According to the paper, “The bank in Germany that is serving as the conduit for India’s payments to Iran for oil imports from the latter country could face closure in a new round of sanctions against Iran. German National Security Advisor Christoph Heusgen, on a visit to New Delhi, said that ‘If Iran does not accept the offers of the EU 3 + 3 and continues its nuclear programme, we favour more sanctions.’” The Hindustan Times report could not be verified. Prime Minister Netanyahu will travel to Berlin in early April to meet Merkel. Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will also travel to Berlin and Munich in April.