Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anti-Israel German activist lied about IDF service

A German poet and anti-Israel activist has acknowledged that she fabricated her supposed service in the IDF during the First Lebanon war.

“I said I was in the IDF,” but “it was a lie,” Irena Wachendorff, 51, told The Jerusalem Post, in a telephone interview on Friday.

She has termed strong pro- Israel activists “the neo-Nazi troop among the Jews,” and expressed support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

As an 18-year-old, she said, she left Germany for Israel and wanted to serve in the army, adding that she was in Israel when the IDF went into Lebanon to stop cross-border terrorist attacks, in a preliminary to the First Lebanon War, and departed Israel after six weeks. Asked why she lied, she said she was “ashamed” of her failure.

Wachendorff further claims that her father is Jewish and fled to England in 1936, and her mother survived Auschwitz.

The Post and Jennifer Pyka, a dogged investigative journalist in Munich, obtained evidence that contradicted Wachendorff’s alleged Jewish identity.

According to Pyka’s investigative essay, Wachendorff’s father, Raymund, served in the German Army during the Third Reich and her mother, Barbara, denies being incarcerated in Auschwitz.

Wachendorff admitted to the Post on Friday that her father was an officer in the Wehrmacht. She asserted on Facebook that her father served as an “adviser to a rabbi and a tzadik.” She could offer no proof that the former army officer performed advisory work for rabbis.

Wachendorff wrote on Facebook that her mother was “four months in Auschwitz” and has a “tattooed number on her arm.”

Wachendorff, however, told the Post that she could not recall the name of the extermination camp where her mother was imprisoned and that there is “something” on her mother’s arm, but she cannot identify whether it is a number. After Friday’s Post interview, Wachendorff closed her Facebook account on Saturday.

In a telephone interview on Saturday, Pyka told the Post that she smelled a fraudulent history almost two years ago and unraveled a string of deceptions and contradiction in Wachendorff’s Facebook assertions. In a long essay that appeared late last month on the German website Die Achse des Guten (The Axis of Good), Pyka uncovered a series of alleged half-truths and lies. Spiegel Online and the cultural website Perlentaucher cited Pyka’s expose as one of the top blog entries of the week.

Wachendorff repeatedly told the Post, “I am Jewish. I am member of a liberal Jewish community and I am not anti- Semitic.”

According to Pyka’s research, there is no documentation supporting Wachendorff’s assertions that she is Jewish or a member of a German Jewish community.

Pyka sharply criticized Wachendorff for having traded on the tragedy of the Holocaust for personal and commercial gain. It is “perverse and brazen that Wachendorff presents herself as a Jew and the daughter of Holocaust survivors and engages in educational work in schools about anti-Semitism and Jewish life in the Third Reich,” she said.

“Six million dead Jews serve her own publicity and at the same time she undertakes a perfidious victim-perpetrator inversion to damage Israel and all Jews,” the journalist said.

Pyka summed up the growing scandal: “The entire thing is a Grusical [comic horror musical] that is made in Germany and only those who are themselves fake Jews or anti- Semites can stage and applaud the Grusical.”

Ruprecht Polenz, a senior deputy in the Bundestag, vehemently defends the anti- Israel activist’s work.

Polenz, the head of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed a group of Iranian lawmakers to Berlin last year. He has served as Wachendorff’s main advocate.

In an email to the Post, he declined to provide specific comments on the string of alleged lies from Wachendorff.

In addition to being under fire for defending Wachendorff, critics accuse the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy of allowing his Facebook site to be turned into a magnet for jihadists, raging anti-Semites, haters of Israel and extremist leftists. In a number of entries examined by the Post, which appeared on Polenz’s Facebook, writers posted “that rich, industrial Jews planned the genocide on the Jewish people in order to create Israel.”

In another entry, Darwisch Salman Khorassani wrote that if “USREAL [Israel and the US] attack, I will register as a suicide bomber. Not from Islamic motives but from pure humanistic motives.”

When asked about hate and anti-Semitism on his Facebook page, Polenz wrote the Post, “When in doubt, decide in favor of freedom of opinion – every person is responsible for his opinion.”

In an email to the Post on Saturday from the US, the German Jewish author and expert in modern anti-Semitism, Henryk M. Broder, slammed Polenz for advancing Wachendorff’s stature in Germany.

“Irena Wachendorff is not the first lunatic to fantasize her role as a Jew. This has occurred before. The scandal regarding this story is that she was tolerated and sponsored for years by a politician from the CDU, who used her for his goals and she used him for her racket. This is the curtain-raiser to the climax of the German- Jewish symbiosis,” Broder wrote.
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Germany’s Jewish patriots find a home in the army

In an office amid a labyrinth of hallways in Germany's Ministry of Defense, a short jaunt from where Claus von Stauffenberg was executed in 1944 for trying to kill Adolf Hitler, sits Bernhard Fischer, lieutenant colonel and Jew.

What’s a nice Jewish guy doing in a place like this?

“The history of this place is clear to me. But life is normal today,” said the 59-year-old protocol officer, surrounded by souvenirs from Israel and elsewhere. “Germany is a democratic country and one can live here -- and live here well.”

Of course, Fischer would be the first to admit it’s much more complicated than that for Jews in the Bundeswehr, modern Germany’s military. No one knows the exact number, but insiders guess there are some 200 Jews in a military of about 200,000.

Many of them, such as Fischer, have complex family histories. His mother’s family moved from Germany to South Africa prior to World War II. She returned to Germany in 1945 and married a Catholic German. “But our Jewish identity was always there,” he said.

In 1971, while visiting relatives in Israel, Fischer met his future wife, whose family had made aliyah from Tunisia. They moved to West Germany in 1975 and have three children.

Until the postwar obligatory conscription was dropped last year, Germans whose parents or grandparents were victims of Nazi persecution were exempted from military service.

Nevertheless, some chose to serve. Michael Fuerst signed up in 1966 and is likely the first Jew to do so in West Germany. The Jewish community called him “the shmuck from Hanover who joined the army,” he recalls with a laugh.
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Germany: Dolphin therapy

A selective urge for political activism, blown out of proportion by the extremely complex historical context within which Germans relate to Israel and Jews; a mixture of (secondary) guilt-complexes, flawed – if any – historic education; and frustration with the perceived perpetrator stigma, to name a few. Agents of socialization hardly provide adequate impulses to cope with these difficulties. Many teachers omit Israel-related subjects, afraid to anger Muslim students. Many clumsily teach the Holocaust, afraid to bore their students. Add to this a lack of objective information about Israel, its policies and people – an information vacuum that has been filled with subtle or blunt incitement by major media outlets and NGOs. This, of course, is not the sole responsibility of the German leadership. A more professional, proactive and fine-tuned information policy by Israel would come in handy. Sound waves don’t spread in a vacuum as as we learned in intro to physics, but sound bites do – and these are proactively produced and distributed by those who thrive on their resentment of Israel and those providing juicy anti-Israel propaganda, including the well-oiled machinery within the Arab world. When incitement precedes balanced information about Israel’s policies, when the receiver of such information has “issues” coping with Germany’s history in a healthy way, propaganda meets fertile ground. Very fertile. Feeling the anti-Israel breeze in his homeland and the calling only a former-SS-memberturned- radical-leftist can feel, Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass recently provided those “resenters” with a seal of legitimacy by publishing a masterpiece of incitement against Israel and German-Israeli relations that shows the deadly cocktail in action. In his op-ed alias poem, Grass “unmasks” Israel, rather than Iran’s ayatollah regime, as the world’s greatest threat and blames Germany for helping Israel wipe out the Iranian people by providing submarines. Ergo, he cries out to prevent Israel from becoming the inhumane perpetrator Germany once was. Following an international tsunami of publications debating the poem, the Grass affair is over. The genie it unleashed, however, has just begun its work. Those who previously made Israel/Third Reich comparisons in silent subtexts, who whispered that Israel exploits Auschwitz, now more than ever feel the duty to save the world from Israel’s “aggressions.” This new anti-Israel public discourse in Germany ignores geo-political and historic facts. It recycles leftist slogans from the past, flips upside-down the threat constellations in the Middle East and engages in secondary anti-Semitism, applying Holocaust vocabulary and scenarios to Israel’s politics. Last week’s cover story in Der Spiegel on the German- Israeli submarine deal shows that the Grass genie has borne fruit. The Dolphin’s capacity to carry nuclear warheads was dramaturgically presented as the pantheon of secrecy, although it has been publicly discussed for years. Why risk losing the reputation of serious journalism? Because sensationalism sells. As does the authors’ pseudo-morality: “Is Germany, the country of perpetrators, allowed to help Israel, the country of victims, in establishing a nuclear weapons force which can be used to extinguish hundreds of thousands of human lives?” The subtext is clear: Israel plans to wipe out the Iranian people and is thus equivalent to the Third Reich. The second message: Israel should give up on its capacity to defend its existence, for the sake of Germany’s moral purity.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heirs to Nazi-seized assets sue Claims Conference

The heirs to Jewish assets the Nazis seized during World War II filed a lawsuit against the Claims Conference on Sunday, saying it is withholding NIS 2.5 million raised from the sale of their properties. The plaintiffs, of the Lichtenstein and Engel families, accused the Jewish organization – which is charged with negotiating with Germany on behalf of Holocaust victims – of “maliciously” taking hold of Jewish assets in East Germany even when the heirs are living and able to be located. “The Claims Conference and its representatives failed to take the most elementary actions and that creates great concern as to its good faith,” the complaint stated. “The Claims Conference did not try to locate the heirs, nor to return to the heirs of the Lichtenstein and Engel families what was appropriated from them during the holocaust.” The Claims Conference, whose full name is the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, said on Monday it was unaware of the lawsuit filed in the Tel Aviv District Court until it was contacted by The Jerusalem Post for a response. “We have yet to receive a statement of claim from the claimants in question,” it said. “We were very surprised to hear that they approached the media before having presented the statement of claim to the Claims Conference. Only once we receive and study the claim will we be able to issue a response.” The process of issuing restitution for Jewish real estate in the former East Germany has been complex and sometimes controversial. After the unification of East and West Germany in 1990, the united German government enabled Jews who owned property in the formally communist part of the country – that was seized or sold under coercion during the Nazi regime – to claim restitution or seek just compensation for their assets. Thousands filed claims before the December 31, 1992 deadline, but many others did not. The Claims Conference extended another deadline for Jewish claimants until 2004.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

German Court Declares Judaism A Crime

Hard to believe, but that’s what the decision handed down by the regional court in Cologne, Germany means: circumcising a child under the age of consent is a crime, notwithstanding the religious beliefs of the parents.
Many judges who loyally served the Third Reich finished their careers in perfect peace and quiet after World War Two; in some cases, they are still collecting pensions for administering Hitler’s laws. However, Germany’s moral sensibilities are so refined and so pure today that the thought of Jewish parents (or Muslims for that matter) performing an immemorial religious rite is unacceptable.
Jews believe that the circumcision of infants is a necessary act; the command to circumcise male children at the age of eight days is the first command that God gives Abraham to mark their covenant; for thousands of years this has been a foundation of Jewish life. To ban infant circumcision is essentially to make the practice of Judaism illegal in Germany; it is now once again a crime to be a Jew in the Reich.
Some may have worried that the memory of past, ahem, problems in German-Jewish relations would inhibit German judges from the single most anti-Semitic state action taken anywhere in the west since 1945. Holm Putzke, a legal expert at the University of Passau, praised the court’s dedication to duty, telling the Financial Times Deutschland that “Unlike many politicians, the court has not allowed itself to be scared off by charges of anti-Semitism or religious intolerance.”
Well, thank goodness for that! If courts start letting themselves be inhibited because people will denounce them for being intolerant anti-Semites, how can we possibly build a clean and beautiful New Europe?
Perhaps those convicted of wrongful circumcision could be required to wear a yellow star?
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German Historian: "Islam the World's Most Dangerous Form of Right-wing Extremism"

The historian Egon Flaig, a professor at the University of Rostock, has an article in the German newsmagazine Focus. In it, he takes issue with the claim that Islam is a part of Europe's history. This claim is being made by many Muslim organisations for political reasons, he points out, and does not correspond to historical truth.
Just as National Socialism divided human beings into the master race and sub-humans on a racist basis, Sharia, too, has created a system of religious Apartheid. In addition, Sharia demands that this system be extended over the world. We should have no hesitation in referring to Sharia Islam as Islamofascism, currently the most dangerous form of right-wing extremism.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

German court declares circumcisions a crime

A regional court in the west German city of Cologne issued a decision terming circumcisions to be a form of bodily harm and subject to criminal penalties, according to the German language edition of the Financial Times (FTD) on Monday, triggering an angry reaction from the Central Council of Jews on Tuesday.
According to the head of the Central Council, Dr. Dieter Graumann, the court issued an "unprecedented and dramatic interference in the self-determination right of religious communities." He added that the decision is an "inappropriate and insensitive act."
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Islamic Mediators and Germany's 'Two Legal Systems'

For years, Islamic mediators have been stepping in to solve family disputes and marital problems among Muslims in Germany. A new book takes a closer look at how their reliance on elements of Sharia law, instead of German law, affects Muslim women.
Demir furniture store in the western German city of Recklinghausen is the go-to place for people in need of either inexpensive furniture or, for some Muslims, advice on how to handle a disobedient daughter.
In his 400-square-meter (4,300-square-foot) warehouse-like shop, Haj Nur Demir, a 61-year-old Lebanese man, sells items like used desks, washing machines and armchairs from estate sales. The furniture dealer is tall, slim, gray-haired and sports a mustache. He also exudes authority. It's a good trait to have in his second profession.
Demir estimates that he has settled more than 2,000 conflicts in Muslim families in Germany and Lebanon since 1972. Sometimes Demir merely provides information on the phone, and at other times he practically has to throw himself between the parties to prevent them from coming to blows.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Killing Rathenau

Walther Rathenau was neither a typical German Jew nor a traditional German statesman. Born into a wealthy industrialist family that had disowned its Jewish beliefs and practices and gaining political office late in life, Rathenau was the quintessential outsider. He was also a man of contradictions: outgoing and solitary, ambivalent about his Jewishness and German-ness, a technocrat who embraced spiritualism but advocated state regulation to achieve the common good.
Shulamit Volkov’s biography of Rathenau, Walther Rathenau: Weimar’s Fallen Statesman, is part of Yale University’s Jewish Lives series. Volkov, a professor at Tel Aviv University and author of several important works on German and German-Jewish history, has drawn extensively on the recently published Rathenau papers retrieved from the archives of the former Soviet Union and on a vast amount of primary and secondary literature. She has constructed a vivid portrait of an extraordinary life.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

'Leftists, not neo-Nazis, helped in Munich massacre'

A prominent political scientist has placed the blame squarely on German leftists for complicity in Black September’s murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.

Writing in the current edition of the German Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine Wochenzeitung, Dr. Wolfgang Kraushaar sharply disputed a recent Der Spiegel article’s emphasis on the role of neo-Nazis in the attack, calling the news item “blown up” and nothing new.

“It was not ‘Brown [Nazi] help,’ as Der Spiegel writes, but rather a joint work of German Left radicals and Palestinian terrorists.”

Kraushaar, who has written extensively on the German Left’s involvement in attacks on Jews and Israelis, argued in his commentary that though the Munich murders were part and parcel of a merger between German Leftists and Palestinian terrorists, Der Spiegel aimed to portray them as series of murders by the extreme Right.

He criticized the news weekly for pushing a false narrative that ignores the close contacts between German Left radicalism and Palestinian terrorism.

According to Kraushaar, the Spiegel report lacks journalistic accuracy because it identifies the Palestinian-German Left connection as a myth.

Kraushaar is affiliated with the Hamburg Institute for Social Research and authored a widely acclaimed book on the German Left’s role in a plot to bomb the Berlin Jewish community center in 1969.

In last week’s Der Spiegel, the Hamburg-based publication wrote that police in Dortmund sent a notice to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency saying that “Saad Walli, an ‘Arab-looking man,’ met conspiratorially with the German neo-Nazi Willi Pohl” roughly seven weeks before the Munich killings.

Saad Walli was the cover name for Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, a.k.a. Abu Daoud, the principal organizer of the massacre and a leader in Fatah forces in Lebanon and Jordan.

The Assad regime in Syria provided refuge for Daoud and he died in Damascus in 2010.

Kraushaar wrote that “the then-neo- Nazi Willi Pohl had already written 30 years ago in a book that appeared under a pseudonym in Switzerland” about his involvement with Black September in 1972.

“People like Willi Pohl were in reality useful idiots for the Palestinians” and must be viewed as cooperating with left-wing terrorists, Kraushaar wrote.

He cited a list of German leftists who praise Palestinian terrorism against Jews.

Wilfried Böse, a leftist student in Frankfurt in 1969, worked closely with Palestinian activists, and supported the Red Army Faction with weapons and explosives.

“There is serious information” that Böse also supported the terrorists of the Black September in the Olympic attacks,” Kraushaar wrote.

Red Army Faction leader Ulrike Meinhof, for example, celebrated the 1972 murders of Israeli athletes as an expression of “anti-imperialism.”

Critics in Israel and Germany accused Der Spiegel earlier this month of recycling old news about German-manufactured Dolphin submarines having nuclear-warhead capability. The German government has delivered Dolphin-class vessels to Israel since the late 1990s.

Weighed down by a recent scandal with a reporter’s manufactured visit to a German politician’s home, Der Spiegel has been struggling to attract readers.

Commenting on the submarine story, the popular pro-Israel German blogger Lizas Welt tweeted that the “Der Spiegel must have right now a real problem with circulation.”
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jihadis using Switzerland as a base: police

“Suspected jihadis continue to use Switzerland as a base to acrtively support Islamist groups by placing propaganda and incitement to violence on the web,” FedPol said in its annual report published on Thursday, newspaper Tribune de Genève reported. A new specialist department, formed at the beginning of 2011, has been looking into the websites and their operators. A preliminary investigation conducted in Germany also found that a Swiss convert to Islam had planned over the web to carry out a terrorist attack involving explosives against an American institution in Germany. The man was eventually released from police custody due to lack of evidence. The report said that the fact the man identified was Swiss proved that “not only people with immigrant backgrounds could be supporters of jihad,” newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported. The Federal Police are working closely with the Swiss Intelligence Services who confirmed that they have identified more than ten trips from Switzerland to jihadi training camps overseas.
thelocal

Friday, June 22, 2012

British magazine likens German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nazi dictator



World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder says New Statesman's Merkel-Hitler analogy "in bad taste"

NEW YORK / BRUSSELS. World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder has condemned the editors of the British weekly magazine 'New Statesman' for what he called a "despicable and totally unfair attack" on Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Likening Chancellor Merkel to Hitler, as the New Statesman has seen fit to do, is not only wrong, it is also in very bad taste", Lauder said in reaction to the magazine's cover story that appeared today and in which author Mehdi Hassan calls Merkel "the most dangerous German leader since Hitler".

"To compare the democratically elected leader of today's Germany with the brutal dictator Hitler is revolting and sickening. Not only is Chancellor Merkel a committed European, but there are few statesmen in Europe who have done more for Israel and the Jewish people.

A journalist is of course entitled to criticize her policies, but should not publicly vilify her. It is sad to see that political debate is poison by the constant comparisons of today's leaders with the Nazis", the WJC president said. He added that such methods, whilst expected from extremists and anti-Semites, should not be resorted to by respectable publications.

Link to article

About the World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.

The Kragujevac Massacre in Film: A Bloody Tale (1969)

By Carl Savich The film opens with scenes of German troops occupying the city of Kragujevac in central Serbia in 1941. German tanks, personnel vehicles, motorcycles with side cars, trucks with artillery, and troops are shown entering the city. The message appears on the screen: “In this film nothing is made up. Everything occurred in Kragujevac in the year of 1941 during the time of the last German occupation.” Serbian schoolchildren are shown abandoning their school rooms with their possessions. A portrait of Djordje Petrovic, Karageorge, is taken out by one student. A German soldier shouts “Raus!”, “Out!” A speech by Adolf Hitler is heard over the radio. “Deutschland! Sieg heil!” Rudolf Hess announces in German: “Die Partei ist Hitler! Hitler aber ist Deutschland wie Deutschland Hitler ist! Hitler, Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” “The Party is Hitler. Hitler, however, is Germany as Germany is Hitler.” This is from the 1934 documentary film Triumph of the Will directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Then through barbed wire the title of the movie is shown, Krvava Bajka.
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Beyond the Prism: Günter Grass and the pillars of Western civilization

Despite the huge controversy his poem – “What Must Be Said” – concerning the dispute over the Iranian nuclear program created, in which he strongly criticized Israel and claimed that it “could wipe out the Iranian people,” Günter Grass decided to intervene in today’s other hot political issue, namely the economic crisis in Europe and the European Union’s policies vis-à-vis Greece. In the poem “Europas Schande” (“Europe’s Disgrace”) the Nobel laureate for literature defends Greece and harshly criticizes Germany and the European Union for “sentencing the country to poverty.” Thus for Grass once again the “firefighter and not the arsonist became the true danger,” as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu described the first poem. Grass, who established himself as a leading literary figure with the 1959 publication of The Tin Drum, has been regarded for several decades as the conscience of the German nation, urging Germans to confront the Nazi past. But his moral authority was undermined when he disclosed after six decades that he had been drafted into the Waffen SS in late 1944. Though Grass’s second poem gained less media attention, and was officially only published in German – unlike “What Must Be Said,” which appeared simultaneously in many languages in leading European papers – Grass’s interpretation of this issue has been likewise detached from reality.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

In Frankfurt, grappling with traces of my family’s Nazi-shattered world

Over Shavuot, in the city where my father was born, I scratched the surface of the new Germany
By David Horovitz
Until this month, I had spent precisely one night in Frankfurt — a stopover on a journey home, during which I stayed in an airport hotel. Nothing too surprising about that; plenty of people have never been to Frankfurt. Except that my family comes from there. My great-grandfather Markus founded the city’s Borneplatz Synagogue in 1882. My grandfather Abraham was born there, as were my father and his siblings. I had never wanted to go to Germany. I insistently regarded Germans en masse as inherently evil — a people whose fastidious respect for authority and order rendered them predisposed to embrace Nazism — and never mind the ostensible post-war national reckoning. Never mind any nuance, in fact. Today’s Germans still spoke the same language in which their elected leadership had barked out its genocidal orders 70 and 80 years ago. That was enough for me. My family had fled Germany for England in 1937. I had seen the blurred black-and-white photograph of my great-grandfather’s synagogue ablaze on Kristallnacht in November 1938. There was nothing, I long believed, for me in Germany. So why did I go earlier this month? I could varnish this, but the truth is that the brief trip originated not in some belated recognition, as I turn 50, that I might want to introduce myself and my children to the German pages of our past, to reconnect with a heritage that predated Hitler. It was, rather, because Bruce Springsteen is touring in Europe this summer; I wanted my kids to see one of his exuberant performances before more members of his band move on to the great gig in the sky (two have died in the past three years); the only time during the tour when I could be sure two of my children wouldn’t have matriculation exams was the weekend of Shavuot, and that weekend happened to find Springsteen in Frankfurt. Okay then, Frankfurt. So be it. Maybe the Boss here on Earth and the Boss On High were combining to fashion a travel itinerary.
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Switzerland: Tunisian politician sees assets frozen

The prosecutor's office in Geneva said on Wednesday that it had frozen assets in Switzerland worth millions of dollars belonging to Khayam Turki, a senior figure in Tunisia's left-wing Ettakatol party -- an ally of Islamist party Ennahda, the dominant force in government.
But Turki called the reports "rumours" and dismissed them as a plot to destabilize his party.
"I don't have funds in Switzerland that could be frozen," he said in a statement.
Turki, Ettakatol's treasurer during the campaign for Tunisia's October 23th elections, said he had a "derisory sum not greater than 5,000 euros" ($6,300) in Switzerland.
He threatened to take action against those responsible for the reports, but did not give details.
Turki is suspected of embezzling funds from his time as director of the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC), according to Swiss news agency ATS.
He had been tipped to become finance minister in late 2011 after the elections that followed the overthrow of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, but removed his name from consideration after the embezzlement allegations emerged, ATS said.
thelocal

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vienna: LIBERTY STREET PARTY FOR A DEMOCRATIC AND FREE IRAN!


Solidarity with Shahin Najafi and Golshifteh Farahani!
We love life, you love death!

Rally and Party with Live Performances by
ExtravaDansa, Joey Jobbagy, DJ Resista, DJ Krankypanky, etc.
June 22nd 2012, 04:00 PM – 08:00 PM
Schottenfeldgasse / Ecke Mariahilferstraße, 1070 Vienna
(in front of cultural department of Iranian embassy)
Organizers:
Iranian women's network and STOP THE BOMB

Supporters:
Aktion gegen den Antisemitismus in Österreich, Basisgruppe Politikwissenschaft, FV Geisteswissenschaften (Uni Wien), Grüne Andersrum, Grüne Frauen Wien, Liberales Forum, monochrom, Oriental Queer Organization Austria, Queerograd, SoHo, SPÖ Frauen Wien, u.a.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Germany: "Radical Salafism is Like a Hard Drug"

by Soeren Kern
In an effort to improve their image, the Salafists have removed from their "information booths" all literature about the role of women in Islam or the supremacy of Islamic Sharia law over democracy. The German translation of the Koran has edited out many of the verses which call on Muslims to make war on non-believers.
German authorities have launched a major crackdown on radical Islamists suspected of plotting against the state.
The move reflects mounting concern in Germany over the growing assertiveness of Salafist Muslims, who openly state that they want to establish Islamic Sharia law in the country and across Europe.
In nation-wide raids on June 14, over 1,000 German police searched about 70 Salafist homes, apartments, mosques and meeting places in seven of Germany's 16 states in search of evidence that would enable the German government to outlaw some of the dozens of Islamist groups operating in the country.
German authorities believe the Salafists, who trace their roots to Saudi Arabia, want to create a Sunni Islamic Caliphate (Islamic Empire) opposed to Western democracy; and that some within the group support martyrdom and the use of violence, and are also fuelling militancy among German's socially alienated Muslim youth.
Announcing the crackdown, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he had banned a Salafist group called Millatu Ibrahim, based in the western city of Solingen. "The Millatu Ibrahim group works against our constitutional order," he said, "and against understanding between peoples." Among other things, Millatu Ibrahim teaches its followers to reject German law and to follow Islamic Sharia law, and that "the unbelievers are the enemy."
Friedrich also said that the raids in Bavaria, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia, among other locations, may unearth evidence that would allow outlawing two other Salafist groups, the DawaFFM and "Die Wahre Religion" [DRW, "The True Religion"].
Friedrich said a "comprehensive collection of evidence" had been seized, including cell phones, laptop computers, videos and other items. "All these things will be evaluated over the coming days, and we shall see to what extent the evidence is sufficient to ban the two organizations being investigated."
Among the homes targeted in the raids was one belonging to Ibrahim Abou-Nagie, a Palestinian-born, Rheinland-based Salafist hate preacher who runs the DRW Salafist group.
Abou-Nagie is the orchestrator behind an unprecedented nationwide campaign to distribute 25 million copies of the Koran, translated into the German language, with the goal of placing one Koran into every household in Germany, free of charge.
The mass proselytization campaign -- called Project "READ!" -- is being implemented by hundreds of Salafists in cities and towns throughout Germany, as well as in Austria and in Switzerland. More than 100 Salafist "information booths" have already been set up in dozens of German cities, particularly in the regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Hessen and Hamburg.
In September 2011, German public prosecutors launched an investigation into Abou-Nagie after he called for violence against non-believers in videos posted on the Internet. In his sermons, Abou-Nagie glamorizes Islamic martyrdom and says that Islamic Sharia law is above the German Constitution. He outspokenly believes that music should be prohibited, that homosexuals should be executed, and that adulterers should be stoned.
Abou-Nagie has tens of thousands of followers across Germany. Among them are two German Muslim converts-turned-terror suspects trained by Abou-Nagie and recently arrested in Dover, England, after British border police searched their luggage and found a document entitled "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," an article from the English-language online magazine "Inspire" produced by Al-Qaida in Yemen.
In one video, Abou-Nagie tells his audience that "whoever follows the Christian Bible or the Jewish Torah instead of the Islamic Koran will go to Hell for eternity." Abou-Nagie says he sees it as his calling to save the German people from the wrath of Allah by converting them to Islam.
During the extended Christian Easter weekend from April 5-9, Abou-Nagie's Project "READ!" entered into a new phase. According to the Berlin-based newspaper Die Welt, the Salafists launched a "frontal assault" against people of other faiths and "unbelievers."
On April 7 Project "READ!" organized a nationwide campaign to distribute the Koran in 35 German cities, including Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Heidelberg, Konstanz, Munich and Osnabrück.
According to Die Welt, German authorities view the Koran project as a "most worrisome" recruiting campaign for radical Islam. Security analysts say the campaign is also a public-relations gimmick intended to persuade Germans that the Salafists are transparent and "citizen friendly."
In an effort to improve their image, the Salafists have removed from their "information booths" all literature about the role of women in Islam or the supremacy of Islamic Sharia law over democracy.
Moreover, the German translation of the Koran has edited out many of the verses which call on Muslims to make war on non-believers. According to the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the German version of the Koran is "rather non-controversial."
The BfV believes there are an estimated 29 Islamist groups active in Germany with around 35,000 members or supporters who want to establish a "Koran-state" in Germany because they believe Islamic Sharia law is a divine ordinance that is supposed to replace all other legal systems. The BfV says the Salafists, who are estimated to be about 4,000 in number, are the fastest growing Islamic group in Germany, which has a total Muslim population of 4.3 million.
German authorities have been stepping up their monitoring of Salafist groups after a series of violent clashes with police.
In May, for example, more than 500 Salafists attacked German police with bottles, clubs, stones and other weapons in the city of Bonn, to protest cartoons they said were "offensive."
The clashes erupted when around 30 supporters of a conservative political party, PRO NRW, which is opposed to the further spread of Islam in Germany, participated in a campaign rally ahead of regional elections in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
Following the fights (in which 29 police officers were injured, two of them seriously), a video surfaced on the Internet by a known terrorist, the German-born Yassin Chouka, a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
In the German-language video, Chouka calls for members of PRO NRW and German media to be killed. He also urges the Salafists to move away from street confrontations, where the risk of being arrested is great, and instead to target PRO NRW members in their homes and workplaces.
In a June 8 interview with the newspaper Die Welt, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said: "Radical Salafism is like a hard drug. All of those who succumb to her become violent."
Friedrich also said the recent Salafist attacks on German police show "that the threshold for violence has decreased in an alarming way. There can be only one answer: The government must make it clear with all the force of the law that our democracy is fortified. Salafists fight the liberal-democratic legal system and in its place want to introduce their radical ideology in Germany. But we will not let that happen. We will defend our freedom and our security with all our might."
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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Islamic Republic of Iran is straight on its way to the bomb -- STOP THE BOMB criticizes Western naiveté in face of Iran's strategic deception and delay tactics before the nuclear talks in Moscow

STOP THE BOMB press release, June 17, 2012
With appendix: How Iran enriches uranium for seven bombs and takes further steps towards the bomb
The third round of the latest nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 group will take place next Monday and Tuesday in Moscow. Until now, the talks follow a well-known dramaturgy: After “very constructive” talks in a “positive atmosphere” at the first round in Istanbul in April (1) now suddenly “difficulties” arise. (2)
STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Jonathan Weckerle comments: „The Iranian regime again succeeded in winning precious time for its nuclear program without giving anything in return. In face of the foreseeable Iranian tactical maneuvers at the talks in Moscow, it is now crucial to let the decided European oil sanctions really come into effect on the beginning of July, and not to delay or water them just because of some vague promises by the regime. The fatal combination of Western naiveté and Iranian negotiations skills has only brought the regime closer to the bomb.”
The goal of the Iranian regime is the watering of the sanctions, reported the New York Times with reference to Iranian officials in the middle of May. (3)
Typical for the Iranian negotiating tactic and Western credulity is a recent Financial Times Germany interview with the Iranian ambassador in Germany, the Revolutionary Guards man (4) Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who under the headline “Iran’s U-turn in the nuclear conflict” was quoted on the FTD front page saying that Iran was ready to give up enriching uranium to 20%. Only a short time later, the Iranian embassy denied this statement in Persian, but the German press did not pick this up. (5) In case Iran should promise to give up 20% enrichment, this would probably remain only empty words.
Hardly noticed, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had a personal meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi at the Afghanistan conference in Kabul. (6) According to Der Spiegel Westerwelle wanted to talk with Salehi about Syria (7), and win the Islamic Republic as a partner for conflict solution. (8) This again looks like a dangerously wrong assessment of the Iranian role: The regime is not interested in a peaceful solution in Syria. It wants to maintain its own influence there in case Assad will not be able to stay in power, despite the massive Iranian support for the Syrian dictator. The same is true for Afghanistan, where the Iranian goal is not “stability”, but the increase of its own influence, according to reports especially in the important education sector. Instead of warning against the problematic Iranian influence in Afghanistan (10), Westerwelle “explicitly welcomed” Salehi’s participation by simply arguing that Iran is a neighboring country. (11) “The role of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Syria and Afghanistan is not ‘constructive’, but diametrically opposed to a positive development in these countries. It is to be feared that the regime will successfully use this as a bargaining chip at the nuclear talks”, concludes Weckerle.
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Islam had better NEVER be part of Germany

German President Joachim Gauck recently said in a newspaper interview that Muslims living in Germany are a part of the country, but that Islam is not. Not everyone agrees, unfortunately. How about asking the people who have to put up with the arrogant, anti-assimiliation Muslims in their neighborhoods?
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

'Neo-Nazi helped Black September Munich attack'

Newly released files from Germany's domestic intelligence agency reveal that neo-Nazis plotted with the Palestinian group Black September in the 1972 Munich Olympic terror attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, according to a Der Spiegel magazine story on Sunday. According to the online Spiegel report, police in the city of Dortmund sent a notice to the German domestic intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz (BfV), in which “Saad Walli, an ‘Arab looking man’ met conspiratorially with the German neo-Nazi Willi Pohl." The meeting took place roughly seven weeks before the 1972 terror attack in Munich. Saad Walli was the cover name for Abu Daoud, who is widely believed to be the ringleader of the 1972 terror attack in Germany. Pohl bragged to his employer about his contact with the extremist PLO wing. According to the BfV documents, there is no indication that various German authorities acted on the information about Daoud from the Dortmund police. Spiegel wrote that helps explain why the Palestinians were able to prepare their action in an unfettered way in the Federal Republic. Pohl, the neo-Nazi, is now a crime fiction author and said, “I chauffeured Abu Daoud throughout the entire Federal Republic where he met in different cities with Palestinians.” Pohl helped Daoud obtain false passports and other documents, according to the report. Spiegel added that Pohl has now “credibly distanced himself” and claims that he was involved without his knowledge in preparations for the 1972 Olympic terror attack. The BfV document contains 2,000 pages of material about the attacks. It is unclear why the German domestic intelligence agency, state and federal police authorities failed to act on the information from the local Dortmund police. Critics have long accused the German authorities of a lax enforcement policy toward radical Islamic groups. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which has engaged in terror attacks in the Middle East and in South America, is a legal political organization in Germany, with an estimated 900 active members. In connection with another planned PLO attack in Germany, the PLO’s secret service head – Abu Iyad assigned Pohl to plan kidnapping operations at the Cologne cathedral and in the city halls of a number of German cities. In late October 1972, authorities arrested Pohl and an accomplice in Munich, and the police confiscated machine guns, hand grenades and other military equipment. In one suitcase, a threatening letter from the Black September group was found. The threat in the letter was directed at a judge who was investigating three terrorists who survived the 1972 killings of the Israeli athletes. After the PLO hijacked a Lufthansa plane in 1972, the German authorities released the three PLO terrorists. Critics say Germany failed at the time to clamp down on Palestinian terror activity in the country. Despite the overwhelming proof of Pohl’s terror activity, Spiegel noted that Pohl was handed a mild sentence of two years and two months in prison for weapons possession. Four days after Pohl was sentenced, he fled to Beirut. He currently writes his crime novels under a new name in Germany.
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Draza Mihailovich in Film: In the Mountains of Yugoslavia (1946)

by Carl Savich
The first major film to feature Yugoslav guerrilla resistance leader Draza Mihailovich was Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas, a major Hollywood movie released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1943 in the United States. The movie starred Philip Dorn as Draza Mihailovich and Anna Sten as his wife Lubitca. The movie was a box office and critical hit in the U.S. The film was shown as a double feature in some theaters in the U.S. in 1943, paired with We Are the Marines (1942), a documentary on the U.S. Marine Corps. The Ink Spots and Lucky Millinder performed in theaters that were showing the movie. Chicago Mayor Edward J. Kelly attended a debut showing at the B & K Apollo theater after proclaiming “Chetnik Day” in Chicago on April 1, 1943 as reported in the April 3, 1943 Boxoffice magazine, “Chicago Mayor in PA For ‘Chetniks’ Debut” .
In Britain, Ealing Studios began filming a similar film originally entitled Chetnik which was to be on Draza Mihailovich and the Chetnik guerrilla resistance movement. By the time of release, however, British support for Mihailovich had shifted. Instead, all references to the Chetniks were removed and the film became a generic guerrilla resistance movie released as Undercover (1943) in the UK and as Underground Guerrillas (1944) in the U.S. by Columbia Pictures starring John Clements and Mary Morris.
With the abandonment of Draza Mihailovich, rival Communist resistance leader Josip Broz Tito emerged as the dominant resistance leader in Yugoslavia. When the Soviet Red Army occupied Belgrade on October 20, 1944, Tito was installed in power in Yugoslavia.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Islam in Germany: "Germany Does Away With Itself"

by Soeren Kern
"The values represented by Islam must correspond to our constitution. What
applies here is the constitution, not Sharia law.... Those who do not accept
this are in the wrong place here." — Chancellor Angela Merkel

German President Joachim Gauck recently said in a newspaper interview that Muslims living in Germany are a part of the country, but that Islam is not.The comments -- Gauck is the ninth prominent German politician to voice an opinion about Islam -- have sparked a new round in the on-going debate over the role of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Germany.During a May 31 interview with the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Gauck was asked about a quote from the previous German president, Christian Wulff, who during a keynote speech to mark the 20th anniversary of German reunification in October 2010, proclaimed that "Islam belongs in Germany" because of the four million Muslims who now live there. Germany has Western Europe's second-biggest Islamic population after France, with Turks the single biggest minority.Gauck responded by saying that Wulff had wanted to encourage Germans to open themselves up to the reality that "many Muslims live in this country," but that he, Gauck, would have worded things differently than did Wulff.Gauck continued, "I would have simply said that the Muslims who are living here are a part of Germany," but that religion should not be the defining mark for immigrants there. "Anybody who has come here," he said, "and does not just pay their taxes, but also likes to be here, partly because there is a level of justice and freedom not available in their country of origin, they are all one of us; so long as they adhere to our basic rules."The 72-year-old Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor, also said he could understand people who might ask, "Where has Islam made an impression on this Europe? Did it experience the Enlightenment, or even the Reformation? … I am highly anticipating the theological discourse about a European Islam."The leader of the environmentalist Green Party, Cem Özdemir, a German of Turkish descent, told the daily newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten that he could not understand Gauck's differentiation between Islam and Muslims. "When the president states that Muslims who live here belong to Germany," Özdemir said, "then of course Islam it part of Germany too."Alexander Dobrind, however, the general secretary of the Christian Social Union (CSU), a conservative political party based in the southern German state of Bavaria and a partner in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right ruling coalition, said, "Gauck has clearly found the right words. Germany is a country with a Christian character, a Christian history and a thoroughly Christian value system."Dobrindt's comments directly contradicted those of fellow CSU politician Markus Söder, the finance minister of the state of Bavaria. On May 31, Söder surprised an audience of Turkish immigrants by declaring that "Islam is an integral part of Bavaria."Söder made the comments at a Muslim cultural festival sponsored by an organization called the Turkish-Islamic Union for Islamic Affairs (DITIB), which is controlled by the Turkish government. According to Fikret Bilir, the Turkish chairman of DITIB in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, Söder was met with "great applause. We hope that he remains steadfast."In April 2012, German parliamentary spokesman Volker Kauder, in an interview with the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, said: "Islam is not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and it therefore does not belong to Germany."Previously, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said that Islam is not a part of Germany. Speaking to reporters at a news conference in March 2011, Friedrich said: "To say that Islam belongs in Germany is not a fact supported by history at any point." He also said that although Muslims should be allowed live in Germany, Muslim immigrants ought to be aware of Germany's "Western Christian origins" and learn German "first and foremost."German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed that Germany's roots are Judeo-Christian. She said: "Now we obviously have Muslims in Germany. But it is important in regard to Islam that the values represented by Islam must correspond to our constitution. What applies here is the constitution, not Sharia law."Shortly thereafter, Merkel addressed an October 16 meeting of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Potsdam outside Berlin, where she conceded that Germany's efforts to build a post-war multicultural society had "failed utterly."In a landmark speech, Merkel said: "We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s actually brought [Muslim] guest workers to Germany. Now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they will not stay and that they will have disappeared again one day. That is not the reality. This multicultural approach -- saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other -- this approach has failed, failed utterly."Merkel also told the CDU annual conference in Karlsruhe that the debate about immigration "especially by those of the Muslim faith" was an opportunity for the ruling party to stand up confidently for its convictions. "We do not have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity. We have too few discussions about the Christian view of mankind."Merkel continued: "Germany needs more public discussion about the values that guide us and about our Judeo-Christian tradition. We have to stress this again with confidence. Then we will also be able to bring about cohesion in our society." Merkel added: "We feel bound to the Christian image of humanity -- that is what defines us. Those who do not accept this are in the wrong place here."In November 2010, the CDU passed a resolution stressing that Germany's cultural identity (Leitkultur) is based on the "Christian-Jewish tradition, ancient and Enlightenment philosophy and the nation's historical experience." The resolution also states: "Our country benefits from immigrants who live and work here. But Germany does not benefit from a minority that refuses to integrate, does not want to learn our language, and denies participation and advancement to their children.… We expect that those who come here respect and recognize our cultural identity."The previous Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, rejected calls from some center-left Social Democrats and Greens for Islam to be recognized as a state religion along with Christianity and Judaism. Speaking on Deutschlandradio Kultur, he said: "If you now ask: Will Islam be put on the same level as the Judeo-Christian understanding of religion and culture that we have, then my answer is: not for the foreseeable future."The president of the state of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, has called for a halt to immigration from Turkey and Arab countries. In an interview with the German newsmagazine Focus, Seehofer said it was time for Germany to begin looking elsewhere for qualified workers, at a time when many parts of the labor market were facing grave shortfalls. "It is clear that immigrants from other cultural circles like Turkey, and Arab countries, have more difficulties," he said, " From that I draw the conclusion that we do not need any additional foreign workers from other cultures."The current debate over the role of Islam in Germany was launched in August 2010 with the publication of a book entitled, "Germany Does Away With Itself."The best-selling book shattered Germany's long-standing taboo on discussing the impact of Muslim immigration. It also resonated with vast numbers of ordinary Germans, who are becoming increasingly uneasy about the social changes that are transforming Germany, largely due to the presence of millions of non-integrated Muslims in the country.The book, authored by 67-year-old Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned German banker who is also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), is now on its 22nd edition. At the last count, it has sold more than two million copies, making it one of the most widely read titles published in Germany since the Second World War.Polls show that almost half of the German population (from across the political spectrum) agree with Sarrazin's view that German immigration policies have produced a deeply divided society.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Germany: Police raid radical Salafists nationwide

Around 1,000 police officers have been deployed in raids on radical Salafist Islamist groups across Germany, with early reports suggesting around 70 addresses were targeted in seven states.
Salafist groups the Dawaffm, Millatu Ibrahim and Die Wahre Religion (The True Religion) were the particular focus of the raids which were carried out in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich banned the Solingen-based Salafist mosque network Millatu Ibrahim at the same time. "This association is against our constitutional order and against the philosophy of understanding between nations," he said on Thursday morning.
Salafism is considered the fastest-growing branch of Islam in Germany and is considered radical, and even dangerous, for its fundamental views. Believers want a theocracy governed by Sharia or Islamic religious law.
A Salafist group started an initiative this year to give away free copies of the Koran to anyone in Germany who wanted one - a move which attracted criticism although it was entirely peaceful.
Strict Salafists reject social liberality and try to live what they see as “pure” Islamic lives, imitating how they consider the early Muslims lived – they would see all women completely veiled, and regard homosexuality as a serious sin. It is thought there are around 4,000 believers in Germany.
It became clear that their influence could be deadly after Arid Uka, a Kosovan German Salafist believer was jailed for life in February for killing two American soldiers at Frankfurt Airport in March 2011.
The extreme right-wing group Pro-NRW provoked confrontation with Salafists in Cologne ahead of last month’s North Rhine-Westphalia state election, holding up cartoons of Mohammed outside mosques.
Furious Salafists even attacked the police, with one man stabbing two policemen during one stand-off.
At one point an Islamist published a video message calling for the murder of Pro-NRW supporters and journalists.
Last weekend around 300 Salafists demonstrated in Cologne without incident.
thelocal

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Germany's resurgent anti-Semitism and its growing Muslim population

For the first time in my life, then, I became conscious of anti-Semitism. Sure, anti-Semitism exists elsewhere in the world, but nowhere have the consequences been as devastating as in Germany. Looking at it as objectively as possible, 2002 was a banner year for anti-Semitism in Germany. Synagogues were firebombed, Jewish cemeteries desecrated, the No. 1 best-selling novel, Martin Walser's Death of a Critic, was a thinly-veiled Roman a clef containing a vicious anti-Semitic attack on Germany's best-known literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki (who was a survivor of both the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz); the Free Democrat Party unofficially adopted anti-Semitism as a campaign tactic to attract Germany 's sizable Muslim minority; and German revisionist historians began to define German perpetration of World War II and the Holocaust not as crimes against humanity, but as early battles (with regrettable but understandable excesses) in the Cold War against communism. The situation is so bad that German Jews are advised not to wear anything in public that would identify them as Jewish, because their safety cannot be guaranteed. How can this be? Isn't this the "New Germany" that's gone 60 years without a Holocaust or even a pogrom, where truth, justice and the German way prevail amidst economic wealth, a high standard of living that is the envy of their European neighbors, and a constitution guaranteeing freedom for everyone regardless of race, creed or national origin? What's changed? The answer is: absolutely nothing. My thesis is quite simple. While Germany no longer has the military power to enforce the racist ideology of the Nazis, and while all extreme manifestations of Nazism are officially outlawed, the internal conditions -- that is, the attitudes, world view and cultural assumptions that led to the rise of Nazism in Germany are still present, because they constitute basic components of German identity.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Al-Qaeda: Germans caused engineer death

Al-Qaeda's north African branch has blamed the German government for the recent death of a hostage in a botched rescue raid in Nigeria, and warned Berlin to improve its treatment of Muslims.

The US-based SITE monitoring service, which tracks jihadi websites, said on Tuesday that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had issued a statement about last month's death of Edgar Raupach.

AQIM did not explicitly confirm that it had held Raupach, who was killed by his captors on May 31 as Nigerian security forces conducted a raid in the northern city of Kano.

But the statement said Germany had given Nigeria the "green light" for the military operation "at a time when the mujahideen (were) keen to peacefully settle the issue" if their demands were met.

"We say to the family of the German citizen Edgar Fritz Raupach, the blood of your son hangs from the neck of your government," AQIM said, according to a SITE translation of the statement posted online on Monday.

The statement added that Germany must "correct" its handling of Muslims, "because your security and the security of your citizens are contingent upon the security of Muslims and the respect for their sanctities".

The German engineer was kidnapped on the outskirts of Kano in January in the days after a series of bombings and shootings claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram, which killed at least 185 people in the city.

AQIM has not been known to operate directly in Nigeria, though Boko Haram and other extremists in the country are believed to have links to the group.

According to Nigerian security sources, Raupach was shot and stabbed by his captors when the military moved in to try to save him.

The raid came as news of a fresh kidnapping emerged in Nigeria with officials confirming the abduction of an Italian engineer in Kwara State, in the African country's central-west.

In March, Nigerian security forces faced criticism after a failed bid to rescue an Italian and a British hostage. Their captors killed them before Nigerian forces could rescue them in a joint operation with British forces.

In its statement, AQIM warned European governments against using force to resolve kidnappings.

"This method of foolishness in dealing with the hostage issue has proven its failure and led in all cases to the killing of the hostages and many soldiers, while the serious negotiation style proved successful and led to their release," it said.
thelocal

Monday, June 11, 2012

No fear!

When an artist is persecuted because he is an artist, I am persecuted!
Shahin Najafi is a poet and singer of the Persian language. Since over six years he lives in Cologne. For over a month, he must live in hiding since a fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpayegani was passed upon him. In his song “Naqi” he has sung for women’s and men’s rights and sexual and political liberation and prayed to the 10th Imam to help him in his effort. The Iranian state-controlled media have a death warrant against the then popular artists. The regime has put photos of the singer on the web, with bullet holes in his head. Even in Germany, Iranian authorities have passed a death decree on Iranians living here. Cologne Islamists even brag on Facebook to track down Shahin Najafi and stab him.
In my country, my city, my neighborhood an artist is haunted by violent captors and threatened with death because he has dared to be an artist. That happened in Germany the last time when the Nazis ruled here. Back then I wasn’t born. Today, I am there!
I urge the federal government to protect Shahin Najafi from the executors of the murder incited fatwa! The citizens of my country may also defend our freedom against this brutal hatred. I opposed the murderous captors by calling out loud: Shahin Najafi is not alone! I’m standing behind him! You will not silence me! For that I stand with my face:
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What does Germany’s “non-negotiable” pledge to Israel’s security mean?

“Jews sell news” in Germany. With those words, an Israeli journalist colleague explained the cynically voracious appetite of German-language media outlets for Jewish and Israel-based topics at a podium discussion on the media in Germany we both attended a number of years ago.

Last week’s Der Spiegel cover story “Operation Samson” rekindled the podium discussion in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, and the—at times—rather absurdly obsessive preoccupation with the Jewish state.

The Der Spiegel magazine story about Germany manufacturing submarines for Israel’s navy that can be equipped with nuclear weapons turned out to be the non-scoop of the year. Veteran journalists have long written about the Dolphin submarine capability to launch nuclear warheads. Writing in the Jungle World, Ivo Bozic, noted there is “nothing new” in the Spiegel article. Bozic’s view seemed to be the consensus assessment among seasoned analysts of German-Israeli relations.

Gil Yaron, an Israeli journalist who is fluent in German, wrote a detailed article in the weekly German Jewish newspaper (JüdischeAllgemeineZeitung) chronicling why the Spiegel piece contained no new revelations. He added that the Israeli media was largely indifferent to the story. In short, the fact that the IDF can arm its submarines with nuclear weaponry is nothing new under the sun for Israelis.

The popular pro-Israel German Blogger Lizas Welt tweeted that the “Der Spiegel must have right now a real problem with circulation “

That perhaps explains the hype of the lukewarm non-scoop. Moreover, following the logic of Lizas Welt, the publication of the pro-Iranian and anti-Israel Günter Grass poem in the SüddeutscheZeitung in April probably influenced Der Spiegel to capitalize on the sensation of the Grass lyric and boost its shrinking circulation.

Germany: When delegitimization is met with silence

SOME PEOPLE in Germany, however, are out to rewrite history. And this time it is not the far-right, but Christians from the peace camp and members of the Left. The most prominent supporter of this call for a boycott is Albrecht Schröter, Social Democrat and mayor of Jena in Thuringia.

Jena, a small city in East Germany, is well-known for its historic university.

In the late 18th and early 19th century many of the most famous German intellectuals, such as Hegel, Schiller, Hölderlin and Marx, taught or studied at the University of Jena.

Last year the city won notoriety because it was the hometown of the neo-Nazi terrorists of the National Socialist Underground. But over the years, Jena, compared to other cities in East Germany, has shown a strong commitment to combating fascism and racism, with mayor Schröter at the forefront of these activities.

Therefore, it is even more troubling that the same Schröter is the first mayor of a middle-size German city to support such an anti-Israel campaign. It is, however, not surprising.

Since he took office in 2006 mayor Schröter has earned a reputation as a pro-Palestinian activist. On several occasions he has voiced his opposition to Israel. Most notoriously, at a pro-Hamas conference in 2010 in Bad Boll, Germany, where he began a talk with a reference to the Mavi Marmara, saying, “I came here to break the thought blockade to Gaza with the ship Bad Boll.”
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

A new Frankfurt exhibition explores the Israeli-Jewish ties of German publisher Axel Springer and asks: What brings a German patriot, with the Shoah still an open wound, to openly take sides with the Jewish people?’

Everyone in Israel knew and loved “the good German.” Meanwhile, in West Germany, students demonstrated against him, the Red Army Faction planted a bomb in his Hamburg office injuring 17 people, and his grandson was kidnapped. East Germany, as well, fought the staunchly anti-Communist Springer, planting a spy in his office and even producing a five-part propaganda TV series to demonize him. “In this very professionally produced television series Springer plans together with the first Israeli ambassador Asher Ben-Natan how to run the world to defeat the Communists,” recalled Belkin. The Six Day War also marks the start of the Israel bashing in Germany, which culminates in Günther Grass’ infamous accusations that Israel plans to annihilate the Iranian people with German submarines. As this exhibition clearly shows, Israel had become in 1967 a mirror for the inner-German conflict between left and right. After the Six Day War, Springer introduced a passage in all contracts in which editors and journalist had to pledge their support for the reconciliation between Jews and Germans and for “the existence of the Israeli nation.” Springer probably meant the Israeli Jews and not all Israelis, but none of the prominent journalists and politicians interviewed for this exhibition took notice of this. Their video interviews reflect various positions to this unique passage. The investigative journalist and author Günter Wallraff, an Israel-supporter, says in a recorded video interview screened in the exhibition: “The special paragraph was justified at the time because anti-Semitism was then very strong among Germans. Today it should have been expanded by saying that one is allowed to criticize Israel.”
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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Facing the new anti-Semites -- German Israel fan writes about the growing hostility to Jewish state in his country

by Kevin Zdiara
When I first got interested in Israel and the conflict in the Middle East I felt like a renegade. It was during the second intifada and Ariel Sharon was one of the most hated men in Germany. It was not easy to get objective information about the situation; it was time- and work-intensive, and I often felt very lonely. Unfortunately, in the last years the tide is turning against Israel in Germany. Recent polls suggest a strong anti-Israel sentiment among the German public. A 2011 survey by the social democratic Friedrich Ebert Foundation found that 47.7% of Germans think that Israel is conducting a “war of annihilation” against Palestinians. A recent poll by the German magazine Der Stern revealed that 59% consider Israel “aggressive,” an increase of 10% compared to three years ago. Whereas the historic crime committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people had kept those sentiments in check for many years and resulted in a “special relationship” between Germany and Israel, one can sense a growing unease among Germans regarding the Jewish state. After the Mavi Marmara incident, for example, the German Bundestag was the only Western parliament to unanimously pass a resolution condemning Israel. Two members of the leftwing party Die Linke who were on the Mavi Marmara were voting with conservatives, liberals and social democrats. The Jewish-German publicist Henryk M. Broder called this an “act of national self-discovery” and claimed that the “Jewish question” which had created a German feeling of national unity in the past has obviously now turned into the “Palestine question.” It is been true that an aggressive anti-Zionism has not been as present in public discourses in Germany as it is in other Western nations. But campaigns to delegitimize Israel are getting more support than they used to. For example, an exhibition on the Palestinian “Nakba” has been touring through Germany for years now, making stops at centers of the Protestant church and in some cases even in public buildings. In the city of Cologne there has been an openly anti-Semitic exhibition on display for years, including a large cartoon of a person with a Star of David, and a fork and knife cutting a Palestinian kid into pieces. There was also the recent poem by German Nobel laureate Günter Grass fantasizing about Israel’s plans to annihilate the Iranian people and the statement by the head of the German Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, accusing Israel of implementing an “Apartheid regime” in Hebron. And 2011 saw the introduction of the anti-Israel boycott campaign into Germany. Supported by Die Linke in the city of Bremen, protesters stood outside a supermarket demanding a stop to the sale of Israeli products. At that time the boycott campaign was limited to Bremen only.
Situation not hopeless, yet
But now, the German chapter of the Catholic NGO Pax Christi took up this call for a boycott of Israeli goods. The difference this time is that the group does not represents some radical elements from the Left, but rather, is closely tied to the Catholic Church and is national in scope. To boost their credentials they got an endorsement from the mayor of Jena, Albrecht Schröter, who was awarded a civil courage prize for his activities against neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism. He is also the first mayor of a bigger city and high-ranking member of the Social Democratic Party to support such campaign. Nonetheless, Schröter has been known for his anti-Israel activities, including the participation in a rally against the security barrier in Beit Jala in 2008. Although the campaign is clearly crossing the lines into modern anti-Semitism, Schröter has claimed that he can’t be an anti-Semite because of his political activities and because of the support of Jewish and Israeli friends. In his most recent defense he even claims that he has been and will remain a “friend of Israel.” But it is telling that he only talks about Israeli “crimes” while remaining mute on Hamas rockets and grave human rights violations perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority. Someone like Schröter is emblematic of the “new” anti-Semitism in Germany. It comes with a smile and claims to only care for “human rights.” It is a “new” form of the old hatred for the Jews because its advocates truly care about the remembrance of the Shoah, are active against neo-Nazism and are sympathetic to the small Jewish life in today’s Germany. On the other hand, they completely lack compassion for Israel’s fight for its survival and see it as the “devil” in the Middle East. As the 2011 poll revealed, they consider Israel the Nazis of today, conducting some kind of genocide against the Palestinian people. They demonize Israel, use double standards against it and thereby delegitimize the only Jewish state in the world. This moral remodeling of anti-Semitism makes it much harder for friends of Israel to oppose this anti-Semitism. Therefore, defending Israel today is as much work as it was when I first began. On the other hand, writing for the well-known German blog Die Achse des Guten and making the case for Israel on my own blog have created opportunities I hadn’t had before. They help in communicating the message to a broader public, rouse support for a campaign and present a pro-Israel perspective in order to counter opinions critical of Israel so overwhelmingly present in German national media. Feedbacks on my articles tell me that not only do I reach the pro-Israel peer group; I also get the attention of people who haven’t yet made up their mind on the Middle East. Most importantly, publishing online and getting feedback instantly gives you the feeling that you are not alone. As bad as it looks, I am convinced that the situation in Germany is serious but it is not hopeless – not yet.
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The German city of Frankfurt awards the “Professor of Parody” and hatred of Israel: Judith Butler

On June 1, 2012, it was announced that Judith Butler will be awarded the Theodor-W.-Adorno-Prize of the city of Frankfurt, Germany, on September 11, 2012. September 11 is the birthday of Adorno, though, today we associate 9/11 with that date, particularly when it comes to scholars like Butler. She is “Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and the Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley.”[1] The prize (50,000 Euro) is named after philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (1903–1969), a co-founder of Critical Theory in the 1930s, who fled National Socialism in 1934 and was in exile in the United States since 1938 until he returned to Frankfurt. His father was Jewish. The Adorno-Prize is awarded every three years only.[2] While Adorno fled the German boycott of Jews, Butler is known for endorsing the boycott of the Jewish state of Israel.

The core problem is that Israel is not accepted as a Jewish state by many leftist, Islamist, neo-Nazi and other antisemites. It is particularly important to focus on Jewish anti-Zionists because neo-Nazi, leftist and Islamist activists and authors often refer to them and Jewish anti-Zionists give hatred of Israel a kind of kosher stamp.
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Friday, June 08, 2012

Syrian “rebels” learn fast from Kosovo Albanian terrorists

Last month we learned that the Syrian “rebels” have arrived in Serbia’s occupied Kosovo to be trained by the Kosovo Albanian terrorists in tactics that could topple Syria’s dictator Assad.
As a result of such training, we have also been hearing in the last several weeks of gruesome mass killings of innocent women and children in Syria. These killings have been blamed on the Assad’s army, and while predictably, Assad denies them, the killings are a replica of tactics Kosovo Albanians employed against Serbia’s defenders in order to get NATO to intervene on their behalf.
So what could have Kosovo Albanians taught the Syrians?
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Egyptian "Honor": Brothers Butcher Mother, Sister, and Aunt

by Raymond Ibrahim
A day before, a Muslim man in Germany beheaded his wife in front of his six children – while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" or, "Allah is Greater!" – " throwing her dismembered head from the roof of their apartment."
According to yesterday's edition of Youm7, two brothers in a village in Assuit, Egypt, slaughtered their mother, sister, and aunt, "after discovering their sister's actions were contrary to morality."
After chaos erupted in the house, including gunfire, local police surrounded and broke into the home, only to find the aunt, Saida Muhammad Mukhtar, 55-years-old and a housewife, "with her head sliced off"; the mother, Amina Ahmed Muhammad, also 55 and a housewife, found "drowned in blood by the entrance of the house"; and the sister, Sana Mukhtar, 39-years-old and a widow, found butchered in a room.
The two brothers—Ahmed Mukhtar, 35, and Abd al-Basit, 24—were subsequently arrested, and confessed to the murders in detail.
Such slayings are not rare occurrences in the Islamic world, and even in the West—wherever there are Muslims. A day before this story emerged, a Muslim man in Germany beheaded his wife in front of their six children—while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" or "Allah is greater!"—"throwing her dismembered head from the roof of their apartment."
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Thursday, June 07, 2012

"Don't Buy From Jews" -- Germans Boycott Israeli Products

by Soeren Kern
Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO's use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.
A prominent Roman Catholic NGO in Germany has called for a wide-ranging boycott of Israeli products.
The petition represents an expansion of the boycott, disinvestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel in Germany, where efforts by pro-Palestinian activists to delegitimize the Jewish state continue to pick up momentum.
The German branch of Pax Christi, which describes itself as an "international Catholic peace movement," issued a press release dated May 22, in which it urged German consumers not to buy goods from Israel as long as it remains unclear whether they are produced in the "settlements" or in "Israel."
A two-page flyer for the campaign, which uses the slogan "Occupation Tastes Bitter" (Besatzung schmeckt bitter), states: "Israeli settlements on occupied territory violate Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Whoever contributes to the profitability of these settlements contributes to the violation of human rights." The flyer also encourages German consumers to report "questionable" Israeli products on a website called www.lebensmittelklarheit.de .
Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO's use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.
Pax Christi's boycott campaign has received political backing from Albrecht Schröter, the Social Democratic mayor of the eastern German city of Jena in the state of Thuringia. A June 1 article in the local newspaper Thüringische Landeszeitung quotes Schröter as saying his goal "is to demand mandatory labeling of goods from illegal Israeli settlements that occupy Palestinian territory."
But critics have accused Schröter (and Pax Christi) of issuing one-sided statements against Israel, and of giving the false impression that Israel is a country that systematically disregards international law and human rights.
Others say the obsession with Israel while human rights are being systematically abused in Muslim countries such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia is a reflection of anti-Semitism.
For example, Kevin Zdiara of the Berlin-based German-Israel Friendship Society (DIG) says that Schröter's arguments "in certain areas resemble anti-Zionist anti-Semitism" because his remarks meet Natan Sharansky's 3-D test for modern anti-Semitism: demonization, double standards and delegitimization. Zdiara also equates the Pax Christi boycott with the Nazi-era slogan "Don't Buy from Jews."
Katharina König, a Left Party state representative in Thuringia and a Jena city councilwoman agrees. She says Schröter's signature on the Pax Christi petition and his support for a boycott are "false and inappropriate" and that the boycott "has the same meaning as 'Don't Buy from Jews.'"
In any case, the BDS movement against Israel is growing in Germany.
For example, in an unprecedented victory for BDS activists, Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, recently announced that it would pull out of a project to build a high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because the line would cut through six kilometers of disputed territory in the West Bank. Deutsche Bahn had been in charge of electricity and communications control on the project, but pro-Palestinian groups claimed the project violated international law.
German Transportation Minister Peter Ramsauer told Deutsche Bahn Director Rüdiger Grube the project was politically "problematic" and potentially in violation of international law. Ramsauer offered the following reason for terminating the project: "Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Malki, members of the German Parliament and media have criticized a project in which DB International is acting as adviser to Israel's state-run railway."
German BDS activists have also repeatedly pressed for Israel to be banned from participating in Berlin's annual International Tourism Exchange (ITB), known throughout the world as the top trade show for the global tourism industry. And a group called Berlin Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (BAB) has pushed for a complete academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The group has boycotted Israeli film festivals and has German artists and musicians to refrain from performing in Israel.
In March 2012, BDS activists in Berlin targeted Galeria Kaufhof, a major retailer that sells products from Israel. Protests were also held at stores in Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg and Heidelberg.
In February, BDS activists in Hamburg targeted a nine-day series of concerts called "Sounds of Israel" that featured Israeli musicians. That same month, BDS activists in Berlin protested Israeli participation in the annual Fruit Logistica trade fair.
In November 2011, BDS activists launched a nationwide protest against Israel agricultural exports; BDS protests were held in Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Munich and Stuttgart.
In April, the Duisburg branch of the German Left Party (Die Linke) posted a flyer on its website with a swastika morphing into a Star of David, and called for a boycott of Israeli products. The flyer, which calls Israel a "rogue state" and a "warmonger" states: "Oppose the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust! Truth makes free!" This is a pun on "Arbeit macht Frei!," located above the entrance gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In March, a group called the "Bremer Peace Forum" in the northern Germany city of Bremen staged protests in front of supermarkets urging Germans to boycott Israeli products. The Forum protesters distributed leaflets showing pictures of bloody oranges and held posters with the slogan: "Save the Palestinian people."
The German Left Party, in a Call to Action said: "Israel has occupied the West Bank for decades, contrary to numerous UN resolutions. More and more illegal Jewish settlements are being built and Israel exports the fruits that are harvested from there. This is against international law and the exports from the occupied territories are illegal. A boycott of Israeli products will move public opinion in order to increase international pressure on Israel, just as happened in South Africa."
Later that month, the German Bundestag [Parliament] held a debate over accusations of anti-Semitism within the Germany Left Party following the release of an in-depth study by two German sociologists titled "Anti-Semites as a Coalition Partner." The report says that "anti-Zionist anti-Semitism" has become the dominant consensus position within the Left Party and that this trend is gaining force.
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