Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

The EU’s propensity for self-harm is mind-boggling

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

100,000 civilians have been slaughtered in the ongoing Syrian civil war, and another 2.8 million – that’s 2,800,000 people – have been rendered homeless, refugees in their own state or having abandoned everything and fled to neighbouring countries such as Turkey, the Lebanon and Jordan.

The 10-million-strong Coptic Christian minority of Egypt suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood under Morsi’s rule. Now the Islamist Morsi has been swept aside by popular sentiment (and army support) and the Egyptian civilian population is not only in political turmoil – statistics reveal that almost 15 percent of Egyptians have had to cut back on their basic food intake in a country that is collapsing politically, economically, industrially, agriculturally, morally and socially. During the 4-day revolution last month several hundred women were brutally raped in Cairo and elsewhere, some by Morsi supporters who objected to the presence of women in public places, the rest by anti-Morsi activists who celebrated their exuberance over Morsi’s removal with “recreational rape”.

In Somalia and elsewhere female genital mutilation is still practised routinely, often with fatal results – and that’s before we even consider the psychological effects on the survivors. The Taliban are increasing their presence and gaining credibility in Afghanistan, with offshoots in countries like Pakistan and elsewhere. Saudi culture still embraces the enslavement of black Africans and non-Muslim “guest workers” from overseas. The Iranian regime still routinely hangs shoplifters, gays and political dissidents in public squares. Hizbollah still reigns with impunity in the Lebanon, expanding its terrorist fiefdom there and coercing opponents into scared silence. The Egyptian army has sealed Egypt’s border with Gaza, smashing some Hamas tunnels under the border and flooding the remainder with raw sewage, drowning Palestinian Arabs like rats. The EU-funded Palestinian Authority still routinely names roads, schools and public buildings in honour of mass-murderers – even when these roads, schools and public buildings are constructed with EU funding. The Islamist Turkish regime still illegally occupies Northern Cyprus – and Cyprus is a full-fledged EU member state.

And while all this strife in the Muslim world is going on, the EU manages not to comment on, deal with or even acknowledge any of the above. Instead, it manages to focus on the world’s sole Jewish state – Israel. In a move that was both malicious in the extreme and grossly lacking in sensitivity, coming as it did on the anniversary of the date on which the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was sacked and Hitler formally ratified his project for the industrialised extermination of world Jewry, the EU announced that it has unilaterally decided on the borders of Israel and that parts of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall (the site of the Temple), will henceforth be classified as being located in “Palestine”.

The EU’s reasoning is crystal-clear: since the Arabs succeeded in illegally making Judea and Samaria judenrein back in 1948, following their illegal ethnic cleansing of all Jews from eastern Jerusalem and cities such as Hebron, this is now to be regarded as the norm. The Arab ethnic cleansing, while illegal, succeeded, and any attempt by Jews to regain their former homes is instead regarded by the EU as illegal. Understand this clearly: if you succeed in your crime, you get to keep the loot.

Because of the success of the Arabs’ ethnic cleansing back in the 1940s, the EU has decided that this shall be enshrined in something the EU mandarins mistakenly refer to as ‘international law’. They are wrong, of course; international law does not transform the disputed territories into occupied territories, and it does rebrand the successful Arab ethnic cleansing of the territories as acceptable. That illegal act of ethnic cleansing is what caused the territory to be disputed in the first place, and no amount of unilateral EU map-drawing is going to change the law.

The EU’s propensity for disregarding unpleasant truths while falling back on that tired old chestnut of Jew-baiting is insulting, pathetic – and set to be really, really expensive. Because once Jewish industries in Judea and Samaria dismiss all their Palestinian Arab workers in accordance with the EU directive and replace them with Israeli and other workers, that will massively increase the unemployment rate in the Arab sector of the nascent “Palestine”. The EU, which has decided to play idiotic mind games with the livelihoods of Palestinian Arab workers, will have to step in to make up their economic shortfall, depleting an already ravaged EU economy. All so that Catherine Ashton and her fellow-tsars in their air-conditioned offices in Brussels can bait the Jews, using the livelihoods and jobs of hard-working Palestinian Arabs as a baseball bat against the Jewish state.

Nice move Ashton. How it is possible for so much economic incompetence and political venom to be embodied in one single person defies description. In true EU style, she will no doubt be promoted to a new job in Brussels or, better still, UN headquarters in New York.

Are the Swedish Pension Fund’s ethics governed by anti-Israel policy?

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Ethics aren’t always ethical.

The following is the English translation of an article first published by Lennart Eriksson of Sweden in his blog Sapere Aude!. Mr Eriksson is perhaps best known abroad for having been sacked from his high-level job at the state-run Swedish Board of Migration because his manager found out that in the privacy of his own home, Mr Ericsson maintained a blog in which he claimed that Israel was a democracy that had the right to exist. Following a court case Mr Ericsson was entirely vindicated, fully reinstated and all legal and other fees were paid by his employer, the Swedish Board of Migration - which is a Swedish state authority. The Swedish taxpayers footed the bill for this official venture into Orwellian mind-control territory.

A while ago the Swedish Pension Fund’s Ethical Council announced that it would divest itself of all shares in the Israeli company, Elbit Systems, since the company has supplied monitoring systems for the protective barrier that protects Israeli civilians from terror attacks emanating from the West Bank. Israel is currently constructing this barrier and some of it is routed on land that in some quarters is referred to as ‘occupied territory’.

Sweden’s English-language online paper, The Local, reported on the AP-Fonden Ethical Council’s announcement. And here is what the Swedish Fjärde AP-Fonden itself had to say on its website.

“The Ethical Council has:

“in the first quarter of 2010 recommended the AP funds to exclude the company Elbit Systems Ltd from their portfolios due to the fact that dialogue between the Council and the company has not produced the intended results. All the AP funds have decided to follow this recommendation. The Ethical Council recommended that Elbit Systems Ltd should be excluded from each portfolio because it deems that the company can be linked to violations of fundamental conventions and norms through its active development, delivery and maintenance of a custom-made monitoring system for certain parts of the separation barrier being built on the West Bank. The Council has noted that both the European Union and the Swedish government consider the part of the separation barrier being built on West Bank to be illegal under international law. This position is also supported by the advisory opinion from 2004 by the International Court of Justice regarding the separation barrier.”

Sweden’s Fjärde AP-fonden is thus one of the pension funds that have decided to follow the recommendation. Just like all the other pension funds, this pension fund is a state institute operating under the aegis of the Swedish Ministry of Finance.

So our pension savings are not to be invested in Elbit Systems because the company has developed, supplied and maintains a product used for the protective barrier. That is thus the position of the Swedish state authorities.

There can thus be little doubt that Volvo machines were and still are used in the construction of the protective barrier. So why do the Swedish pension funds exclude only the Israeli company, Elbit Systems, and not the Swedish company, Volvo? Exactly what dialogue has the Ethical Council had with Volvo since 2007? What concrete actions did that dialogue lead to?

Now it turns out that this same pension fund, Fjärde AP-fonden, had no less than twenty million nine hundred and ninetyfour thousand two hundred and ninetyfive (20,884,295) shares in Volvo, valued at more than one billion Swedish kronor, as per January 1, 2010, as can be seen here (in Swedish, pdf).

In fact, as far back as 2007 there was plenty of information about the fact that machines manufactured by Volvo were used for the construction of the protective barrier. This can be read here and here, and it is also possible via these links to see Volvo construction machines in action.

If there is any reasonable consistency in the Ethical Council’s deliberations, it should now immediately recommend that the Swedish pension funds divest all their shares in Volvo, exactly as with the Israeli company. As long as it declines to do so, the Ethical Council’s ethics are seen clearly for what they actually are – a means of discriminating against the Israeli company, rather than having anything to do with ethics. There are many possible names for this, such as anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism or racism. But none of these are matters with which an Ethical Council – or any Swedish state authority – should under any circumstances be associated or for which they should be suspected.

Having said that, of course, when one discovers that one of the board members of the Fjärde AP-fonden Swedish pension fund is the Mayor of Malmö, everyone’s favourite Ilmar Reepalu, the man who not long ago equated Zionism with anti-Semitism, well, it’s perfectly easy to understand just how the Swedish pension fund and the Ethical Council arrived at their decision. For more background on Malmö Mayor Ilmar Reepalu, read here.

The pieces fall into place, the fog lifts, the state authorities’ views in the form of the pension fund decision become increasingly clear. The code-word is anti-Zionism. In their defence, perhaps they understand as little of what they are saying and doing as Reepalu did when he made his infamous remark – something that he did admittedly later withdraw, to his modest credit.

However, an explanation is not an excuse. There is no excuse for anti-Zionism. There is no reason whatsoever to ban Elbit Systems while not banning Volvo. Either divest from both, or from neither. The reasonable conclusion is that both should continue to be worthy of investment since the protective barrier has done more good than harm. It has saved the lives of countless innocent Israeli civilians. It is not routed on occupied territory but rather on disputed territory. Does Israel not have the right to defend itself on the West Bank? Must Israel wait until the enemy attacks in the very heart of the Jewish nation? A ridiculous notion.

Israel’s protective barrier is justified on the basis of every reasonable viewpoint. So it is equally justified that both Elbit Systems and Volvo contribute to its completion and operation.

If there remains a single ounce of ethic in the Ethical Council, it is therefore an absolute demand that both the Council and the pension funds themselves immediately revoke the banning of Elbit Systems. We are, after all, talking about the actions of Swedish state authorities here.

And if the Swedish pension funds cannot recant and revise their decision, it is time for the government itself to step in.

 

Written by Lennart Eriksson, first published in Swedish on his website here. Many thanks to Mr Eriksson for his permission to reproduce his article here in English.

Lennart Eriksson’s other articles in English can be read here.

Translated into English by Ilya Meyer. For more articles on this subject from ilyameyer.com, read how Sweden’s divestment drive fits into a larger EU-coordinated pattern – at taxpayers’ expense:

The drip effect

Spending money in Gaza while divesting from Israel

NGO Monitor: divestment drive has been going on a long time

NGO Monitor: Sweden’s Diakonia and divestment campaign

Visit the Philosemitism blog to find out how Sweden’s Diakonia subverts Israel at Swedish taxpayers’ expense

The Aftonbladet non-story

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Question:
When is organ trafficking involving Palestinian victims not a headline-grabbing story?

Answer 1:
When Swedish extreme-Left tabloid Aftonbladet realizes that the despicable practice cannot be blamed on Jews, Israelis, Zionists or democrats.

Answer 2:
When Swedish extreme-Left tabloid Aftonbladet realizes that the despicable practice is in fact taking place among Muslims in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and Egypt.

The Aftonbladet Effect:
Total clampdown. The story does not exist.

Not in the totalitarian media empire run by Aftonbladet, Sweden’s biggest-circulation daily and largest stakeholder in TT, the Swedish news agency that dedicates itself to demonisation of the Jewish state while maintaining absolute silence on human rights abuses in such beacons of democracy and respectful coexistence as Sudan, Syria, Iran, the Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Fatah-ruled West Bank, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan.

Is there a pattern in the above shortlist?

Scarcely surprisingly, Aftonbladet declined to publish a story about a massive organ-trafficking industry that continues to this day.

That’s because it discovered no Jews were involved. All the alleged perpetrators are Muslims. The victims are all Palestinian Arabs, exactly as in the original story published by Aftonbladet alleging systematic Israeli abuse (later retracted). All the other parameters are similar. It’s only the religion and ethnicity of the alleged perpetrators that are different.

Is a pattern beginning to emerge?

Immaterial really, since the story never made it into Aftonbladet.

CAMERA has published its exchange of correspondence with Aftonbladet on the issue of organised Muslim organ trafficking. “Exchange” is perhaps not the best word to use – Aftonbladet never replied. It’s a non-issue for the newspaper since no Jews were alleged to have been involved.

Is the pattern any clearer now?

No honest, principled or loyal Swedes were hurt in the publication of this article, but a whole lot of rabid publicly funded anti-Semites, virulent anti-Israeli fanatics and blatant pro-Islamists have undoubtedly been significantly aggrieved by its tone and content.

NGO Monitor – Dishonest Reporter Award
The Israel Project (TIP) – background to the organ trafficking allegations
Barry Rubin – The Blood Libel that Won’t Die
Tundra Tabloids – Swedish Tabloid Aftonbladet Rejects Story of Organ Harvesting from Amman, Jordan
Mere Rhetoric – The Chinese Organ Harvesting Story that Also Doesn’t Exist
Ilya Meyer on Swedish funding of anti-Israel radicalism: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
Ilya Meyer on Swedish news agency TT and its anti-Israel project: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,