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« Kasrils Fomenting Secratarian Hatred in SA? | Main | Wolf In Sheep's Clothing Condemns Jewish Report »

November 16, 2006

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ANTHONY POSNER

Mike,

It's another example of KASRILSPEAK.

But I find the Socialist Worker and Haaretz quotes to have a strange ring. The obligation "to try and execute without casualties" and "how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto" seem to be non-sequiturs.

Also "one of the Israeli officers in the territories said not long ago" is hardly the most convincing attribution. It is second-hand.
The actual speaker is not identified by name.


May I suggest that all your research is collated and sent to the Chief Rabbi's office.

It should not be forgotten that Mbeki, has said to Goldstein, at his inauguration the the President's "door is always open".

The Chief Rabbi must take this invitation up. He should soon walk through that door with a copy of your dossier in his hand!

ANTHONY POSNER

Steve and Mike, do you think that I should email this to KASRILSPEAK?:


Dear Ronno Einstein,

I refer to your "unpublished" SAJR reply to my letter.

When I asked "Why should the 1995 Arafat-Rabin talks have affected your assessment of the 1967 war? " you respond:

" A person can modify their views; Mandela and Mbeki have shown they could change their opinion of PW Botha."

So it seems that you concur with the bizarre notion that the Apartheid president in the 1980's was not so bad after all!

But you label Israel as an "Apartheid state". Is this meant to be a criticism or a new term of affection??

kind regards,

Anthony Posner

mike

No, I wouldnt go that route. Even though I agree with your point. You opening a whole other can of worms. We don’t need to get the Jewish community in the middle of the debate about how PW should be remembered.

Vaz Lube

We should not sink ourselves into the same level as Ronnie occupies.

ANTHONY POSNER

I agree. Too satirical for my own good.

Chck out Mail and Guard Pg 12. SAJR slammed! Surprise, surprise.

ANTHONY POSNER

SAJR also criticized in Cape Argus.

Seems that I might not get enough votes if I stand for parliament in the Cape as an "Independent Jew."

But if anyone wants to send cash to back the 2009 campaign, please let me know asap.

mike

The MG piece is rough. Is no-one going to come to Sifrin’s defence? And he seems incapable of defending himself.

Anthony, you have become a national celebrity. Its like a David and Goliath story. Are you fearful of the personal consequences?

ANTHONY POSNER

Mike,

It is a predictable outcome. Sifrin cant be surprised. I cant imagine that anyone in the present climate will defend him.

Re me as "Dave"? Well, it seems that the "self-righteous" anger is directed against Sifrin. I am not worried about my fate.

I think that the Jewish community will feel even more isolated than normal. But it is a good reality check. The problem wont go away.

I still believe that The Goethe might put a spanner in the Kasrilspeak.

As you and Steve admirably show, day after day, the important thing is not to be cowed into silence. I admire your determination and professionalism re this blog. Well done to the pair of you!

ANTHONY POSNER

FOLLOWING THE REPORT IN THE M&G, I ENCLOSE A COPY OF THE LETTER THAT I HAVE JUST SENT TO JANE DUNCAN, DIRECTOR OF THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION INSTITUTE.


Dear Ms Duncan,

I read your comments in The Mail and Guardian with regard to The Jewish Report and Ronnie Kasrils.

Please could you kindly give me answers to the following:

(1) Did the FXI meet or contact Geoff Sifrin before reaching a decision in the case?

(2) How much time was Geoff Sifrin given to make his submission on behalf of The Jewish Report to the FXI?

(3) What internal process was taken at the FXI before a decision was reached in the case?

(4) Are the minutes of any internal FXI meeting with regard to The Jewish Report open to public scrutiny?

(5) Is there a right of appeal after the FXI reaches a decision?

yours sincerely

ANTHONY POSNER

ANTHONY POSNER

Mike,

I think you should take a look at the FXI website.

It is: www.fxi.org.za

I have my doubts about how it reaches decisions. I cant find any info about The SAJR/KASRILS case on their website.

I wonder how the processes governing the FXI compare with other media monitoring bodies around the world.

ANTHONY POSNER

XI Update -- August 1995

Hate speech and the international human rights conventions

Which ones has South Africa signed and what do they say?

The International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Adopted and presented for signature in 1965, and entered into force in 1969, this convention has been ratified by approximately 130 countries. It imposes stringent obligations on signatories to eradicate racism, including the propagation of hate speech, and obliges countries to promulgate laws against hate speech. It is policed by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), consisting of 18 independent experts elected by states that have ratified the Convention. The Convention is controversial in that it does not require racist intent in order to prosecute for hate speech. Therefore, a journalist who reports on hate speech could conceivably fall foul of its provisions. Interestingly the United Kingdom and France recorded reservations on the Convenant when they signed it, on the basis that it should be subject to those countries' own norms regarding freedom of expression. The Convention was signed by President Mandela during his trip to the United Stated late last year, but still has to be ratified by Parliament. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this process will take some time.

What does it say ?

'Section 4: State parties condemn all propaganda and all organisations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempts to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts, of such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in Article 5 of this Convention, inter alia: (a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof; (b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organisations, an d also organised and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognise participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law; (c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination.'


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The text of the hate speech provision was controversial from the start. It was adopted by 52 votes to 19 in the United Nations General Assembly, with 12 abstentions. Several states also recorded reservations, including Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Most of these countries expressed deep concern about the negative impact of the Convention on freedom of speech, and that legislation would not eradicate racism: in fact, it could be used to suppress the opinions of opposition parties. Reservations were also expressed about the wide interpretations that could be given to the provision outlawing propaganda for the purposes of war. Paragraph 2 of the Covenant, dealing specifically with hate speech, was adopted after redrafting by 50 votes to 18, with 15 abstentions, indicating the deeply divided views on hate speech in the countries that make up the United Nations. Interestingly, it is this section that South African constitution-makers have included verbatim in the draf t text of the freedom of expression clause for the permanent Bill of Rights. This Covenant has been passed by the South African cabinet, and is being discussed by a joint committee of all departments in government. It will then be referred to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, and from there to Parliament for ratification, which may take place before the end of this year.

What does it say?

'19 .1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any media of his [sic] choice. 3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided for by law and are necessary: (a) for the respect of the rights or reputations of others (b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.

20 :1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.'


Back to Table of Contents...

ANTHONY POSNER

We did, however, agree on what hate speech is - after doing some research - and decided to use South Africa’s official definition:

The South African constitution is clear on freedom of speech - here’s an extract from www.info.gov.za/documents/constitution/index.htm:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:
1. freedom of the press and other media;
2. freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
3. freedom of artistic creativity; and
4. academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.
2. The right in subsection (1) does not extend to
1. propaganda for war;
2. incitement of imminent violence; or
3. advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

ANTHONY POSNER

Hate speech case in South Africa
Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at 05:24PM
Posted by Inyoka in Social and political comment, Life in South Africa, Racism
While our government dilly dallies over taking action to bring Muslim clerics to court, an artist is to appear in the Equity Court in South Africa in the first human rights trial for anti-Semitic behaviour in post-apartheid South Africa.

Gerhard Barkhuis admits painting a Nazi flag, complete with a large swastika, on a prominent wall facing the entrance to the home of his Jewish neighbour, Yaron Fishman, just outside White River in Mpumalanga. The phrase “spiteful bastards” has also been spray-painted on the wall in Hebrew alongside the swastika, as part of a graffiti wall Barkhuis claims he is creating to commemorate the pain caused by political strife.

The Fishman family and the SA Jewish Board of Deputies asked the SA Human Rights Commission to investigate. Fishman has also lodged a separate crimen injuria complaint with the police, who have opened a criminal docket.

Fishman said he’d turned to the courts because his Israeli father was scheduled to visit in September, and as a holocaust survivor he’d be “devastated’ if he saw the Nazi symbols. “My grandmother was murdered by the Nazis in the Transnistria concentration camp, and my grandfather only narrowly survived. To make him relive the suffering and torture he underwent is incredibly cruel,” said an emotional Fishman. He said that “To deliberately paint a swastika in front of our house, knowing we are Jews, is just as hurtful... and should not be allowed in a South Africa that prides itself on its human rights record.”

But Barkhuis remains defiant. He insisted that South Africa’s constitution guaranteed him freedom of expression and that Fishman and the SAHRC had misinterpreted his artistic expression as a personal attack.

“I painted these images because I lived through the trauma of apartheid and the liberation struggle. My graffiti wall is supposed to reflect and comment on the pain caused by all political strife.

“To say I am targeting Fishman is lies, all lies. Claims that I am a Nazi or fascist are heartbreaking and tearing my family apart.”

Comment: An extreme right wing Afrikaans political party, the AWB, sported a swastika like logo during the 1990's. During the second world war many Afrikaaners were sympathetic to the Nazis.

Barkhuis gets an Inyoka hiss.

Source article - IOL/Pretoria News

Update on Sunday, July 9, 2006 at 06:45PM by Inyoka
The result of the court case is that Barkhuizen was ordered to apologise in writing to Mel Fishman, his Israeli-born neighbour, and to pay a fine of R2 000 by the end of July. R2000 is more or less equivalent to £165.00.

Rudolph Jansen, the executive director of Lawyers for Human Rights, said the punishment was low considering Barkhuizen had not shown remorse. The incident in August 2005 seemed to have been sparked by Fishman asking Barkhuizen to move a dog kennel that was on the border of his property.

Barkhuizen claimed that the painting formed part of a mural depicting World War 2 and the constitution afforded him the right to freedom of expression. He is described as an artist and dog parlour owner.

ANTHONY POSNER

Mike,
SAJR on 702 news today. Check out their website.

ANTHONY POSNER

702 WEBSITE REPORT

Kasrils treated unfairly 18/11/2006 10:44:01

The Freedom of Expression Institute says Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils was treated unfairly by the Jewish report.

It says the publication refused him the right to reply to an article that mentioned Kasrils by name.

The publication featured an opinion piece by Anthony Posner which questioned Kasrils stand on Israel.

The Jewish report claims that his response was not published because it was hate speech.

Kasrils compared certain policing and military measures that the Israeli state uses to Nazi measures, but the FXI says this does not qualify as hate speech.
Back to headlines

ANTHONY POSNER

MAIL AND GUARDIAN WESITE HEADLINES

National
FXI: Jewish Report treated Kasrils unfairly
The Jewish Report treated Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils unfairly by refusing him the right to reply to a critical article and instead misrepresenting his response, said the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) on Saturday. "No publication worth its salt would refuse somebody the right to reply to an article that mentions that person by name," said FXI executive director Jane Duncan.
Jewish Report censors Kasrils

ANTHONY POSNER

MAIL AND GUARDIAN REPORT


Jewish Report censors Kasrils

Tumi Makgetla

17 November 2006 11:59


The South African Jewish Report (SAJR) last week refused to publish Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils's right to reply to an article that questioned his stance on Israel.

This makes it the second time in recent weeks that Kasrils has been barred from expressing his radical anti-Zionist views. Earlier this month, the Goethe Institute refused to allow Ceasefire and other groups to host a lecture by Kasrils on the Middle East conflict, after pressure from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

SAJR editor Geoff Sifrin initially approved Kasrils's request to reply to an article entitled "Some Pertinent Questions to Kasrils" by Anthony Posner. Posner had concluded the article with the challenge: "So Mr Kasrils … now is your chance to engage in 'civilised discussion'. But perhaps this 'kitchen' is too hot for you? ... I am sure that the readers of the SAJR will be interested to see whether you have the ability to respond in a rational manner to all the points I have raised in this letter."

Sifrin subsequently refused to print Kasrils's reply, arguing in an editorial that it would not contribute to constructive debate and would give offence to the SAJR's readers. Kasrils said he suspected Sifrin had come under pressure not to publish his views.

Sifrin told the Mail & Guardian Kasrils could have responded in a way that did not cause offence. "He could have chosen to take into account the readership of the paper."

Kasrils responded by saying that it was "absolutely dishonest" of the SAJR to publish Posner's piece, as his (Kasrils's) response was "perfectly predictable" and had been previously published elsewhere.

Jane Duncan, director of the Freedom of Expression Institute, slammed Sifrin's decision. "The newspaper is engaging in contradictory behaviour by publishing an opinion piece posing questions and then denying the person to whom the questions are being put the right to answer them," Duncan said.

The SAJR had the right to editorial independence, but this was qualified by normal editorial ethics, which included "the sacrosanct principle of the right to reply".

She added that Sifrin had misrepresented Kasrils's response in his editorial. He said that the minister's comparison of Israelis with Nazis implied that Israel should be destroyed as an "evil entity". Most SAJR readers would regard this as hate speech.

Kasrils has responded that he was only comparing "certain comparable measures" of the two states, such as collective punishment. This was in line with parallels drawn by other thinkers such as Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt.

Duncan disputed the claim that Kasrils's article was "hate speech" as defined by the South African Constitution. To qualify as hate speech, the article would have had to incite people to cause harm.

Said Kasrils: "Clamping down on freedom of expression and open debate ... undermines democratic principles and practices and is extremely harmful to individuals' rights and society at large. It is a shameful regression to the censorship and intimidation of the apartheid era."

ANTHONY POSNER

CAPE ARGUS

Jewish Report unfair to Kasrils - FXI

November 18 2006 at 10:34AM
The Jewish Report treated Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils unfairly by refusing him the right to reply to a critical article and instead misrepresenting his response, said the Freedom of
Expression Institute (FXI) on Saturday.

"No publication worth its salt would refuse somebody the right to reply to an article that mentions that person by name, and especially in an instance where the person is directly called on to
answer questions," said FXI executive director Jane Duncan.

"In refusing Kasrils the right of reply, the Jewish Report has trashed the basic principle of fairness."

The Jewish Report published an opinion piece by Anthony Posner which questioned Kasrils' stand on Israel, then declined to publish Kasrils' response despite telling him it would.


"Also, the actual contents of Kasril's response bears little resemblance to what the paper's editorial says he wrote," said Duncan.

"He is thus being misrepresented by the newspaper, which makes it even more unpalatable that he cannot respond. These features raise serious questions about the editorial quality of the
newspaper."

The publication referred to Kasrils' response as "hate speech" but the FXI disagreed.

"The crucial element of incitement to cause harm must be present for any speech to be regarded as hate speech. Incitement means calling on people to engage in harmful actions; the call to action
must be unambiguous.

"Likening certain policing or military measures that the Israeli state uses to Nazi measures does not meet this objective test."

Duncan said the accusation of "hate speech" was often misused.

"As an organisation that defends free speech and freedom of the media, we are becoming increasingly tired of the 'hate speech' exception in our Constitution being misinterpreted and misused by
institutions like the Jewish Report to stifle what they consider to be disagreeable speech."

Duncan said the Jewish Report came out of the incident "looking like a mere extension of Zionism's repressive project rather than as a forum for debate within a deeply divided religious community". - Sapa


ANTHONY POSNER

3/29/2005: The Israel-Nazi Slander
Here’s an excellent deconstruction of the “Israel=Nazi Germany” canard that has become an article of faith among the deluded left, by Rory Miller, a Senior Lecturer in Mediterranean Studies at King’s College, University of London: The Israel-Nazi Slander in Historical Context. (Hat tip: bigel.)

The historian Yaacov Shavit once argued that the main question to be debated within Jewry in the wake of the Holocaust was whether “Nazism [was] an inherent feature of the European essence or was it a diverted characteristic, an historical accident?” It is one of the great historical and intellectual perversions of our times that many westerners are now asking the same question about Israel and Zionism as Jews asked about Europe.

From polls in Germany in which 51% of respondents expressed the view that Israel’s current treatment of Palestinians is similar to that meted out to the Jews by the Nazis, to posters in Paris reading “Hitler has a son — Sharon”; from information signs in the Spanish town of Oleiros, flashing “Let’s stop the animal!!! Sharon the assassin, stop the neo-Nazis”, to banners in a Dublin march demanding an end to the Palestinian holocaust and equating the Star of David with the Nazi swastika. Wherever we look we are being bombarded by attacks on Israeli “storm troopers” pursuing “SS tactics” and engaged in “Blitzkrieg” operations.

But Israeli actions in the Occupied Territories have no relation to the horrors carried out by Germany during the Nazi occupation of Europe and there is absolutely no moral equivalence between Hitler’s industrial slaughter of the Jews and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

If you doubt this ask yourself the following questions: would it have been possible for Jewish schools in German-occupied Holland, Poland, Hungary and numerous other countries, to indoctrinate their students with the most outlandish anti-German propaganda and incitement?

Would these same school children fresh from their brainwashing classes have been free to enroll, in the glare of the world’s media, in summer camps dedicated to training a new generation of anti-German guerillas? Would their religious and secular leaders have been able to go on their own TV channels and call their occupiers the “sons of monkeys” with impunity?

Of course not — the Jews under Nazi rule were too busy trying (in most cases unsuccessfully) to escape being bundled on trains and shipped to the gas chambers. Yet all this, and much more, is standard practice among Palestinians in areas controlled by the PA.

6:51 PM PST

ANTHONY POSNER

Norway 'Nazi cartoon' irks Israel

Israel's ambassador to Norway has complained to press regulators about a cartoon showing Israeli PM Ehud Olmert as a Nazi concentration camp commander.
Miryam Shomrat told the BBC the caricature in Oslo's Dagbladet newspaper went beyond free speech.

Ms Shomrat said it would be open to prosecution in some European countries.

Dagbladet's editor said the caricature was "within the bounds of freedom of expression," according to Norway's NRK state broadcaster.

Ms Shomrat made the official complaint to the Norwegian Press Trade Committee following the publication of the cartoon on 10 July.

In an interview with the BBC's Europe Today, she said however that her protest could not be compared to the outcry in the Muslim world over the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Lars Helle, Dagbladet's acting editor-in-chief, said the newspaper was taking the complaint seriously.

"But I do not fear that Dagbladet will be found guilty," Mr Helle told the NRK.

The cartoon shows Mr Olmert standing on a balcony in a prison camp.

He is holding a sniper's rifle and a dead man is seen lying on the ground.

The drawing clearly alluded to the Hollywood film Schindler's List, in which a sadistic Nazi commander shoots Jewish prisoners for fun, according to Dagbladet.

ANTHONY POSNER

Who's a Nazi?
Is this a fair criticism of Israel?

By William Baker
May 10, 2002
The Iranian

Several recent contributions to the Iranian have labeled Israel a "Nazi" like state. Setareh Sabety provides a representative example when he says in "Today, I am a Palestinian" that Israel has "turned into Nazi Germany..." This is perhaps not surprising given the high degree of sympathy that many Iranians seem to feel for Palestinians, combined with the apparent assumption in Iran that Israel constitutes a fatal security threat.

The allegation of Nazi like behavior is not unique to Iranians either, but is common throughout the region and appears frequently in American and European demonstrations supporting the Palestinians. It is not unusual at such protests, to see the Israeli flag with a Swastika replacing the Star of David or posters comparing Ariel Sharon to Hitler. When he emerged from his recent captivity, Chairman Arafat himself set this tone when he quickly drew a parallel between Israel and the Nazis.

Frankly, I am not on a one person campaign to defend Israel. I have a considerable number of criticisms of Israeli policies (especially regarding settlements) and I have never overlooked or failed to condemn human rights abuses committed by them.

Yet, even taking into account the high level at which emotions have been running of late, one is still compelled to ask: is this a fair criticism of Israel? In order to be fair, an historical analogy like this one, must have some basis in historical evidence. Does this accusation of Nazi like behavior by the Israelis make any historical sense?

If the comparison is designed to draw attention to Israeli aggression, now or in the past, why limit oneself to analogies with the Nazis? One could just as easily utilize other comparisons from the long and sad history of the 20th century: the Soviet Red Army in eastern Europe and Afghanistan, or the American army in Asia. Instead of signs and rhetoric equating Sharon and Hitler, one could just as easily fashion an equation of Sharon with Hitler's contemporary Joe Stalin or even Richard Nixon.

If the goal is draw a comparison between Israel's de facto attempt to colonize the West Bank and Golan, then why utilize such a poor example as that of Nazi Germany? Germany under any regime, proved to be poor competition at the "Great Game" of colonization compared to Britain or France. Why therefore, no comparisons to the far more substantial British colonization of India or French colonization of north Africa and Vietnam? If the object is to draw attention to Israeli human rights abuses, why reach back into European history for an analogy?

There are after all plenty of examples within the region itself that would serve as embarrassing examples of brutality: the 1982 Assad regime assault on Hama (civilian death toll around 20,000) or the 1987 Iraqi poison gas attack on the Kurdish villages (death toll of several thousand) etc. All could serve as basis for comparison with Israeli abuses. Yet these regimes all escape the identification as Nazis. Perhaps that is because in comparison to Assad's Syria or Hussein's Iraq, Israel looks pretty good.

In the end, there are only two reasons that comparisons between Israel and the Nazis are obsessively made these days and to the exclusion of all others. First, to annoy Jews who after all, along with Gypsies, were the primary civilian victims of the Nazis. This of course is a rather childish motive. The second, is to imply that Israel, like the Nazi regime, is inclined toward a campaign of genocide. Genocide? Is it really possible, even granting a high degree of hyperbole inevitable in any debate, to claim that Israel is engaged in a campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people?

Genocide (and some writers in the Iranian have not avoided that direct accusation against Israel either) is commonly defined as the mass killing of an ethnic group in an attempt to destroy that group. Obvious examples include the Turkish genocidal campaign on the Armenians in World War One accounting for a death toll of around 1.5 million. Hitler and the Nazis latter took this as a model for their campaign of genocide which has been thoroughly documented that it hardly requires repeating here.

Some historians have expanded the definition of genocide to include social groups like Stalin's war on the peasantry in the 1930s USSR (death toll possibly as high as 20 million) or Pol Pot's mass killing of the urban population of Cambodia in the 1970s (death toll around 2-3 million.) Can Israeli actions against the Palestinians--even when war crimes are committed--be compared to this?

We can detect the basic unfairness in the Nazi accusation from another perspective. Would it be fair or accurate for Zionists to accuse Yassir Arafat of being another Pol Pot or the PLO of being just like the Khmer Rouge? Of course, some superficial similarities exist. Although he was elected to his position, Arafat often acts like a dictator and human rights abuses by his government have been extensive.

Indeed, some of the harshest complaints about his human rights record have come from Palestinian sources including documented cases of summary executions of prisoners. The PLO under his leadership also established a record of aggressive behavior against host countries e.g. Jordan and Lebanon. Yet, one could not in good conscious accuse him or the PLO of practicing the kind of genocide that took place in Cambodia.

We have already seen in recent weeks the ill-effect of extreme and inflated rhetoric has on the Palestinian's cause. In the case of the Jenin refuge camp, over run by the Israeli army, the immediate claim many Palestinian, Arab, and/or Islamic representatives was that a massacre had been perpetrated by the Israelis upon the refugees. First the claim was that 3,000 had been killed and then 300 and then a 100 and then a few dozen.

We know now from the respected Human Rights Watch that no massacre at all occurred. True they have determined that serious violations of the Geneva Convention were committed by Israel along with obvious and extensive property damage, but no massacre.

By rushing to publicize outlandish claims that could not be sustained by independent investigations, responsible representatives of the Palestinian people have raised serious concerns about their credibility in the future. Hardly the result they wanted and one that could have been easily avoided with a balanced approach and careful use of language.

It would be easy to dismiss the accusations of Nazism applied to Israel as over wrought emotional reactions among victims of Israeli military action. Yet, words are not just abstractions--they have real consequences. Over heated rhetoric, like suicide bombings, represent a nihilistic turn by the Palestinians that in effect says no compromise or settlement is possible.

For example, if Arafat is correct and the Israelis are Nazis, then why negotiate with them? Hitler and the Nazis did not live up to single agreement that they ever signed. If Israel is a Nazi type state, then one would have to conclude that any effort to negotiate with them would not only be futile but incredibly stupid as well.

Of course one could argue that Israel has not lived up many U.N. resolutions like 242 and 338. True, but that is also the case with every other nation in the region. Only Egypt has fulfilled the terms of these resolutions by recognizing Israel's border and ending the state of war with her and Israel has in turn partly fulfilled her obligations under 242 and 338 by returning the Sinai.

Indeed, the Nazi war machine never gave up one inch of territory voluntarily. Israeli clearly has done so in the case of the peace accords with Egypt, dismantling I might add, her illegal settlements on that territory. Yet, the same can't be said of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. who continue their state of war with Israel and refuse to recognize Israeli borders in violation of 242 and 338. Nor has Syria -- unlike Israel -- withdrawn from Lebanon as directed the U.N. So why single out Israel for Nazidom? When not all the other states that pick and choose what U.N. agreements they will abide by and which ones they won't?

That is the logic of excessive rhetoric. It destroys any basis for reaching a fair settlement and frankly a diplomatic settlement is the Palestinians only hope for achieving statehood. A military struggle against a superior power like Israel, which enjoys the support of the remaining global super power, is doomed to failure. And a political struggle, which the Palestinians can win, precludes the kind of extremist rhetoric we have seen over the recent months.

Gary

In his latest anti-Israel missive to the Jewish Report (open letter in response to editorial 17-24 November) Ronnie Kasrils refers to 'indiscriminate bombings of civilians including women and children' and 'massacres tretching form Deir Yassin in 1948 to Qibya in 1953 ; Qana and Gaza recently.
He has reffered previously to Israelis as 'baby-killers' as well as the now oft-repeated label as Nazis.

As regards Deir Yassin , it is worth quoting Tunisian born Jewish writer Albert Memni responded to Libyan tyrant Muammar Gadaffi's canards against Israel on a visit to France in 1973: " The error which may have been made at Deir Yassin is constantly being thrown in our faces. Ah , but we have undergone a thousand Deir Yassins. and not only in Russia , Germany and Poland , but also at the hands of Arab people but the world has never been upset over it."


The meaning of Israel is clear. The Jew has experienced too much death, and a portion of the Jewish people decided that they would die quietly no more. So it is: and no argument, no clever political talk, no logic and no parading of right and wrong can change this fact. The Jews returned to Israel because it was their ancient land. From 1810 onwards Jews in the Land of Israel have been murdered by Arabs. The pious Jews of Safed, who would raise no hand in their own defence, had been robbed and murdered and burned out again and again by Arabs-as the Jews in Jerusalem and Tiberias had been robbed and slain and burned out. Bedouin Arabs passed through Israel at will-and robbed and killed Jews as a profitable thing. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Arab feudal lords in Israel organized pogroms precisely as the Czar had organized pogroms. The Land of Israel was a blighted and empty land until the Zionist Movement returned it to life.
In 1920 , Jews where masscared in Jersualem and in 1921 in Jaffa. In 1929 the entire ages old Jewish community of Hebron was massacred and from 1936 to 1939 , inspired and supported by Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany , pogroms spread across the Land of Israel , taking thousands of Jewish lives.

Since the founding of Israel 1948 the Arabs have launched six wars to try and drive the Jews into ther sea ,and countless massacres of Israeli people such as the massacres of Israeli children at Ma'alot and Kiryat Shmona in 1974 , by the Popular Front for the LIberation of Palestine.
In the last six years thousands of Israeli men , women and children have died as a result of the bloody Intifada launched by Yasser Arafat and his cohorts against the people of Israel.

Hundreds of Jewish children in Israel have been deliberately murdered and maimed by Arab terrorists in recent years , without a word of objection from leftist Palestinophiles.

In 2003 on Erev Rosh Hashanah, seven month old Shaked Abraham was shot dead in her crib by an Arab murderer who forced his way into her parent's house as the family was celebrating the New Year.

A ten-month-old Jewish baby, Shalhevet Pass, was shot in her father's arms by an Arab sniper in 2001.

The following year, a five-year-old girl, Danielle Shefi, was shot to death at point blank range by an Arab killer, while cowering under her parents' bed.

That same year, two boys, four- and five-years old, where shot dead together with their mother as she read them a bedtime story, in a kibbutz, by Arab terrorists.

Children , like five year old Gal Eisenman , have been incinerated in buses by Arab homicide bombers.
In 2004 heavily pregnant Jewish mother Tali Hatuel , was shot to death at point blank range by terrorists of the Popular Resistance Committees , after which her four terrified small daughters-Hila, Hadar, Roni, and Merav-where executed one by one.
Many anti-Israel leftists mirror the Nazis in their contempt for the life of Jewish children by their advocacy of the killing of Israeli children.
What about the teenagers murdered by a Arab homicide bomber at the Dolphin Disco in 2002?

Or the Israeli women and children killed by rocket attacks launched from Gaza?

Over half of all Holocaust survivors today live in Israel (as do many descendants of Holocaust survivors), and it would be a hideous twist of history for these too to perish in the flames of anti-Jew hatred, as they would do if Israel was destroyed by forces of evil (God forbid that this should ever be allowed to happen!)

Only the hard-hearted, hate-filled and cowardly will now begrudge Israel the right to exist and defend herself. Perhaps the idea of Jews living as a free and prosperous people in their own land is what fuels the rage of those who hate Israel.

Mr Kasrils-Israel has survived the Nasser , Khomeini , Yassin and Arafat.
She will survive you too!

ANTHONY POSNER

THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER THAT I WROTE TO THE NEWS EDITOR AT 702 RADIO:

Dear Ed,

On Nov 18th you quoted Jane Duncan( Freedom Expression Institute) in your news headline story "KASRILS AND JEWISH REPORT."

It should be noted that Ms Duncan is avowedly anti-Zionist and could not possibly be objective in a case like this.

I include an extract from the FXI website as evidence.

Please let me know your views on this matter asap.

regards,
ANTHONY POSNER


JANE DUNCAN (director FXI) WRITES:
"In Britain, at the height of the cartoon saga, Muslim cleric Abu Hamza was jailed for his utterances in London, for inciting murder and racial hatred. It should also be noted that the British authorities had been monitoring Hamza for some time, and acted against him only when the United States administration sought his extradition on terrorism charges. This fact alone calls into question the real motive behind his conviction.
The judgement itself points to the trickiness of incitement charges. Judge Hughes, who presided over the trial, was equivocal in his statements, noting to Hamza that ‘You are entitled to your views and in this country and you are entitled to express them, but only up to the point where you incite murder or use language calculated to incite racial hatred. That is what you did." Yet later on in his judgement he stated that : 'No one can say now what damage your words may have caused - no one can say whether any of your audiences, present or wider, acted on your words'. In making this comment the Judge disavowed on of the main reasons why inciting speech is often punished: that there is a causal link between words and violent deeds. So even the judge had to admit that this link could not be established conclusively.
The political motives underlying the case also need to be understood. Chancellor Gordon Brown welcomed the verdict and stated: "We've got to take action in the interests of both national security and defending the true Islam religion in defence of moderate Islamists as against extreme Islam’, Brown told BBC News. So the British government used the case to send out a clear message to the Muslim community: we will promote what we consider to be an acceptable version of Islam, and any other version that challenges the establishment will be suppressed. Undoubtedly this will include versions that mobilize resistance to racism and other forms of social and economic exclusion of diasporas.
The reality is that in the current international political context, some religions are more equal than others: a reality that is shaped by the political and economic hegemony of US imperialism. US President George Bush was elected back to office by a strong right wing Christian lobby in a particular alliance with powerful Zionist interests. US foreign policy is based on maintaining control over strategic oil supplies and ensuring the hegemony of the dollar, leading to oil wars in countries like Iraq, its propping up of regimes in the Middle East as buffer states, including Israel. This international political environment has led to an inherent bias towards certain religions or theological interpretations of those religions (such as the ascendence of the Zionist interpretation of Judaism), and a denigration of other religious streams as 'other', outside mainstream civilization or as inherently violent, irrational or dangerous. Islam especially has become a target, given the fact that Muslims are present in large numbers on countries where the US is fighting its oil wars. The asendence of the right in Europe has also created fertile ground for Islamophobia, which in turn was the context that gave rise to the Danish cartoons."

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