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ISIS continues its march

by Rodan ( 267 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, British Islamic Jihadists, Chechnya, Gaza, Hezballah, IDF, Iran, Iraq, Islamic Invasion, Islamic Supremacism, Islamists, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, NIGERIA, Syria at August 4th, 2014 - 10:02 am

ISIS continues to expand its reach in the Middle East. In Iraq they seized a major dam and several villages from Kurdish forces. In Lebanon ISIS along with their rival Nusra Font have combined to seize territory in Lebanon centered around the town of Arsal. They are now clashing with the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah.

ISLAMIC State (Isis) fighters have seized control of Iraq’s biggest dam, an oilfield and three more towns after inflicting their first major defeat on Kurdish forces since sweeping through the region in June.

Capture of the Mosul Dam after an offensive of barely 24 hours could give the Sunni militants the ability to flood major Iraqi cities, sharply raising the stakes in their bid to topple Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government.

[....]

sis fighters have also been involved in violent exchanges with Lebanese armed forces around a border town in a push to dislodge the biggest incursion by militants into Lebanon since Syria’s civil war began.

At least ten Lebanese soldiers have died in the fighting, which erupted after Islamist gunmen seized a local police station on Saturday in response to the arrest of their commander, security officials said.

An unknown number of militants and civilians have also been killed, and security sources say at least 16 members of Lebanon’s security forces have been taken captive.

The gunmen in Arsal include fighters linked to the Islamic State (Isis), the al Qaeda offshoot that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, as well as Syria’s al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front.

ISIS and its allies are now battling on multiple fronts Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Nigeria where Boko Harram has pledges allegiance and Libya. The self describe Caliphate has shattered the Iranian led Shiite crescent and are threatening Jordan. This organization is a cancer that is spreading. ISIS believes it is reliving the 7th Century Jihad.

US State Dept. propagandist Jen Psaki defends Ukraine FM ‘Putin f**ker’ Remark

by 1389AD ( 10 Comments › )
Filed under Headlines, Iran, Iraq, Ukraine at July 4th, 2014 - 11:50 am

…and confuses Iraq and Iran…

Jen Psaki
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki conducts her daily briefing for reporters on June 16, 2014 at the State Department in Washington. (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)

Long-suffering State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki endured another torrid press briefing as she was forced to defend some distinctly unsavory remarks by Ukrainian politicians and struggled with the differences between Iraq and Iran, as well as oil and gas.

As usual, AP’s Matt Lee served as Psaki’s chief tormentor, bringing up last week’s protests outside the Russian embassy in Kiev, in which Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa addressed the anti-Russian mob by telling them that “Putin is a f**ker.”

“These are officials you have supported, is this the kind of language you find acceptable?” Lee asked Psaki.

Psaki insisted that Deshchitsa’s words are not relevant. Rather, what truly matters is “what the FM was doing when he made those comments,” she said.

“He’s been encouraging calm, encouraging a peaceful resolution, and I would otherwise point you to the Ukrainians on the meaning of the language used, but I think the context here of what effort he was undergoing is an incredibly important part.”

Whether Deshchitsa truly succeeded in his aims of quelling the crowd is questionable – the video shows his words being immediately picked up and turned into a football chant by the delighted mob, as the somewhat mortified diplomat looks on.

And while the Russian embassy did not get torched, one international incident was replaced with another after an official press release from Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, in which anti-Kiev militias in eastern Ukraine were described as “sub-human” separatists.

“I think the Prime Minister behavior and his leadership has been consistently in support of a peaceful resolution,” Psaki said, refusing to answer whether she felt okay with the Ukrainian official using the Nazi-like word “subhuman” to describe the Russians.

Much more here.

Moscow is not amused.

But that’s not all…

ITAR-TASS: Andrii Deshchytsia dismissed as Ukraine’s acting foreign minister
Poroshenko wants to appoint Deshchytsia Ukraine’s ambassador abroad!

 

Is William Gladstone a model for the Republican Party?

by Speranza ( 139 Comments › )
Filed under History, UK at June 5th, 2014 - 8:00 am

It seems that William Ewart Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli (and to a certain extent Lord Salisbury) were constantly replacing each other as Prime Minister in late Victorian Britain. Both were men of great political virtues. Britain’ s mistake was to neglect her army and to give almost all of her attention to her navy. In order to deter aggression you need strong land forces.

by Max Boot

In the Saturday Wall Street Journal, John Micklethwaite and Adrian Wooldridge of the Economist had an article, based on their new book The Fourth Revolution, putting forward William Ewart Gladstone–the Grand Old Man of Victorian politics–as a role model for 21st century Republicans.

Their effort to revive Gladstone’s reputation can only be cheered by anyone interested in 19th century British politics (which I confess is one of my quirkier interests) and the proposals they put forward for improving the effectiveness of government while reducing its cost appear laudable. [.......]As a parliamentary candidate and leader of the Liberal Party, he campaigned against what he saw as the imperialist excesses of the Tories in places such as southern Africa and Afghanistan where, in the First Boer War and the Second Afghan War, respectively, Britain was then suffering embarrassing reverses.

In his campaign Gladstone laid out the principles of what was then known as a Little England policy and today would be called non-interventionism. Among his principles: “1. The first thing is to foster the strength of the Empire by just legislation and economy at home. 2. My second principle of foreign policy is this: peace. 3. In my opinion the third sound principle is this to strive to cultivate and maintain, ay, to the very uttermost, what is called the concert of Europe; to keep the Powers of Europe in union together. 4. My fourth principle is that you should avoid needless and entangling engagements.  [.......] 6. And that sixth (principle) is, that in my opinion foreign policy, subject to all the limitations that I have described, the foreign policy of England should always be inspired by the love of freedom.”

Gladstone was certainly no isolationist. He criticized the Tories for not doing more about the Ottoman Empire’s slaughter of Christians in Bulgaria, and as prime minister he oversaw the virtual annexation of Egypt in 1882.  [......]

No matter how much Disraeli and Gladstone, in particular, were often ranged against each other on matters of policy both domestic and foreign, they shared in the Victorian consensus that Britain needed to keep defense spending low so as not to be a burden on the people’s purses or liberties. Britain spent enough to maintain the world’s largest navy but even its naval hegemony was increasingly challenged by a German naval buildup in the early 20th century. Meanwhile the British army remained tiny, fit only for imperial campaigning.

This was all part of a strategy that today is called “offshore balancing”: British policymakers vowed they could safeguard their interests by controlling the seas without having to intervene in a major land war in Europe. This is the same strategy that many urge on the U.S. today–in fact a strategy that the Obama administration seems to be implementing as we downsize our army to the lowest level since 1940. Yet all it takes is a passing familiarity with British history to see how delusional and self-destructive this policy can be.

The very fact that Britain lacked an army capable of fighting the armies of Europe meant that Britain was unable to deter German aggression in either 1914 or 1939. Indeed the British aversion to land warfare called into doubt its commitments to allies such as Belgium and France and led German militarists to gamble they could overrun Europe without major hindrance from London. In the event, the German calculation was wrong–Britain’s entry into both World War I and World War II was a key obstacle to German designs.  [.......]

Worried about spending too much on defense, the Victorians and their successors spent too little, and wound up having their country and their empire bled dry in conflagrations that might have been avoided if Britain had done more to defend itself and its allies. There is an important lesson here for present-day Republicans who focus only on reducing the size of government. They should not forget that government’s first duty is to defend the country and if it is unable to do that–or even if it is able to do so but only after a long, costly struggle that might have been avoided–then short-term cost savings on defense will prove ephemeral. In the end military weakness is far more costly than military strength. That was a lesson that Gladstone and other Victorian titans ignored and that their would-be successors should heed.

Read the rest – Is Gladstone a model for the GOP?

And Who Is The Defender of Western Civilization?

by coldwarrior ( 216 Comments › )
Filed under Christianity, Open thread, Orthodox Christianity, Politics, Progressives, Religion, Russia at June 4th, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Take your time to answer….

British consulates open doors to same sex marriages in Russia

Gay Britons living in Russia, China and Serbia are now be able get married in the British consulate

Same sex marriages can take place in the British consulates of more than 20 countries where the ceremonies are not legal including Russia, Azerbaijan, Serbia and Hungary.

The Foreign Office has opened the doors of its missions to British nationals and their partners who wish to wed but are unable to under foreign laws.

Chris Bryant, the former Foreign office minister and openly gay Labour MP, said he hoped the move would be “celebrated” in countries like Russia where homosexuals face prejudice and persecution.

In June last year Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, signed into law a bill punishing people for homosexual “propaganda”.

The law imposed fines on those who disseminate information aimed at minors ‘directed and forming non-traditional sexual set-up’, or which may cause a ‘distorted understanding’ that gay and heterosexual relationships are equal.

Activists and celebrities have repeatedly called on Mr Putin to repeal the law but to no avail, while there were also calls to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year.

Mr Bryant said: “Part of the Foreign Office’s job is to export British values abroad. Just as people have been able to perform civil partnerships in countries like Australia, Russia and Iran, so now they can get married.

“Russia is meant to be a signatory top the European Convention of human rights. I hope that when they start seeing gay and lesbian couples getting married in the British consulate in Moscow they will celebrate rather than denigrate and persecute.

“There are many countries in the world where there is prejudice and active persecution against LGBT people. All too often the state and the church is complicit.”

The Foreign Office said that it is offering same-sex marriages in 23 countries where same sex marriage is not legal and “local authorities” have given permission for the ceremonies to be carried out.

Ruth Hunt, acting Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “This is a really positive step forward for same sex couples around the world.

“We look forward to a day when every single country will recognise these relationships in exactly the same way as marriages of heterosexual people.”

However, she pointed out that the marriages are not recognised under foreign law meaning that same-sex couples are denied many of the benefits of marriage.

* Same sex marriages can now take place in the British consulates of Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.

And now, about the Church’s role in Russia, a good read. More defense of the traditional, the conservative, defense of Western Civ, if I may.

The Russian Orthodox Church’s emerging role

The search for an identity that began after the collapse of Communism remains a critical question for Russians. The Orthodox Church is the only institution that unites Russians with their “near abroad” and has survived throughout the country’s long history. Today, the state needs the church much more than vice-versa.

When foreigners convert to Orthodoxy, more often than not it is because they are impressed by the splendour and majesty of Russian liturgy.

They appreciate that strict Orthodox priests do not connive at human weaknesses or play up to the individual, accustomed to indulgence. They are attracted by the centuries-old spiritual tradition, which is inevitably conservative and inflexible but all the stronger for that.

It stands in stark contrast to the “flexibility” of Western Churches adapting to changing circumstances, which in many ways has left them today in a “social ghetto”.

The Russian faith, like the Russian revolution and like life in Russia itself, never condescends to the individual.

In the 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet system, the Russian Church has been rebuilt from ruins inhabited by shuffling old women and somewhat eccentric zealots into the most powerful body on the post-Soviet stage.

No other Russian social institution has experienced such a rising from the ashes. And no other country has seen such an obvious revival of faith as has occurred in Russia…

It is not the Church which has sought union with the state in recent years. Rather it is the state that has been eager to demonstrate its loyalty to the Church – and perhaps to seek its counsel.

It turned out that after the collapse of the Soviet Union only one institution – the Church – had ideas, understanding of what was happening and vision.

Russia is in search of its identity. It needs to re-establish key reference points that were lost in the Soviet period. And the Church, while not calling for the past to be restored, relies on traditional values that underpinned the life of Russian people for centuries, whether they were Christians, Muslims or adherents of other faiths.

When Patriarch Kirill is addressing believers he often uses the concept of Holy Russia. This is not simply a historical reference.

Today the Church is the only thing that binds together the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as a number of other countries, despite their conflicts and squabbles – the only thing that makes them feel they are a single and indissoluble whole, a part of that spiritual and cultural space which is Russian Orthodox civilisation.

The Patriarch’s active stance on the post-Soviet scene is not Great Power nostalgia; it underlines his devotion to the common identity of Orthodoxy, which has no national or state borders…

 

Hating Jews in Sweden

by Speranza ( 114 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-semitism, Bigotry, Christianity, Gaza, Hate Speech, History, Holocaust, IDF, Islam, Islamic Invasion, Israel, Judaism, Leftist-Islamic Alliance, Multiculturalism, Palestinians, Religion, Sweden, World War II at June 3rd, 2014 - 9:00 am

I sure hope that the Swedes are enjoying the graciousness of their new Muslim residents. Raoul Wallenberg certainly would be ashamed about the anti-Semitism affecting his country. All I can say is that the Swedish women should expect (if neighboring Norway is an indication) that rape will skyrocket. Could it be that they are so anti-Semitic over there that they will not recognize that Jews bring nothing but good to any nation that is privileged enough to have them?

by Annika Hemroth-Rothstein

The Jews are a base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth. The Jews are full of the devil’s feces…which they wallow in like swine, their synagogue is an incorrigible whore and an evil slut.

Martin Luther, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” 1543

I know what you are.

He smiled at me, the boy in the brown cargo pants, so sweetly that I was sure I had misheard him. But no. He knew what I was, even before I did, and he wanted me to know. The year was 1994, I was in middle school in a small Swedish town, and my country was experiencing yet another surge in neo-Nazi activity. Maybe it was the economic crisis, maybe it was the weather. Or maybe it was the same forces that had conspired four decades ago to bring my mother to the front of her middle-school class so that her profile could be drawn next to the neighbor boy’s—a lesson for her peers in how to tell a Jew from an Aryan.

“The Swedes are a practical people,” my mother said of the incident. “It didn’t feel like they were hateful. They just…wanted to know what we look like, you know, what features set us apart.”

Why, though? Why did they want to know?

The answer to that question begins with Aaron Isaac, a seal engraver and haberdasher from Germany who arrived in Sweden in 1774 and became the first Jew to settle legally in the country without having to convert to Lutheranism. That was due to King Gustav III, who found the Jews to be an intelligent, industrious people and who thought that allowing entry to a few Jewish tradesmen would help a crumbling Swedish economy. The Swedish people were not as welcoming. Isaac wrote in his memoir that he lived in fear of attack for being a Christ-killer and noted that the forced baptism of Jews was common practice. What’s more, he and his co-religionists were subjected to the judereglemente, a law allowing Jews to settle in three selected Swedish cities as long as they did not marry a non-Jew, lure a Lutheran into the Jewish faith, or work outside the guild system.

By the early 1800s, there were still fewer than 1,000 Jews living in Sweden. The country was suffering from a severe recession and, in a tragic reversal of the king’s plans for economic recovery, the meager Jewish minority absorbed the blame. Swedes accused Jews of coming to the big cities with their mythical fortunes and driving up prices for everyone else.  [.......]

Tomorrow two young Jew-boys will join our class. Please try to be nice to them and do your best to disregard the fact that their forefathers crucified our savior.

-Par Wastberg, a recollection of a teacher’s words on the first day of school in Stockholm, 1888

The Jewish population remained around 3,000 until the late 1800s, when pogroms in Eastern Europe sent waves of immigrants to Sweden. While the earlier settlers had been intellectuals and academics, chosen for specific tasks by the king, the new Jewish immigrants were frequently poor, uneducated, and desperate. A divide opened up within the Jewish population between the old and the new, the self-selected and the fleeing. Many of the new immigrants got by as peddlers. They lived in small shtetls in the south of Sweden, where most spoke only Yiddish. These new arrivals and their alien culture once again unnerved the Swedish majority. Whereas the earlier immigrants had been accused of ruining the country with their wealth, the Eastern European Jews were said to be doing the same through their poverty and unwillingness to assimilate. In 1886, conservative parliamentarian P.E. Lithander called for an alien act in order to protect the Swedish Aryan blood from being dirtied by people with “lesser genetic material.” He succeeded in 1907, when an alien act was established. Many of the earlier Jewish settlers lobbied against further Jewish immigration as well, fearing that persecution would increase as the unassimilated Jewish population grew.

During this period, Swedish foreign policy also took a dangerous turn. Sweden began to distance itself from France, a former ally, and move toward Germany, an emerging superpower. Most Swedes saw Germany as a haven for humanism, academics, and the arts.  It was also, critically, the home of Lutheranism. By strengthening German ties, Swedes hoped to establish a potential sanctuary should turmoil strike an increasingly troubled Europe.

When turmoil came, in the form of World War I, Swedish public opinion lined up squarely behind the Germans. In fact, Swedish history textbooks written at the end of the war cited the Dolchstoßlegende (“stab-in-the-back” myth) as the reason for Germany’s loss. This reading of events, in which German humiliation was blamed largely on unpatriotic Jews, fit naturally into the Swedish storyline about its own troublesome Jewish population. If the Jews of Germany had fooled everyone by pretending to integrate only to stab their host country in the back, might not the Jews of Sweden do the same?

Political shifts were remaking the country in problematic ways. In the years following the Great War, the workers’ movement celebrated many victories in Europe, and Sweden was no exception. The Social Democratic Party, as well as the more radical Marxists, attracted both the masses and the intellectual elite. In 1921, when universal voting rights were established, along with the eight-hour workday, the country welcomed the dawn of this new progressive socialism. With these ideological changes, the Jewish minority came under fresh attack. [........] Between the well-established Lutherans and the rising secular socialists, the Jewish population of Sweden now had enemies on two flanks.

The growing anti-Semitic menace outside Sweden was also now reaching deep into the country. At the international conference in Évian in 1938, Swedish delegate Gosta Engzell expressed concern about the threat of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany that were putting pressure on the Swedish state. Sweden, along with Switzerland—two countries that had long prided themselves on their neutrality—asked the German government to mark the passport of every Jewish citizen so that each could be easily spotted and denied entry. The German government was happy to comply, and on October 5, 1938, all German Jewish passports became invalid. When Jews applied for new passports, each one was marked with a red J on the first page.

[.......]
At the outbreak of World War II, Sweden declared neutrality. But practicality trumped neutrality when it came to the country’s relationship with Germany, and between 1939 and 1943, German–Swedish trade thrived. Sweden was Nazi Germany’s main supplier of iron ore, ball bearings, and timber. From the Germans, Sweden imported coal, chemical products, and essential ordnance for the Swedish army. Swedish relations with the Nazi regime, however, went far beyond trade. The Swedish railway system was used to transport not only goods but also German soldiers, on leave and in action. From 1940 to 1943 these conveyances, commonly known as “German trains,” transported 2.1 million soldiers and more than 100,000 truckloads of war materiel for the German government.

In 1942, a ship containing in excess of 700 Norwegian Jews was headed for concentration camps but capsized off the Swedish coast. The event shook the country and stirred fresh debate. Paul Levine, director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Uppsala University, notes that this overwhelming evidence of the Holocaust’s claiming of Nordic lives compelled Swedes to change their attitude. Before this point, Swedish policy had been influenced by a mix of anti-Semitism and indifference. The Swedish borders, having been closed to Jewish refugees, opened; and in 1943, Sweden released official statements declaring that the country was now willing to take in all Norwegian and Danish Jews.

The “German trains” came to a halt after the battle at Stalingrad in 1943, at which point it became evident that the tide was turning. Swedish military radio, which had been leased for use by the Germans, was now given over to the Allied forces. Additionally, the Swedish military provided the Allies with all information they had gathered about Nazi schemes. Sweden was now, once again, playing for the winning team. It is often said that Sweden’s neutrality kept it intact during the war, but in reality, it was the country’s willingness to circumvent that neutrality that spared it the fate of its European neighbors.

Those of us who are part of my generation were very young when we saw the pictures of the Jewish children in Hitler’s concentration camps, and we felt pained when we realized the atrocities being done against them. Now we feel the same pain, seeing the Palestinian children of Lebanon that are being persecuted in the exact same way. But this time it is Israel who is the persecutor.

—Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, 1982

Sweden had come through the war relatively unscathed and even heroic in its own eyes. Stories abounded of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s valiant rescue of thousands of Jews and Count Folke Bernadotte’s “white buses” full of liberated concentration-camp victims. For decades after the war, the country thrived economically and the Swedish left carried out various social reforms, creating the welfare state that is still in place today. The new level of Swedish comfort at home included its Jews. The Jewish population settled into a quiet but successful life, and their number jumped to 15,000 in 1968, when 3,000 Polish Jews came to Sweden fleeing pogroms.

Swedish suspicion of the Jew, however, wasn’t dead; in the wake of the Holocaust, it had merely gone to ground. Following the Six-Day War, anti-Semitism returned in raw form. The Swedish press depicted Israel as a power-hungry aggressor, and the left-leaning media used classic anti-Semitic imagery to indict all Jews. In 1969, Olof Palme, a charismatic and well-spoken Social Democrat, became prime minister. Palme was not only fiercely anti-American and anti-capitalist; he also believed in a Swedish alliance with the Palestine Liberation Organization and was a personal friend of Yasir Arafat’s, whom he invited to Sweden on official visits.  [......] Palme ensured that the PLO received generous Swedish aid; this tradition remains intact today, as Sweden gives the Palestinian Authority an annual 100 million dollars.

In 1986, Olof Palme was shot to death in central Stockholm. After the assassination, the prominent Swedish politician Per Gahrton went on the talk show “Radio Islam” and expressed his suspicion that the Mossad was behind the deed. “Individual murders,” he noted, “are part of the Zionist strategy.”

We know that Israel has a great need for organs, that there is a vast and illegal trade of organs which has been running for many years now, that the authorities are aware of it and that doctors in managing positions at the big hospitals participate, as well as civil servants at various levels. We also know that young Palestinian men disappeared, that they were brought back after five days, at night, under tremendous secrecy, stitched back together after having been cut from abdomen to chin.

[......]

Donald Bostrom, Swedish journalist, in the national newspaper Aftonbladet, 2009

 In Sweden, anti-Semitism preceded the Jews by hundreds of years; once the first Jew settled here, he was already familiar as the unclean, impure, and ungodly murderer of Christ. The popular story concerning the Jews has remained unchanged, even if the tellers of the tale have varied. They used to be clergymen and peasants, but today they are politicians and intellectuals with an influence easily rivaling that of their anti-Semitic forebears. So when a Swedish journalist wrote in the nation’s largest newspaper that IDF soldiers were harvesting organs from Palestinian children, the general public believed him. And even those who didn’t quite accept the tale as fact were undoubtedly struck by an ancient familiarity with its general thrust. In what is now the most secular country in the world it is hard to stir up hatred for the Jewish villain as the killer of God’s son. But the imagery of old is easily recycled, and Christ has become the Palestinian child, slaughtered by the chosen people.

Furthermore, recent demographic shifts are making Sweden’s population especially receptive to such tales. Between 1948 and 2003, 458,880 individuals were granted asylum in Sweden. As a function of generous laws regarding familial immigration, the country has seen a change in its basic demographic composition. According to the Swedish national bureau of statistics, 103,059 people immigrated to Sweden in 2012, and the four most common countries of origin were Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria. Today, there are an estimated 400,000 Muslims in Sweden, a country with a total population of 9 million. Sweden’s Jewish population still stands at 15,000. When members of the Muslim community express hatred toward Jews, physically and verbally, it’s labeled as an isolated incident fueled by the “Middle East conflict.” This is a conflict, moreover, about which Swedish public opinion is thoroughly resolved. A Transatlantic Trends poll from 2012 shows that 68 percent of Swedes have a “very negative” view of Israel. This is the highest negative rating of the Jewish state among the 12 polled countries in the European Union.

In places such as Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, the situation has become acute. Following an explosion in hate crimes against Jews in early 2011, Malmo’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, said that the city would never accept either anti-Semitism “or Zionism,” and warned that the “Israel Lobby” should not attempt to silence him from speaking out against the crimes committed by the Jewish state. The mayor went so far as to say that Jews should distance themselves from Israel in order to stay safe and that one should show understanding toward the mobs of Arabs who were attacking Jews in retaliation for Israeli terror.

Between 2010 and 2011, Shneur Kesselman, the city’s Orthodox rabbi, reported experiencing more than 50 anti-Semitic attacks. Malmö officials sat on their hands. Eventually the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a warning to Jews traveling to Malmo and President Barack Obama sent Hannah Rosenthal, special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, to talk with Malmö’s mayor. The mayor’s response: “Mr. Obama did not send Miss Rosenthal here to reprimand me, and I am not an anti-Semite. These things are being said about me to deflect from the 45-year illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the wars in Gaza.”  [........]

Once, when Ariel Sharon was celebrating his birthday, he ordered Israeli soldiers to slaughter some Palestinian children and drain their blood. He wanted to use their blood to make blood pudding, to serve at his birthday party. He has been in a coma since 2006, God is fair! Our parents told this story and we tell it to our children. He was called Dracula after this event.

Aisar Alshawabkeh, a spokesperson for one of Sweden’s largest mosques, January 10, 2014, at the time of Ariel Sharon’s death

As my mother told me, the Swedes are a practical people. In the 17th century, they brought in Jews to help where they were needed. During World War II, the Swedish government played the odds and won, twice. Sweden sent countless men, women, and children to certain death before finding it wise to switch teams.  [........]

In the wake of recent damning international reports on the state of Swedish Jewry, a befuddled Swedish society is asking itself how things got to this point. The truth is, this is how it has been from the start. The overtly anti-Semitic words of Martin Luther are rarely used these days, but the sentiment has never really vanished. My mother stood in front of her class in 1950 and had her features drawn, highlighting the flaws of the degenerate Jewish gene pool. In 1994, neo-Nazis told me that I should be turned into a lampshade, like my relatives. In 2012, an Arab man on a train harassed my kippah-wearing six-year-old son and me, while onlookers stayed silent. That same year, my eldest son was told he couldn’t choose Israel for his social-studies democracy project because Israel was not a democratic country. [.......]

Now a self-proclaimed liberal haven, Sweden has trusted time to heal the wounds of a sullied past. But time heals nothing, and the past is well and truly present—every time I go to pray behind the iron gates of my synagogue.

Read the rest – Hating Jews in Sweden

Spain’s King Juan Carlos I abdicates

by Rodan ( 8 Comments › )
Filed under Europe, Headlines, Spain at June 2nd, 2014 - 9:09 am

King Juan Carlos I of Spain has abdicated his throne and handed it over to his son Felipe.

Madrid, Spain (CNN) — After nearly 40 years on the throne, King Juan Carlos I of Spain said Monday that he will be stepping down.

It is “time to hand over to a new generation — younger, with a lot of energy — that can, with determination, take on and carry out the changes that the current situation demands, and to face with intensity and determination the challenges of tomorrow,” he said in a televised statement, according to a CNN translation.

“The long, deep economic crisis we are going through has left a lot of scars socially, but it has also pointed toward a future of hope,” he said.

Crown Prince Felipe, 46, will succeed his father. The king said he decided it was “time to prepare and pave way so that he who is in better conditions can continue.”

Felipe is “stable” and has “the maturity, the preparation, and the sense of responsibility necessary” to serve as king and “to lead to a new stage of hope using his experience and the drive of a new generation,” Juan Carlos added.

Although the King of Spain is a ceremonial post, its a good thing when a person decides they are no longer capable of fulfilling their job. This marks the end of an era as Juan Carlos helped lead Spain from Franco’s dictatorship to the Democracy it is today. If only the Spanish would leave the Marxist European Union and pursue their destiny as an ancient and sovereign people.

 

Habsburg nostalgia

by Rodan ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Balkans, Europe, History at May 30th, 2014 - 7:00 am

AustriaHungary

This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War I. This conflict has disastrous consequences for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the war, the Habsburg domains were divided up into independent nations. Now some people in these successor nations have nostalgia for the former ruling family.

But now, a disastrous century on from these seismic events, some in the former Habsburg lands are having second thoughts about the hasty disposal of the dual monarchy. A certain lingering nostalgia has begun creeping into Central Europe, where the greatest tragedies of a post-empire world unfolded. Among academics, it has become fashionable to argue the virtues of the strange, incoherent Habsburg state — to claim that, rather than being seen as backward and oppressive, Habsburg rule should be interpreted as an early model of how to run a modern, multinational body politic, one that even contains lessons for today’s European Union. Amid arguments about Scottish, Catalan, and Walloon autonomy and so on, others are looking to the Habsburgs — who would have viewed these independence movements as one among many “routine crises” to be dealt with through bribes and arrests — for insight.

Meanwhile, many citizens of the Habsburg successor states recall the monarchy with rose-tinted fondness. The dynasty’s sacred sites, such as Franz Joseph’s palaces in Vienna and Franz Ferdinand’s castle at Konopiste in the Czech Republic, swarm with visitors in pursuit of a more graceful and leisured time, with all of them happily oblivious to how few of them would have been allowed anywhere near these places when they had been up and running, and how genuinely stuffy, pampered, and peculiar the Habsburgs really were.

[...]

Of course, this is not something felt across all their former empire — but even those in many Slavic areas, while raised to despise the Habsburgs, are crushed with nostalgia for a patently better time. And in modern Hungary you see the distinctive shape of the old pre-1918 map on everything from walls to bumper stickers, reminding modern Hungarians in potentially dangerous ways of the many regions once under their rule. This nostalgia is particularly poignant now in western Ukraine (the former Habsburg province of Galicia), where old Habsburg towns such as Lviv are frantic to associate themselves with the West: Historically themed cafes play up their Austrian roots and decorate their walls with portraits of Emperor Franz Joseph.

Of course, it is not surprising that the Habsburgs should now have reputations that show a few green shoots. The world they ruled over was an incomparably better one than that which emerged from the 1914-1918 disaster.

The past always looks better when its more distant.

We’re All Racists Now!

by coldwarrior ( 43 Comments › )
Filed under Bigotry, Economy, government, Islam, Open thread, Politics, Progressives, Racism, UK at May 29th, 2014 - 5:00 pm

It was, after all, just a matter of time!

RAAAAACIST!

 

Are we all racist now?

As a survey of British social attitudes reveals a shocking upturn in prejudice, Allison Pearson argues that the political elite’s desire to advance multiculturalism with mass immigration has backfired

With impeccable timing, the children chose Mother’s Day lunch to tell their grandmother she was racist. And what vile abuse had my poor mother bandied about? She had asked her grandson if his choir sang Negro spirituals.

“Raaaa-cisst,” chorused my junior Thought Police with more than a hint of witchfinder glee.

“I’m not racist,” said my mother, clearly shocked. “What did I say that was racist?”

“You’re not allowed to call them Negro spirituals any more,” my Daughter informed her.

“What do you call them, then?” asked Grandma.

“African-American spirituals,” announced Daughter, a creature of such impeccable liberal certitude that she makes Nick Clegg look like Oswald Mosley.

“People of Colour spirituals,” hazarded the Boy. He obviously didn’t have a clue, but was enjoying his generation’s favourite baiting game: More Politically Correct Than Thou.

“Grandma is not racist,” said Himself. “Heinrich Himmler is a racist. Grandma, not so much.”

“Who’s Henry Himmer?” asked the Boy.

“Heinrich HIMMLER,” said Himself, “was a foul, Jew-exterminating, Nazi fiend whom your grandmother’s parents and their whole generation fought a world war to defeat in order that she could sit here 70 years later and be called racist by her sanctimonious and ungrateful grandchildren. Anyone for crumble?”

When my mum had gone for a nap, I explained to the kids that racism was not as black and white as they seemed to think. During their grandmother’s lifetime, the UK had seen vast social changes. Certain words once in common usage were now regarded as toxic, and rightly so. I blenched to think that, as a child myself, I went down the “Paki” shop to get some Blackjacks (inky toffees in a wrapper decorated with the faces of, then unremarkable, golliwogs). Miss Leyshon, my lovely primary school teacher, taught us to count with the help of three toys, Teddy, Dolly and Golly. In 2014, she would be considered guilty of inciting racial hatred.

I told the kids that, over the past 15 years, my mother’s town in South Wales had seen a huge influx of Eastern Europeans. It was possible for Grandma and her friends to note that the character of their birthplace had changed, and express some unease about it, but also for them to enthuse about their excellent Romanian dentist. Tolerance was not a one-way street. Tolerance meant treating elderly people who used outdated language with understanding, not finger-pointing and yelling “Raaa-cisst!” Real racism – the ugly, frightening, visceral kind – would flourish if people’s tolerance was taken for granted, and their communities changed too fast without any regard for the consequences.

That was two months ago, and I wish I were more surprised to learn that a new British Social Attitudes survey has found that more than a third of Britons admit they are racially prejudiced. Prejudice fell to an all-time low in 2001, but the latest figures show that the problem has returned to the level of 30 years ago. More than 90 per cent of those who say they are racist want to see immigration halted. More interestingly, 72 per cent of those who do not consider themselves racist also want to see immigration cut drastically.

As shell-shocked politicians from the main parties struggle to discern the causes of Ukip’s deafening electoral success, here’s a tip: look in the mirror, chaps! It is politicians, not the British people, who are to blame for a resurgence in racism; politicians who have ignored public opinion and created the conditions in which resentments fester and grow. Specifically, though not exclusively, it is New Labour who welcomed workers from the new, accession countries of the EU at a time when countries such as France and Germany wisely exercised their right to keep them out for another seven years. According to Jack Straw, this was a “spectacular” error. And Jack should know, because he was Home Secretary at the time. The plan of Tony Blair’s government, as laid bare by Andrew Neather, then a Blair speechwriter, was to banish that old, hideously white, retrograde England and usher in a new, vibrant, multicultural country which, rather conveniently, would vote Labour. Mr Blair now works in international conflict resolution, having stored up enough conflict in his homeland to keep future generations busy for centuries.

You bigoted xenophobic nazis can read the rest here.

Spain, Basketball, and old fashioned Jew hatred; and Auschwitz commander’s grandson visits israel

by Speranza ( 159 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-semitism, Germany, Hate Speech, History, Holocaust, Israel, Judaism, Spain at May 28th, 2014 - 10:40 am

He makes an excellent  point, the vast majority of Spaniards (outside of the tourist industry) have never really met any Jews.

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Spain has recently attempted to woo back the descendants of Jews who were expelled from the country in 1492. The offer of citizenship to those Sephardi Jews who can’t trace their ancestry back to the exile from the Iberian peninsula is primarily motivated by a desire to attract both capital and tourism to a country that is in dire economic straits. But if any Jews are tempted to take Madrid up on its offer, and apparently some may be, they should take into consideration the fact that Spain ranked third in the list of most anti-Semitic countries in Europe in the survey of international opinion published last week by the Anti-Defamation League.

Anyone who doubted the accuracy or the methods employed by the ADL in compiling its poll, especially with regard to Spain, ought to have second thoughts today.  [........]But the rash of anti-Semitic statements, especially on Twitter, in reaction to the victory of the Israeli squad shouldn’t be dismissed as only the sour reaction of supporters of a losing sports team. That the outcome of a basketball game would lead so many to resort to anti-Semitic language is not an accident or people just blowing off steam. The willingness to invoke traditional stereotypes of Jew-hatred as well as echoes of the Holocaust under these circumstances illustrates not only how deeply entrenched such attitudes are in European culture but the way Israel has become a stand-in for traditional anti-Semitism.

The fact that so many Spaniards adopt anti-Semitic attitudes is remarkable not only because of their nation’s desire to attract Jews and to honor the lost heritage of the Jewish communities that were destroyed by the expulsion and the Inquisition. It must be understood that most Spaniards have had little or no contact with Jews. Yet many Spaniards seem to have retained the remnants of the vicious anti-Semitic attitudes that led to the expulsion even all these centuries later. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s late father wrote in his definitive history of the Inquisition, the persecution of the many Jews who converted and remained in Spain after 1492 was not so much a function of religious prejudice as it was a form of racism that would lay the foundation for future European horrors.

Just as important, this latest outbreak is a reminder that for many Europeans, expressing prejudice against Israel, even in the crudest manner possible that invokes memories of the Holocaust, has become legitimized by the campaign of demonization of the Jewish state that has been conducted by intellectuals and other elites.  [......]

While I doubt that efforts by Spanish Jews to sue those who insulted them and Israel on Twitter will do much good, they deserve credit for not taking this hate lying down.  [......] Anti-Semitism, including its anti-Zionist variety, is not really about anything the Jews do but the function of the sick minds of the anti-Semites. But in Europe today, it is becoming all too typical for any event involving Israel, be it good or bad, to serve as an excuse for hate.

Read the rest - Spain, Basketball, and Jew hatred

I read where Adolf Eichmann’s son is a hardcore Nazi.

by Lazar Berman

Rudolf Hoess oversaw the deaths of almost 1 million Jews as the commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp.

He likely never would have imagined that someday his grandson would be in the Jewish state, enjoying the Tel Aviv waterfront.

 But Rainer Hoess, 48, is in Israel, and seems to be enjoying his trip.

[......]

Hoess, who discovered his family history when he was 12 years old, has dedicated himself to fighting the rise of neo-Nazi movements in Europe and last week launched an informational campaign ahead of the EU elections, which kick off Thursday.

“Right-wing extremists are not stupid,” he said. “They are growing, gaining ground, very slowly but very effectively.

“I’m very aggressive against them,” added Hoess, who has turned down multiple offers to participate in neo-Nazi events.

[......]

Entitled “Never Forget. To Vote,” the campaign launched by the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) ahead of the May 22-25 vote sees the ballot box as the best defense against resurgent far-right extremism.

“To have Rainer at the front of this initiative is a way to show that he can never forget and we should never either,” SSU head Gabriel Wikstroem said.

Despite the disapproval of other family members, who preferred to bury their past, he has spent more than 20 years researching his background and the Nazi movement.

Hoess, who wears a Star of David around his neck, devoted the last four years to educating schoolchildren about the dangers of right-wing extremism.

What began when his children’s teachers asked him to share his story with pupils at their school has now become a full-time job that saw him visit more than 70 schools in Germany last year alone.

His aunt Brigitte, one of Rudolf Hoess’s five children, chose the opposite path.

Only last year, at the age of 80 and dying of cancer, she chose to share her story with The Washington Post, on condition that her married name and any details hinting at her identity be kept hidden.

Through his own research, Hoess has met many Holocaust survivors, even traveling to Israel to take part in a documentary — a delicate undertaking, he admits.

“It was a little bit tricky, as the grandchild of a mass murderer, to go to Israel.”

Rainer Hoess was a central figure in the 2011 documentary “Hitler’s Children,” which examines how descendants of key Nazi figures cope with the burden of their families’ actions.

One million Jews were killed at Auschwitz from 1940 to 1945 along with more than 100,000 non-Jewish Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals and anti-Nazi partisans before the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945.

Rudolf Hoess experimented with different methods of mass killing, eventually settling on the use of the pesticide Zyklon B to gas his victims.

Read the rest – Auschwitz commander’s grandson visits Israel

 

John Kerry insults France, UK, Canada, Israel in one speech

by Speranza ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under Canada, France, Headlines, Islamists, Israel, John Kerry, Syria, UK at May 26th, 2014 - 7:36 am

This clown came very close to being president in 2004.

by Daniel Greenfield

The State Department repeatedly refused to name Boko Haram a terrorist organization, urged the government to pursue appeasement policies and even threatened the Nigerian government for daring to fight them.

Now Kerry is beating his sunken chest while insulting a whole bunch of other countries.

The United States is alone in helping Nigeria locate more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamists, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday, despite help on the ground from Britain, France and Israel

“Boko Haram, Nigeria, only the United States is there offering the assistance to help find those young women,” Kerry said during a dinner at the State Department.

“Other countries not only aren’t they invited, but they didn’t even offer. That’s a difference, and I think it’s a difference worth dwelling on.”

However the United States is joined in Nigeria by Britain, France and Israel, which have sent their own experts. China, which saw 10 citizens likely abducted by Boko Haram in a region bordering Cameroon, has also proposed to help.

Also Canada appears to have sent some support.

The Canadian government announced more than two weeks ago that it was sending surveillance equipment and personnel to Nigeria to help search for the schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram extremists. It later emerged that Canada was also sending special forces’ soldiers as further support.

Then in a stunning betrayal, Kerry lashed out at his own homeland.

In his speech, Kerry also lashed out at France, whose Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has expressed regret that the United States did not attack Syria a year ago amid spiraling violence in the conflict there.

“People are angry because we did not strike Syria at one instance but guess what: Today, 92 percent of all the chemical weapons in Syria are out and being destroyed and the other eight percent will get out,” a visibly angry Kerry said, without mentioning France specifically.

“That never would have occurred otherwise.”

It hasn’t occurred anyway. Anyone who thinks that Syria has given up the majority of its chemical weapons is… well John Kerry.

The UK is not exactly thrilled with the snub. The French enjoy diplomatic fights with the US. And the Israelis couldn’t possibly hate Kerry anymore. But there is something strange about Kerry using a State Department dinner to demonstrate the opposite of diplomacy.

It’s the kind of thing Democrats expected from Bush.