Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Closed-door decision an obvious political stunt
The decision by Sweden to hold the Davis Cup tie with Israel (next weekend) in Malmo, a city with a supercharged political atmosphere, was unfortunate, if understandable. What is not comprehensible is why the Swedish Tennis Federation or the International Tennis Federation (of which Sweden is a member) hasn't stepped in to act on two important fronts as this tie approaches:
1. To diffuse the developing situation by moving the tie to a less dangerous location in Sweden -- or elsewhere.
2. To ensure the safety of the players and protect the integrity of Davis Cup.
Here's the problem: Malmo has a significant Muslim population and a left-leaning civic leadership that is angry at Israel. Therefore, they've decided to hold the tie behind closed doors -- meaning, no spectators allowed -- under the laughable claim that they can't provide adequate security. Get this: The tie will be played in the easily controlled, indoor environment of the Baltic Hall, which has a capacity (4,077) smaller than that of some junior college gyms.
There can be only one reason for how this has come about: The town fathers in Malmo, and perhaps the leadership of the Swedish federation itself, desperately wants this tie to be controversial -- wants to see it played behind closed doors, in order to somehow suggest that Israel is a pariah nation -- thereby advancing anti-Israel sentiment.
Malmo is bracing for an influx of demonstrators against Israel, which also plays right into the hands of those who wish to embarrass Israel. What could be better, in terms of advancing the agenda, than having streets full of demonstrators and a visiting nation that can't be allowed to show its flag? This is a crude and astonishing example of using the Davis Cup as a political football.
You have to be pretty naïve to deny that it's impossible to keep tennis and politics entirely apart. But you must try, and this is a case of everyone sitting on their hands as a huge storm gathers. The other day, U.S. Davis Cup captain Pat McEnroe was asked about this controversy, and this is part of what he said:
"I think you would like to see the match being played, and if there are some security concerns, you would like to see the home country be able to address them. I don't think you should let a couple fanatics or whatever it is dictate having an event open to the public.
"We should all remember Davis Cup came into existence to promote friendship between countries. That's what it's all about. Obviously competition is huge, but at the end of the day, you respect your opponent and you respect playing for your own country and the countries you compete against. We've always tried … to accentuate that this is two countries playing in the right spirit. That's, to me, what Davis Cup is all about."
By allowing this tie to become so heavily and transparently politicized, the Swedish federation has lost its right to promote and stage it. The ITF must intervene, immediately, to threaten Sweden with suspension from Davis Cup if it doesn't either move the tie or open the doors of the Baltic Hall to the public (and provide adequate security). Better yet, the ITF should take the tie from the Swedes and stage it itself, perhaps at a neutral site or in Israel.
We're on the verge of witnessing one of the most outrageous and transparent political stunts in the history of tennis, and no matter how you feel about the tensions and events in the Middle East, allowing the Davis Cup to be used to advance such an obvious agenda is a dereliction of duty.
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 13:01
- posted by Joella
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 11:45
I read this article a few days ago, which says the same as you sent. The article reads that the Danish Jews no longer feel safe in Denmark especially due to the conflict in Gaza. two Israelis were shoot at in Odense.
A center that registre race discrimination has registred more people coming to them already now in 2009 than they had in all 2008.
One feels threathned because of their religion, one does not use symbols as soon as he leaves his home. People spit, throw stones and shout at you.
Benjamin works with young people, he hides his religion when he is working because he works with muslim children. When they bully each other, it is with words like :"you are like a Jew","die like a Jew","be killed like a Jew". When he hears that every day, he does not want to tell he is a Jew.
Another Jew, David, has decided to move to Israel, since he was attacked, because he wearing Magen David. But because of threaths and attacks, he takes the consequences and will move to Israel - it will be easier to live like a Jew there.
This was my, very roughly translation of the article (and I did not have a dictionary, so it is probably not correct ;o))
But it is awfull the way things have turned. I am ashamed that people react this way. I was very"happy" during the war in Gaza, that the Danish Government supported Israel even though the public opinion was more or less opposite.
I remember Herbert Pundik (the farther of Ron Pundak) said: The Jews have, through history, been victimized, when things went wrong. This history have followed every Jew through the times. When the state of Israel became a reality, for the first time in almost 2000 years, the Jews were able to defend themselves. This right the Jews will never give up - that's why they fight fiercily for her.
Then I thank G-d for the state of Israel, when the rest of the world apparently does not do to great a job. Today, in Denmark, there will be a demonstration against neo nazism, for that I am greatfull. But when it comes to some of the muslims living in Denmark, there is a big problem. They are creating a problem with the Danish Jews. And the Danes are not doing much about it. I do not know what is worst...
But I guess now is the time when all of us react!!!
Hope you enjoy your vacation. I also wish for a place with summerly weather, in stead of winter, snow and minus 10 degrees Celcius as we experience today in Denmark.
Take care, and say hello to your family
Med venlig hilsen
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 15:39
The precipitous rise in Anti-Semitism has been expected. That does not mean it is any less troubling. Denis MacShane, MP, a former Minister for Europe and the author of Globalising Hatred: the New Anti-Semitism reports:
The periodic crises that have shaken world capitalism in the century and a half since Marx wrote Das Kapital are marked by a common political phenomenon. It is the rise of political anti-Semitism. Attacks on Jews and Jewishness constitute the canary in the coal mine that tells us something is going seriously wrong.
Last month a 32-year-old IT worker, Michael Booksatz, was beaten up in the streets of north London by two hooded men shouting about Palestinians. Jewish students at the London School of Economics - home to many brilliant Jews who fled Hitler's Germany - are now frightened by anti-Jewish abuse from Islamist students. Graffiti such as “Kill the Jews” or “Jihad 4 Israel” appear close to synagogues in London.
The Metropolitan Police report four times as many anti-Jewish incidents in recent weeks as Islamaphobic events. The respected Community Security Trust, which records anti-Jewish attacks with scrupulous rigour, reports as many attacks on Jews - verbal, vandalism and some violent - in the first weeks of 2009 as in the first six months of last year.
As the world enters a new era of crisis, anti-Semitism is back. History, as ever, begins to repeat itself. The slumps and stock market fever expressed in Zola's novel, L'Argent, or the populist anger against Wall Street at the end of the 19th century gave rise to the virulent anti-Semitic politics witnessed in France in connection with the Dreyfus case or the takeover of Vienna by openly anti-Semitic politicians. The Great Depression gave rise to the worst expressions of anti-Semitism ever seen, namely the politics that led to the Holocaust. But even in Britain the Duke of Wellington of the time was leader of a secret anti-Jewish organisation which had the initials PJ - Perish Judah - on its letterhead.
The economic crises of the 1970s led to a marked increase in the vote for the National Front in Britain and the openly anti-Semitic BNP, its successor extreme party, is doing very well in local elections - below the radar of the national opinion polls.
The distress and upset over the terrible pictures of children killed in Israel's attacks on Hamas in Gaza have allowed anti-Israeli feelings to be more violently and vehemently expressed than ever before. Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. But all anti-Semites hate the existence of a Jewish state and hiding behind code words such as anti-Zionism increases the density and viciousness of their anti-Jewish utterances.
In Italy, the streets of Milan are daubed with slogans urging Italians not to buy goods at Jewish shops - an echo of the Nazi slogan “Kauft Nicht Bei Juden”. In Germany, radio phone-ins are full of accusations that the bankers accused of being responsible for the current economic crisis are Jews. In anti-Israel demonstrations in Berlin, placards stating “It was a good idea to use gas” or “I'm anti-Semitic and that's a good thing” were carried. Thus every Jew is made to feel as if they do not fully belong in the countries where they were born or the societies that they participate in.
Terrible massacres of Muslims have taken place in different parts of the world so far this century, from Kashmir to Gujarat. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Nato soldiers are accused of brutality but the men with the most blood on their hands of fellow Muslims have been Islamist ideologues. Yet there is no outrage against the perpetrators of those attacks compared with the onslaught on Israel and on Jews.
Is it unreasonable to argue that the reason that there is worldwide anger against Israel but not against other regimes or religions that carry out massacres of Muslims is because the Israelis are Jews? Has legitimate criticism and anger against Israel allowed Jew hate to become almost acceptable politics again? Add to this a world economic crisis in which it is so easy to point at the names of the swindlers and banksters that happen to be Jewish, and a new perfect storm of anti-Semitism begins to take shape.
Today in London a conference of parliamentarians from different legislatures in Europe and around the world will gather to discuss what can be done. Michael Gove, for the Conservatives, will join Labour Cabinet ministers Hazel Blears and Jim Murphy in saying it is time for the Parliaments of the democractic world to take action against anti-Semitism - especially Islamist attacks against young Jewish students on university campuses.
The Pope embraces a Holocaust-denying Winchester and Cambridge-educated bishop; slogans such as “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” are chanted in Amsterdam;
Jews are again made to feel they are not full citizens of the countries of their birth because they refuse to support the right of Hamas and Hezbollah to use terror attacks against Israeli civilians. The canary in the coal mine seems in danger of its life once again.
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 13:06
I guess I have trouble going cold turkey. In a monrning which brought news about an Iraqi Woman set up rapes to recruit her martyrs , I had to post this note and link of the video posted below I got from a concerned Muslim friend:
I know this guy, a very nice mild manner young man. He is NOT exaggerating...nothing he is saying is wrong, it is not that they hate us, it is that they are so arrogant that they will never entertain the idea that others have the right to exist. I've seen in a"whyislam" meeting (whyislam.org) an American flag with Allahu Akbar written in Arabic in the middle; it was for"our eyes" only and at the semi annual training session on how to knock other faiths and spread Islam, which have been taking place in several states for about 10 years.
I obtained the ability to go in and get the names, addresses and notes of all callers and all volunteers, gave them to the feds, all thousands of names many who are now teaching a very violent form (yes, the converts) but they can't do anything about it... profiling... CAIR is at the white house, Obama's Muslim contact, buddy is a known terrorist...if Americans do not realize that the Anti Israel is not about Palestine, they couldn't care less, it's about using the anti Semitism and milking it as much as they can. These are people who believe, eat, drink worship the conspiracy theory, WHY? because it is how they think, therefore they assume others do the same...A thief trusts no one, while an honest person trust everyone...you judge others by who and what you are.
Americans need to wake up...Muslims who ran away from Shariah laws and it's claws know how harsh it is and need to wake up as well. How many of us want to live with the Taliban and believe me, this is what they intend to do...after all, western women are whores therefore, they must be treated very harshly so they won't go astray...I've been to these meetings...how can we tell the world, how can we tell the government that this damn sensitivity is being used by the most hateful, vindictive, cunning nation on the fact of the earth just to step on us???
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 12:31
WALLACE: Is the February 16 deadline firm?
OBAMA: Yes, because nobody disagrees with the idea that, if we keep on putting this off, that we're going to end up seeing more months with half a million people losing their jobs each month. We can't afford to wait.
In other words, if we do not permit the new president to borrow an additional Billion dollars China, Russia, Arab oil producers seem anxious to lend us to spend as he wishes by February 16, we are doomed.
If you ask me, we, and not only our children and grandchildren, are doomed if we do. For the bill in the form of inflation and high interest rates will come due much sooner than 25 years.
Who gets it? Those so called"stupid" American people who are paying their debts and saving every penny they can. Already, the country's saving rate went up from 1% to 3.5%.
We shall save the republic yet.
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 13:40
Let me come clean. After years of blogging, I am burned out. So, I am taking the rest of the winter off to recharge the batteries. Unless something extraordinary happens, I will be back on March 21st.
Posted on Monday, February 2, 2009 - 16:00
Out-Takes of Alarabiya-TV Reporter Hannan al-Masri Learning of a Hamas Missile being Fired from the Ground Floor of the Building housing the Alarabiya Studio
How to make a Hamas Hero? It is extremely well done - you may be especially interested in the description of the difference between man and woman that can be found on 1:32 into the film.
Posted on Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 16:37