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The Iconoclast

Sunday, 20 July 2014
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And its leaders hide in hotels abroad or underground in Gaza. Ahd Hamas is "Shiite." [It receives rockets and money from Iran]

Don't let Hamas drag Egypt into war, Salafist cleric Talaat Zahran says. Israel can be wiped out at a later date. On that task, Muslims must take a rain check.

Here.

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Posted on 07/20/2014 8:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
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Editor's Note:

 

Nidra Poller is a  Paris-based  frequent contributor to the New English Review. She is the author of Al Dura: Long Range Ballistic Myth, a collection of her articles about l'affaire Al Dura that occurred in Gaza in September 2000 with the faked death of 12 year olf Mohammed Dura  allegedly by the IDF in Gaza.  The circumstances  were not resolved until 2013 with a definative  investigation of all forensic information by the State of Israel. The controversy has roiled France and Western media for more than 14 years.  Litigation Is  pending appeals in French courts involing  France 2  TV  news channel and the producer of the 55 second film footage, M. Charles Enderlin..  Given the turmoil in Paris triggered by the IDF Operation Protective Edge against the onslaught of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, Poller is sending perioridc despatches presenting her coverage of protests and attacks on Jewish institutions and synagogues in Paris and elsewhere in France. This first one chronicles the July 13th and 19th  Pro-Hamas violent protest rallies in Paris, the latter occurred  despite a ban by the French Minister of the Interior. 

Paris Pro –Hamas  Protest Banned?

 July 19, 2014

Source: Francois Guillot/AFP

Gaza-Israel Dateline Paris:  Despatch No. 1

by Nidra Poller

20 July 2014

Lethal Narratives

Many of you are drowning in floods of information, can’t keep up with your email correspondence, don’t have time to read the best compilations let alone the middling ones, not even time for the “must reads” sent by trusted sources… But I encourage you to buy and read my book, Al Dura: Long Range Ballistic Myth. It sheds original light on events that are turning our world upside down, with the Middle East as the pivot. While Israeli civilians run for the bunkers to escape the murderous intentions of Hamas rockets and Israeli soldiers confront Hamas mujahidin on their own territory in the confines of the Gaza Strip, “international opinion” has mobilized for another round of lethal narrative warfare. On the third day of an all-out Hamas offensive against Israeli civilians, the lethal narrative kicked in. Today it has reached the height of frenzy. And Western media have gone berserk, in step with the raging crowd.

Metula News Agency [Cessez-le-feu humanitaire (info # 022007/14) ] reports today that several journalists that wanted to leave Gaza were blocked at the Erez Crossing by Hamas operatives. Why? Might they fear that once outside Gaza, journalists would report the truth about what is happening there? Western media fervently defends the fighting forces of a jihad movement that would just as easily behead them as enslave them, but would never allow them to report freely as they are doing today. Even though they abuse that freedom, they enjoy it.

The question is not “why do they act against their own interests”? It’s like asking a gun why it shoots bullets at this or that target. A gun is a weapon in the hands of a gunman. The media, academia, international organizations, charities…the list is endless of entities and institutions that have become weapons of 21st century jihad conquest. Israel, a democratic nation, is the target of an all-out genocidal assault from the Hamas branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and one week after it mobilizes in self-defense, Kill-the-Jews stampedes are on the march worldwide, and the facts have disappeared from mass media. We are assailed by something that is not reportage. It is not biased, one-sided, twisted; it is non-existent, and it fills the eyes and ears for hours on end. It’s not news, not journalism, it’s lethal narrative. A weapon. And it works.

Kill-the-Jews stampede in Paris on July 13, 2014

My brief article published in Tablet http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/179169/anti-israel-protestors-attack-paris-synagogues was based on information available at the time. When the July 14th holiday weekend ended I started to receive eyewitness accounts from Web sites, Jewish radio, and my own sources. It became apparent that the original Agence France Presse release, used by outlets worldwide, was concocted in lethal narrative format. Now we have videos of the “demonstration” from start to middle to semi-finish at Place de la Bastille that reveal its true nature. It was not a peaceful gathering slightly tarnished by a few rowdies at the last minute. [annotated links to videos below] Distinguished members of the Jewish community who were in the synagogue, including the Chief Rabbi of France, testified to the violence of the attempted intrusion. A [bad] translation of a text by a member of the congregation is posted on Tablet.

Interviewed on radio Communauté Juive, a peace & love novelist, Valerie Zeccati, eloquently described the mobs that fanned out from the Bastille into the nearby Marais: they were filled with murderous rage, they wanted to kill, they were thrilled by their own blood lust, the masses of demonstrators applauded them as they ran screaming, “We’re going to smash the Jews!” The “imam” on the sound truck declared “No provocation, and segued to a resounding allahou akhbar followed by other blood lust cries.

A widely circulated video shows the young men who were in fact protecting the synagogue from the mob that was trying to break in. I haven’t been able to find out who shot the film, but it is emblematic of the vision of the Hamas attack on Israel: the attackers have been edited out, making the Jews look like the aggressors. And that’s the purpose of the film.

One of the organizers of that stampede (they called it a demonstration) ingenuously explains that the contingent that went up rue de la Roquette [in fact they ran, screaming their heads off] were just on their way to a métro station. A member of a Jewish pro-Palestinian [and now pro-Hamas] organization claims the roughnecks from the Jewish Defense League started the fight. Four of them sitting on a bench somewhere along the route insulted the demonstrators and threw things at them. She doesn’t explain how they lured the mob of hundreds all the way up rue de la Roquette to the synagogue, 400 meters from the Place de la Bastille. Or why, once they got there, the mob decided to attack the synagogue instead of taking the métro.

These apologists have a lot of explaining to do. Why did the mob first try to break into the synagogues on Rue des Tournelles and Place des Vosges. They couldn’t get in because there were enough riot police there to stop them. How about the horde that chased a young couple walking their four month-old son in his stroller. They had to run for their lives. The harrowing tale is posted on the Metula News Agency Facebook page. Did the over-enthusiastic “pro-Palestinians” mistake them for Jewish Defense League adversaries?

The bobo weekly Nouvel Observateur ratcheted up and hammered out the revisionist version that, when you think of it, undermines the Agence France Presse whitewash. Yes, there was violence, but it was all the fault of the Jews. Subsequently in a France 24 debate a German freelancer with a steely smile took a ride with the revisionist version: not only are the Israelis merciless in Gaza, the Jews are persecuting pro-Palestinians in Paris.

Subsequent developments here in France should put that story out of commission. First, the government is not fooled by media tricks this time around. Particularly Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who until recently was Minister of the Interior. He knows what kind of volcano is boiling up in France, and what kind of people are behind these so-called pro-Palestinian demonstrations. His successor, Bernard Cazeneuve announced that local préfets [police commissioners]will deny permits to demonstrations that are likely to disturb the peace.

The demonstration scheduled for Saturday July 19th was banned. Unless I am mistaken, France is the only country that took this step. The organizers appealed, their appeal was rejected. So what did they do? Stay home and write op-eds? Send pizzas to the harassed citizens of Gaza? No, they proudly and publicly declared that they would demonstrate anyway. Loudly proclaiming their democratic right to march, they trampled on the duty incumbent on law-abiding citizens.

This time the stampede didn’t get far past its starting point in Barbès. Riot police hemmed them in [they are complaining about police brutality]. They weren’t rounded up and sent to jail for breaking the law. So they showed their appreciation by going wild, tearing up the asphalt and throwing chunks at the police; injuring 15. They set fire to cars, garbage cans, wooden pallets, and Israeli flags, smashed whatever was in reach, wreaked havoc for hours on end. And there were no Jewish Defense League boys to blame it on. An informative article in Le Point describes the assault on the Lariboisoière Hospital. The security guards were outnumbered [disproportionate force?], ran for cover. An elderly man shouted at the mob, “Are you crazy, that’s a hospital.” “It’s a Zionist hospital,” they shouted. But didn’t burn it down…this time around.

Today, they did a repeat performance in Sarcelles, known as little Jerusalem because a large contingent of the Sephardic Jews chased from the Maghreb settled there in public housing. For which they were grateful. From which many moved on to successful careers. And those who still live in neat and clean Sarcelles are constantly harassed by their Muslim neighbors in Gonesse. Many Jewish men have been attacked at the train station that serves the side by side communities.

Again, riot police were locked in battle for five hours while residents hunkered down in their homes.

How is the government going to deal with this flagrant and ever more violent disrespect? What will be the consequences for the  New Anti-Capitalist Party, the NPA, the extreme radical far left anti-capitalist party that got about 1% of the vote in the last municipal elections, and suddenly appears as an organizer of these stampedes? In 2005 the insurrection was almost exclusively confined to the banlieues, on the other side of the péripherique [ring road]. This time it penetrates to the center of Paris and it is fired with murderous hatred of Jews. Many who fled the Maghreb say it reminds them of those times. Some observers are saying this looks like the early stages of “pogroms” but I think the appropriate term would be “farhud.” [“ violent dispossession” in Arabic, a reference  to the 1941 Nazi–inspired jihad pogrom in Baghdad].

Links

Jewish men defend the synagogue on rue de la Roquette

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FoFkF-Or6w

la Bastille, pro-Hamas marchers harass riot police

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geye3CS3e0A

Le Nouvel Obs spins a blame the Jews tale for the battle at Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/faits-divers/20140715.OBS3748/synagogue-de-la-rue-de-la-roquette-ce-qu-il-s-est-vraiment-passe.html?xtor=RSS-17

Huffington Post (France) report on the July 13th demonstration http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2014/07/14/israel-palestine-manifestation-gaza-paris_n_5583340.html?utm_hp_ref=france

Report on the battle at Barbès

 http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/manifestation-pro-palestinienne-scenes-de-guerre-a-barbes-20-07-2014-1847574_23.php

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Posted on 07/20/2014 5:46 PM by Nidra Poller
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
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Published in the July issue.

Dear Mr. Brook:

Recently, I read with great interest the article “Bearing witness: A controversial 1963 trip to Birmingham by 19 rabbis,”(Southern Jewish Life, Friday, May 3, 2013, http://www.sjlmag.com/2013/05/bearing-witness-controversial-1963-trip.html.) 

I was one of the 19 rabbis. In the article, I was described as “the apparent leader” and “stubborn to the extent of being offensive. He talked down to us and challenged us and indicated that they came to make a change, with or without us.” A half a century later, I am embarrassed to read this description precisely because it is an accurate description of my initial reaction to Birmingham’s Jewish leadership at the time.

My personal journey to Birmingham began in Berlin the week of Sunday, August 13, 1961, the week of the border closing between East and West Germany. I came to Berlin from Holland on Tuesday, August 15, 1961, as the guest of the Bundespresseamt, the Press and Information Office of the West German Federal Republic, and remained in Berlin for several days. In the very tense, near-wartime atmosphere of divided Berlin, I made several visits to East Berlin where I found the East German Volkspolizei genuinely frightening. While in Berlin, I interviewed a number of German political and religious leaders and was present when Willy Brandt, then Mayor of West Berlin, addressed a crowd that may have numbered as many as 250,000). I attach two photos taken in Berlin at the time. As is evident from the photos, the people at that gathering were fearful that it could all end in a nuclear apocalypse. I also attach several photos taken during our visit to Birmingham. (see the photos here)

In May 1963, I mistakenly saw the troubled city of Birmingham as not unlike troubled Berlin. I also saw the Alabama State Highway Patrol and Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor as American counterparts of the East German Volkspolizei. When I preached, as our group’s representative, at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, I likened Birmingham to East Berlin. That sermon may have been oratorically effective but it was politically inaccurate and, I believe, hurtful. Birmingham was not East Berlin, although I believe it could have become somewhat like it had the civil rights movement been defeated.

I had mixed motives for coming to Birmingham. I was genuinely convinced that segregation had to end and that Dr. Martin Luther King deserved my support, but I was also a writer who wanted a story. I had learned a great deal about contemporary Germany by being on the spot in a crisis area. I thought nineteen rabbis coming to Birmingham would make a good story.

As noted above, my initial response to Rabbi Grafman and the leaders of Birmingham’s Jewish community bordered on arrogance. In addition to rabbinic ordination, at the time, I was a recently-minted Harvard PhD with a Master of Theology degree from the Harvard Divinity School. I mistakenly thought I knew more than the local leadership. In reality, the local Jewish leadership understood the situation far better than we. Moreover, we were entering a potentially dangerous situation with no strategic plan. I was deeply shocked recently to learn from the Southern Jewish Life article cited above that the A. G. Gaston Motel, the black motel where we lodged, was destroyed by a bomb on May 11, two days after our departure. I was 39 at the time. I am now 90. I shudder to think of what might have happened to me and my young children had we been in the motel when the bomb exploded.

Truth to tell, we were acting on impulse and out of ignorance. Had we contacted Rabbi Grafman and the local leadership, I have no doubt that they would have told us not to come. That was a message we didn’t want to hear from the men and women who had to live with and manage a complex and inflammatory situation on a daily basis.

In the Southern Jewish Life article, I am also described as apologizing when I gave a lecture in Birmingham in 1973. That is correct, but I knew almost immediately that, although when we returned home many regarded us as heroes, the real heroes were the local Jewish leadership and I said as much less than three weeks later in an article, “The Rabbis Visit Birmingham,” (The Reconstructionist, May 31, 1963), I wrote:  “Without revealing confidential information, I can honestly write that the leadership of the Jewish community proceeded to act with great dignity and in a way that no Jew could be ashamed of.” (p. 7)

I would like to conclude on a romantic note. As a result of going to Birmingham, I met my bride of 46 years, Dr. Betty Rogers Rubenstein, a Smith College graduate and an art historian, who passed away in 2013. I was at the University of Chicago for a conference the weekend of November 10, 1963.  Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf invited me to come to suburban Winnetka for a benefit for CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, Sunday afternoon, November 12, 1963. When I arrived, I was asked to speak about my visit to Birmingham and Dr. Martin Luther King the previous May. Betty was the hostess and the benefit was at her home. Both she and I had recently been divorced. My talk disappointed some of the audience because I spoke of the complexities of the situation, but not Betty. She later told me that, as I spoke, she said to herself, “That’s the man for me!” She had been to Albany, Georgia in August 1962 with a group of Black and white clergy from the greater Chicago area. Dr. King had met with them and she saw the same complexities as did I. She also wrote about her experience in The Reconstructionist, (“Notes from the American Revolution-1962”).

After my talk, Rabbi Wolf invited us to dinner. Betty and I talked for hours. I was smitten. Three years later we were married. Had I not gone to Birmingham, there was almost no chance that Betty and I, living respectively in Winnetka and Pittsburgh, would ever have met.

 

(Rabbi) Richard L. Rubenstein, STM, PhD
Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion Emeritus
Florida State University
President Emeritus
University of Bridgeport
 
Distinguished Research Professor of Religion
College of Public and International Affairs
University of Bridgeport
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Posted on 07/20/2014 3:43 PM by Richard L. Rubenstein
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
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The assumptions and presumptions of the BBC are worth reviewing in the light of their selective reporting on the Hamas attacks from Gaza.

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Posted on 07/20/2014 2:34 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
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Gaza-Israel: it doesn’t add up

Paris 16 July 2014 (anniversary of the rafle du Vel d’Hiv)

[My English version of an article I originally wrote in French]

Nidra Poller

Israel, they say, harumph, has the right to defend itself, but…  But not entirely. Both sides are asked to act with restraint. Not exactly both. Because the conflict is lopsided: 37 then 58, 102, and now more than 200 Palestinians killed. The vast majority, according to Palestinian sources, are civilians. Women, children and the elderly, to say nothing of the thousands of wounded. On the other side, zilch. That’s it, the stage is set, the lethal narrative has wheels and it’s going to be fueled daily, automatically, unapologetically.

How might Hamas act with restraint? Its goal is to kill all the Jews and occupy all the territory from the Jordan to the sea. Whereas the Israelis want zero dead, zero wounded, and the pursuit of a productive life in an intact nation.  So what would restraint amount to? Hamas would kill half the Jewish Israelis? There is no justification for this cooking-the-books vision of a confrontation with worldwide ramifications: The frontier between civilization and savagery runs along the Gaza-Israel border.

The Israeli army could crush Hamas in the space of 24 hours, simply by disregarding the fate of civilians caught in the interstices of a war machine built instead of a decent place for living creatures. Israel doesn’t use its power that way.

If the heroic Iron Dome were struck with a malediction and all eight batteries suddenly went dead, if ever Hamas got the upper hand, the rockets launched from Gaza could quickly balance the books. Would that be okay? 200 victims on each side. A draw? The competing teams shake hands and go home happy to have played a good game? No. Hamas would pursue its genocidal enterprise without the slightest restraint. What would they say then? The president of the United States, his secretary of state, European leaders, the General Secretary of the United Nations, journalists and readers eager to comment on the “conflict.”  If ever Israel became weak like the helpless people of Iraq or Nigeria, what would public opinion say? Sorry, guys. It turns out you should have hit the enemy with all your might. Contemporary public opinion has taken a strong stand on that old-fashioned genocide, the Shoah. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out: it was a terrible tragedy that is sincerely regretted Or almost.

Thirty-seven killed on the Palestinian side in the first days of the operation and nothing on the opposite team, how dare they? Genocide, dixit Mahmoud Abbas. From then on, every day has its lot of tribulations, the toll is rung up at the end of each newscast on channels all over the world, the proportion of civilians increases from many, to more than half, to almost all.  Where do these figures come from? Palestinian sources. Who can verify them? Don’t bother. Every confrontation involving Israel uses the same accounting methods. A man who launches a rocket--from someone’s patio-- aimed at civilians in Israel becomes, if hit by the counter-attack, a civilian. While all Israelis, all Jews, including the three students assassinated in June, are soldiers.

Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it’s a jihad fighting force. It has the same Islamic faith and ideology, the same slogans, banners, uniforms, and methods as the forces that occupy a large swath of Syria and Iraq where they have laid the foundations of the caliphate that must spread over the whole earth. The fact that Hamas is in murderous rivalry with other jihad factions doesn’t make a nick in their common trunk. All of them--Al Shabab, Boko Haram, ISIS, Jabhat Al Nosra, diverse and varied Salafists, Wahabis, Muslim Brotherhood, and down to the so-called lone wolves-- are manifestations of one and the same force that is exploding in the face of the world today. The parents of hundreds of young women kidnapped three months ago in Chibouk weep; Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Pakistani Christians tremble; Egyptian Muslims revolted and the Kurds of Kirkuk proudly defend their land against mujahidin determined to impose submission. Like Hamas in Gaza, like Hamas against Israel. Like the jihadis that laid siege to the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue on rue de la Roquette in Paris on the 13th of July.

There too, restraint on both sides? The locals shouted loud and clear, like the Hamas they support: Kill the Jews! Should the president of the synagogue have let them in to discuss the terms of a ceasefire? Or were the Beitar, Jewish Defense League and unaffiliated braves justified in fighting with all their might against those Sunday jihadis until riot police, empowered by la République, finally arrived? Their aim was zero dead on the Jewish side.

Since the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 a total of 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel. These rockets are eminently concrete. They have to be manufactured or smuggled in. They use raw materials and financial resources, take up space, require mobile or stationary launching pads  installed in schools and private homes, hidden in underground tunnels. It’s an elaborate enterprise, freely chosen. Our [French] foreign affairs minister pleads for an immediate ceasefire. Our president reminds us that France always seeks compromise, mutual understanding, peace. [The mayor of Bordeaux] Alain Juppé asks what is the use of “brutal repression [by Israel].” And Hamas demands, the last we heard, draconian conditions: unfettered opening of border crossings into Israel and Egypt, release of all the prisoners set free in the exchange deal for Gilad Shalit and re-arrested during the search for the three kidnapped students…. Once the fire has ceased Hamas will certainly demand abundant fruits of their jihadish victory such as reparations, condemnation… Ah, I almost forgot… and the end of the Occupation, from Eilat to the Golan.

In other words, as a reward for having shot more than 1000 rockets at Israel this week, Hamas insists on a return to the status quo ante that will give it a chance to replenish and improve its stock of arms in view of the next round and so on and so forth until the final victory.

Who could satisfy these demands? The international community, my friend! Composed, on the one hand, of Hamas’ Islamic brothers and paymasters and, on the other, of those who, after Israel, as well as Israel, are in the crosshairs of Hamas or its comrades in arms, or its more jihadist, more powerful, even more brutal rivals, any or all of the above fighting under the black banner of jihad, shouting slit the throats of the Jewsslaughter the kuffarsallahou akhbar.

It is obscene to say “Israel has the right to defend itself, but…”  That’s not a right, it’s a permission. No one has the right to grant it, refuse it, or limit it.

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Posted on 07/20/2014 2:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 20 July 2014