Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday roundup

This is interesting and shows a difference between the Israeli and Egyptian presses.
An Egyptian friend of mine posted a Ha’aretz article on his Facebook profile, in which the headline reads, “Two Egyptian children among 4 wounded in IAF strike near Gaza.”

Naturally, this outraged him - but not for the reason you might think. Of course, my friend was probably angry that some of his fellow countrymen were injured as a result of an errant Israeli air strike. Still, his immediate reaction was otherwise: “And in our Egyptian TV they said it never happened!!” he wrote. Indeed, he wondered, how could the Egyptian press deny an Israeli military accident that even the Israeli press said took place?
It's an interesting phenomenon but also reinforces the point that Hosni Mubarak 's Egypt always bets on the winning horse.

And they claim that Israel won't let Israeli Arabs or other minorities serve in the IDF? See here:
A Nazareth sheikh has issued a fatwa banning prayer at mosques for the souls of Israeli Arab soldiers killed in the line of duty in Israeli military operations in Gaza.

The fatwa also bans the soldiers from being buried in Muslim cemeteries.
Over the last few years, there are those commentators out there that claim that anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism. Then, there are those out there that say that they are the same. I'm one of those that is on the border between the two. Anyway, here's an article in The Australian written by Frank Furedi:
HAVE always criticised the tendency of some Zionist commentators to dismiss all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic.

Such a defensive knee-jerk reaction simply avoids confronting the issues and undermines the possibility of dialogue.

However, in recent years, especially since the eruption of the latest conflict in Gaza last month, anti-Israeli sentiments often mutate into anti-Jewish ones. Recent events indicate that in Europe the traditional distinction between anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish feelings has become confusing and blurred.[...]

Increasingly, protesters are targeting Jews for being Jews. The demand to boycott Israeli goods in practice often means a call to boycott Jewish shops. That's what George Galloway, British MP for the Respect Party, meant when he called on people to "shut down Israel's shops." In his language, that's another way of saying Jewish-owned businesses. Galloway's Italian mates don't share his linguistic subtlety. In Italy, the trade union FLAICA-CUB's spokesman Giancarlo Desiderati has called for a boycott of Jewish businesses in Rome. A leaflet issued by this outfit informed Romans that goods they purchase in Jewish-owned shops "are tainted by blood."

European anti-Semitism is not simply a rhetorical act confined to a minority of Islamists or pro-Palestinian protesters. In Britain, Jewish schoolchildren have been castigated for belonging to a people with "blood on their hands." Their elders sometimes encounter intimidation and regularly report having to face verbal abuse.

What's truly disturbing about this development is the reluctance of European society to acknowledge and confront acts of anti-Semitism. Take the riots that broke out in Paris on the evening of January 3. If you relied on the European media, you would not have realised that groups of youngsters were shouting "Death to the Jews" while throwing stones at the police.

Probably the saddest example of this accommodation with anti-Semitism comes from Denmark. Historically, Denmark is one of the most enlightened societies in Europe. During World War II, it stood out as the one country were Nazis could find virtually no one who would collaborate with their anti-Jewish policies. That is why it is so sad to discover that a number of Danish school administrators have recommended that Jewish children should not enrol in their schools.[...]

The most worrying development in Europe is not the visible signs of radical Muslim and far-Right vitriol directed at Jews but the new culture of accommodation.

What has emerged is a slightly embarrassed "see nothing, hear nothing" attitude that shows far too much understanding towards manifestations of anti-Semitism.
Hamas reportedly will agree to terms of a cease-fire but is doing so with reservations.

There were more rockets fired from the Lebanon border.

Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg offer their take.

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