Israel’s Netanyahu attacks Jewish Museum Berlin

This December 2016 video is called Daniel Libeskind‘s Jewish Museum – Berlin.

By Sybille Fuchs in Germany:

Israeli premier demands German government stop funding Jewish Museum Berlin

27 December 2018

The Israeli government is continuing its ferocious campaign of censorship and repression aimed at anyone who dares criticise its policies.

At a German-Israeli government consultation meeting in early October, ultra-right Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany with a letter calling on her government to stop financial support for the Jewish Museum Berlin. The museum was accused of “anti-Israel activities” because it had sought, among various other activities, to engage in dialogue with Muslims and other religious communities.

The Jewish Museum, opened in 2001 and housed in a spectacular building designed by Jewish Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind, documents the centuries of Jewish culture in Germany that the Nazis tried to wipe out. It also organises eyewitness talks with Holocaust survivors, awards prizes for tolerance and civil courage, and seeks to instil a comprehension of the consequences of anti-Semitism and the crimes of the Nazis in its many visitors and countless school classes. It is one of the most popular museums in the German capital and throughout Germany. By the end of 2016 the museum had attracted nearly 11 million visitors.

Netanyahu’s letter states: “The Jewish Museum in Berlin, which is not affiliated to the Jewish community, often hosts events and discussions with prominent BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel until it meets its ‘obligations under international law’] representatives.” In addition, the museum has been staging an exhibition entitled “Welcome to Jerusalem,” which, according to the Israeli government letter, focuses on “the Palestinian narrative.”

Welcome to Jerusalem at the Jewish Museum Berlin (Photo- Yves Sucksdorff)

In addition to the Jewish Museum, the letter attacks about a dozen other organisations and institutions that criticise the policies of the Netanyahu government, reject the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, promote dialogue between Jews and Palestinians, or merely provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians. It calls on the German government to stop providing financial support for these allegedly “anti-Israeli organisations”.

They include non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and initiatives such as the German Protestant churches’ “Bread for the World” and the Catholic Church’s “Misereor” aid agency. “Bread for the World” is accused of promoting initiatives such as the “Coalition of Women for Peace”, … and supporting B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation that seeks to “end the Israeli occupation”. Misereor is accused of supporting “Breaking the Silence”, a coalition of former soldiers who criticise the violation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

The Berlin Film Festival and the Left Party’s Rosa Luxemburg Foundation are also accused of “anti-Jewish activities”. The document goes on to condemn the magazine +972 published by the Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation for allegedly opposing Israeli interests, citing writers for the magazine who have “regularly” accused Israel of apartheid. Also listed in the letter are funding programs of the German Foreign Office and Ministry of Development.

The letter calls for the federal government to “review its funding guidelines.” The “German support of NGOs that interfere in the internal affairs of Israel or promote anti-Israel activities”, is unique. “We call upon the German government to tie its financial support to a complete halt to such activities.”

The 7-page letter to the German Chancellery and Development Ministry was made public earlier this month, and various media outlets reported on it. The source of the letter, however, was not initially clear, because it contained neither a sender nor a signature. It has only now emerged that it was personally handed over by Netanyahu.

As has been the case in earlier campaigns against opponents of Israeli occupation policy, the letter seeks to connect the organisations mentioned with the BDS movement and denounces them as “anti-Semitic.” For example, the Berlin Film Festival is accused of “regularly hosting BDS activists as guests.”

Opposition to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is not anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the Netanyahu government in its struggle against the Palestinian population and the Israeli working class that relies on extreme right-wing forces—entirely in the tradition of anti-Semitism.

The WSWS recently published a comment noting that Israel has become a site of pilgrimage for far-right politicians from around the world. This is so obvious that some Israeli media have referred to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a “washing machine” where right-wing extremists can cleanse themselves of charges of anti-Semitism. Ultra right-wing politicians who have recently received a red carpet welcome at the memorial include Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and his Austrian colleague Sebastian Kurz.

… They [European far right] would like to emulate “the passage last July of the [Israeli] so-called ‘National State Law’, enshrining Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the state….with their own xenophobic and racialist laws.”

This affinity between the extreme right and Netanyahu’s government has been underlined by the reaction to the Israeli letter. It has been enthusiastically greeted by the xenophobic, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which sits in the German parliament.

In a guest commentary for the national-conservative Israeli media network Arutz Sheva, Petr Bystron, the AfD’s chairman in the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, warned against anti-Israeli lobby groups that had allegedly infiltrated senior German government circles. They were spreading one-sided reports of human rights abuses, according to Bystron, to slander Israel as “racist” and as an “apartheid state”.

Bystron claimed the AfD was the only party in Germany that opposed the supposed importation of anti-Semitism and Islamist terrorism via uncontrolled mass immigration from the Middle East. In addition, the AfD planned, he claimed, to expose the flow of money from Berlin and Brussels to the well-connected “anti-Israel” lobby.

In fact, the very same Bystron recently took part in a trip to South Africa to participate in exercises carried out by the “Suidlanders”, a right-wing, white “survivalist” group preparing for a “race war” against the country’s majority black population. One can easily anticipate that Bystron and AfD party leader Alexander Gauland may also soon be on the Yad Vashem invitation list.

Netanyahu’s attempt to squeeze off funding for the Jewish Museum plays into the hands of the far right in Germany. Memorials and museums recalling the Holocaust and Nazi crimes have always been a thorn in the side of right-wing extremists. Now the Israeli government is attacking an institution that seeks to educate millions about these crimes.

Netanyahu’s Embrace of Ethno-nationalists Endangers Jews in Europe. Israel’s right-wing is seduced by European nationalists’ warmth toward the Jewish state, and their hostility toward Islam. But an illiberal Europe intolerant of minorities and pluralism is a disaster for Jews. By Giorgio Gomel.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls upon fellow American Jewish organizations to join it in condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s embrace of the extremist right-wing political party Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”). The leaders of Otzma Yehudit have publicly endorsed the racist ideology of Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach movement was outlawed by Israel, the United States, the European Union and Canada as a terror organization. American Jewish leaders must not stay silent as Netanyahu not only endorses such a party as legitimate, but also works to bolster its political fortunes: here.

According to Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised top positions in the next government to Jewish Home leaders if they merged with the small extremist party Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power,” which is led by three prominent Kahanists: here.

What Happens Now For Netanyahu After Indictment Announcement?. By Allison Kaplan Sommer, February 28, 2019.

NETANYAHU APPEARS TO SUFFER SETBACK Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell short of securing a parliamentary majority with his religious and nationalist allies in national elections, setting the stage for a period of coalition negotiations that could threaten his political future and clear the way for him to be tried on corruption charges. [AP]

NETANYAHU INDICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES Israel’s attorney general indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, including bribery, breach of trust and fraud. This heightens uncertainty over who will ultimately lead a country mired in political chaos after two inconclusive elections this year. [Reuters]

Israelis protest against Netanyahu’s corruption

This video says about itself:

20,000 join Tel Aviv ‘March of Shame’ to protest bill aimed at protecting Netanyahu

2 December 2017

Thousands of people, outraged at a new bill that would spare the Israeli PM from public outcry linked to two corruption probes, swarmed into downtown Tel Aviv on Saturday in a protest that became the largest since the launch of the investigation.


Some 20,000 turn out in Tel Aviv for anti-corruption ‘march of shame’. Hundreds more rally against Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Haifa over graft probes, slam police recommendations bill critics say is meant to shield PM: here.

See also here.

ISRAELI MPs passed a Bill yesterday that aims to shield Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from corruption allegations: here.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under fire after salacious strip club audio recording was released of his son talking prostitutes and the business deals of his father.

ISRAELI POLICE RECOMMEND PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU BE INDICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES Netanyahu said that he would continue to lead and the charges would “end with nothing.” [HuffPost]

Israeli cops grill Netanyahu in yet another corruption case: here.

Canary Mission, hardline United States pro-Netanyahu activists: here.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu accused of corruption

This video from Israel says about itself:

Netanyahu Questioned For Fourth Time in Corruption Case

6 March 2017

Police have said that the Israeli Prime Minister is “likely to be indicted.”

ISRAELI CORRUPTION PROBES INTO PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ARE HEATING UP “Several criminal investigations involving Netanyahu that have simmered for months have taken major turns in recent days. Israeli police on Thursday confirmed Netanyahu is a suspect in two cases involving fraud and corruption. One day later, authorities said the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, had turned state’s witness.” [HuffPost]

See also here.

Netanyahu exculpates Hitler from shoah, helps neo-nazis

This 2014 video is called The Path to Nazi Genocide.

Another video used to say about itself:

Hitler predicts annihilation of Jews if war occurs, 1-30-1939

Video translation quote: ” … if international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe again succeed in plunging the nations into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and with it the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”

Bibi Netanyahu, right-wing prime minister of Israel, has cruelly insulted the survivors of Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust in Israel and elsewhere.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Netanyahu accuses former Palestinian leader of Holocaust

Today, 14:12

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said a Palestinian Muslim leader was behind the Holocaust. According to him, the Palestinian Haj Amin al-Husseini persuaded Hitler to murder Jews rather than banish them.

The accusation was part of a speech by the Prime Minister at the Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. …

“Hitler before the meeting only wanted to ban the Jews. Al-Husseini then went to Hitler and said: “If you banish them, then they will all come to Palestine.”

According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked the Palestinian what he should do with the Jews. “Burn them,” al-Husseini supposedly said.


Saying this has caused the Israeli Prime Minister to get a lot of criticism. His accusation is said to help Holocaust deniers, because it did not highlight the role of Hitler in the Holocaust enough.

Alas, every Holocaust denier will now be quoting Netanyahu from here to eternity.

Stacy Herbert on Twitter

The opposition leader in the Israeli parliament dissociates himself from what his prime minister said. “It’s a sad day in our history when the leader of the Israeli government hates his neighbour so much that he is prepared to absolve one of the largest ever criminals, Adolf Hitler, of the murder of six million Jews.”

The Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon also said that the Prime Minister has got it wrong. “It certainly was not Husseini who invented the idea to kill the Jews en masse. It was the evil wrought Hitler himself.”

It is unclear on what sources Netanyahu based his accusation.

It seems pretty clear to me. Netanyanahu bases this on similar sources to the ones which told Tony Blair to waste British taxpayers’ money on a ‘paranormal’ search for these unfindable ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq. Similar sources to the ones saying that shark cartilage, rhino horn or tiger parts can cure sick humans.

After Moshe Feiglin, a bigwig in Netanyahu’s Likud party, exposed himself as an historical ignoramus by claiming Hitler was not really such a bad guy … now the party leader himself sinks to a new low.

Mass murder of Jews in Europe started months before Hitler met mufti, historians say: here. And here.

From the Jerusalem Post in Israel today:

BERLIN – The German government said on Wednesday that responsibility for the Holocaust lay with the Germans, after Israel’s prime minister sparked controversy before a visit to Berlin by saying a Muslim elder had convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate Jews.

“All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said when asked about Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks.

“This is taught in German schools for good reason, it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own.”

Netanyahu’s Shocking ‘Blame the Mufti, Not Hitler’ Remark Breaks Internet. The prime minister’s controversial Holocaust comments became one of those cases where it was challenging to come up with humor more absurd than the situation itself: here.

Yad Vashem’s Chief Historian on Hitler and the Mufti: Netanyahu Had It All Wrong. There is no evidence that Haj Amin al-Husseini proposed the ‘final solution’ to Hitler, according to Yad Vashem chief historian Dina Porat: here.

It takes a peculiar quality in a politician who claims to speak for all Jews to jump on the “Hitler didn’t order the Holocaust” bandwagon: here.

Just how bad are Netanyahu’s claims about the Holocaust? If he repeated them in Germany he could be arrested. There, anyone who ‘denies or downplays’ the role of Nazism in the Holocaust can face a prison term of up to five years: here.

July 10, 2017. Soros, Bannon, and the anti-Semitism of Israel’s prime minister. Instead of defending George Soros from Hungary’s anti-Semitism, he has taken a page out of the alt-right playbook. His bottom line? Some Jews just aren’t worth protecting: here.

In sign of gently warming ties, Bahraini delegation visits Israel. Members of the ‘This is Bahrain‘ group say they were sent by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa: here.

Hitler-loving New Jersey man wanted for aggravated assault: here.

Netanyahu lets Israeli Holocaust survivors live in poverty

Holocaust survivors in Israel

From Ynetnews in Israel:

Thousands of survivors face poverty despite ‘unprecedented’ plan

Year after NIS billion plan implemented by government, thousands of Holocaust survivors in Israel live in poverty and wait months to receive financial support.

Omri Efraim

04.13.15, 11:59

A day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ynet took a closer look at the status of Holocaust survivors living in Israel and found that, despite government initiatives, Holocaust survivors are living in a state of poverty and neglect.

Take, for example, Yitzhak Liybeh – a 75 year-old from Romania who lost his two brothers during World War II who lives in Jerusalem. Lonely and disabled, Liybeh has no pension (he worked as an independent plumber) and lives off of NIS 2,800 a month which he receives as part of an old-age pension and income support.

Liybeh is forced to sleep on a fold-out bed in a one-bedroom apartment and collects charity “in order to survive and for food and rent.”

Exactly a year ago, a national plan to assist Holocaust survivors was launched with great fanfare. According to the government, the initiative would be an unprecedented investment of NIS one billion a year for five years.

Different sources predicted that, despite the government’s claims, the aid per year would be less. These sources estimated that the increase in assistance would be 700 million shekel a year.

A year later, Ynet has found that the reality for many Holocaust survivors is still dismal after failures in implementation of the government plan.

Conversations with dozens of experts in the field, sources from government offices and Holocaust survivors teach that despite the “historic and unprecedented initiative” and despite improvement that was noted for some survivors, there are still a significant amount of cases of Holocaust survivors who have not seen any improvement.

Many survivors still have appalling living conditions, face poverty, and have difficulty receiving government aid and financial help because of bureaucracy.

A closer look at the cases of thousands of Holocaust survivors shows that the government plan has failed to save tens of thousands of survivors from a life of poverty.

The program sought to mend a historic injustice in which funds that were transferred to the government in Israel’s early years still have not reached survivors.

In some cases, the government plan worsened the situation for Holocaust survivors because of amendments to the legislation that enabled tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors to request additional rights and lengthened waiting times for the recognition of their claims to several months – in part because the government workforce assigned to handle the plan did not grow amidst the growing requests sent its way.

The government plan also led to a stop in dental care that had been previously provided to thousands of survivors by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.

Many Holocaust survivors found that their financial aid decreased by hundreds to thousands of shekels a month after an extra allowance they received from the Finance Ministry resulted in a cut in funding and aid that they or their spouses received from social security. This was also the case for survivors who received supplementary income – as the two governmental bodies were not coordinated.

This was exactly the case for Silvia Simonovich, who will celebrate her 100th birthday in September. During World War II, Simonovich lived in hiding while her husband was sent to forced labor. Social Security decreased her supplementary income after she received a one-time allowance from the Finance Ministry.

Silvia’s daughter Leah says her mother suffers from Osteoporosis that began during World War II. “One arm gives and the other arm takes and in the end you’re left empty handed,” says Leah. “This results in less hours of care as that is how it’s funded.”

An online Internet service created by the government to help survivors determine what benefits they are eligible to receive has misinformed several survivors as it only refers to benefits from the Finance Ministry.

For example, if a survivor signifies that they survived by hiding or with a false identity which put their life at risk, they do not get a recommendation to claim article 2 of the Claims Conference (The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany) which enables them to receive a regular allowance which also include benefits from the Finance Ministry.

Two Arab-Israeli plumbers shocked a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor when their hard work on a major leak added up to an unexpected total of zero. Brothers Simon and Salim Matari made a house call to Haifa resident Rosa Meir, the Times of Israel reported. WHen the plumber brothers learned that she was a survivor, they refused to be paid for their services, estimated at NIS 1,000, or roughly $285: here.

Israel’s Netanyahu’s unholy alliance with European anti-Semites

This video from France says about itself:

Le Pen’s National Front accused of backing Holocaust denier for office in Paris

15 March 2014

France’s far-right National Front party has placed a Holocaust denier on its list of candidates for the municipal elections in Paris. The candidate, Pierre Panet, has said he “shares the analysis” of Roger Garaudy, a convicted Holocaust denier but that he doesn’t elaborate on his views because it is illegal in France.

Not only in the USA are there anti-Semitic preachers like John Hagee who pretend to be friends of Israel. Not only is there anti-Semitic warmonger and phone hacker Rupert Murdoch from Australia, pretending to be a friend of Israel.

There are anti-Semitic European fascists like that as well.

From Newsweek in the USA:

Netanyahu’s Unholy Alliance With Europe’s ‘Anti-Semitic’ Far Right

By Charles Hawley / March 24, 2015 11:32 AM EDT

“Fear has won the election,” wrote the Spanish paper El País last Wednesday after Israeli voters once again made the right-wing Likud the country’s strongest political party. “In Israel, fear is king and the one occupying the throne is called Netanyahu.” Other papers across the continent were equally disheartened. “Netanyahu’s victory pushes a dignified settlement of the Palestinian conflict far into the future,” wrote Le Monde. In Germany, Tagesspiegel wrote: “At the end of the tunnel, only a tunnel can be seen.”

But one growing faction in Europe is welcoming Benjamin Netanyahu and his re-election with open arms. On the ultra-conservative periphery, among the xenophobic, nativist fringe, right-wing populists are unabashedly rejoicing. For them, Europe is engaged in a battle against encroaching Islam – and the hardliner Netanyahu, they believe, is doing yeoman’s work on the front lines. “Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory is a good thing for several reasons,” Geert Wilders, the vociferous anti-Islam incendiary from the Netherlands, said in an emailed statement. “We share his criticism of Iran . . . and his opposition to a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.”

“We are very happy,” agrees Filip Dewinter, a leading member of Belgian right-wing party Vlaams Belang. “It is a good thing for Israel, but also good for right-wing parties in Europe because he understands that the first danger for Europe is Islamisation.” David Lasar, a foreign policy co-ordinator for the Austrian Freedom Party, echoed that sentiment. “For sure, I am very happy,” says Lasar, who has worked hard in recent years to develop ties with staunchly conservative parties overseas. “It is a very important step that Netanyahu has won the election.”

From the perspective of a European chauvinistic periphery that has increasingly been striving for mainstream legitimacy in the recent past, the enthusiasm is understandable. As groups like the Austrian Freedom Party, France’s Front National and the Swedish Democrats have long histories of anti-Semitism, recent years have seen them attempting to refocus their enmity on Islam and Islamists. With that shift has come a recognition that Israeli conservatives, with their rejection of a Palestinian state and hardline approach to Islamism, are their natural allies.

The Likud party has been cautiously returning the admiration. …

Sentiments like that are music to the ears of European right-wing parties. “For me, Netanyahu is quite a positive choice,” says Aymeric Chauprade, a member of European Parliament for Front National. “He is very strong against terror and against Islamists.” Kent Ekeroth, a Swedish parliamentarian with the right-wing Swedish Democrats, agrees: “It is far better that Likud won,” he says. “The Left doesn’t take the security situation seriously and, because of that, they are far more likely to appease the Arabs.”

Ekeroth was careful to insist that he wasn’t speaking on behalf of his party. But his message chimes with the increasing number of right-wing populist pilgrims heading to Israel for talks with West Bank settlers, Likud parliamentarians and other conservative leaders. Ekeroth, Dewinter and Lasar have all made the trip, as have Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and Wilders. Even Front National leader Marine Le Pen, whose father and party founder Jean-Marie was considered vehemently anti-Semitic, has expressed interest in visiting the country. …

The Swedish Democrats and the Austrian Freedom Party have very questionable pasts. They are still perceived as racists and anti-Semitic by many,” says Yehuda Ben-Hur Levy, a visiting fellow at the Centre for European Reform and a long-time observer of the European far Right. “This is to some extent a way to legitimate themselves – saying, ‘If we go to Israel, you can’t really claim that we are anti-Semitic’.”

Thus far, the right wingers’ visits to Israel have not been given the official stamp of approval. While delegates have often been received by parliamentarians acting independently, they have never been received by a Foreign Ministry delegation or given an official government welcome. But there is some hope on the right that Netanyahu’s re-election may change that. “The understanding between right-wing parties and Israel can only get better under Netanyahu,” says Dewinter of Vlaams Belang. The Austrian press even speculated in December that Strache might soon receive an official invitation.

Israeli daily Haaretz wrote about Herr Strache:

The honor of lighting the torch goes to the brightest jewel in this racist crown – Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of Austria’s Freedom Party. If Jorg Haider was “Hitler’s spiritual grandson,” then Strache is his extremely illegitimate great-grandson. His grandfather was in the Waffen-SS, and his father served in the Wehrmacht. As a university student, Strache belonged to an extremist organization from which Jews were banned, hung out with neo-Nazis and participated in paramilitary exercises with them. Commentators in Austria say that Strache is trying to copy Haider but that he is less sophisticated and ultimately more extreme than his role model. (A selection of Strache’s brilliant comments were published in his interview with Haaretz in March.)

The Newsweek article continues:

Such optimism may not be misplaced. Many conservatives in Israel now see the European right wing as being the only reliable partner on a continent where, they say, anti-Semitism has become rooted in the political mainstream. Right-wing parties, says Kleiner of Likud, “are better at recognising the real danger that Europe is facing from the Muslims . . . . They are less naive than the Left.”

Traditionally, Israeli governments (often secular, or at least not fanatically religious) used to define the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a political conflict about land; not as a religious conflict. When a fanatical Islamophobic Australian Christian tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 1969, Israeli police stopped that terrorist. As recently as 2014, Israeli police stopped a Christian fundamentalist terrorist from Texas from blowing up Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. Defining the Israeli-Palestinian issue as political made that conflict difficult to resolve, but not insoluble.

However, defining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a religious conflict, as Netanyahu’s Likud party tends to do, pro-or anti-Islam, leads to a conflict where each side claims to have ‘God on its side’; to an insoluble conflict, where Israeli and Palestinian civilians are doomed to live in permanent war. European fascists, hating both Jews and Arabs, love to see both killing each other endlessly.

Such comments endear Netanyahu to the Right. “I am quite happy,” says Fiorello Provera, a senior member of the Italian right-wing party Lega Nord and a former European parliamentarian. “I think that Netanyahu is the right man for the difficult situation.”

French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen is attempting to win the favor of Israel lobby groups for her far-right Front National party: here.

Netanyahu and anti-Semites: here.

Uri Avnery: The Israeli Salvation Front. The huge and growing gap between the very rich and the very poor, which largely parallels the gap between the ethnic communities, is a disaster for all of us: here.

Growing far-right nationalistic movements are dangerously anti-muslim — and pro-Israel: here.

Israel’s leaders and their right-wing Jewish allies in the United States have no problem stomaching anti-Semitism so long as the anti-Semite supports Zionism: here.

Israelis may not like Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders exactly, but any advancement of anti-Muslim forces in Europe is seen as a good sign: here.

Antisemitism and Support for Israel Are Not Incompatible: here.

Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick has forged a political alliance with neo-Nazi parties that have gained seats in recent elections in Germany and Austria.

I’m A Puerto Rican Jew Being Targeted By [pro-Netanyahu] Canary Mission. This Has To Stop. By Ally Fernandez: here.

Why is Germany’s far-right AfD championing Israel? Here.

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is courting the Baltic states in a bid to change EU policy on Iran, despite Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia’s role in rehabilitating nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators: here.

The two-day visit of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to Israel this week is only the latest episode in the increasingly open alliance between the Zionist state and resurgent forces of the far-right and neo-fascism in Europe and beyond. Salvini, the leader of the anti-immigrant Lega party, has become the dominant figure in Italy’s right-wing coalition government, setting an agenda based on the slogan of “Italians first” and vowing to “cleanse” Italy of undocumented migrants “by force if necessary”: here.

Netanyahu’s expensive tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral was extremely expensive for British taxpayers.

Now, it turns out to have been expensive for Israeli taxpayers as well … while many people in Israel suffer from the Netanyahu administration’s economic policies, and protest against them.

This video from Israel says about itself:

May 12, 2013

Thousands in Tel Aviv protest Lapid budget

Jerusalem Post – ‎3 hours ago‎

Finance Minister comes under heavy criticism for budget; protesters accuse him of betraying middle class who voted him into power. …

Social Justice Protests in Israel Make a Comeback as 10000 Take to the StreetsAlterNet

From the Times of Israel:

Netanyahu slammed for spending $127,000 on bed for flight to London

PM’s sleeping requirement for the five-hour flight he and his wife took to Thatcher’s funeral last month prompts complaints from opposition MK, Movement for the Quality of Government

By Times of Israel staff May 11, 2013, 8:50 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced heavy criticism Saturday after it was revealed he spent $127,000 (over 450,000 shekels) of taxpayers’ money having an El Al plane fitted out with a double-bed in an enclosed bedroom for his five-hour flight to London last month to attend the funeral of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

News of the expense broke Friday, coincidentally just before a renewal of public protests over inequalities in the Israeli economy, with a major demonstration taking place Saturday night in Tel Aviv, and smaller protests in other cities, ahead of the scheduled finalization of the state budget in the next few days. …

The cost of Netanyahu’s April 16-17 flight to and from London was revealed by Channel 10 News. The prime minister is only permitted to use local airlines for his flights, for security reasons, but the demand for a double bed excluded two of the three Israeli airlines — Israir and Arkia — from the contract to arrange the London flight, because their aircraft are not large enough. Their cost for the flight, in which the Netanyahus would have enjoyed business class or first class seats that recline as beds, would have been $300,000, the TV news said. El Al charged $427,000 for the flight because of the additional cost of installing the requested bed in an enclosed bedroom. Thus the requirement cost the taxpayer an additional $127,000.

The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel said Saturday it would ask the State Comptroller to investigate the expense. Labor MK Micky Rosenthal said he would raise it at the Knesset Control Committee.

Channel 10 noted that President Shimon Peres, who is about to turn 90, did not request a bed even on a recent 11-hour flight to Korea, and never does so on flights to Europe. It said prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon also never asked for a bed to be installed on their flights to and from Europe, and that Sharon sometimes chose not to have a bed installed even on transatlantic flights. …

Netanyahu was personally invited to the funeral by the Thatcher family. Peres was also invited, but it was decided after consultations that only Netanyahu would attend.

Israeli budget allocations to defense are set to reach a record-high NIS 59 billion in 2018: here.

Israeli watchdog group Peace Now accused the government on Thursday of taking steps to legalise four unauthorised settlement outposts in the West Bank, just days before US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives on a peace mission.

Israeli elections today

This video from Israel is called Rachel Avnery Memorial Ceremony (English Subtitles).

By Uri Avnery:

Bleak choices facing Israel

Sunday 20 January 2013

Israel will hold elections Tuesday – and it doesn’t look good.

For lack of any debate over the issues the media pundits are reduced to discussing the quality of the election broadcasts. Some are good, some indifferent, some atrocious.

It seems like a contest between spin doctors, copywriters, “strategists” and such, with the public as mere bystanders.

People I meet tell me they don’t know who to vote for – and then ask the question I dread: “Who do you advise me to vote for?”

I have closely followed every one of the 18 Knesset elections held so far except the first, when I was a soldier. In several I was a candidate.

And I can say now that there is an imperative to vote in Israel this year. This is not about “civic duty” or anything vacuous like that. It is a necessity.

A non-vote is a vote for Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies, pure and simple. As it looks now, more than half the members of the 19th Knesset will belong to the extreme right – at least a dozen of them honest-to-goodness fascists.

Not to vote is to abandon parliament to these people. This is especially true of Arab citizens – polls predict almost half of them won’t vote at all.

The reasons are understandable – a protest against the “Jewish” state, against blatant discrimination, despair of Israel’s ability to change.

But abstention is shooting yourself in the foot. The situation is dire now, but it can still become much, much worse. The Supreme Court – which, by comparison with the Knesset, has a tradition of protecting Arab rights – will be cowed into impotence. Discriminatory laws will proliferate – in fact, some on the right are now openly talking of denying Arabs the right to vote. Why grant them their wish voluntarily?

So, vote. But for whom?

My method is to write down all the election lists in a random order, then strike out all those I wouldn’t vote for if my life depended on it. That’s the easy bit.

First, Likud-Beitenu. Likud alone was bad enough. The addition of Avigdor Lieberman‘s Israel-Beteinu makes it even more destructive.

I agree with US President Barack Obama that Netanyahu is leading us to certain disaster. His total rejection of peace, the obsession with illegal settlements on Palestinian land, the deepening occupation – all these are turning Israel into an apartheid state. Already the outgoing Knesset has passed abominable, anti-democratic laws. Now all the “moderate” Likud members have been purged the process will accelerate.

With Lieberman and his acolytes joining Likud the situation becomes more dangerous still. Netanyahu will act even more extremely for fear of losing the leadership to Lieberman, now his number two.

The emergence of Naftali Bennett as the star of the elections makes things even more desperate. It seems a rule of the Israeli right that no-one is so extreme that you can’t find someone worse.

The next group to strike off the list is a religious one. It consists mainly of two parties, the Ashkenazi “Torah Jewry” and the Sephardi Shas.

Both used to be quite moderate in matters of peace and war, but those days are long gone. Generations of a narrowly ethnocentric, xenophobic education have spawned a leadership of nationalist rightists. Bennett too was brought up in this camp.

As if their aggression towards Palestinians was not enough these parties want to impose the Jewish Halacha law, essentially the equivalent to the Muslim Sharia. They oppose almost automatically anything progressive – a written constitution, separation between synagogue and state, civil marriage, same-sex marriage, abortion … off the list.

Then we come to the self-styled “centrist” parties.

The largest is the Labour Party under Shelly Yachimovich, which is polling at around 15 per cent.

I’ve never liked her but that shouldn’t influence my vote. She has taken a moribund party and reinvigorated it.

The trouble is she has also helped to eradicate peace from the national agenda. She has made overtures to the settlers and their allies.

She pays obligatory lip-service to the two-state solution, but has done nothing to further it.

She has promised not to join a Netanyahu-Lieberman government, but experience tells us not to take such pledges too seriously. There’s always a “national emergency” lurking round the corner.

Even if she keeps her word a peace-denier can do a lot of damage from the opposition benches. So Labour’s not for me.

Yachimovich’s main competitor is Tzipi Livni. On the face of it she’s the opposite – her main and almost sole election plank is the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Fine, but Livni and her former boss Ehud Olmert were in power for almost four years, during which they started two wars (Lebanon II and Cast Lead) and didn’t make any progress towards peace. Why trust her now?

I have never heard Livni utter a single word of sympathy or compassion for the Palestinian people. My suspicion is that she is interested in an endless “peace process,” not peace itself.

Then we have another interesting character – Ya’ir Lapid.

What does he stand for? Well, he’s a former TV personality who looks good on TV. He reminds me of Groucho Marx: “These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.”

For me he is “Lapid lite” compared to his late father “Tommy” Lapid, who also moved from TV to politics. Father Lapid was a more complicated character – likeable in personal contact, very offensive on TV, an extreme rightist in national affairs and an extreme enemy of the religious camp.

His son just wants to be a minister under Netanyahu. Not for me.

The Arab national lists are clearly not pitching for Jewish votes, meaning they’re doomed to impotence. Which leaves us with two potential lists which might deserve a vote – Hadash and Meretz.

Both are close to what I believe in – they are actively engaged in the struggle for peace with the Palestinians and social justice at home.

How to choose?

The driving force in Hadash is the Communist Party. Should that deter me?

I’ve never been a communist. I’d say I was a social-democrat. I have many memories of the Communist Party in the cold war, some positive, some negative. I don’t like Stalinism and they were once Stalinist. But that’s not the point. We’re voting for the future, not the past.

Hadash is a joint Arab-Jewish party, in fact the only one. This is enormously to its credit.

Sadly for the majority of Israelis it is viewed as an “Arab” party, since 95 per cent of its voters are Arabs. It does have a Jewish Knesset member, the very active and commendable Dov Hanin. If he headed a list of his own he could have attracted many young voters and conceivably changed the electoral landscape.

Then there’s Meretz. There is something old and dreary about this party. It says all the right things about peace and social justice, democracy and human rights. But there are no new ideas, no new slogans.

A large number of leading intellectuals, writers and artists have come out for Meretz. The party has taken great pains not to list leftists without clear Zionist credentials though.

A significant presence in the Knesset for either Hadash or Meretz would still change Israel for the better. But neither is likely.

The day after these disastrous elections the effort to create a new landscape must begin. Never again should we be faced with this dilemma.

Let’s hope that next time we have the chance to vote with enthusiasm for a dynamic party that embodies our convictions and our hopes.

A party that can change the appalling course of Israeli politics.

Uri Avnery is founding member of Gush Shalom and a former member of the Knesset.

After Israel Vote, Austerity Budget Looms: here.

More austerity suffering for Israeli people

This video is called The Poverty in Israel.

By Jean Shaoul:

Israeli cabinet reveals draconian austerity budget

3 August 2012

Israel’s cabinet has approved austerity measures aimed at increasing taxes by NIS13 billion ($3.25 billion) and slashing state expenditure by NIS12 billion ($3 billion).

Its targets for lower budget deficits after 2013 guarantee even harsher measures in the next few years. The budget, to be discussed in parliament in October, is expected to be opposed by some of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s coalition partners, particularly the religious parties, whose supporters are desperately poor and depend on Israel’s already inadequate social safety net.

The budget will hit both middle- and low-income families, while exempting the super-rich.

VAT (a sales tax) will rise from 16 to 17 percent. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz ordered an immediate tax hike on cigarettes and beer. As it is, revenues from indirect taxes, which affect the poorest the most, are higher than direct taxes on income and higher than in most other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Income tax rates for those earning more than the average wage (NIS8,881, or $2,220 a month) will rise by 1 percent, and by 2 percent on higher earners (NIS67,000 or $17,000 a month). Such is the enormous inequality that just one quarter of wage earners are paid more than the average. To put this in perspective, the tax cuts for the rich introduced in 2003 have led to a cumulative loss of more than NIS40 billion ($10 billion). The top rate of tax will remain unchanged at 48 percent.

All government departments except defence, education and housing, face cuts of at least 5 percent.

Following the social protests last summer, the Trajtenberg Commission recommended free education for all from the age of three, to be funded out of a NIS2.5 billion ($625 million) cut in defence. But the government has increased defence spending, not cut it. Now the funding for education will come from cuts to the rest of social services.

Anti-African violence in Jerusalem

This video from Israel says about itself:

After the Israeli government announces plans to deport all people originally from South Sudan, the community holds a protest in Tel Aviv, pleading that they be allowed to stay until the situation improves there.

Israel Opens Doors to Push South Sudanese Out: here.

By Tom Mellen:

African migrants’ flats firebombed

Tuesday 05 June 2012

Suspected right-wing extremists set fire to a block of flats housing African migrant workers in Jerusalem yesterday, a day after PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the “swift deportation” of 25,000 undocumented migrants.

No-one was killed in the arson attack on the building on Jaffa road, but four of the 10 Eritrean people who lived there suffered burns and smoke inhalation. The attackers daubed “Get out of the neighbourhood” on a wall.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack. “There is no justification for such a heinous crime that endangers people’s lives,” it said.

Migrants in Tel Aviv have been targeted by a series of fire bomb attacks in recent weeks but yesterday’s assault was the first in Jerusalem.

The right has sought to shift mounting public anger over deteriorating welfare services and the rising cost of living in Israel onto the estimated 60,000 African people who are believed to have illegally entered Israel over the last few years.

Addressing a large far-right rally in Tel Aviv a fortnight ago, Likud MP Miri Regev said: “The Sudanese are a cancer in our body.

“We will do everything to send them back where they came from.”

The crowd responded by chanting: “The people want to expel the Sudanese.” They then went on a rampage in which African-owned shops were vandalised and looted and Sudanese bystanders beaten up.

Mr Netanyahu criticised the violence. But on Sunday he sought to appease the mob by ordering the “swift deportation” of 25,000 so-called illegal immigrants.

Addressing his cabinet, Mr Netanyahu conceded that Israel cannot deport Eritrean and Sudanese people who have escaped persecution in their home countries because Israel is a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.

He said his government will accelerate construction of a detention camp to house 10,000 undocumented migrants in the Negev desert.

Sunday also saw a law go into effect that empowers Israeli authorities to jail undocumented migrants for up to three years.

Just two of the 1,500 requests for asylum registered with the Israeli government between 2009 and 2011 were accepted.

Ethiopian Israelis slam attacks against migrants: here.

SOUTH SUDAN: Maternal morality: The biggest threat to a woman’s life: here.

UN: The refugee agency warned today that health problems tied to poor weather and lack of sanitation are acute among 170,000 refugees living in camps in South Sudan: here.

Planned Israeli Detention Camps for Africans Draw Human Rights Protests: here.

Saturday, June 9 2012|Yuval Ben-Ami. Why was the police violent with me at Tel Aviv gay pride? Here.