Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hala Mustafa, Egyptian journalist, challenges union over Israel 'warning'


CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt's journalists union issued a warning to a magazine editor on Tuesday after she received the Israeli ambassador in her house, prompting her to cry foul over freedom of the press.
Hala Mustafa, editor-in-chief of Al-Demoqratiya magazine, stirred up a controversy in September after receiving Israeli envoy Shalom Cohen.
A five-member panel, citing union rules barring support for normalisation of ties with Israel, issued a warning against Mustafa, rather than taking more serious action.
"We limited ourselves to issuing a warning because the commission's job is not to punish or seek vengeance against a colleague but to guarantee decisions are taken in a democratic manner," said panel member Gamal Fahmi.
Any act of normalisation with Israel by union members can lead to a reprimand or even expulsion.
The committee "took into account" that Mustafa had "given assurances she was not familiar with the details of this ruling on normalisation. She thought it only applied to travelling to Israel."
He added that Mustafa had agreed to respect the 1981 ruling, something she would neither confirm nor deny.
However, she said she "totally" rejected the warning, telling AFP she might even turn to the courts for redress of what she said was a "moral injury."
"It goes against freedom of expression ... which the union should protect," she added.
In 1979, Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but there continues to be a generally hostile popular attitude towards anything implying normal relations between the two neighbours.
Separately on Tuesday, the panel suspended for three months the deputy editor-in-chief of the government-owned weekly October for having had dinner with an Israeli diplomat, Fahmi said.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Turkish girl 'buried alive for talking to boys'

Last update - 16:39 05/02/2010       
Turkish girl 'buried alive for talking to boys'
By Haaretz Service and agencies

Teenager's father and grandfather arrested over suspected 'honor killing' after police unearth shackled body.
A 16-year-old Turkish girl was buried alive by relatives as a punishment for talking to boys, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday.
Police discovered the body of the girl, identified only as M.M., in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-meter-deep hole dug under a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta in the southeastern province of Adiyaman, the Turkish daily reported on its website.
The body was found in December, around 40 days after M.M. went missing. Police have arrested and charged the girl's father and grandfather over the murder. The father reportedly said in his testimony that the family was unhappy his daughter had male friends. Her mother was also arrested but later released.
A postmortem examination revealed a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she was buried alive and conscious, forensic experts told the Anatolia news agency.
?The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl ? who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood ? was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,? said one expert, who asked not to be named.
The girl was reported as missing and no clues about her disappearance emerged until over a month days later, when the police responded to an anonymous tip, which suggested she had been sentenced to death by a council of family elders.
The family has nine children, including the girl, and reportedly told neighbors that she was missing. The girl had made a complaint to police about her grandfather two months before she went missing, saying that he beat her because she talked to boys.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Code Red in Malmö

Sweden's third-largest city is Malmö.

Malmö is ruled by a Social Democratic mayor with extremist left-wing leanings. In deference to his red political leanings, Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu states – publicly and on the day that the civilised world commemorates the 6 million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust – that Swedish Jews are required to publicly display their animosity towards the Jewish state of Israel. If they don't, they deserve what's coming to them.

And what's coming to them is anti-Semitic attacks, physical attacks on individual Jews, mass attacks on Jews congregating in public places, attacks on synagogues, vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and a ban on Jews playing tennis in public, if these Jews are Israelis.

In this context it ought to be mentioned that something in the region of 30 percent of Malmö's population is Muslim. In fact, with Reepalu at the helm, Malmö has forged student-exchange links between schools in Malmö, Sweden, and that other beacon of democracy, gender equality and religious freedom, Saudi Arabia. (Link in Swedish.)

Furthermore, it needs to be pointed out that 2010 is election year in Sweden.

The mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu, his brown shirt sleeves rolled up for action, is fishing for votes. In some very murky waters indeed.

To their credit, large swathes of the Swedish media have been scathing in their condemnation of Reepalu's overtly racist comments.

What is disturbing, however, is the politically correct disconnect that this media condemnation highlights: Ilmar Reepalu was born in Estonia, a country which during the Second World War was noted for its strong Nazi sympathies. Virtually identical statements by Swedish citizens with Islamist affiliations, however, have for years passed by without media comment.

It is a worrying discrepancy in a country that is nominally a democracy. It would appear that Sweden's direction is not determined by elections but rather by political correctness.

Ilmar Reepalu's party leader, Social Democrat Mona Sahlin, continues to remain silent. It's a silence that speaks volumes.

Sweden's voters have the opportunity to speak far louder in the upcoming parliamentary elections this September.

Because in Sweden, red truly signals danger.

Sovereignty Now!!

by Moshe Dann

At the Herzliya Conference on February 2, Salam Fayyad called for a Palestinian state connecting Judea, Samaria and Gaza that has East Jerusalem as its capital, ending the "occupation of areas that were Palestinian territory before 1967".

Salam Fayyad, the PLO Prime Minister, claims that he is preparing the non political groundwork of the Palestinian state, while the US is seeing to the political aspects, that is, to making sure Israel ends  "occupation". He doesn't blink an eye when talking about East Jerusalem being Palestinian territory before 1967, although there was no such entity at the time.


This should be a wake-up call for Israel, whose failure to express its legitimate sovereign rights over Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people, plays into the hands of those who would destroy Israel and weakens
A declaration of sovereignty would strengthen Israel's demand for recognized and defensible borders.
Israel's diplomatic position.
A declaration of sovereignty would strengthen Israel's demand for recognized and defensible borders.
Born in conflict and strife, attacked from within and without, the State of Israel has never known real peace. Cease-fire armistice lines agreed to in 1949 were never recognized by Arab countries; their intentions were to destroy Israel. These temporary lines are neither defensible, nor "borders."   
Although Egypt and Jordan recognized borders with Israel in peace treaties, the definition of Israel's border with Jordan refers, on the one hand, to lines established by the League of Nations for the Palestine Mandate, which would seem to indicate that Israel's eastern border is the Jordan River. On the other hand, a proviso in the treaty states, "without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967." This refelcts Jordan's reservations concerning Israel's legal entitlement to Judea and Samaria.   
Syria and Lebanon do not accept Israel's legitimacy at all, continue a state of war, and do not recognize any boundaries with Israel. Despite formal treaties and "peace plans," most Arabs reject Israel's very right to exist, not which territory it occupies.
The question of what legitimately belongs to Israel became more complicated after Israel acquired Judea, Samaria and Gaza, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in 1967. Although Jerusalem was annexed in 1967 and Israeli law and administration applied to the Golan in 1981, Israeli politicians, jurists and media opposed extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.
Officially defining Judea and Samaria as "disputed," Israeli jurists referred to these areas as under "belligerent occupation," because they were acquired in war. Most of the international community, the ICRC, ICJ, and UN agencies hold Israel is "illegally occupying" these areas. Despite existing Israeli law and international law, Israel's own position has led to confusion about the status of these areas and Israeli sovereign rights.
This became even more complicated when Israel recognized a "Palestinian Authority" (in the Oslo Accords of 1993) – a pseudonym for the PLO, which is still the "sole official representative of the Palestinian people," and Israel unilaterally withdrew from large parts of Judea and Samaria, designated "Areas A & B," in which nearly all Arab Palestinians reside.
More damaging, PM Ehud Barak (in 2000) and PM Ehud Olmert (in 2007) offered the PA 97% of Judea and Samaria, plus 3% of sovereign Israeli territory, including parts of eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – in return for an agreement to end the conflict and claims against Israel. They were refused.
Part of Judea and Samaria remained under Israeli control, Area C, in which all Jewish communities built in Judea and Samaria ("settlements") are located, including the Jordan Valley, and Judean Desert. Although citizens of Israel, its residents are subject to military law and administration, under "Emergency Regulations" handed down from the British Mandate. This situation violates basic notions of civil and human rights and democratic norms.  
Instead of advancing its legitimate sovereign rights in these areas, Israeli politicians and jurists have been apologizing for and denying them. Some pundits and anti-Israel NGOs call Israel's "occupation" of Judea and Samaria a "moral disaster." The international community, including the US State Dept, call for Israel's withdrawal .from all areas "occupied by Israel in 1967." 
It is unlikely that advancing Israel's claim of sovereignty would change their position, but it would at least present
That many Israelis accept the false notion that Israel is "illegally occupying Palestinian land" is especially troubling.
an alternative argument over who has rightful possession. Not presenting its case for legitimacy makes it more difficult for Israel to justify its rightful possession of areas demanded by the PA.
That many Israelis accept the false notion that Israel is "illegally occupying Palestinian land" is especially troubling. Many do not know what Israel's historic and legal rights are in these areas – or don't care. They are concerned that extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria would compromise Israeli democracy and antagonize world opinion.            
Their concerns and arguments are understandable and reasonable:
"Not realistic. There are all kinds of documents--for instance, Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords--that say these matters are to be determined through negotiations, not by unilateral declarations."
"The strategic relationship with the U.S. is crucial to us. This would wreck it."
"Prime Minister Menachem Begin said of the autonomy plan contained in the 1978 Camp David Accords: 'Israel stands by its right and its claim of sovereignty to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district. In the knowledge that other claims exist, it proposes, for the sake of the agreement of the peace, that the question of sovereignty in these areas be left open.'"
"No other state in the world would recognize such a move."
But sovereignty is not a popularity contest. If it were, the UN General Assembly would probably vote for Israel's expulsion, following Arab contentions that there were two "illegal occupations" -- the first in 1948 and the second in 1967 -- both deemed illegitimate and Israel itself, anathema.
The State of Israel, on behalf of the Jewish people, has the responsibility to say the truth: All of Eretz Yisrael, including Judea and Samaria, legitimately -- historically, legally -- is the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people. This is a statement of fact, regardless of political concerns and concessions.
That an Israeli government decides to abandon territory does not mean that those areas do not legitimately belong to Israel and the Jewish People.
As has been demonstrated time and again, Israeli control is the only stabilizing factor, the only barrier to anarchy and the expansion of terrorism.    
Grounded in League of Nations decisions, which recognized the legitimacy of "Palestine as the Jewish national homeland" and called for "close Jewish settlement" in all of Mandatory Palestine, Israel's sovereign rights are peerless.
Though Muslims today deny Jewish historic and legal claims, the Qur'an (5:20-21) powerfully affirms Jewish sovereignty: "Remember Moses said to his people: 'O my people! Recall in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'"
Extending Jewish sovereignty is not to aggrandize; it is an authentic statement of the historic and spiritual relationship between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The return of the Jewish people to their homeland, the establishment of the State of Israel, and Israel's achievements in science and technology are physical, material representations of a profound spiritual dimension--the fulfillment of Jewish destiny.
Sovereignty speaks to the purpose and the promise of the State of Israel and to everyone, Jew and non-Jew, who is inspired by that vision.
Israel should focus on Area C, in which 300,000 Jews live. Arab "Palestinians" living in Area C, about an estimated
Sovereignty speaks to the purpose and the promise of the State of Israel.
30-40,000, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship, should be free to remain as residents, or opt for Israeli citizenship, taking on the obligations that come with it.
There are many details to work out, but that is for later-- once the principle of Israeli sovereignty is affirmed.
 To live in peace, to strengthen its strategic and security interests, to safeguard vital water resources, prevent environmental and ecological deterioration it is imperative that Israel maintain control of Judea and Samaria and embrace enthusiastically -- Sovereignty Now!


Shevat 18, 5770 / 02 February 10