Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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A group of executives who want to fight global warming has published a new report calling for countries to spend up to $600 billion a year over the next two decades to boost green energy deployment and energy efficiency equipment.
The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) report claims “additional investments of around $300-$600 billion per annum do not pose a major macroeconomic challenge,” which they say will help the world meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement.
ETC is made up of energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former Vice President Al Gore, who would no doubt get a piece of the trillions of dollars they are calling for.
ETC’s goal is to “accelerate change towards low-carbon energy systems that enable robust economic development” and limit global warming. ETC’s report comes out as the Trump administration considers whether or not to stay party to the Paris agreement, which went into effect in 2016.
Trump has ordered Obama-era policies meant to comply with the Paris agreement be rolled back, but the White House is mulling whether or not to pull out of the agreement altogether. European countries and energy companies have been pressuring the White House to stay party to Paris.
Royal Dutch Shell, for example, aided the pro-Paris faction of the Trump administration by publicly supporting continued U.S. participation in the United Nations deal. Shell is a major producer of natural gas, which the company bills as a way to fight global warming.
Shell funds ETC, and the group’s report mainly targets emissions from coal use. ETC calls for “a rapid decrease in unabated coal consumption, a peak of oil in the 2020s and a continued role for gas provided methane leakages are reduced significantly.”
ETC says global carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut from 36 gigatons to 20 gigatons by 2040, and the world needs “net zero” emissions after 2050 to keep global temperatures from hitting 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
To meet that goal ETC claims the world needs “investment in renewables and other low-carbon technologies some $6 trillion higher ($300 billion per year); while the largest required increases – of almost $9 trillion ($450 billion per year) – will be in more efficient energy saving equipment and buildings.”
That’s a $15 trillion price tag to theoretically limit future global warming.
ETC says fossil fuel investment would need to be cut $3.7 trillion over this time, and that’s on top of fundamentally altering their economic systems to make green energy cost-competitive with fossil fuels in some parts of the world by 2035.
The group says an “explicit, predictably rising, forward price curve for carbon, resulting from policy, reaching approximately $50 per tonne in the 2020s and rising to around $100 per tonne in the 2030s – is essential to drive decarbonization beyond power, to reinforce regulatory-driven improvements in energy productivity and to prevent falling fossil fuels prices from undermining the pace of the energy transition.”
"In 2008, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board approved a state tax credit worth $1.8 million over 10 years to win the Evergreen Solar expansion over another state. Midland leaders already had approved a 12-year abatement worth $3.9 million to support the project."
"Dow Chemical’s (DOW) PowerHouse solar shingles may be coming to ahome near you. The announcement of efficient, affordable, andeasily-installed solar rooftop shingles has shaken the building andsolar industries quite a bit, as the company itself revels in theexpectation of around $5 billion in revenues by 2015 for the singleproduct alone. Dow received a $20 million grant from the United StatesDepartment of Energy for development on the project and will deploy itsshingles via select builders in 2010, with more widespread availabilityslated for 2011."
15 INDICTED IN EAGLE TRAFFICKING CASE; MORE CHARGES EXPECTED
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- Federal officials in South Dakota said Monday that 15 people have been indicted for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds after a two-year undercover operation potentially involving hundreds of birds.
U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler said that officials expect "significant" additional federal charges in the case, which focused on trafficking of eagles and eagle parts and feathers for profit. Authorities said the case involves more than 100 eagles, a number that could climb as high as 250.
Seiler described one operation as basically a "chop-shop for eagles" in which eagle feathers were stuffed into garbage bags. He said it was clear that it was a moneymaking operation and that the feathers and eagle parts such as talons and beaks were treated as merchandise.
"There was no cultural sensitivity. There was no spirituality," Seiler said. "There was no tradition in the manner in which these defendants handled these birds."
He said the investigation involved confidential informants, a multi-state area and the purchase of regalia items such as ceremonial fans. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office said in an email that there are a variety of reasons why people buy eagle parts, and a collectors market plays a role.
Dan Rolince, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assistant special agent in charge of law enforcement for the region, said that some of those accused used code words to avoid detection by describing the eagle and other bird parts for sale using the names of animals or even car parts. He said the eagles were primarily shot.
"At the end of this process, I have full confidence that it will be one of the largest cases of this nature we've ever worked," he said.
Three Rapid City men charged in the case are involved with Buffalo Dreamers, which performs Native American dance programs. Owner Troy Fairbanks has been charged with conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Lacey Act.
Fairbanks, 54, allegedly sold or traded eagle parts to an informant including a golden eagle head for $250, a trade involving about $5,400 of legal merchandise for eagle parts and selling two sets of eagle wings for $900. Rolince said that a whole eagle carcass would generally sell for between $1,000 and $1,200.
The indictment says Fairbanks in 2015 claimed he could acquire between 30 and 40 eagles by February 2016. Fairbanks also said in 2015 that he had 19 people in the Los Angeles area who wanted to buy "eagle feathers/parts" from him, according to the document.
It wasn't immediately clear if Fairbanks has an attorney, and he didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press. A telephone number for Buffalo Dreamers went directly to voicemail.
According to another indictment, Juan Mesteth sold fans and eagle feathers to an informant. The document says Mesteth in 2015 discussed having connections in Wyoming who could get whole carcass eagles and would take the informant hunting for eagles. It wasn't immediately clear if the 39-year-old Mesteth, of Pine Ridge, had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Those accused in the case include people from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Authorities didn't immediately disclose how much the defendants are thought to have profited in the case, andSeiler said some of the 15 defendants are unconnected to each other.
Leftist insanity on display: While Egyptian Muslim kill Christians and blow up churches (the Pope is silent) he once again panders to imperialist Islam.
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis hopes to mend ties with Muslims on his trip to Egypt on Friday but faces criticism from church conservatives for meeting Islamic religious leaders after a spate of deadly attacks against Christians.
In a video message to the people of Egypt on Tuesday, Francis said the world had been "torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of the your dear land" and said he hoped his trip could help peace and inter-religious dialogue.
Security is a primary concern less than three weeks after 45 people were killed in attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and Tanta, claimed by Islamic State, on Palm Sunday.
But Francis has insisted on using an ordinary car during his 27 hours in Cairo, continuing his practice of shunning armored limousines in order to be closer to people.
Francis will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi; Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the world's most influential center of Sunni Islamic theology and learning; and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who barely escaped the Alexandria bombing.
Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency after the attacks.
A main reason for the trip is to try to strengthen relations with the 1,000-year-old Azhar center that were cut by the Muslim side in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults of Islam by Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict.
Ties with the center were restored last year after Tayeb visited the Vatican. Tayeb, widely seen as one of the most moderate senior clerics in Egypt, has repeatedly condemned Islamic State and its practice of declaring others as apostates and infidels as a pretext for waging violent jihad.
The Vatican says that Francis, who denounces the idea of violence in God's name, is convinced that Christian-Muslim dialogue is more important now than ever. Papal aides say a moderate like Tayeb would be an important ally in condemning radical Islam.
In Tuesday's message, Francis said he hoped the trip could bring "fraternity and reconciliation to all children of Abraham, particularly in the Islamic world, in which Egypt occupies a primary position" and "offer a valid contribution to inter-religious dialogue with the Islamic world".
WAR OF RELIGION?
The pope's views are not shared by all Catholics, however. Some conservatives say there should be no dialogue with Islam and that a "war of religion" is in progress.
Italian historian Roberto de Mattei said the Palm Sunday attacks should be "a brusque reality check for Pope Francis".
The perpetrators were "not unbalanced or crazy but bearers of a religious vision that has been combating Christianity since the seventh century," De Mattei, editor of the conservative monthly magazine Christian Roots, wrote in an editorial.
Novus Ordo Watch, an ultra-conservative Catholic blog, blasted the Vatican over the logo of the trip, which displays the Muslim crescent and the cross together, and derided the pope as "Mr. Coexist".
A leading Catholic scholar of Islam, Egyptian-born Father Samir Khalil Samir, said that Francis meant well but was naive.
"I think his ignorance of Islam does not help dialogue. He has said often that we know that Islam is a religion of peace but this is simply a mistake," Samir, who is based in Beirut, told reporters in Rome.
"We know there are certainly times of peace and a willingness for peace on the part of many Muslims but I can't read the Koran and pretend that it is a book that is oriented towards peace," he said.
The region has witnessed a massive exodus of Christians fleeing war and persecution in the past few decades, accelerated recently by the rise of Islamic State. Francis said in his message he hoped his visit could be a "consolation and ... encouragement to all Christians in the Middle East".
He will visit Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral to pray for the 28 people killed in a Christmas season blast last year and lay flowers in their memory.
Rights activists are concerned about the pope's meeting with President Sisi.
Sisi has sought to present himself as an indispensable bulwark against terrorism in the region, deflecting Western criticism that he has suppressed political opposition and human rights activists since he was elected in 2014.
Asked if the pope would raise human rights concerns, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Francis had made "trips more delicate than this one," adding "let's see what the pope has to say."
(Additional reporting by Lin Noueihed in Cairo; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
The Recent Discovery of Heinrich Himmler’s Telegram of November 2, 1943, the Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, to Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalemhttp://jcpa.org/article/heinrich-himmlers-telegram-balfour-declaration-amin-al-husseini-mufti-jerusalem/
Joel Fishman, April 13, 2017
I. A Brush with the Unpredictable Past
On March 29, 2017, the blog of the National Library of Israel announced the discovery of SS Commander Heinrich Himmler’s telegram to Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem.1 Although the telegram was not dated, there is conclusive evidence that it was sent on November 2, 1943, the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. While the existence of this telegram and its contents were known, the original telegram seemed to have been lost. According to Mr. Chen Malul, a contributing editor of the National Library’s blog, this document was donated to the National Library in 1952, some sixty-five years ago. Several months ago, the archivists of the library classified the telegram as pertaining to the Balfour Declaration. With the approach of the Declaration’s centennial, the Library carried out a search by keyword and discovered this document.2
Himmler’s telegram may be appreciated on several levels: 1) as a primary source which represents a statement of Nazi-German policy; 2) as an important part of the context of a major political rally against the Balfour Declaration at which an alliance with the Arab cause, and particularly with the Palestinian Arabs, was ceremoniously celebrated; and, 3) as an address by Amin al-Husseini, an unconditional Nazi-collaborator who pledged the support of the Palestinian Arabs and the Muslim world for Nazi cause.
The Mufti claimed “to present himself not just as leader of the Palestinian national movement, but as leader of all Arabs and even as representative of all Muslims.”3 To be sure, Amin al-Husseini did not possess the legitimacy of a democratically-elected leader. Nevertheless, through his social status, cunning, eloquence and force, he was able to acquire the necessary power to lead the faithful and intimidate the unconvinced. (It should be remembered that under the British Mandate Amin al-Husseini was never officially appointed to this post.)4
The rediscovery of the original telegram is significant. It confirms that there was a partnership between Nazi-Germany, the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab World. This alliance was based on their mutual support for the destruction of World Jewry, which both sides openly declared to be a shared interest and the basis of their friendship. The purpose of this telegram was to reaffirm publicly the existence of this partnership and the transaction it represented. The following is the text of Heinrich Himmler’s shameless telegram:
TO THE GRAND MUFTI AMIN EL HUSSEINI, BERLINFROM ITS BEGINNING THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST MOVEMENT OF GREATER GERMANY5 HAS INSCRIBED THE STRUGGLE AGAINST WORLD JEWRY ON ITS BANNER. THEREFORE IT HAS ALWAYS FOLLOWED WITH SPECIAL SYMPATHY THE STRUGGLE OF THE FREEDOM – LOVING ARABS, FOREMOST IN PALESTINE, AGAINST THE JEWISH INTRUDERS. THE RECOGNITION OF THIS ENEMY AND OUR COMMON STRUGGLE AGAINST HIM FORM THE FIRM FOUNDATION OF THE NATURAL ALLIANCE BETWEEN NATIONAL-SOCIALIST GREATER GERMANY AND THE FREEDOM-LOVING MUSLIMS OF THE WHOLE WORLD. ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE WRETCHED BALFOUR-DECLARATION I SEND YOU IN THIS SPIRIT MY HEARTFELT GREETINGS AND WISHES FOR THE SUCCESSFUL PURSUIT OF YOUR STRUGGLE UNTIL ITS ASSURED FINAL VICTORY.SIGNED REICHSFUEHRER-SS HEINRICH HIMMLER6
II. The Historical Context
Heinrich Himmler sent his telegram for the Mufti to read at a major rally protesting the Balfour Declaration. It was held in the Luftwaffe Hall—an unsightly monument of Nazi imperial architecture—in Berlin. The Third Reich used political rallies as a medium for conveying its propaganda messages and for mobilizing support. The rally was broadcast directly on November 2, 1943, and a recording was rebroadcast the following day. In addition, the Central Islamic Institute in Berlin published a hard-copy edition in German of the Mufti’s speech in the form of a pamphlet of eight pages.7 In fact, the title of this pamphlet used the words, Protest Kundgebung, or “Protest Rally,” which indicates exactly how contemporaries were supposed to appreciate its purpose. The rally was a public demonstration of official support for the Palestinian and Arab cause to which the Nazi regime had committed its full prestige and considerable financial resources.
The framers of Nazi propaganda intended that the message for their audience be simple and literal. Accordingly, the text and the ceremony itself represent a major piece of open-source information. There are no nuances or subtext. As Hannah Arendt observed, a characteristic of the totalitarian propaganda was its method of openly stating goals of the regime:
… What is remarkable in the totalitarian organizations is rather that they could adopt so many organizational devices of secret societies without ever trying to keep their own goal secret. That the Nazis wanted to conquer the world, deport ‘racially alien’ peoples and exterminate those of ‘inferior biological heritage,’ that the Bolsheviks work for the world revolution, was never a secret; these aims, on the contrary, were always part of their propaganda. In other words, the totalitarian movements imitate all the paraphernalia of the secret societies but empty them of the only thing that could excuse, or was supposed to excuse, their methods – the necessity to safeguard a secret.8
The Allies transcribed the radio broadcasts of this rally, and in 1947, a young journalist and author, Maurice [Moshe] Pearlman, drew on these materials to publish an account of this event.9 With this information, one may appreciate its scale and careful staging. The following is the “color piece” of the Nazi radio announcer:
We are in the Luftwaffe building in Berlin, where Arab leaders are gathered to protest against the Balfour Declaration. The hall is festooned with Arab flags and poster portraits of Arab patriots. Arabs and Muslims from every land pour into the hall. Among them are Moroccans, Palestinians, Lebanese, Yemenites, men from the Hedjaz, Indians, Iranians and Moslem representatives from all over Europe. Among the latter are a great many Germans friendly to the Arabs, high government officials, civilian and military, one of the S.S. chiefs, representatives of foreign embassies and at their head, representatives of the Japanese Embassy. The audience runs into hundreds, and here now I see the Mufti of Jerusalem making his way into the hall. He is shaking hands with a number of notables and mounts the steps to the stage to deliver his address.10
The Mufti, Amin-al Husseini read two telegrams of support: one from Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of the Reich, and the other from Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Normally, Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop would have served as the counterpart of the Mufti, but the latter had gravitated into Himmler’s camp. Accordingly, Himmler’s telegram is a matter of special interest. When, on November 28, 1941, Hitler had received Amin al-Husseini at the Chancellery of the German Reich in Berlin, Ribbentrop was present as well as Ambassador Fritz Grobba.11 The addition of Himmler’s message suggests the evolution of a “strategic partnership” in genocide, the real propaganda message of the rally and the telegram.
Beyond this, there is another dimension of meaning, namely Amin al-Husseini’s perception of this event. The text of his address contains some his statements on this festive occasion:
… Germany is also fighting against the common enemy who oppressed the Arabs and the Moslems in their respective lands. It understood the Jews perfectly and decided to find a final solution to the Jewish menace, which will contain their mischief in the world.… Arabs and Muslims! Beware not to lose this opportunity, and do not let the Allied deception distract you from liberating Holy Palestine from colonization and complete judaization. Do not fear your enemies and their propaganda and keep in mind that you never fought the Jews without their becoming the loser [stormy and prolonged applause]. Allah has determined that there never will be a stable arrangement for the Jews, and that no state should be established for them … I do not have the slightest doubt that we shall succeed in the victory against them, despite the massive help of the cruel allies. God helps those to victory who help Him. We will win and liberate our lands from the claws of the Allies.12
The Mufti’s address makes it clear that he rejoiced in the Final Solution, the Nazi war of genocide against the Jews. His words communicate the total nature of the alliance between the Palestinian Arabs and the crimes of Nazi Germany. Furthermore, this speech reflects the Mufti’s novel method of combining politics with religion, known today as “Islamism.” Indeed, an important passage in the above text proclaims that “Allah has determined that there never will be a stable arrangement for the Jews, and that no state should be established for them.” It is clear that the Mufti essentially meant that there is no room in the world for living Jews,—much less a Jewish state.13
III. The Modalities of Collaboration
Himmler’s telegram, the Mufti’s response, and the demonstrative political rally of protest on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration show Nazi Germany’s positive support of the Palestinian Arabs and their reciprocally warm feelings. With the benefit of recent scholarship, we may better appreciate the nature and extent of this type of collaboration.
In his recent article in this journal, Johannes Houwink ten Cate cited the Swiss historian and journalist, Werner Rings, who identified four different forms of collaboration, according to their degree of identification with the ideology of Nazism, as follows: “tactical, neutral, conditional and unconditional collaboration.”14 Using these categories as his standard of comparison, Ten Cate concludes that Amin al-Husseini was one of the few unconditional collaborationists because of his ideological collaboration with the Waffen-SS.15 Separately, Barry Rubin and Wolfgang Schwanitz list examples of the Mufti’s contributions to the cause of Nazi-Germany. These include, “… fomenting a pro-Axis revolt and a massacre of Jews in Iraq; collaborating with Hitler; gathering intelligence for the Germans; recruiting Muslim army units for the German army and SS; preparing a Middle East Holocaust against the Jews; promoting pro-Axis revolts in Egypt and elsewhere; and conducting pro-Nazi propaganda by every means at his disposal.”16
Any discussion of Amin al-Husseini’s ideological collaboration must also point out his remarkable claim that Nazism and Islam have a basic affinity. Examples of such shared values are the “Führer Principle,” discipline, and obedience which, according to him, find clear expression in the Koran.17Rubin and Schwanitz observe that “… Islamists did not need to take ideas from German Nazis or Italian fascists. As al-Husaini had argued in the 1930s and 1940s, they had a parallel yet symbiotic world view, drawn from their own societies’ political traditions, history, and religion.”18 Such views clearly indicate that the Mufti’s commitment to the principles of National Socialism represented a form of unconditional ideological collaboration.
One should not overlook the essential fact that this ideological collaboration was reciprocal. The Nazi elite had a special respect and great admiration for Islam. Although these views have been documented, they have not yet been placed in context. In his recently published study, Islam and Germany’s War, David Motadel describes the admiration of the Nazi elite for Islam, an admiration which frequently predicated the rejection of Christianity. According to Motadel, who cites the scholarship of Peter Longerich, “The man who was perhaps most fascinated with the Muslim faith and enthusiastic about what he believed to be an affinity between National Socialism and Islam, was Himmler.”19 Himmler’s doctor, Felix Kersten, wrote an entire chapter on his patient’s “Enthusiasm for Islam,” which was excluded from the English translation. According to Kersten, “Himmler saw Islam as a masculine, soldierly religion.”20
Collaboration also had a material dimension, namely financial support. In the 1950s, John Roy Carlson, an investigative journalist, published an accounting of the payments which Nazi Germany transferred to Amin al-Husseini and his entourage. According to Document NG-5461 of the Office of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Nuremberg, the Mufti received a monthly salary of 66,850 Reichmarks and a yearly salary of RM 802,200. The rate of exchange at the time was two and a half RM to the Dollar. His salary was intended to cover “rents, personal upkeep, wages salaries (residences in Berlin; houses I, II, III, IV; Hotel Adlon; Hotel Zittau; the Jewish Institute, Klopstockstrasse).” Beyond this, the total annual cost of his whole entourage was RM 4,993,860.21Citing recent scholarship, Jeffrey Herf placed the Mufti’s salary at 90,000 Reichmarks.22 Herf observed: “A monthly salary of 90,000 Reichmarks was paid only to the very wealthiest persons in the German economy. It was designed to support both Husseini’s luxurious lifestyle as well as his considerable political entourage.”23 These great sums indicate that Nazi Germany was making a major financial investment in the Mufti and this fact provides quantifiable evidence of a major partnership based on unconditional collaboration.
VI. Why the Himmler Telegram Matters
What conclusions may be drawn from this discussion? Using open sources, particularly the Himmler telegram and the proceedings of this rally, it is clear beyond a doubt that Nazi Germany and Amin al-Husseini were bound by a formal alliance, which had its ideological, financial, political and military dimensions. Hannah Arendt’s analysis of totalitarian regimes applies in this case. Both sides proclaimed their real intentions. Therefore, these public statements must be given full weight as evidence. They constitute a primary source of the first order.
The arguments and accusations of Amin al-Husseini endure to the present. For example, Ahmed Shukairy (1908-1980), who was an aide of the Mufti and the first chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, drafted the Palestinian Covenant (1964). In this document, he adopted the Palestinian Arab rejection of the Balfour Declaration and of Jewish nationhood. (Shukairy also wrote a short book, Liberation – Not Negotiation, which set forth the credo of Palestinian intransigence.24 He was the father of the “apartheid” slander against Israel.)25 The following is a direct quotation from Article 20 of the Palestinian Covenant:
The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based on them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitute statehood. Judaism being a divine religion is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own: they are the citizens of the state to which they belong.26
More recently, on the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinian Authority has engaged in a large-scale campaign against the Balfour Declaration.27 One may find the same rejection of Jewish nationhood in the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and in the recent UNESCO resolution denying any historical Jewish connection with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.28 This consistent world-view is reflected in Mahmoud Abbas’ contemptuous words of April 4, 2009, addressed to the Preparatory Council of the Palestinian Youth Parliament:
The Jewish state. What is a Jewish state? We say, ‘The State of Israel.’ You may call yourselves whatever you want…. But I shall not accept it…. It is not my job … to give a definition to the state and what is in it. Call yourselves [he stammers] the ‘Zionist-Hebrew-National-Socialist-Republic,’ call it whatever you wish! I do not care! [Applause]29
Beyond the discussion of Himmler’s telegram to Amin al-Husseini, the basic challenge of honest history-writing is to place the greater problem of Amin al-Husseini’s partnership with Nazi Germany on the agenda. As of the present, one would look in vain for mention of the Mufti in school textbooks or in museums commemorating the Holocaust, both in Israel and abroad. To use the expression of Walter Lacqueur, this subject represents “inconvenient information.” It is inconvenient for many because of its direct connection with the present. Not the least, it is part of the larger problem of Islamic antisemitism, a subject which, until recently, mainstream thinkers and media carefully avoided. The world is not ready to face this sensitive subject, and there are vested interests which have endeavored to conceal and obfuscate the subject.
The great French historian, Marc Bloch, who died in the Resistance, was correct when he wrote, “Misunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past.”30 In Israel, a group of the elite once argued that forgetting history is necessary in order to advance the cause of peace and understanding with the Palestinian Arabs. On the merits of the issue, it is unsound to argue that there is a virtue in preserving blank spots in our national history. All subjects should be legitimate for study, research, and discussion. The public good will not be served by stifling the frank political discussion of issues of vital importance to the present. The reality is that if we leave large gaps in the writing of our own history, others will fill them with their own counterfeit narrative. Bitter experience has shown that Israeli leaders who have denigrated the study of the past and blacked out the historical record have deluded themselves and misled the public. Although some have tried to escape into the future, it is not possible to build the future without a clear awareness of the past. For this reason it is necessary to grasp and confront the full significance of Himmler’s pledge to Amin al-Husseini, which the latter happily accepted.
By Randall Beach, New Haven Register
NEW HAVEN >> Two peace activists from different generations and countries Sunday received the Gandhi Peace Award from the Connecticut group Promoting Enduring Peace.
Palestinian human rights advocate Omar Barghouti and consumer rights crusader Ralph Nader each received the award at Yale’s Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall. Several hundred people attended, giving standing ovations to the recipients.
Barghouti is the more controversial of the two. Some Jewish groups oppose his work for BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions), whose prime goal stated in its literature is “ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands.” His Jewish opponents fear this movement is working against the right of Israel to exist as a nation.
Moreover, Yale University officials issued an unusual statement distancing the university from endorsing the Gandhi event despite the fact it took place in a Yale building.
“A student organization reserved space for the awarding of the Gandhi prize, which is given by an organization not affiliated with Yale,” the statement began. “Yale honors requests by our community to invite speakers and groups to campus in accordance with our academic mission of fostering the free exchange of ideas. Views expressed at these events are those of the individuals involved and do not represent the views of the university as a whole.”
Barghouti’s presence at the ceremony was in doubt until recently, when Israel lifted a travel ban it had imposed on him. On March 20 that government arrested him on suspicion of evading taxes on $700,000 from his company and from speaking fees, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. He was put under house arrest.
A Promoting Enduring Peace leaflet distributed at the event stated: “The Israeli government, which furiously opposes any criticism or pressure, slanders BDS activists as dupes or anti-Semites. They threaten Palestinians who call for BDS.” The leaflet said that was why Barghouti was arrested and his travel document taken away for a period.
Barghouti began his speech by dedicating his award “to the heroic Palestinian political prisoners in apartheid dungeons.” He asserted they are being held unlawfully.
He said the Israeli government is “trying to suppress the BDS movement” because support for it is growing worldwide. BDS literature states it is asking people “to especially target institutions and Israelis who take part in the injustices against Palestinians or help with Israel war-making.” Those targets include G4S, a British company that builds Israeli prisons.
Barghouti repeatedly said the movement is one of “nonviolent resistance.” He also said it is “inclusive,” welcoming all ethnic groups, including Jewish supporters.
“We are inspired by the South African movement against apartheid and the civil rights movement in the United States,” Barghouti said.
But he criticized President Trump for his support of Israeli government policies. He charged: “The Trump administration has embraced the Israeli government and used it as a model. Our oppressors are more united than ever.”
Nader, a native of Winsted, also criticized Israeli policies. “Who has killed 400 times more innocent men, women and children than the other side? The answer is the Israeli government.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven office could not be reached at the office Sunday evening, but has made clear in statements that many Jews say the BDS Movement’s ultimate motive is the destruction of Israel. Judy Alperin, chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, has said. “We are very concerned about the BDS Movement and what it represents. We do believe that there needs to be two states for two people and that that will only be accomplished through direct negotiations by the parties.
“The BDS Movement, unfortunately, is a little bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It states on the one hand that its goals are this peaceable resistance by a boycott of goods from what would be the Palestinian areas or the West Bank of Israel and, unfortunately, they’re also saying out of the other side of their mouths, to quote Omar Barghouti himself, that he only believes in a one-state solution, a unitary state, where, by definition Jews will be a minority, and he believes basically in the end of Israel. So we have to stand up for the rights of Israel as a nation and its right to exist and I think that the clear objective of the BDS Movement is to cease that existence.”
Nader said “state terrorism” is far more pervasive than terrorism by individuals. “It’s always legitimized as being in the service of national defense.”
This practice continues today, Nader said. He charged U.S. forces “can kill anyone” and U.S. presidents can do it unilaterally, with no declaration of war by Congress, “no adherence to the Geneva Convention.”
Nader asked how many in the audience were affiliated with Yale Law School; only several people raised their hands. Then he said of the military actions, “None of this is possible if the legal profession became a first responder for the rule of law.”
He added, “None of this is possible if other professions in the academic world stopped being so preoccupied with their own concerns and covering their own backs.”
Nader told the crowd, “We come from a culture of violence. We’re taught in school that Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America. My father quickly disabused me of that notion when he told me Columbus invaded America in search of gold and exterminated an entire tribe in the Caribbean.”
Nader asked, “How do we build a culture of peace?” He noted small groups can do it, such as elderly women gathering on town greens to protest nuclear weapons.
Nader said if the military budget were to be cut rather than increased, Americans would see improvements in mass transit, schools and other critical programs. “We would not have to cut the budgets of community colleges and state universities.”
Outside the building, a lone protester, Lance Laytner of New York, stood next to a giant inflated Pinocchio that had the message: “Omar Barghouti cheats on taxes, lies to students.” Laytner said Barghouti and his supporters “say they’re nonviolent but they’re anything but nonviolent. I don’t think he should be getting a peace award when he’s generated violence.”
Ralph Nader 's parent came from Lebanon so Jew hatred is as natural as thinking anti Israel. Where is his concern for Lebanon being run by an accredited terrorist group, Hezbollah. Both want Jews marched out of every bit of Israel, preferably at the point of a gun.