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Letter from Europe

Submitted by Janet Gilbert
Media Mogul Ted Turner Accuses Israelis Of "Terror" Tactics
Israeli Spokesman Calls Turner's Comments 'Stupid'

POSTED: 5:10 p.m. EDT June 18, 2002
UPDATED: 8:20 a.m. EDT July 9, 2002
LONDON -- Outspoken U.S. media mogul Ted Turner was quoted on Tuesday as saying Israel was engaged in "terrorism" against the Palestinians that could be compared to the suicide bomber attacks on Israelis.
"Right now, aren't the Israelis and the Palestinians both terrorising each other?" the 63-year-old billionaire founder of 24-hour news network CNN said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper.
"The rich and the powerful, they don't need to resort to terrorism...The Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers -- that's all they have.
"The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make the case that both sides are involved in terrorism."
Israel was condemned by the U.N. General Assembly last month for a West Bank offensive launched in March after a spate of suicide bombings. Palestinians have accused the Israeli army of using excessive force and violating human rights law in the six-week operation that ended early last month.
Israel has defended the offensive, which it says was aimed at flushing out militants and halting Palestinian attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.
There has been a renewed wave of Palestinian suicide bombings since the beginning of the month, and Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have indicated they do not intend to abandon their suicide operations.
At least 1,401 Palestinians and 511 Israelis have been killed since the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation began in September 2000 after peace talks stalled.
Israeli government spokesman Daniel Seaman lashed out at Turner's comments as "stupid."
"My only advice to Ted Turner is if people assume you are stupid, it is just best to keep your mouth shut rather than open your mouth and confirm everyone in that view," Seaman was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Turner, now vice chairman of AOL Time Warner Inc, which owns CNN, also acknowledged in the Guardian interview he had used an "unfortunate choice of words" when he said in a speech earlier this year that the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon on September 11 were "brave."
Turner said he tended to overuse the word as owner of the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
"I chose accidentally to say that they (the hijackers) were brave ... I use that word so often, it just pops out," he said.
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Copyright 2002 by Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Submitted by Hilary Abrahamson

Two Israeli faculty members have
been dismissed from the boards of British journals of translation studies as part of an academic boycott of Israel. Miriam Shlesinger, a senior lecturer in translation studies at Bar-Ilan University, was dismissed from the editorial board of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication, and Gideon Toury, a professor in Tel-Aviv University's School of Cultural Studies, was dismissed from the international advisory board of Translation Studies Abstracts. Both journals are published by St. Jerome Publishing and
are privately owned by their editor and publisher, Mona Baker of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. (Chronicle of
Higher Education, June 18)

Submitted by Hilary Abrahamson

Hirsh Goodman
The Jerusalem Report, June 17, 2002

About a month ago, when the battle in Jenin was at its height, I received a call from a Norwegian radio station. "How," I was asked, "is the Israeli media covering the massacre in Jenin?"

"Are you so sure there is a massacre in Jenin?" I replied.

"Of course I'm sure, I read it here in our morning papers and see it on television: Hundreds have been killed. It's a massacre."

"You think Israeli troops would commit a massacre?" I asked.

"It looks like it," he responded.

"Are we on air live?"

"Yes," he said.

"Well f... you," I said.

And that's exactly the way I feel about the Norwegians, whose unions have imposed a boycott on Israeli goods, the Danes who are no longer buying Israeli oranges, the Germans--bless them--who are holding back on tank parts
and the Belgians, who couldn't even leave politics out of the Eurovision song contest.

When the NATO allies, including the above, went to war against the former Yugoslavia, they pounded the country into the ground. They left hardly a bridge or building standing. The Chinese embassy, radio and TV stations, electricity grids, water supplies, roads, trains, infrastructure were all reduced to rubble in order to rid Europe of Slobodan Milosevic. And then, only then, when the war had been won from the air, did the ground troops go in, mainly in the role of peacekeepers.

In Jenin, as we now all know, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in
hand-to-hand combat in the narrow alleys of the refugee camp; there were 54 Palestinian dead, many of them armed men. We could have learned from NATO in Yugoslavia, but we didn't, and the Danes won't eat Israeli oranges?

People ask what is wrong with Israel's information efforts? Why is the country's image so bad? The real question is, I believe, somewhat different. Why should Israel have to explain that suicide bombing, men and women blowing themselves up in kindergartens, buses, pizza parlors, is a bad
thing? Shouldn't the information problem be a Palestinian thing? Someone having to explain to a Norwegian or Dane that indelible image of a mother screaming at the television cameras that she wants all 10 of her children to be shaheeds--martyrs. In most societies, mothers would be throwing
themselves at the enemy to protect their children. Here the equation has been flipped, but the meaning has not penetrated the European mind.

Think back to the picture of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura being killed in the opening hours of this war. The boy was huddled beside his father, desperately seeking safety in the cross fire of bullets. His father was crouching behind a barrel, the boy clinging to his back. Wouldn't you have placed your son between the barrel and yourself?

Saddam buys himself a suicide bomber for $15,000 and Qadhafi gets one for $10,000. The Palestinians sell their children to them and it's the Jews who have to explain their values? It's Israeli oranges they don't buy?

The people of Norway or Denmark have never suffered from living under the constant threat of terror, a situation where a child cannot go to a birthday party, or even to school, without fear of being killed or maimed. You never know where and when terror will strike. Its victims are indiscriminate. Not
soldiers, but men, women and a disproportionate number of children and young people, considering the targets that have been chosen.

Jenin was a bomb-making factory. Dozens of attacks were planned there, including the Passover-night massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanyah. And, yes, that was a massacre, and it emanated from Jenin. The Israeli army had every right, in fact duty, to go in there and stop the murder. They did so without the excesses of NATO and at great personal cost.

The Europeans are now, apparently, committed to helping the Palestinians reform their society. They are going to help them write a constitution, set up an independent legal system and a stable democratic structure. Their ability to achieve this is in Israel's interest. We are all sure Chairman Arafat just can't wait to cooperate.

In the meantime, however, it may help the Europeans farther in implementing their democratic ideals if they stopped their de facto support of terror and the message they are sending the Palestinians that suicide bombing is a good thing. It would be useful, too, if some of the bleeding hearts out there in the European Union would say something about the synagogues being fire-bombed in France, Britain, Belgium and other countries in their Union.

The Europeans, and the European press in particular, owe Israel an apology. They lied. There was no massacre in Jenin. There was probably less collateral damage in almost two weeks of fighting in dense urban areas than in one day of NATO bombardment of Belgrade. It took 18 months of violence and almost 500 killed, two-thirds of them civilians, before Israel went into Jenin. The allies did not wait that long before they reduced Milosevic's Yugoslavia to rubble.

So if there is going to be a boycott, perhaps Jewish caterers should stop serving Norwegian salmon and Danish herring and Belgian chocolates and French champagne, and Jewish tourists choose other destinations for their vacation this year. As for those Germans who seemed only too happy to start
Jew-bashing again, perhaps there is still some work to be done on that Holocaust thing. Remember?

Submitted by Edwin R. Alkin  

June 10, 2002
    The European Parliment's budgetary committee has temporarily suspended its financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA)  in the wake of a law suit filed by an Israeli terror victim. The N.I.S. 100 million civil action, filed in Tel-Aviv recently,  alleges that the PA has diverted the EuropeanUnion's "humanitarian aid" to the Palestinian terrorist groups which are responsible for the wave of suicide bombings and shootings in Israel.
   While denying this contention, the European Union has now announced  that it will
not transfer any additional funds to the PA until it receives the results of an investigative report into how PA leader Yassir Arafat had  utilized their money.
    Steven Blumberg, the law suit's plaintiff,  was grievously injured in a terror attack on August 5th 2001. Palestinian police officers from the town of Kalkilya opened fire on the Blumberg family's car with  automatic weapons.
    His wife, Techiya, was killed in the attack and his teenage daughter Tehila was also seriously wounded. Blumberg remains paralyzed until today.
  The Blumberg suit alleges that funds given by the European Union paid  the salaries of the PA police force which, since the beginning of the current Intifada in October 2000, has become a full-fledged terrorist group. It is additionally claimed that the European Union had been repeatedly warned by successive Israeli governments that Arafat was utilizing the donated aid to finance his terrorist organizations and paying for the attacks on Israeli
    Until this week, the European Union had been donating $10 million to the Palestinians each month. A total of $1.5 billion has been  contributed by member states since 1994. The money is meant to pay the salaries of the PA's municipal workers, including teachers, health officials and police officers. Documents captured by Israel in its recent incursion into
Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, however, evidence that the funds were being passed
along to terrorist groups such as the Fatah Tanzim. European states donate the foreign aid to the PA in order to maintain political influence and goodwill in amongst Arab
    According to the Blumberg's lawyer, Nitsana Darashan-Leitner, "The EU's decision to suspend funding to the PA is important because it will prevent some future terror attacks against Israeli civilians. However, the  EU has recklessly given Arafat funding for his terrorist organizations for over  eight years and the terrorist infrastructure still must be  dismantled
by force. For the Blumberg family the EU's sudden realization that it is the source of funding for the suicide bombings comes far too late.
    Irresponsibly, the EU still insists that it should provide funds to the PA police which everyone but the Europeans, now recognizes is nothing more than a front for the Tanzim terrorist organization."

(Submitted by Hilary Abrahamson)
And Now the Norwegians?
A N Wilson wrote an article in (27th May) Evening Standard entitled
 Israels crimes against cultural heritage claiming the Israeli government
 was deliberately destroying monuments and articles of historic interest in
 Did A N Wilson forget the destruction of Joseph Tomb in Nablus by
 Palestinians in October 2000 in Nablus?
 Please write to him. (See article below for background information on
 Palestinian desecration of Holy Sites)
 The Evening Standard
 Northcliffe House
 2 Derry Street
 W8 5EE
 Tel 020 7938 6000
 What about the claims regarding the desecration of holy sites?
 The Palestinian leadership is attempting to present the conflict as a
 religious one, thus hoping to achieve wider international support. When
 the Terror Intifada broke out in late September 2000, the Arab world
 blamed then opposition leader Ariel Sharon for having provoked the
 violence by visiting Jerusalems Temple Mount - the site most holy to
 Judaism and the third most holy to Islam - in what was purported to be a
 show of disrespect for Muslim sensitivities. The Mitchell Fact-Finding
 Committee has since determined that this visit was not the cause of the
 violence, which had political, not religious motivation. Recent history
 has shown that freedom of worship and the sanctity of Islamic, Christian
 and Jewish sites in the Holy Land has been guaranteed only when these
 sites have been under Israeli control. During the present wave of
 violence, the Temple Mount has remained open for Muslim worship,despite
 the fact that prayers there have become a forum for incitement and
 rioting. Muslims have even used the Temple Mount courtyard as a location
 from which to hurl rocks down on Jewish worshippers gathered beneath at
 Judaisms most revered place of prayer - the Western Wall plaza.
 The forced closure of the Western Wall plaza due to the Palestinian
 stoning of Jewish worshippers on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah High Holiday
 and again on the solemn fast day of Tisha BAv is tantamount to the
 of St. Peters Square on Christmas, or the shutdown of Meccas Qabaa during
 the height of the Muslim Haj. And yet, various Arab spokesmen continue to
 maintain that the grossest violation of a sacred site, and the most
 unforgivable provocation, was that brief visit by an Israeli leader to
 Judaisms most holy site, during which Ariel Sharon never set foot inside
 either mosque.
 Part and parcel of the Terror Intifada is a campaign of destruction and
 desecration carried out by Palestinians against Jewish holy sites. The
 most blatant example occurred when a Palestinian mob sacked, demolished
 and then torched Josephs Tomb in Shechem (Nablus). This was perpetrated
 just after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the shrine as part of an
 agreement under which the Palestinian Authority undertook to protect the
 Jewish holy site from harm. Following the attack, Palestinians seized the
 site, destroyed the Jewish artifacts, burned the interior and rededicated
 the structure as a mosque. Subsequently, there have been further
 attacks on Jewish synagogues, including the ancient synagogue of Jericho,
 which was severely damaged by arson, a synagogue in the town of Efrat
 was almost destroyed, Rachels Tomb, which has been subjected to repeated
 Palestinian machine-gun fire, and shots fired at worshippers at the Cave
 of the Patriarchs.
 Christian sites have also been dragged into the fray by Palestinian
 militants. Frequent gunfire attacks against the southern Jerusalem
 neighborhood of Gilo have been launched from the adjacent Christian Arab
 village of Beit Jala, by Palestinian terrorists who have deliberately
 chosen to open fire from positions close to churches and schools. These
 attacks are a wanton attempt to draw the Christian world into the conflict
 by provoking Israeli return fire which would damage the villages many
 Christian shrines. For its part, Israel has done its utmost to respond to
 these unprovoked attacks with the greatest possible restraint, pinpointing
 only those terrorist positions from which the attacks have been launched.
 This is a very important article by the Jerusalem Foundation please
 forward this to the press. Lets make them aware of the real nature of
 Israelis treatment of the Palestinians.
 The activities of Christian Aid have been a growing concern. They are
 becoming to politically involved in Arab-Israeli conflict taking on a very
 political role in campaigning for the Palestinians. They are abusing their
  charitable status. Please write to request that the charity commission
 investigates the misuse of charitable donations.
 Harmsworth House
 13-15 Bouverie Street
 London, EC4Y 8DP
 Telephone : 0870 333 0123
 Fax : 020 7674 2300
 (Information in this email via Simon Barrett, ZF)

(Submitted by Hilary Abrahamson)

 Disturbing--other reports like this have been published in the Jewish press
  By Bennett M. Epstein May 20, 2002
 On the heels of Mr. Roed-Larsen's now-infamous remark that Israel "ceded
 all  moral ground" in Jenin, comes word from his home country of Norway that
 some  supermarket chains have decided to place special identification stickers
 on  products from Israel. Other Scandinavian countries may follow suit. The
 Norwegians say the stickers do not constitute a "boycott" of Israel;
 they  just want their customers, who are overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian, to
 pay  attention to where these products are produced. Maybe the rest of us
 should  run down to our local supermarkets with a pad of yellow "post-it" notes
 so  that consumers of Norwegian salmon or Jarlsberg cheese can also pay
 attention  to where those are produced. Stick them on the packages with a note:
 these  products come from a place with a shameful past that continues to operate as
 a European free zone for Neo-Nazis and other right wing extremists.
 Those asking the question of whether Europeans are anti-Israel because
 of  Israel's actions in fighting terror, or because of their own latent
 anti-Semitism, should study the example of Norway.
 Behind the current disclaimer of a boycott you will find that Norwegians
 are  quite experienced at boycotting Israel. Norwegian labor unions have
 recently  refused to off-load Israeli farm produce. Last year, a Norwegian "labor
 youth  movement" organized a campaign to ban Israeli singers from the
 Eurovision song contest. Another Norwegian group has been boycotting Israeli
 oranges  since the early 90s. This group, "Boikott Israel," rejuvenated by the
 latest  "Intifada" to include a boycott of all Israeli commerce, denies on its
 website that it is anti-Semitic but states that its goal is the end
 Israel's  "50 year occupation" of, and the return of all refugees to, a "free
 Palestine." Not anti-Semitic? In 1941, the graffiti on Jewish businesses
 in Oslo read: "Jews, go to Palestine." To campaign now in Norway to get the
 Jews  out of "Palestine" seems anti-Semitic to me, if only by process of
 Indeed, the roots of Norwegian boycotts of Israel run deep. Anti-Semitism
 has  held a unique place in Norwegian politics since the 1930s when Vidkun
 Quisling, later the leader of a Nazi puppet government in Norway, formed
 the  National Union Party. While many Norwegians fought with the Resistance,
 many  became eager collaborators of the Nazis, including some 60,000 members of
 the  National Union. Under its auspices, Norway formed its own branch of the
 SS  and established academies sending hundreds of officers each year to the
 German military. One very active neo-Nazi group in Norway today is the
 Institute for norsk okkupasjonshistorie (Institute for the History of
 Occupied Norway), composed of descendants of members of the Quisling
 party,  the Waffen SS and others dedicated to cleansing their wartime
 The aspect of the holocaust in Norway that was particularly Norwegian was
 the  liquidation of Jewish property, much of which was divided up by Quisling
 and  his followers. When the war ended, the Norwegian reparations commission
 shamelessly accepted doctored figures kept by the Quisling government in
 order to reject most Jewish claims and avoid paying others more than
 pennies  on the dollar. Then in 1997 a new commission, appointed after a
 journalistic  expose of the injustice of the first commission, issued a report, which
 actually recommended adherence to the earlier decision. However, a
 scandal  erupted when it was discovered that an organization of former Nazis had
 provided a scholarship to a researcher on the new commission. The
 Norwegian  prime minister ultimately intervened and compelled the government to
 accept a  dissenting report.
 Today, neo-Nazi propaganda, band concerts and other events are commonplace
 in  Norway. Norway's ultra right-wing groups play host to gatherings of
 like-minded groups from Sweden and Denmark with little fear of official
 interference. More significantly, according to a report published by the
 Stephen Roth Institute of Tel Aviv University, the extreme right wing
 Progress Party is the second largest party in Norway with 25 out of 160
 seats  in the Parliament. Among other racist and anti-immigration views, this
 party  advocates banning male circumcision. Schechita (kosher slaughter) is
 already  forbidden by Norwegian law.
 Given their past and present history, Norwegians are hardly qualified to
 accuse any other country of having ceded "moral ground." Their warning
 stickers on Israeli goods are the modern-day equivalent of painting
 "Joden"  on the Jewish-owned businesses of Oslo and Trondheim in 1941. We needn't be  reminded that after that, all of Norway's remaining Jews were deported
 to  Auschwitz. Fewer than 30 survived the Holocaust.
 I'm not the sort that usually pays attention to boycotts and
 counter-boycotts, because often you don't know who you are really
 hurting.  But there is a good reason why I won't be buying Norwegian products any
 time  soon, or cruising on the Norwegian Line. Their stickers have caught my