Beyond the Cusp

May 2, 2017

Germany, Breaking the Silence, and the Lies Europe Sells

 

A few days ago we wrote about the German Foreign Minister deciding insulting Israel was more important than meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu while in Israel. The end result was he met with the leadership of the NGO Breaking the Silence when given the choice of them or the Prime Minister. This was not a slight taken lightly as Chancellor Angela Merkel backed up the German Foreign Minister’s choice making it the choice of the German government. This insult should weight heavily on the campaign for the position of Chancellor of Germany allowing the people of Germany to hold Angela Merkel, her party and all the parties who remain in her coalition as supporters of her administration intentionally rebuking Israel through intentional insult and actions which are above and beyond just this insult alone. Germany is also the main financial supporter of Breaking the Silence, an NGO dedicated in making false claims about Israeli Defense Force (IDF) actions even to include their humanitarian activities but more about that soon. What need be added is that Germany is far from alone amongst European governments supporting NGO’s working to defame Israel by all and any means possible usually largely through lies and inference. That includes everyone from Sweden to Britain to Italy and everywhere inbetween. They disguise these NGO’s by abusing the open and unrestrictive free speech laws Israel applies to NGO’s and their ability to register themselves as Israeli NGO’s. That’s right, Breaking the Silence is registered as an Israeli NGO’s despite getting a plurality of their funds from Germany and according to NGO Monitor, European governments cover 65 percent of this NGO’s funds, but when Israel attempted to correct this foreign financing of Israeli NGO’s by changing the laws such that any NGO which received a majority of their funds from foreign sources would be required to register as a foreign NGO, Europeans erupted with indignation claiming that if this law passed then Israel would no longer be a democracy. When Israel was discussing this change the European Union and numerous European governments went absolutely orbital in their threats and sheer furious outrage claiming that Israeli democracy was under threat by this law. Did we mention that every European nation requires NGO’s registered by their governments be financed by a majority of their funds from within the nation, some place a higher than fifty percent requirement for NGO financing to be recognized as indigenous.

 

Now to give you a taste of the bile odium with which Breaking the Silence attempts to paint the IDF’s actions. The IDF sent a rapid response search and rescue teams and were the first nation to have a working complete field hospital complete with an entire diagnostic department, neonatal, OBGYN, surgical wards and other medical services all even before the United States arrived in Haiti after their devastating earthquake. One of the Israeli acts which received international acclaim was their going the extra steps to restore dancer George Exantus such that he was able to return to the love of his life, dancing, despite having lost his leg from the knee. For some of his story and others about the reputation of the IDF covering more than sending aid to disaster regions, we would like to suggest you read our article Time for Nations Saved by Israel to Demand United Nations Halt and even some of the links found there if they pique your interest. Also, there are videos with British Colonel Richard Kemp who was an international observer during the War with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists in Gaza including his report given to the United Nations Human Rights Council. We doubt that his report made many of those sitting in the chamber overly happy. Breaking the Silence regularly claims that the IDF has its soldiers harvesting organs from the Palestinians. Breaking the Silence was caught by nationalist group Ad Kan, as reported here by Arutz Sheva, spying on the IDF, or people they believe are IDF veterans, in attempts to gather internal secrets and planning by the IDF along the GAZA border. What Breaking the Silence did with the information and there are fears that they were working for Hamas, Islamic Jihad or possibly even Iran, is unknown and may constitute as espionage, a criminal act. We would be very grateful to any powers that be that actually would prove in a court, military or civilian, within Israel that Breaking the Silence has conducted espionage so that they could be delegitimized completely and made to disband. But, the problem is not just Breaking the Silence, they have allies who similarly are largely financed out of Europe with some financed by the European Union, others by individual nations, and some, in order to hide their financial origins, use other NGO’s through which they receive their funding.

 

One of the main NGO’s through which funds are channeled is called the New Israel Fund (NIF). By funneling through the NIF, they can claim that most of their funding comes from within Israel. We suspect but have yet to find sufficient evidence that there is the funneling of funds in both directions such that many of the NGO’s be sharing the same funds and repeatedly can show a higher percentage of funding from within Israel. For example one NGO receives a million Euros from any European source and then slide one third to two other NGO’s who then in return send the same amount back to the initial NGO. After doing this again with two other NGO’s they will have received one and one-third million Euros from other Israeli NGO’s and one million Euros from a European source and thus claim they received approximately fifty-seven percent funding from within Israel while actually only receiving one million Euros from a European source. They can then continue in using the one million Euros in efforts against Israel and still claim to be an Israeli funded NGO with holy credentials to prove such. Further, all European funding of the NIF immediately becomes Israeli funding when granted to other NGO’s in Israel and this is considered to be one of the main endeavors of the NIF. What is truly astounding are the number of NGO’s and intragovernmental agencies mostly attached to the United Nations which have as their main agenda the criticizing and denouncing of Israel. The German Foreign Minister also met with B’Tselem, another anti-Israel NGO. B’Tselem was founded as a Human Rights organization and has published over a hundred reports on various issues such as torture, fatal shootings by security forces, restrictions on movement, expropriation of land and discrimination in planning and building in East Jerusalem, administrative detention, house demolitions, violence by Israeli settlers and Palestinians, and Israeli operations in the occupied territories. Hiding behind a claimed Human Rights platform is a popular ruse used by numerous other organizations and most famously by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UNHRC got to a point where they would open their biannual meetings with resolutions to criticize Israel for human rights abuses. They would fill in the particulars at a later time likely given to one of their staff to enter the desired accusations.

 

Beyond B’Tselem, NIF, UNHRC, and Breaking the Silence there are leagues of other anti-Israel NGO’s and committees. A short list would include but not be limited to Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Sabeel, Badil, Christ at the Checkpoint, Zochrot (research on these by NGO Monitor can be read here, plus financing by the European Union for BDS supporting groups such as Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Land Research Center, The Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), Edward Said National Conservatory and Music Association, Popular Art Center, Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE), Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), Arab Youth Against ‘Honour Killings’, and a number of others also researched by NGO Monitor with the report here, and for a little extra, here is a report by JewishPress.com. If these are insufficient, well then, can we simply provide the link to NGO Monitor’s Home Page and you can spend the rest of the day simply realizing that Israel truly is the central nation, as far as the world’s attention, despite whatever is happening throughout the globe.

 

NGO Monitor Montage

 

Granted, one day the headline might read that North Korean missile launch went poorly and exploded upon takeoff. The next day the headline might read about a chemical attack in Syria against civilians. The day after that we might read about the launching of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at a Syria airfield and a Mother of all Bombs (MOAB or GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast) being dropped on Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan. But, before any two-week period is up you will likely find at least one front-page headline reporting on Israel. It may only take a week and far less if anything even minor should occur. We have a President in Turkey not only taking over all the power and centralizing it in the Presidency that he holds but also declaring his intent to take Aleppo and Mosul as the southern borders for the new Turkey, there is the continuing five year long Syrian civil war and all that entails, there is the massive refugee and immigrant influx into much of Europe, terrorism around the globe, the slow disintegration of the European Union, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kin Jong Un and his dwindling family size, weather anomalies, Voyager I reaching the Heliosphere and so many other monumental news items not all of which are terrifying and yet the news inevitably returns to a nation the size of New Jersey that is not currently fighting a war with any of her neighbors, Israel. How can anybody explain this? NGO Monitor has a partial explanation in that many nations and organizations around the world invest large sums of cash, often money they do not really have to spend, all on denigrating Israel. This is why the news always turns back to Israel, the world is investing huge sums of money in attempts to destroy Israel and they must have the news constantly screaming about Israel has done this or that or the other and it is terrible. The Arab Palestinians all originated in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and even Turkey, the Sudan and Yemen; and these nations stopped accepting their countrymen back at the demands of Yasser Arafat and the Arab League such that they would have the refugee weapon to wield against Israel. The Arab Palestinians, and here is the dirty little secret, do not desire their own nations, they wish to return to where the rest of their families reside, but they are set on destroying Israel first and are willing to live forever in these camps because Israel must be destroyed. The Europeans agree with the Arab world on this point which is why they spend so much time, energy and money in efforts to discredit and demean Israel. The destruction of Israel has become the dream of the leftists who, it should be no surprise, are the modern fascists. The reason everybody has the desire to be rid of Israel is very simple and was given by Adolph Hitler as the reason for the Final Solution; he was going to rid the world of the “Jewish Conscience” which meant he also wanted to destroy all of the Judeo-Christian world. We have discussed this and shown how the left has been against the Judeo-Christian ethics for at least the past century. This was why they supported the Nazis up until Poland was invaded and they felt threatened, further one can simply research Charles Lindbergh and the Eugenicists of his era and their support for Hitler and Mousseline until the start of World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. During and for a while after World War II the left fell in love with Communism for the same reason and now are admiring Islam and see it as the savior from the Judeo-Christian ethic which they see as the bane of civilization. We talked of this in our article It Can Get Worse But Why Wait?

 

The only conclusion which can come from this is even leftist Jews who mostly have left their faith mostly outside their lives with special exception for their loved holiday parties such as dress-up costumes for Purim, jelly donuts on Chanukah and really dressing up for the High Holiday services, have joined in the anti-Semitic hatred for Israel. The hatred for Israel is largely fueled by anti-Semitism which is easily proven by simply asking those anti-Israel demonstrators what other nation they hold to a similar standard as Israel. Mostly they will sputter or perhaps be honest before they check themselves and name the United States. Hatred of the Judeo-Christian ethic is both anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity and often couched as anti-Western culture. The weird thing is the most ardent advocates of these particular poisonous hatreds are people living in Western Society. Why the natives of Western Society and the people who benefit the most from the Judeo-Christian ethics from which we get such niceties as private property rights, civility, polite culture, the Ten Commandments and nearly everything they find pleasant about their life all of which is kept safe due to the legal systems which were derived from Torah and the teachings of the Rabbis (Jesus was a Rabbi) and the philosophies which followed from their leads. Of course, the leftists will claim that religion has murdered more people than anything else in history. What they are doing is repeating a lie which by its repetition has become accepted truth, but it is still a lie. The first thing they need to take in is that World War I was not started over religion but by treaties, World War II and the Holocaust had nothing to do with religion, at least not Judeo-Christianity as the Nazis were anti-Christian and, need we add, anti-Semitic and then we have the Stalin Purges and then the disastrous policies of Mao which murdered more people than anyone has ever been able to estimate and that alone accounts for over three-quarters of the deaths due to war and governments. Only one killer even approaches these counts, disease. The current war against Israel is simply a continuation of a hatred which has existed for over four-thousand years and if only it could end and Israel be given the lands promised her in 1922, well before the Holocaust thus not having such as the reason, and allowed to live in peace, then everything discovered by Israeli scientists and physicians and engineers would be shared with the world and used for the benefit of the world. If you think cherry tomatoes are cool, imagine what other things Israel could invent.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 17, 2014

Jerusalem Protests Over Force-Feeding Hunger Strike Prisoners

I was blessed to spend yesterday with a group touring Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם) and part of my visit took me in the vicinity of the Knesset Building. As we was about a block away making our way to take pictures and hear a presentation on the large Menorah, which is the official National Symbol of Israel, we passed one of the protest groups which one usually can expect to run into in the government center of any democratic and free nation. The current protest is against the forced-feeding of prisoners being held in Israeli detention facilities. The hunger-striking prisoners includes a mix of detainees and prisoners with most of them falling into one of three categories; convicted terrorists where their crimes span from attempting to perform a terrorist strike all the way to multiple murders, political prisoners who are mostly terrorist organizers who have committed any of a number of actions in support of terror, and security prisoners who have committed acts against Israel attempting to alter her political institutions and undermine the elected government. The reasons behind the hunger strikers vary depends on which group of such prisoners each hunger-striking prisoner chooses to commit themselves to. One of the main reasons currently given is to get one particular Hamas prisoner released from solitary confinement.

 

Be that as it may, the question before the Knesset is about whether to force-feed these prisoners once their health has deteriorated sufficiently that they have been transferred to a hospital. It currently appears that the legislation has sufficient support to pass providing there are no drastic changes of opinions. The main groups opposing the forced-feeding are many of the physicians including the Israeli Chairman of the Medical Association Dr. Leonid Idelman. Dr. Idelman has written a letter for all physicians who have hunger-striking prisoners under their care and has instructed them to choose not to force-feed these inmates. He wrote, “In recent weeks, many dozens of hunger striking prisoners have been transferred from the Israel Prisons Service to the hospital wards nationwide, and their number is growing daily. As you know, treating hunger strikers is a special challenge that the doctors are as yet unfamiliar with. The situation is unusual and requires unconventional measures.” Dr. Idelman adds referencing a recent conference which addressed this “complex situation” with Senior Officials from the Health Ministry, Hospital Directors and Assistant Deputies, along with ward directors, heads of scientific unions in the IMA and others participating where it was concluded, “A procedure of force feeding hunger strikers despite their objection involves a real danger to their health and is opposed to the overriding rules of non-maleficence and maintaining the patient’s autonomy over his body, upon which the doctors’ ethical code is based. Force feeding is forbidden in the ethical rules of the Medical Association, and those accepted worldwide, including Tokyo Declaration 1495 and Malta Declaration 1441 of the International Medical Association.”

 

Well, let me be clear, I have no reason to doubt Dr. Idelman when he quotes such esteemed issuances such as the Tokyo Declaration 1495 and Malta Declaration 1441, but I am certain there has to be something less dated and results from modern precedents. As it turns out, there are such issuances with the most recent being convened to discuss the forced-feeding of hunger-strikers in Guantanamo Prison, an American facility just off the southern tip of Florida on the Cuban Islands. The consensus was that such actions are forbidden unless two physicians determine that the prisoner, patient according to rulings, is determined to no longer be able to choose whether they should receive nourishment or not. Included in the determining factors to be weighed is the threat to the patient’s life or the determination of imminent death. The boards also realized that there could be cases where the patient never lost consciousness and refused food to the end and as a result dies due to their hunger-strike. According to the rulings where this has been discussed, every board I could find lays the blame for the prisoner’s death resulting from their choice to commit to a hunger strike lies with the prisoner and not the physicians or the nation holding the hunger-striking prisoner.

 

Now this is where the real fun begins. Let us simply take the few dozen demonstrators I saw about one block from the Knesset building carrying signs with most in Hebrew or Arabic but some of the largest signs were in bold red English letters. One can only wonder for whom the English letters were intended. Could it be their friends in America and the English speaking world which includes much of Europe or were they aimed at the local population many of which speak Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, French, Farsi, and virtually every other language in the world other than English. We know that those signs were for the international market, particularly CNN, FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC and the rest of the international press. The real question is how long after a single hunger-striking prisoner managed to remain in control and starved themselves to death before those protest signs demanding that the prisoners’ rights be observed and their hunger-strike remain under their wishes and equating forced-feeding with torture were swapped out declaring the Israeli physicians and prison officials along with the usual Knesset and government officials including especially Prime Minister Netanyahu as murderers and insisting they be brought to trial before the Hague International Criminal Court on charges of prisoner abuse and human rights violations. The Israeli government is facing simply another lose-lose situation where no matter which path they choose, they are going to be condemned. If any single prisoner dies from lack of nourishment, then they were obligated to preserve this prisoner’s life and to have force-fed them but as long as they are alive they must obey the wishes of the prisoner and not force-feed them come whatever. So, basically the Israeli officials, government, physicians and everyone else involved in this situation must decide, do I go against international law and feed these prisoners to at the very least a sustenance level in order to cause them not physical harm and face charges of torturing them or do I allow them to waste away and die because that is their expressed desire and once they die face charges of inhumane treatment and murder warrants be sworn against me by much of Europe? Which would you choose?

 

On a more somber note, the three abducted Israeli teenage children, Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, are still missing and the manhunt continues with the radius under suspicion continues to widen. While in Jerusalem the group visited the Kotel and the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall which is somewhat more appropriate at this time, where we all offered up prayers in private. There is a tradition of placing special prayer which we desire Heavenly assistance onto small strips of paper and wedging them into the Wall. My prayers on my piece of paper were for the health, safety and speedy return of these youths unharmed none the worse for wear. I also included a few other thoughts and opened my prayers with a short Hebrew phrase of praise to G0d. It is odd the feeling one gets when attempting to write even simple words while in the vicinity of such a holy place as the Western Wall which is literally a few tens of meters from where the Holy of Holies, the inner Sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was placed and where no mortal man would tread unless they were the Cohen Gadol, and even he feared for his life when treading within the one day each year he was required to enter this inner sanctum, was located during the times of the First and Second Temples. You find you are nearly paralyzed and frozen out from choosing mere words and you have to concentrate and focus one’s thoughts and slowly your note takes shape. Meanwhile, all your thoughts are known on High and this is the real and actual note which is received. Now if only my thoughts are able to convey the hurt which has fallen across all Israel with so many sharing the grief as if these young boys, Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, belonged to our own families. And once they are returned we will all celebrate because then we all will feel as if our own family has again been made whole.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 4, 2013

The Horrors of Prisoner Hunger-Strikers

What a dilemma for the government on how to address the prickly problem that hunger striking terrorists and other assorted prisoners being held on security issues. According to International Law it is illegal to force feed such prisoners unless they can be ruled in mortal danger or are suffering from some form of mental instability. This applies even if the prisoners should become in danger of death. Even then the prisoners can continue to refuse food and the government authorities holding them technically must not take actions even to save the prisoners’ lives. But when there are approximately one-hundred prisoners who have all joined the hunger strike demanding immediate trials or to be released what does the government do to address the situation? This is especially true when their claims seems so reasonable, especially those who are being held on political charges of being potentially dangerous as planners and organizers of terrorist attacks and training. Such prisoners have not actually committed any crime yet have been determined to be a serious threat of fomenting or aiding terrorist functions including attacks on the public.

 

Making this situation even more difficult is that the prisoners’ hunger strikes are being taken up by a number of human rights activists who are demanding that the government either charge and give a speedy trial to these hunger striking security prisoners or release them if there are no charges to be brought. What should be done with prisoners who it has been determined require being held for a thus far undetermined amount of time as the threat they are suspected of posing warrants such imprisonment by the government acting in the protection of the people, all the people, both their own citizens and those of others throughout the Western World. The human rights activists claim that since some of those held have not actually committed any crime and are simply being held due to the positions they held in what the imprisoning country has classified as a terrorist organization which allow their claim that the leaders of such a group may be imprisoned without charge as a precautionary action. It is likely that eventually the human rights activists will refer their charges against the government’s position claiming the right to preemptively hold these political prisoners to the ICJ in The Hague (International Court of Justice). This will present a particularly difficult challenge should the right to detain security prisoners without charge attempt to be defended by the government.

 

What has been most interesting about these particular hunger strikers has been the lack of news coverage either their hunger striking or the objections and protests of the human rights advocates have received. With the coverage that the mainstream media, especially the European media, has given the Palestinian hunger strikers held in Israeli prisons one would expect equal vociferous protest headlines in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the AFP and other international mainstream news sources denouncing the continued incarceration and the ongoing forced feedings being foist upon these prisoners against their wills at the United States high security facility at the Guantanamo Naval Base on the Cuban Islands. One would expect the human rights activists to be even more incensed about these particular hunger strikers as well as the rest of the terror security prisoners continuing to be held at Guantanamo as President Obama made promises he would close the facility. Especially since it has been at Guantanamo is where torture has been rumored to have taken place as well as other deprivations which had been vociferously protested at the end of the Bush Administration but have been mostly silent since President Obama was sworn in as President. We will have to wait and see whether the recent pronouncement by President Obama to finally close the Guantanamo Holding Facility using the impetus of the sequester cuts as the leverage to at last accomplish this. The problems of whether or not to release these prisoners or, if it is decided they continue to require being held, where can the government imprison the most dangerous of these terror threats. This issue will very soon become an issue that’s time has come and the human rights advocates will finally be granted the front page coverage they have thus far been denied. Will the public display of the realities of the situations that must be confronted when guarding and fighting against terrorism in all of its manifestations by the United States mitigate the position and condemnations the Israelis have faced in their difficult fight against terrorism or will the world continue to pretend that terrorism against Israel is completely separate from the terror faced by the rest of the world and terror against Israel is understandable while terrorism against everybody else is an evil they fight out of necessity. My deepest fear is that the moral relativism which allows many progressives to differentiate between terrorism against Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world to be completely separate and worthy of a united effort to eradicate while expressing understanding and tacit, or even vociferous, support of terrorism which targets Israel, Israeli interests around the world, or Jews because such terrorism has a worthy cause.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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