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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Revealed: How Britain’s leading Jews lobbied Prime Minister to block Faurisson and Leuchter.

Admin - January 21, 2019

   

Execution technology expert Fred Leuchter, who was arrested and deported from London in November 1991

Intense lobbying at the highest level of British politics was behind the official disruption of a revisionist meeting in November 1991, hosted at Chelsea Old Town Hall by the British historian David Irving with speakers including the late Prof. Robert Faurisson and Fred Leuchter.

The extent of this high-level lobbying can now be revealed after H&D accessed newly released documents from then Prime Minister John Major’s Downing Street files.

Prime Minister John Major with his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Rabin during a 1995 visit to Jerusalem

During the summer of 1991 staff from the Board of Deputies of British Jews made informal contact with Major’s private secretary William Chapman to arrange a personal meeting with the Prime Minister, who had succeeded Margaret Thatcher at the end of 1990. This was followed by a letter on 5th September 1991 from the Board’s president, Judge Israel Finestein, requesting a meeting at which:

“there are a number of major issues which are of concern to the community and which we would like to raise with you, so that you and your colleagues in Government can be acquainted with the feelings of the Jewish community on these topics. The matters which I have in mind include, but are not confined to, such questions as the distribution of anti-Semitic literature in this country; the attitude of the authorities towards holocaust revisionist ‘historians’ (including those who seek to enter the United Kingdom from other countries in order to publicise their odious views)…”

At previous such meetings, Jewish leaders had prioritised matters affecting Israel and the treatment of Jews in the Soviet bloc: now, for the first time in the postwar records of such meetings, “anti-semitism” within the UK was the top priority, alongside historical revisionism. A meeting was arranged for November 19th at Downing Street.

This was in the context of British historian David Irving’s increasingly outspoken revisionism – Irving had published and contributed a foreword to a British edition of The Leuchter Report in 1989, based on research carried out at the alleged extermination camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau by American execution technology expert Fred Leuchter.

The revisionist critique of orthodox ‘Holocaust’ history had been gaining ground since the 1970s, largely thanks to the pioneering scholarship of the French expert in documentary analysis, Prof. Robert Faurisson, and the American Professor of electrical engineering Arthur Butz. During the 1980s revisionism attracted enormous publicity thanks to the work of the Institute for Historical Review in the USA, and especially due to the efforts of German-Canadian artist and publisher Ernst Zündel, who faced multiple criminal trials in Canada and was eventually deported to Germany – spending a total of seven years in Canadian and German jails for the ‘crime’ of questioning historical orthodoxy.

Professor Faurisson in Paris for one of his many court appearances Prof. Faurisson later summarised part of the revisionist case:

“…It is accurate to say that the Germans employed Zyklon (made from a base of hydrocyanic acid and in use since 1922) to safeguard the health, by disinfection, of large numbers of civilians, troops, prisoners, and internees. But they never used Zyklon in order to kill anyone, let alone put to death throngs of human beings at once; because of the draconian precautions for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, the gassing of inmates as it is alleged to have been done at Auschwitz and other camps would, besides, have been fundamentally impossible.”
[see the obituary of Prof. Robert Faurisson in the current Jan-Feb 2019 edition of H&D]

In 1990 France had enacted a special law (known as the ‘Gayssot law’) designed to criminalise Faurisson’s work. The following year, a Downing Street document prepared for Prime Minister Major before his meeting with Jewish leaders conveyed the views of the Board of Deputies and the Conservative Friends of Israel: “they are concerned that the UK may become the focal point for holocaust revisionism because of its being outlawed in other European countries and because the American revisionist organisation, The Institute of Historical Review, is facing financial problems.”

It was in this context that the Board of Deputies (backed by senior backbencher Sir John Wheeler, who chaired the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee) asked Major’s Home Secretary Kenneth Baker to use his powers to exclude Leuchter and Faurisson from coming to Britain as guests of Irving, who intended to put on a series of revisionist meetings.

The Downing Street files record:

“In the event, Faurisson could not be excluded because he holds dual French and British citizenship, and as a British citizen he has an unimpeded right in law to visit the United Kingdom. However, the Home Secretary decided that Leuchter should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that his presence here would not be conducive to the public good.”

The same considerations applied when Robert Faurisson made later visits to London – including 1998 when he addressed a meeting in Croydon organised by Paul Ballard before testifying for the defence at the trial of Mr Ballard and Nick Griffin; 2008 when he spoke at a meeting organised by Lady Michèle Renouf following the historic legal victory over the German government in a failed extradition case against Dr Fredrick Töben; and last year when he spoke at a meeting hosted by H&D in his native town of Shepperton the day before his death.

Kenneth Baker, the Home Secretary who ordered Fred Leuchter’s exclusion from the UK, seen here at a Tory Party conference with John Major’s predecessor Margaret Thatcher.

Even so, Downing Street officials were evidently concerned that the Board of Deputies intended to push for wider banning actions. They briefed the Prime Minister on what line to take in response:

“The Home Secretary may personally direct that an individual be excluded from the United Kingdom if his presence is deemed not to be conducive to the public good. This power is used very sparingly and only after the arguments in support of free speech have been very carefully weighed against those on the undesirability of giving a platform to objectionable views and the risk of public disorder. In the recent case of Leuchter the Home Secretary felt it would cause grievous offence both to the Jewish and non-Jewish community if he was admitted to the UK and, therefore, decided that he should be excluded.

“There is a particular policy objection to using the exclusion powers merely to suppress the voicing in the United Kingdom of views that are offensive, but not unlawful. There are a number of occasions on which the Home Secretary is asked by various pressure groups to ban the visit of a foreigner because it is felt that one or another section of society will be offended by his visit. It would be very undesirable if the Home Secretary were put in the position of repeatedly having to defend a decision either to exclude or not to exclude particular individuals on the basis of their views alone. There are good grounds, therefore, for confining the use of the exclusion powers to those circumstances where clear objective factors can be adduced in support of exclusion, such as risks to public order or a previous criminal background which makes an individual’s presence in the United Kingdom undesirable.” The contradiction in Downing Street’s position is evident: while accepting it would be “very undesirable” to exclude people from the UK merely for expressing “offensive, but not unlawful” views, these same officials were happy to recommend the exclusion of Leuchter and (had it not been for his dual French-British citizenship) Faurisson as well. Neither of these gentlemen could be credibly presented as a threat to public order.

Judith Chaplin, head of the PM’s political office, minuted that the Jewish leaders were “not a group to be upset” Perhaps part of the answer lies in a brief handwritten note buried in the midst of the newly released file. The head of the Prime Minister’s political office, Judith Chaplin, asked for her views on the forthcoming meeting with Jewish leaders, minuted: “my input would merely be: not a group to be upset because of party links.” On January 19th five officials of the Board of Deputies led by Judge Finestein duly met with Prime Minister Major. According to official minutes now released to the National Archives: “Judge Finestein made it clear that the Board regarded the meeting as private; the members present would not talk to the Press afterwards. “Judge Finestein expressed appreciation of the Government’s decision to keep Fred Leuchter out of the country. The board was of course concerned about the activities of M. Le Pen. Whenever Le Pen visited a foreign country, as in Madrid recently, he stirred up fascism in his wake. He hoped that the Government would encourage other European Governments to take a common line.”

Robert Faurisson speaking at the Chelsea meeting raided by London police on 15th November 1991. Just four days before this Downing Street meeting, Metropolitan Police officers had raided a meeting at Chelsea Old Town Hall, chaired by David Irving, with speakers including Robert Faurisson and Fred Leuchter. The packed audience included BNP leader John Tyndall and his right-hand man Richard Edmonds, as well as H&D‘s Assistant Editor Peter Rushton.

Leuchter was ordered to leave the stage a few minutes into his speech, and was hauled off to a nearby police station where he was held overnight without charge, then deported on a flight back to the USA the following day. A few weeks after this Chelsea meeting, French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen visited London where he addressed a dinner at the Charing Cross Hotel hosted by a conservative group called Western Goals, whose officials included the late Jonathan Bowden.

Some documents from police and security agencies are redacted from the published version of the government files. In relation to Jewish leaders’ concern over ‘anti-semitism’ in the UK the Prime Minister’s office was informed that: “The Metropolitan Police Special Branch assess the threat to Jewish interests as low. We continue to monitor the position. Extreme right-wing organisations are not thought to pose a significant threat at this time because their attention and activities are focused more on localised racial issues and their long-term opposition to coloured immigration into the UK.”

Judge Israel Finestein, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews when they lobbied Prime Minister John Major in 1991 Special Branch listed what they described as the “main anti-semitic organisations” in the UK, but aside from the BNP, National Front and League of St George most of those listed were (to H&D‘s knowledge) little more than one-man bands or non-existent organisations invented as fronts for the distribution of certain literature. The file highlights the successful prosecution of Lady Birdwood earlier that year, and an ongoing case against Colin Jordan, Britain’s best-known national socialist.

In addition to their specific concerns about revisionism, the Board of Deputies were lobbying at this time for further strengthening of Britain’s race laws, and had revived their call for a ‘group defamation’ law. The next edition of H&D will contain a detailed analysis of this lobbying effort, exposing the continuing campaign by this powerful lobby group further to restrict Britons’ traditional liberties.

Unsurprisingly, part of the 1991 delegation to Downing Street was Neville Nagler, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, who in his earlier career as a Home Office civil servant had been partly responsible for the drafting of Britain’s developing race laws. Nagler was a prime example of the so-called ‘revolving door’ syndrome, where a politician or civil servant steps down from his role in government, only to re-enter the same public buildings as a lobbyist for special interest groups!
Neville Nagler

Fred Leuchter (right) with Robert Faurisson

UPDATE: Fred Leuchter adds –
I would like to comment on my stay in London that evening. I was removed by a very friendly police department (all wishing to shake the hand of a man who makes execution equipment) and was treated well by the station Superintendent whom personally conveyed my wife to the Chelsea station. I was allowed to remain in the lobby with my wife until the shift changed at Midnite.

The second shift Superintendent did not know what to do with me, but did not want me cluttering up his lobby. Thereafter, I was thrown into a cell with a psychopath who was in for assault, but who happened to like me. I was then removed to a cell with a petty thief for fear that I would be injured in the cell with the former.

At 2 AM I was removed by two of Her Majesty’s Immigration Officers who interrogated me under a hot bright light. It looked a scene from a B Movie. I was returned to my cell and returned for the “Third Degree” two more times. I requested to speak to the US Consul or Ambassador but was refused. Her Majesty’s Idiots taped everything.

At 6 AM I was again removed from my cell by a third Bureaucrat who advised me that he did not particularly like me but that my rights had been violated by the earlier interrogations and being held incommunicado. He told me that their plans were to deport me to France (after 18 days) who would deport me to Belgium (after 18 days) who would deport me to Germany (after 18 days) who would finally deport me the USA (after 18 days). Apparently International Law allowed me to be held for 18 days for investigation.

The new Her Majesty’s agent was really upset when he heard the tapes of my interrogation and felt that British Law was being violated by Her Majesty’s earlier Buffoons, and he intended to right this wrong. I was taken into custody by two British Policemen who put me on an Airplane (at Her Majesty’s expense) and sent home. To say the least, it was a very interesting evening.

Chelsea Old Town Hall, venue for the meeting in November 1991 interrupted by the Metropolitan Police who arrested Fred Leuchter

Source: http://www.heritageanddestiny.com/revealed-how-britains-leading-jews-lobbied-prime-minister-to-block-faurisson-and-leuchter/

Sunday, 18 November 2018

The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal


By Steerpike - Spectator / 17 November 2018



This week, Theresa May’s government teetered on the point of collapse over her proposed Brexit deal. The withdrawal agreement between the UK and Brussels led to Dominic Raab and Esther McVey resigning in protest. However, May’s remaining ministers have since attempted to rally around her at least in the short term. Speaking on Friday, Liam Fox – the International Trade Secretary – gave a speech in which he declared ‘a deal is better than no deal’. This is rather different to May’s old claim that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’.

So, is Fox right? Mr S thought it best to let readers decide for themselves. In theory, Britain is leaving the EU on 29 March 2019. But the legal small print, published by Brussels, shows what this means. Parliament will be asked to ratify a deal which clearly admits that ‘all references to ‘Member States’ and competent authorities of Member States…shall be read as including the United Kingdom.’ (Article 7). So the UK will be bound by EU laws, at least during a transition period. But this ‘transition period’ can be be made to last forever (Article 132). And even if a successor deal is agreed, the UK will have signed away other rights for years to come.

Just in case readers don’t have the time to go through the lengthy document themselves, Steerpike has compiled a list of the top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Once you’ve finished reading this – why not try 10 Downing Street’s 40 rebuttals here.

In summary: The supposed ‘transition period’ could last indefinitely or, more specifically, to an undefined date sometime this century (“up to 31 December 20XX”, Art. 132). So while this Agreement covers what the government is calling Brexit, what we in fact get is: ‘transition’ + extension indefinitely (by however many years we are willing to pay for) + all of those extra years from the ‘plus 8 years’ articles.

Should it end within two years, as May hopes, the UK will still be signed up to clauses keeping us under certain rules (like VAT and ECJ supervision) for a further eight years. Some clauses have, quite literally, a “lifetime” duration (Art.39). If the UK defaults on transition, we go in to the backstop with the Customs Union and, realistically, the single market. We can only leave the transition positively with a deal. But we sign away the money. So the EU has no need to give us a deal, and certainly no incentive to make the one they offered ‘better’ than the backstop. The European Court of Justice remains sovereign, as repeatedly stipulated. Perhaps most damagingly of all, we agree to sign away the rights we would have, under international law, to unilaterally walk away. Again, what follows relates (in most part) for the “transition” period. But the language is consistent with the E.U. imagining that this will be the final deal.

The top 40 horrors:

1. From the offset, we should note that this is an EU text, not a UK or international text. This has one source. The Brexit agreement is written in Brussels.
2 .May says her deal means the UK leaves the EU next March. The Withdrawal Agreement makes a mockery of this. “All references to Member States and competent authorities of Member States…shall be read as including the United Kingdom.” (Art 6). Not quite what most people understand by Brexit. It goes on to spell out that the UK will be in the EU but without any MEPs, a commissioner or ECJ judges. We are effectively a Member State, but we are excused – or, more accurately, excluded – from attending summits. (Article 7)
3. The European Court of Justice is decreed to be our highest court, governing the entire Agreement – Art. 4. stipulates that both citizens and resident companies can use it. Art 4.2 orders our courts to recognise this. “If the European Commission considers that the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties or under Part Four of this Agreement before the end of the transition period, the European Commission may, within 4 years after the end of the transition period, bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union”. (Art. 87) 4. The jurisdiction of the ECJ will last until eight years after the end of the transition period. (Article 158).
5. The UK will still be bound by any future changes to EU law in which it will have no say, not to mention having to comply with current law. (Article 6(2))
6. Any disputes under the Agreement will be decided by EU law only – one of the most dangerous provisions. (Article 168). This cuts the UK off from International Law, something we’d never do with any foreign body. Arbitration will be governed by the existing procedural rules of the EU law – this is not arbitration as we would commonly understand it (i.e. between two independent parties). (Article 174)
7. “UNDERLINING that this Agreement is founded on an overall balance of benefits, rights and obligations for the Union and the United Kingdom” No, it should be based upon the binding legal obligations upon the EU contained within Article 50. It is wrong to suggest otherwise.
8. The tampon tax clause: We obey EU laws on VAT, with no chance of losing the tampon tax even if we agree a better deal in December 2020 because we hereby agree to obey other EU VAT rules for **five years** after the transition period. Current EU rules prohibit 0-rated VAT on products (like tampons) that did not have such exemptions before the country joined the EU.
9. Several problems with the EU’s definitions: “Union law” is too widely defined and “United Kingdom national” is defined by the Lisbon Treaty: we should given away our right to define our citizens. The “goods” and the term “services” we are promised the deal are not defined – or, rather, will be defined however the EU wishes them to be. Thus far, this a non-defined term so far. This agreement fails to define it.
10. The Mandelson Pension Clause: The UK must promise never to tax former EU officials based here – such as Peter Mandelson or Neil Kinnock – on their E.U. pensions, or tax any current Brussels bureaucrats on their salaries. The EU and its employees are to be immune to our tax laws. (Article 104)
11. Furthermore, the UK agrees not to prosecute EU employees who are, or who might be deemed in future, criminals (Art.101)
12. The GDPR clause. The General Data Protection Regulation – the EU’s stupidest law ever? – is to be bound into UK law (Articles 71 to 73). There had been an expectation in some quarters that the UK could get out of it.
13. The UK establishes a ‘Joint Committee’ with EU representatives to guarantee ‘the implementation and application of this Agreement’. This does not sound like a withdrawal agreement – if it was, why would it need to be subject to continued monitoring? (Article 164). This Joint Committee will have subcommittees with jurisdiction over: (a) citizens’ rights; (b) “other separation provisions”; (c) Ireland/Northern Ireland; (d) Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus; (e) Gibraltar; and (f) financial provisions. (Article 165)
14. The Lifetime clause: the agreement will last as long as the country’s youngest baby lives. “the persons covered by this Part shall enjoy the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part for their lifetime”. (Article 39).
15. The UK is shut out of all EU networks and databases for security – yet no such provision exists to shut the EU out of ours. (Article 8)
16. The UK will tied to EU foreign policy, “bound by the obligations stemming from the international agreements concluded by the Union” but unable to influence such decisions. (Article 124)
17. All EU citizens must be given permanent right of residence after five years – but what counts as residence? This will be decided by the EU, rather than UK rules. (Articles 15-16)
18. Britain is granted the power to send a civil servant to Brussels to watch them pass stupid laws which will hurt our economy. (Article 34)
19. The UK agrees to spend taxpayers’ money telling everyone how wonderful the agreement is. (Article 37) 20. Art 40 defines Goods. It seems to includes Services and Agriculture. We may come to discover that actually ‘goods’ means everything.
21. Articles 40-49 practically mandate the UK’s ongoing membership of the Customs Union in all but name.
22. The UK will be charged to receive the data/information we need in order to comply with EU law. (Article 50) 23. The EU will continue to set rules for UK intellectual property law (Article 54 to 61)
24. The UK will effectively be bound by a non-disclosure agreement swearing us to secrecy regarding any EU developments we have paid to be part. This is not mutual. The EU is not bound by such measures. (Article 74)
25. The UK is bound by EU rules on procurement rules – which effectively forbids us from seeking better deals elsewhere. (Articles 75 to 78)
26. We give up all rights to any data the EU made with our money (Art. 103)
27. The EU decide capital projects (too broadly defined) the UK is liable for. (Art. 144)
28. The UK is bound by EU state aid laws until future agreement – even in the event of an agreement, this must wait four years to be valid. (Article 93)
29. Similar advantages and immunities are extended to all former MEPs and to former EU official more generally. (Articles 106-116)
30. The UK is forbidden from revealing anything the EU told us or tells us about the finer points of deal and its operation. (Article 105).
31. Any powers the UK parliament might have had to mitigate EU law are officially removed. (Article 128)
32. The UK shall be liable for any “outstanding commitments” after 2022 (Article 142(2) expressly mentions pensions, which gives us an idea as to who probably negotiated this). The amount owed will be calculated by the EU. (Articles 140-142)
33. The UK will be liable for future EU lending. As anyone familiar with the EU’s financials knows, this is not good. (Article143)
34. The UK will remain liable for capital projects approved by the European Investment Bank. (Article 150).
35. The UK will remain a ‘party’ (i.e. cough up money) for the European Development Fund. (Articles 152-154)
36. And the EU continues to calculate how much money the UK should pay it. So thank goodness Brussels does not have any accountancy issues.
37. The UK will remain bound (i.e coughing up money) to the European Union Emergency Trust Fund – which deals with irregular migration (i.e. refugees) and displaced persons heading to Europe. (Article 155)
38. The agreement will be policed by ‘the Authority’ – a new UK-based body with ‘powers equivalent to those of the European Commission’. (Article 159)
39. The EU admits, in Art. 184, that it is in breach of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which oblige it to “conclude an agreement” of the terms of UK leaving the EU. We must now, it seems, “negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their future relationship.” And if the EU does not? We settle down to this Agreement.
40. And, of course, the UK will agree to pay £40bn to receive all of these ‘privileges’. (Article 138)

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/11/the-top-40-horrors-lurking-in-the-small-print-of-theresa-mays-brexit-deal/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Thursday, 11 October 2018

German historians on Wednesday accused far-right leader Alexander Gauland of paraphrasing Adolf Hitler in a newspaper column taking aim at a "globalised class" that he claimed threatens all that is good in his "homeland".

Far-right AfD party leader Alexander Gauland is facing accusations of paraphrasing Adolf Hitler after taking aim at a 'globalised class' he claimed threatens all that is good in his 'homeland'

The co-leader of the far-right AfD rejected allegations of parallels with a 1933 speech by Hitler, but the latest episode is yet another controversy raising questions over his anti-migrant party's views on the Nazi-era.

In a guest commentary for Saturday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Gauland wrote that the "globalised class" occupies positions in mainstream organisations from international corporations to the media to universities, and are also in key political parties.echoing

"Their members live almost exclusively in big cities, speak fluent English, and when they move from Berlin to London or Singapore for jobs, they find similar apartments, houses, restaurants, shops and private schools everywhere.

"This group socialises among itself but is culturally 'diverse'," he wrote, adding that they have no attachments to their homeland.

He argued that the AfD stands against this group which if left unchecked, would threaten "what makes our country and our continent worth living in".

Historian Wolfgang Benz, a prominent researcher on the Nazi era, noted however that Gauland's commentary was strikingly similar to a speech made by Hitler in 1933.

"It's a paraphrase that looks like the AfD chief had the Fuehrer's speech from 1933 on his desk when he was writing his column for the FAZ," wrote Benz in Tagesspiegel daily.

Gauland had simply modernised the criticism, added Benz.

Addressing workers at the Siemens Dynamo Works in Berlin in November 1933, Hitler railed against a "small, rootless, international clique".

They are "the people who are at home both nowhere and everywhere, who do not have anywhere a soil on which they have grown up, but who live in Berlin today, in Brussels tomorrow, Paris the day after that, and then again in Prague or Vienna or London, and who feel at home everywhere," he said, as a man in the audience shouts "the Jews!".

In the speech -- also the first by Hitler broadcast live on all German radio stations, the Nazi leader accused this "clique" of its ability to "conduct their business everywhere but the people cannot follow them".

Historian Michael Wolffsohn said it was no accident Gauland had written his column in this manner.

"It is bad that Gauland is signalling to his educated followers that he knows the speech and style of Hitler's speech and that he is transferring Hitler's accusations against the Jews to the opponents of the AfD today," said Wolffsohn.

Leading members of the AfD have come under fire repeatedly for comments that appear to play down the Holocaust.

Gauland in June described the Nazi period as a mere "speck of bird poo in over 1,000 years of successful German history".

https://m.france24.com/en/20181010-german-historians-accuse-far-right-chief-echoing-hitler

Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Crucifixion of Jeremy Corbyn

   

Israel's friends demand total surrender
Philip Giraldi • August 28, 2018


Many believe that the easily observable dominance of the friends of Israel over some aspects of government policy is a phenomenon unique to the United States, where committed Jews and Christian Zionists are able to control both politicians and the media message relating to what is going on in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the reality is that there exists an “Israel Lobby” in many countries, all dedicated to advancing the agendas promoted by successive Israeli governments no matter what the actual interests of the host country might be. Failure to confront Israel’s crimes against humanity combined with an inability to resist its demands regarding how issues like anti-Semitism and hate speech are defined has done terrible damage to free speech in Western Europe and, most notably, in the Anglophone world.

For the United States this corruption of the media and the political process by Israel has meant endless wars in the Middle East as well of loss of civil liberties at home, but some other countries have compromised their own declared values far beyond that. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised Israel completely inaccurately as a light that “…burns bright, upheld by the universal principles of all civilized nations – freedom, democracy justice.” He has also said “I will defend Israel whatever the cost” to Canada, an assertion that some might regard as very, very odd for a Canadian head of state.

In some other cases, Israel plays hardball directly, threatening retribution against governments that do not fall in line. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned New Zealand that backing a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements would be a “declaration of war.” He was able to do so because he had confidence in the power of the Israel Lobby in that country to mobilize and produce the desired result.

It might surprise some that the “Mother of Parliaments” in Great Britain is perhaps the legislative body most dominated by Israeli interests, more in many respects than the Congress in the United States. The ruling Conservative Party has a Friends of Israel caucus that includes more than 80% of its Parliamentary membership. BICOM , the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, is an American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) clone located in London. It is well funded and politically powerful, working through its various “Friends of Israel” proxies. Americans might be surprised to learn how that power is manifest, including that in Britain Jewish organizations uniquely are allowed to patrol heavily Jewish London neighborhoods in police-like uniforms while driving police-type vehicles. There have been reports of the patrols threatening Muslims who seek to enter the areas.

Prime Minister Theresa May is careful never to offend either Israel or the wealthy and powerful British Jewish community. After Secretary of State John Kerry described Israel’s government as “extreme right wing” on December 28, 2016, May sprang to Tel Aviv’s defense, saying “we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” May’s rejoinder could have been written by Netanyahu, and maybe it was. Two weeks later, her government cited “reservations” over a French government sponsored mid-January Middle East peace conference and would not sign a joint statement calling for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after Netanyahu vociferously condemned the proceedings.

This deference all takes place in spite of a recent astonishing expose by al-Jazeera, which revealed how the Israeli Embassy in London connived with government officials to “take down” parliamentarians and government ministers who were considered to be critical of the Jewish State. It was also learned that the Israeli Embassy was secretly subsidizing and advising private groups promoting Israeli interests, including associations of Members of Parliament (MPs).

British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been under unrelenting fire due to the fact that he is the first major political party leader in many years to resist the demands that he place Israel on a pedestal. Corbyn is indeed a man of the left who has consistently opposed racism, extreme nationalism, colonialism and military interventionism. Corbyn’s crime has been that he is critical of the Jewish state and has called for an “end to the repression of the Palestinian people.” As a reward, he has been hounded mercilessly by British Jews, even those in his own party, for over two years.

The invective being spewed by some British Jews and Israel has increased of late, presumably because Theresa May’s Conservative government is perceived as being weak and there is a distinct possibility that the leader of the Labour Party will be the next Prime Minister. That a Prime Minister might be sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians is viewed as completely unacceptable.

Last month, rightwing Labour Parliamentarian Margaret Hodge raised the stakes, calling Corbyn “a fucking anti-Semite and a racist”. She then wrote in the Guardian that Labour is “a hostile environment for Jews.” The traditionally liberal Guardian has in fact been in the forefront of Jewish criticism of Corbyn, led by its senior editor Jonathan Freedland, who reportedly believes that “his Jewish identity is intimately tied to Israel, and that to attack Israel is to attack him personally… he is demanding the exclusive right to police the parameters of discussions about Israel.” Last month he featured in his paper a letter attacking Corbyn signed by 68 rabbis.

All of the invective has been more-or-less orchestrated by the Israeli government, which directly supports the gaggle of groups that have coalesced to bring down Corbyn. This effort to destroy the Labour leader has included the use of an app disseminating messages via social media accusing Corbyn of anti-Semitism. The app was developed by Israel’s strategic affairs ministry, which “directs Israel’s covert efforts to sabotage the Palestine solidarity movement around the world”.

There are two principal objectives to the “get Corbyn” campaign. The first is to remove him from the Labour Party leadership position, thereby ensuring that he will never be elected Prime Minister, while also eliminating from the party any and all members who are perceived as being “too critical” of Israel. In practice that has meant anyone who criticizes Israel at all. And second it is to establish as a legal principle that the “hate crime” offense of anti-Semitism specifically be defined to include criticism of Israel, thereby making it a criminal offense to write or speak about Israel’s racist behavior towards its Muslim and Christian minority while also making it impossible to freely discuss its war crimes.

The principal argument being made against Corbyn is that the Labour Party is awash with anti-Semitism and Corbyn has done little or nothing to oppose it. Some of the most brutal shots against Corbyn have come from the usual crowd in the United States. Andrew Sullivan recently observed in New York Magazine that “When it emerged, that Naz Shah, a new Labour MP, had opined on Facebook before she was elected that Israel should be relocated to the U.S., and former London mayor Ken Livingstone backed her up by arguing that the Nazis initially favored Zionism, Corbyn didn’t make a big fuss.” Sullivan then went on to write that “It then emerged that Corbyn himself had subscribed to various pro-Palestinian Facebook groups where rank anti-Semitism flourished” and had even “…attended a meeting on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2010, called ‘Never Again for Anyone: Auschwitz to Gaza,’ equating Israelis with Nazis.”

In other words, Corbyn should have been responsible for policing the personal views of Shah and Livingstone, both of whom were subsequently suspended from the Labour Party with Livingstone eventually resigning. He should have also avoided Palestinian Facebook commentary because alleged anti-Semites occasionally contribute their views and ought not to acknowledge in any fashion the Israel war crimes being committed on a daily basis in Gaza.

So Corbyn must go based on the “fact” that he has to be a closet anti-Semite as discerned by the likes of Andrew Sullivan on this side of the Atlantic and a host of Israel-firsters in Britain. But the Labour leader’s worst crime that is being regarded as an “existential threat” to Jewish people everywhere is his resistance to the pressure being exerted on him to endorse and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) precise multi-faceted definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism. The IHRA basic definition of anti-Semitism is reasonable enough, including “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The Labour Party and Corbyn have accepted that definition but have balked at eleven “contemporary examples of anti-Semitism” also provided by IHRA, four of which have nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with Israel. They are: Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

One might observe that many Jews – not all or even most – but many, do have dual loyalty in which the allegiance to Israel is dominant. I would cite as a prime example the current U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman who spends much of his time defending Israel. And there are also the American Jews who have spied for Israel, to include Jonathan Pollard and AIPAC luminaries Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman who obtained classified information from Lawrence Franklin and then passed what they had obtained to Israeli intelligence.

And yes, Israel is a “racist endeavor.” Just check out the recent nationality law passed by the Knesset declaring Israel to be a Jewish State. It grants self-determination only to those living within its borders who are Jews. And if using racial distinctions for full citizenship while also bombing hospitals and schools while lining up snipers to shoot thousands of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators is not Nazi-like behavior, then what is? Israel and its leader are sometimes compared to Nazis and to Adolf Hitler because they behave like Nazis and Adolf Hitler.

And finally there is the definition that challenges any “double standard” in demanding behavior from Israel that is not expected from any other democratic nation. Well, first of all Israel is not a democracy. It is a theocracy or ethnocracy if you prefer wrapped around a police state. Other countries that call themselves democracies have equal rights under law for all citizens. Other democracies do not have hundreds of thousands of settlers stealing land and even water resources from the indigenous population and colonizing it to the benefit of only one segment of its population. Other democracies do not regularly shoot dead unarmed protesters. How many democracies are currently practicing ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli Jews are doing to the Palestinians?

Will Corbyn give in to the IHRA demands to save his skin as party leader? One has to suspect that he will as he is already regularly conceding points and apologizing, publicly delivering the required obeisance to the holocaust as “the worst crime of the twentieth century.” And every time he tries to appease those out to get him he emerges weaker. Even if he submits completely, the Israel firsters who are hot to get him, having just like in American significant control over the media, will continue to attack until they find the precise issue that will bring him down. The Labour National Executive Council will meet in September to vote on full acceptance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. When they, as is likely, kneel before force majeure that will be the end of free speech in Britain. Criticize Israel and you go to jail.

And the same thing is happening in the United States in precisely the same fashion. Criticism of Israel or protesting against it will sooner rather than later be criminalized. I sometimes wonder if Senator Ben Cardin and the others who are promoting the hate legislation really understand what will be lost when they sacrifice the U.S. Constitution to defend Israel. Once free speech is gone, it will never return.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-crucifixion-of-jeremy-corbyn/

Monday, 22 January 2018

'We think of Henry VIII and the destruction of the monasteries, but that was not the end of the destruction, it marked the beginning'

A new exhibition at Tate Britain highlights the scale of destruction to artworks in the Tudor period - a staggering amount of books and music were also destroyed

The slashed and broken medieval images displayed in the new Art Under Attack exhibition at the Tate are a reminder of what we lost in the hundred and fifty years after the Reformation. Even now there is denial about the scale of the erasing of our medieval past. The Tate estimates we lost 90% of our religious art. It was probably even more than that. The destruction was on a scale that far outstrips the modern efforts of Islamist extremists. And it was not only art we lost, but also books and music.

We think of Henry VIII and the destruction of the monasteries, but that was not the end of the destruction, it marked the beginning. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, hailed the reign of his son, the boy king Edward VI, as that of a new Josiah, destroyer of idols. After his coronation an orgy of iconoclasm was launched. In churches rood screens, tombs with their prayers for the dead, and stain glass windows, were smashed. The Elizabethan antiquarian John Stow complained, some of this Christian Taliban “judged every image to be an idol”, so that not only religious art, but even the secular thirteenth century carvings of kings in Ludgate were broken.

Books too were burned on a vast scale. Earlier this year Melvyn Bragg was on TV telling us about William Tyndale during the reign of Henry VIII, and the forces of Catholic conservatism blocking publication of his English bible with its attached Lutheran commentaries. But conservatives were not alone in wishing to suppress books that contained ideas they did not agree with. When the monasteries were suppressed, their libraries were either pillaged or destroyed. How many works as great as the Lindisfarne gospels must have been lost? Out of six hundred books in the library of Worcester Priory only six remain. Three survived the destruction of the Augustinian Friars of York out of a total of six hundred and forty six volumes. And during the reign of Edward VI it was Tyndale’s ideological heirs and supporters who reduced almost every book in the Oxford university library to ashes.

Music in church was also disapproved of. Since it was largely then recorded in manuscripts, much of our early music vanished when libraries were burned. Organs were torn out of churches, and while in Elizabeth’s royal chapel you had the wonderful music of crypto Catholics like William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, there were few opportunities for other such composers to find employment or be heard.

The civil war, and the further destruction it brought, took place two generations after England had gone through what has been described as a “cultural revolution designed to obliterate England’s memory of who and what she had been”. There was not much of that past left. In our cultural history the Reformation is nearly always depicted as a force that opened up England from a closed minded past. But it was our knowledge of that past that was closed and if one future opened to us, we will never know what might have been, not least in art.

Source: Leanda de Lisle - 8 Oct 2013

Lost Art in the years after the reformation

Ed - I have included this item as was not fully aware of the scale of the destruction. Nearly 900 religious houses were closed and destroyed between 1536 and 1541. I believe only part of reading Abbey survived and the parish church linked to Norfolk Abbey. The scale of the destruction of monasteries and works of art has been compared to the Chinese cultural revolution.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on 15 March



15 March 2016, Budapest

Salutations to you, Hungarian freedom, on this the day you are born!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Compatriots, Hungarians around the World,

With a cockade sewn by Júlia Szendrey pinned to his chest, a volume of poems in his pocket, and the still thrilling experience of the Revolution in his head, these are the words with which the poet Sándor Petőfi welcomed the fifteenth of March in his journal. Salutations to you, Hungarian freedom, on this the day you are born! And today also, one hundred and sixty-eight years later, it is with unfettered joy, the optimism of early spring, high hopes and an elevated spirit that across the Carpathian Basin we celebrate – from Beregszász to Szabadka, from Rimaszombat to Kézdivásárhely: every Hungarian with one heart, one soul and one will.

Just as then in the decisive battles of the Freedom Fight, now also Hungarian hearts are cheered by the fact that we have with us a Polish legion. I welcome the spirited successors of General Bem: we welcome the sons of the Polish nation. As always throughout our shared thousand-year history, now, too, we are standing by you in the battle you are fighting for your country’s freedom and independence. We are with you, and we send this message to Brussels: more respect to the Polish people, more respect to Poland! Greetings to you. It is a sign of the shared fate of Poland and Hungary that another glorious revolution of ours – that of 1956 – was born between the Bem Statue and Kossuth tér in Budapest. It rose up with the unstoppable force of our glorious ancestors, and by the evening it had dragged the Soviet generalissimo out of his boots.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

By nature, Hungarians stand up for what is right when the need arises. What is more, they fight for it if needs be, but do not seek out trouble for its own sake. They know that they can often achieve more through patience than through sabre-rattling. This is why those like us are rarely given to revolutions. We have only gone down that path twice in one hundred and seventy years. When we did follow that path, we had reason to do so: we felt that our lungs would burst if we could not breathe in freedom. We threw ourselves into it, and once we had started a revolution, we did so in style. Modern European history has preserved both Hungarian revolutions among the glorious memories of the world: two blazing stars, two national uprisings bursting forth in 1848 and 1956 from Hungarian aspirations and Hungarian interests. Glory to the heroes, honour to the brave. Chroniclers have also recorded the revolution of 1918–19, but the memories of that period are not preserved on the pages of glory; indeed, not only are those memories written on different pages, but they appear in a different volume altogether. The 1918–19 revolution can be found in the volume devoted to Bolshevik anti-Hungarian subversions launched in the service of foreign interests and foreign ambitions; it features under the heading “appalling examples of intellectual and political degeneracy”. Yes, we Hungarians have two revolutionary traditions: one leads from 1848, through 1956 and the fall of communism, all the way to the Fundamental Law and the current constitutional order; the bloodline of the other tradition leads from Jacobin European ancestors, through 1919, to communism after World War II and the Soviet era in Hungary. Life in Hungary today is a creation of the spiritual heirs and offspring of the ’48 and ’56 revolutions. Today, as then, the heartbeat of this revolutionary tradition moves and guides the nation’s political, economic and spiritual life: equality before the law, responsible government, a national bank, the sharing of burdens, respect for human dignity and the unification of the nation. Today, as then, the ideals of ’48 and ’56 are the pulse driving the life force of the nation, and the intellectual and spiritual blood flow of the Hungarian people. Let us give thanks that this may be so, let us give thanks that finally the Lord of History has led us onto this path. Soli Deo gloria!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Not even the uplifting mood of a celebration day can let us forget that the tradition of 1919, too, is still with us – though fortunately its pulse is just a faint flicker. Yet at times it can make quite a noise. But without a host animal, its days are numbered. It is in need of another delivery of aid from abroad in the form of a major intellectual and political infusion; unless it receives this, then after its leaves and branches have withered, its roots will also dry up in the Hungarian motherland’s soil, which is hostile to internationalism. And this is all well and good.

A decent person who raises their children and works hard to build the course of their life does not usually end up as a revolutionary. The right-thinking person who stands on their own two feet and has control over their future knows that upheavals and the sudden upending of the ordinary course of life rarely ends well. The person of goodwill who seeks a life of serene and peaceful progress knows that trying to take two steps at once leads to you tripping over your own legs, and instead of moving forward, you will land flat on your face. And yet these right-thinking people of goodwill, these upstanding citizens of Pest instantly rallied to the call of our revolutions, marching at the front, right behind the university students. They formed the backbone of the revolutions and freedom fights, and they were to pay with their own blood for the honour of the Hungarian people. Every revolution is like the people who make it. On the committee which oversaw order during the 15 March revolution, in the shadow of the colossal figures of Petőfi and Vasvári, we find the furrier Máté Gyurkovics, and the button-maker György Molnár. Our revolutions were led by respectable citizens, military officers, lawyers, writers, doctors, engineers, honest tradespeople, farmers and workers with a sense of national duty: Hungarians who embodied the nation’s best aspects, our homeland’s very best. Hungarian revolutionaries are not warriors for hare-brained ideologies, deranged utopias or demented, unsolicited plans for world happiness; in Pest you find no traces of the illusory visions of quack philosophers or the raging resentment of failed intellectuals. The revolutionaries of 1848 did not want to salvage stones from the ruins of absolutist oppression in order to build a temple to yet another tyranny; therefore the Hungarian revolution’s songs were not written in honour of the steel blade of the guillotine or the rope of the gallows. Our songs are not sung by lynch mobs or execution-thirsty crowds; the Pest revolution is not a hymn to chaos, revenge, or butchery. The 1848 Revolution is a solemn and dignified moment in our history, when the wounds of the glorious Hungarian nation opened once again. Springing from constitutional roots, it demanded the granting and return of the rights seized from and denied to the nation. It is exhilarating, but sober; ecstatic but practical; glorious, but temperate. It is Hungarian to the core. Ladies and Gentlemen, Three weeks before his death in battle, in his last letter to János Arany, Sándor Petőfi asked the following question: “So what are you going to do?” When we, his modern descendants, read this, it is as if he is asking us the same question. So what are you going to do? How will you make use of your inheritance? Are the Hungarian people still worthy of their ancestors’ reputation? Do you know the law of the Hungarians of old – that whatever you do should not only be measured by its utility, but also by universal standards? This is because your deeds must pass the test not only here, but also in eternity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We have our inheritance, the Hungarian people still exist, Buda still stands, we are who we were, and we shall be who we are. Our reputation travels far and wide; clever people and intelligent peoples acknowledge the Hungarians. We adhere to the ancient law, and also measure our deeds by universal standards. We teach our children that their horizon should be eternity. Whether we shall succeed, whether finally we see the building of a homeland which is free, independent, worthy and respected the world over – one which was raised high by our forebears from 1848, and for which they sacrificed their lives – we cannot yet know. We do know, however, that the current European constellation is an unstable one, and so we have some testing times ahead. The times in which we live press us with this question, which is like a hussar’s sabre held to our chest: “Shall we live in slavery or in freedom?” The destiny of the Hungarians has become intertwined with that of Europe’s nations, and has grown to be so much a part of the union that today not a single people – including the Hungarian people – can be free if Europe is not free. And today Europe is as fragile, weak and sickly as a flower being eaten away by a hidden worm. Today, one hundred and sixty-eight years after the great freedom fights of its peoples, Europe – our common home – is not free.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Europe is not free, because freedom begins with speaking the truth. In Europe today it is forbidden to speak the truth. A muzzle is a muzzle – even if it is made of silk. It is forbidden to say that today we are not witnessing the arrival of refugees, but a Europe being threatened by mass migration. It is forbidden to say that tens of millions are ready to set out in our direction. It is forbidden to say that immigration brings crime and terrorism to our countries. It is forbidden to say that the masses of people coming from different civilisations pose a threat to our way of life, our culture, our customs, and our Christian traditions. It is forbidden to say that, instead of integrating, those who arrived here earlier have built a world of their own, with their own laws and ideals, which is forcing apart the thousand-year-old structure of Europe. It is forbidden to say that this is not accidental and not a chain of unintentional consequences, but a planned, orchestrated campaign, a mass of people directed towards us. It is forbidden to say that in Brussels they are constructing schemes to transport foreigners here as quickly as possible and to settle them here among us. It is forbidden to say that the purpose of settling these people here is to redraw the religious and cultural map of Europe and to reconfigure its ethnic foundations, thereby eliminating nation states, which are the last obstacle to the international movement. It is forbidden to say that Brussels is stealthily devouring ever more slices of our national sovereignty, and that in Brussels today many are working on a plan for a United States of Europe, for which no one has ever given authorisation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s enemies of freedom are cut from a different cloth than the royal and imperial rulers of old, or those who ran the Soviet system; they use a different set of tools to force us into submission. Today they do not imprison us, they do not transport us to camps, and they do not send in tanks to occupy countries loyal to freedom. Today the international media’s artillery bombardments, denunciations, threats and blackmail are enough – or rather have been enough so far. The peoples of Europe are slowly awakening, they are regrouping, and will soon regain ground. Europe’s beams laid on the suppression of truth are creaking and cracking. The peoples of Europe may have finally understood that their future is at stake: not only are their prosperity, their comfort and their jobs at stake, but their very security and the peaceful order of their lives are in danger. The peoples of Europe, who have been slumbering in abundance and prosperity, have finally understood that the principles of life upon which we built Europe are in mortal danger. Europe is a community of Christian, free and independent nations; it is the equality of men and women, fair competition and solidarity, pride and humility, justice and mercy.

This danger is not now threatening us as wars and natural disasters do, which take the ground from under our feet in an instant. Mass migration is like a slow and steady current of water which washes away the shore. It appears in the guise of humanitarian action, but its true nature is the occupation of territory; and their gain in territory is our loss of territory. Hordes of implacable human rights warriors feel an unquenchable desire to lecture and accuse us. It is claimed that we are xenophobic and hostile, but the truth is that the history of our nation is also one of inclusion and the intertwining of cultures. Those who have sought to come here as new family members, as allies or as displaced persons fearing for their lives have been let in to make a new home for themselves. But those who have come here with the intention of changing our country and shaping our nation in their own image, those who have come with violence and against our will, have always been met with resistance.

Ladies and Gentlemen, At first, they are only talking about a few hundred, a thousand or two thousand relocated people. But not a single responsible European leader would dare to swear under oath that this couple of thousand will not eventually increase to tens or hundreds of thousands. If we want to stop this mass migration, we must first of all curb Brussels. The main danger to Europe’s future does not come from those who want to come here, but from Brussels’ fanatics of internationalism. We cannot allow Brussels to place itself above the law. We shall not allow it to force upon us the bitter fruit of its cosmopolitan immigration policy. We shall not import to Hungary crime, terrorism, homophobia and synagogue-burning anti-Semitism. There shall be no urban districts beyond the reach of the law, there shall be no mass disorder or immigrant riots here, and there shall be no gangs hunting down our women and daughters. We shall not allow others to tell us whom we can let into our home and country, whom we will live alongside, and whom we will share our country with. We know how these things go. First we allow them to tell us whom we must take in, then they force us to serve foreigners in our country. In the end we find ourselves being told to pack up and leave our own land. Therefore we reject the forced resettlement scheme, and we shall tolerate neither blackmail, nor threats.

The time has come to ring the warning bell. The time has come for opposition and resistance. The time has come to gather allies to us. The time has come to raise the flag of proud nations. The time has come to prevent the destruction of Europe, and to save the future of Europe. To this end, regardless of party affiliation, we call on every citizen of Hungary to unite, and we call on every European nation to unite. The leaders and citizens of Europe must no longer live in two separate worlds. We must restore the unity of Europe. We the peoples of Europe cannot be free individually if we are not free together. If we unite our forces, we shall succeed; if we pull in different directions, we shall fail. Together we are strength, disunited we are weakness. Either together, or not at all – today this is the law.

Ladies and Gentlemen, In 1848 it was written in the book of fate that nothing could be done against the Habsburg Empire. If then we had resigned ourselves to that outcome, our fate would have been sealed and the German sea would have swallowed up the Hungarians. In 1956 it was written in the book of fate that we were to remain an occupied and sovietised country until patriotism was extinguished in the very last Hungarian. If then we had resigned ourselves to that outcome, our fate would have been sealed, and the Soviet sea would have swallowed up the Hungarians. Today it is written in the book of fate that hidden, faceless world powers will eliminate everything that is unique, autonomous, age-old and national. They will blend cultures, religions and populations, until our many-faceted and proud Europe will finally become bloodless and docile. And if we resign ourselves to this outcome, our fate will be sealed, and we will be swallowed up in the enormous belly of the United States of Europe. The task which awaits the Hungarian people, the nations of Central Europe and the other European nations which have not yet lost all common sense is to defeat, rewrite and transform the fate intended for us. We Hungarians and Poles know how to do this. We have been taught that only if you are brave enough do you look danger in the face. We must therefore drag the ancient virtue of courage out from under the silt of oblivion. First of all we must put steel in our spines, and we must clearly answer the foremost, the single most important question determining our fate with a voice so loud so that it can be heard far and wide. The question upon which the future of Europe stands or falls is this: “Shall we live in slavery or in freedom?” That is the question – give your answer!

Go for it Hungary, go for it Hungarians!

(miniszterelnok.hu, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister)

Source: http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/speech-by-prime-minister-viktor-orban-on-15-march

Friday, 8 December 2017

For Trump, an Embassy in Jerusalem Is a Political Decision, Not a Diplomatic One



By Mark Lander -  DEC. 6, 2017



When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one man who was probably smiling was the Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

WASHINGTON — Ten days before Donald J. Trump took office, Sheldon G. Adelson went to Trump Tower for a private meeting. Afterward, Mr. Adelson, the casino billionaire and Republican donor, called an old friend, Morton A. Klein, to report that Mr. Trump told him that moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a major priority.

“He was very excited, as was I,” said Mr. Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, a hard-line pro-Israel group. “This is something that’s in his heart and soul.”

The two men had to wait nearly a year, but on Wednesday, Mr. Trump stood beneath a portrait of George Washington to announce that he was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and setting in motion a plan to move the embassy to the fiercely contested Holy City.

“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise,” he said, “they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

For Mr. Trump, the status of Jerusalem was always more a political imperative than a diplomatic dilemma. Faced with disappointing evangelical and pro-Israel backers like Mr. Adelson, or alarming allies and Arab leaders while jeopardizing his own peace initiative, the president sided with his key supporters.

In doing so, Mr. Trump invited opprobrium from foreign leaders, who said the move was reckless and self-defeating. He also acted against the counsel of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who worried about anti-American blowback, not least to diplomats and troops serving overseas.

Mr. Trump conceded the provocative nature of his decision. But as he has before, whether in pulling the United States from the Paris climate accord or disavowing the Iran nuclear deal, the president on Wednesday seemed to relish playing a familiar role: the political insurgent, defying foreign policy orthodoxy on behalf of the people who elected him.

“People are waking up to the fact that the president doesn’t see grays and doesn’t like pastels,” said Christopher Ruddy, a conservative news media executive and friend of Mr. Trump’s. “He is very proud that he’s fulfilled so many campaign promises, and the embassy decision is another notch on his belt.”

Mr. Trump’s handling of the embassy question was not unlike his handling of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he reluctantly certified the first time before disavowing it the second time the issue came up.

Under a 1995 law, the president is required to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless, citing national security concerns, he signs a waiver, which has to be renewed every six months. The first time he faced that decision, in June, Mr. Trump grudgingly signed it.

At the time, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is leading Mr. Trump’s peace initiative, argued that to move the embassy then might strangle the effort before the administration had established relationships in the region.

Mr. Adelson and other pro-Israel backers were deeply frustrated. He pressed Mr. Trump on the issue at a private dinner in October at the White House that included his wife, Miriam, and Mr. Kushner. Mr. Adelson also vented to Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief strategist, who argued internally for moving the embassy in June.

The Adelsons have long been leading donors to pro-Israel groups and causes, and have forged a close relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They have used their casino fortune to push the Republican Party and its politicians to embrace that line.

Early in Mr. Trump’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he privately courted the Adelsons, seeking a meeting and asking for financial support, even as he publicly declared that he did not need or want backing from major donors.

In March 2016, Mr. Trump sought to burnish his credentials as a friend of Israel, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, “We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

The Adelsons were persuaded and donated $20 million to a political action committee that supported Mr. Trump’s campaign, and another $1.5 million to the committee that organized the Republican convention.

Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Adelson has communicated with him regularly, talking by phone and visiting the White House, and has used his access to push the relocation of the embassy. But he was not the only influential advocate of the move.
Sheldon Anderson, the casino billionaire and a Republican donor
Representatives of evangelical Christian groups similarly pressed the issue with Mr. Trump during the campaign, making it clear that moving the embassy was a major priority.

“In the meetings I was in, it was clearly communicated that evangelicals and Bible-believing Christians see a special relationship with Israel,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council.

When the six-month clock expired again this month, Mr. Trump was determined to leave himself more options. On Nov. 27, he walked into a meeting of the principals’ committee of the National Security Council, as the officials were debating what to do about the embassy. His message, according to officials, was that he wanted more creative solutions.

Mr. Trump’s advisers offered him two alternatives: Sign the waiver again, or sign it but recognize Jerusalem as the capital and set in motion a plan to move the embassy. Mr. Trump mulled the decision for several days, officials said, calling foreign leaders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. And on Wednesday he announced he was taking the more aggressive approach, again signing the waiver but making it clear he would proceed with a move.

His decision was supported by both Mr. Kushner and the president’s special envoy, Jason D. Greenblatt, who had concluded that shaking up the status quo could actually help rather than hurt their peace efforts.

While they say they recognized that it would cause an immediate uproar — including potentially driving the Palestinians away from negotiations for some time — they believed the process was resilient enough to withstand the shock.

Publicly, Mr. Tillerson has stood by the decision, while Mr. Mattis has been circumspect. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Mattis said: “We met in the room on this. It was an open discussion, went on for some time. As always, my advice to the president, I keep confidential.”

A senior adviser to Mr. Tillerson, R. C. Hammond, told reporters that he did not oppose the move, but requested more time, when Mr. Trump’s decision was clear, to contact American diplomatic missions to determine their security needs if protests broke out.

Amid all the warnings about violence, White House officials see a number of potential benefits to the move. Recognizing Jerusalem, officials said, could soothe the right flank of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government, stabilizing the political situation there.

Also, the Saudi royal family has sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s decision, which some officials said could help the credibility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among his fellow Arabs. That could mitigate perceptions that the crown prince has grown too cozy with Mr. Kushner, with whom he has cultivated a close relationship.

In his remarks at the White House, Mr. Trump did not dwell on how his decision might play out in the region. Rather, he cast it as a bold break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which he said brought us “no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result,” Mr. Trump said.

Though he did not mention it, Mr. Trump signed the same waiver as his predecessors, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for now. White House officials said that was unavoidable because it would take several years to move embassy employees to a new building in Jerusalem.

In his speech, Mr. Trump pointed out that the 1995 law passed Congress with an overwhelming majority and was unanimously reaffirmed in the Senate six months ago. That may explain why the reaction to the move was comparatively muted on Capitol Hill.

For Mr. Trump, the political benefits clearly outweigh the costs. The Republican Jewish Committee bought a full-page ad in The New York Times that is to be published on Thursday, depicting Mr. Trump praying at the Western Wall.

“President Trump,” the slogan said, “You Promised. You Delivered.”

To press its case with supporters, the White House convened two calls for religious leaders, one on Tuesday night to alert them to the coming announcement and a second, more detailed call on Wednesday.

Most of the participants were from the evangelical Christian community and included Trump allies like Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition; Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor who spoke at Mr. Trump’s private inaugural prayer service; and Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist who writes commentary on Middle Eastern issues.

Among the questions they asked was how quickly the president would move the embassy. White House officials pleaded for patience. At the end of the call, according to a person who took part, a pastor and a rabbi closed with prayers.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” the pastor said. “And thank God we have a president who would take this step.”

Source:
NY Times - Trump Policy on Jerusalem