Sderot: Remembering the Holocaust. and Durban II

by Findalis


From the Sderot Media Center

by Anav Silverman

Today Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day. Standing on a street in Sderot, I listened quietly to the siren sound, remembering the tragedy of 6 million Jews killed in Nazi Europe, my great grandparents, uncles and aunts from Poland among them.

I’ve become used to sirens sounding in Sderot during my past two years here-the click of the intercom, followed by a female voice that calmly repeats Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom, or Color Red. The scenes that unfold usually entail people dashing into shelters-racing for 15 seconds that may mean the difference between life and death.

But now at this moment, the Holocaust siren gives me a moment to reflect. I watch passerby’s stop, Ethiopians, Russians, Uzbekistanis, Moroccans, Persians and the like; Israeli Jews from countries around the world who make up Sderot’s colorful cultural tapestry. We stand together to remember the tragedy of silence that cost the lives of so many innocent people in our nation.

It is this tragedy of silence which probably strikes hardest here in Sderot.

Eight years of Qassam attacks have wounded over 1,000 Israelis, destroyed hundreds of Jewish homes, and have left thousands of children psychologically traumatized. Today close to one million Israelis in southern Israel live under the threat of Palestinian rocket attack thanks to the financial aid and embedment from Iran.

Who will speak up for these Israelis who continue to be the targets of radical Islam in the form of Hamas rocket terror?

Sderot is targeted not because it is a city outside the 1967 green lines, nor because of an army base located in the city. Sderot is part of the UN Partition Plan of 1948 with a civilian population of 19,000, where over 5,000 residents have been forced to flee since Palestinian rocket fire began on the city in 2001.

Sderot is targeted simply because it is a Jewish city on the frontlines of Israel-an easy target for Palestinian terrorists who seek Israel’s destruction.

THE greatest testimony that the world is once again returning to its apathetic state of silence that defined the era of Nazi Germany was revealed no less ironically today at the Durban II conference when Iranian President Ahmadinejad was invited as a guest speaker. Moreover, Hans-Rudolf Merz, the president of Switzerland, a country that declared its “neutrality” during the Holocaust, agreed to meet with Ahmadinejad, who is a fervent Holocaust denier and has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel.

According to an Associated Press report, the Swiss president defended his meeting with Ahmadinejad and said that the criticism of the meeting was unjustified, stating that “Switzerland is neutral and not part of any alliance.”

Ahmadinejad’s presence at Durban II is symbolic in that there has been no overwhelming international outcry against his views or the fact that he was invited to speak at the UN conference on racism.

Iran is considered the greatest threat to Israel’s survival. Although Iran, an oil-rich country, continues to claim that its nuclear program is meant to produce electricity, it remains clear to Israel that Tehran is intent on building nuclear weapons that could potentially cause massive destruction to the state.

SDEROT residents have been the silent targets of Islamic terror for too long. Last year on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, 13 rockets fell upon Sderot. Although rocket fire has significantly decreased since Operation Cast Lead, close to 200 rockets have still been fired at the western Negev region. If Israel does not effectively stand up for her citizens at home, who will stand up for Israel in the world?

As countries across the world show alarming acceptance of a blatantly anti-Semitic figure like Ahmadinejad, demonstrated in Durban II, the state of Israel and the Jewish people cannot allow silence to become a national policy in the face of anti-Semitic terror, be it rockets or rhetoric, at home or abroad.

In 1938 the world did nothing, said nothing while Hitler and his thugs accelerated Germany’s slide into the madness that was the ‘Final Solution‘. We witnessed on Monday 100 nation rise and applaud Ahmadinejad in Geneva. There is only one nation that speaks for Israel and Jews around the world. It is Israel. It is a shame that the world has decided to turn its back and closed its ears to the cries of pain and anguish from Israelis. It is only Palestinian tears that matter to the world.

But I pray not to you, truth seeker. I once again ask you to remember the people of Sderot, and Israel in your prayers. To sign up for Code Red Alerts. To contact you Congress Representatives, Senators and President Obama. Contact your newspapers, radio, and other media outlits. And if you are able to, donate a few coins to the Sderot Media Center. Just click on the logo at the top or bottom of this post and follow the directions from there. It is time that the people of Sderot and Israel start having a loud voice screaming out their story too.

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NGO Joint Statement on Defamation of Religions

UN Watch has posted a press release revealing the details of the Joint NGO Statement on Danger of U.N. “Defamation of Religions” Campaign and listing its 187 co-endorsers.

The joint statement urges nations to reject the “defamation of religions resolution”, the proposed protocol to ICERD and the Durban II conference. The list of signatories includes a few surprises.

  • Muslim Council of Canada
  • The International Quranic Center (IQC)
  • American Islamic Congress

As a lover of liberty, particularly freedom of expression, I visited http://congress.org/ and used their email form to send my personal endorsement of the joint statement and a link to the UN Watch press release to President Obama and my Senators.

Do Something about Durban II

Those of us who oppose the Durban II process for demonizing Israel and censoring critics of Islam must organize and act quickly to have any hope of derailing the juggernaut.

Several groups have created on line petitions, most of them have few signatures. It may be possible to popularize them by spreading their urls on blogs and forums. You can also email them to your friends and family, urging them to forward the email to their contacts. If you use Digg, Redit or similar systems, promote the petitions there, too.

American citizens can send emails to President Obama, their Representative & Senators through a form at http://www.congress.org. Enter your Zip Code and click the Federal Officials link. Europeans should contact their Member of Parliament and MEP.

To email a link to my blog post about the latest revision of the Durban I Draft Resolution, copy and paste this html code into your email: Durban II Sham Revision: the Details

Please click these links and sign the petitions.

Doing The Right Thing.

by Findalis

I do hope that President Obama is learning a bit about true diplomacy. His decision to first attend the Durban II conference in Geneva was the wrong one. It sent the message to the world that the United states does not support its friends and allies.

For whatever reason, his decision to now boycott the Durban II conference is being seen as one of leadership and courage, taken that he has been trying to make amends with the Muslim world. In this case, he may have lost some clout with the Muslim world, but as gain a lot of respect with Europeans.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Thursday that Italy will not attend the Durban II conference scheduled for April in Geneva because of “aggressive and anti-Semitic statements” in resolutions being prepared for the summit on racism. Israel, Canada and the United States already have said they will not attend.

Foreign Minister Frattini also announced a postponement of a trip to Iran due to anti-Israeli and anti-American remarks by Iranian leaders.

Like the U.S., Frattini said that the decision to boycott Durban II could be reconsidered if the draft resolutions against Israel are changed. Several pre-conference motions have singled out Israel for alleged racism and have accepted Palestinian Authority recommendations supporting its claim that Arab descendants of former Israeli Arabs have the right to immigrate and live in Israel.

The committee preparing resolutions for Durban II also rejected a suggestion for condemnation of anyone denying the Holocaust.

Israel has called on all European Union countries to follow Canada and the U.S. and boycott the conference, a follow-up to the first conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The U.S. walked out of the parley because of harsh anti-Israel resolutions that compared Zionism with racism.

Holland has also put the Durban II planners on notice that it also will join the boycott if the resolutions are not modified.

Italy has now stated that they will not attend. They are in very good company. Three nations are boycotting the Durban II conference. Italy is joining the ranks of Canada, Israel and the United States. Holland will be joining their ranks soon.

Now will France, Germany and Great Britain join in the boycott? Will they have the moral courage to do the right thing? Or will they give in to the pressure from their Muslim communities, and join in the anti-Semitic rhetoric that this conference has become? I hope that they will join the groundswell and boycott the Durban II conference.

Obama Backing out of Durban II?

CBC News claims that Obama Administration officials have declared an intention to Boycott the Durban II Converence unless language deligitimiszing Israel and criminalizing criticism of Islam is removed. CBC’s sources remain anonymous, not that I’d believe any member of Obama’s crew of cronies.

This article is distinguished from the mill run by inclusion of a link to the draft document: Draft of UN document. That text is one month old, probably not reflecting recent changes, of which it seems there were few.

CBC makes reference to an article on Politico, which supposedly expresses tolerance for “shorter, much different text”. Ben Smith’s Blog at Politico has this headline:

U.S. pulling out of racism conference

Here are the weasel words:

They left open the option of re-engaging on a “much shorter, much different text,” a source said.

That loop hole is broad enough to sail anything through. According to Smith, President Obama was expected to issue a statement. A search of Whitehouse.gov proved fruitless. Why should we be ‘engaging’ with the representatives of tyrranical regimes which form the majority of the UNHRC? We can not possibly have enough positive effect on the outcome to make it acceptable.

For the time being, we can only hope that The U.S.A. will not participate in the hate fest. Here are a few examples of the tripe we should avoid legitimizing.

[Notes that other obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination include [first and foremost the absence of political will, the denial of the existence of contemporary racist tendencies,] weak [national] legislation and policies, lack of effective strategies, [lack of political will,] lack of implementation of international legal framework and commitments, impunity on different grounds [ – including [[negative] abuse of] freedom of expression, [counter-terrorism, and national security] [stereotypical association of religion with terrorism and violence by the media and national security forces]– as well as an increase in extreme right wing xenophobic political platforms. Hence the need [arises] to deal with this menace in all its forms and manifestations with all available tools at our disposal];]

[Notes with] [Expresses] deep concern [at] the widening use by some groups and organizations of the opportunities provided by print, audio-visual and electronic media as well as scientific and technological progress, such as the Internet, to promote racist and xenophobic propaganda aimed at inciting societies throughout the world to racial [and religious] hatred;

[Draws attention to the impact of] [Strongly deplores the [overt and covert] discriminatory] counter-terrorism measures [on] [that have led to] the rise of racism,

racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance [including the practice of racial, ethnic, national and religious profiling;]

NEW PARA: Also condemns all acts of ethnic, racial or religious profiling and segregation in any society, wherever it may occur, and its concomitant negative impact on the human rights of affected segments of population [and urges States to take resolute action against those responsible both in the public and private sectors]; [proposal to move to section 5].

NEW PARA: Reaffirms that counter-terrorism strategies should not undermine the protection of human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world [in particular] motivated by [different forms of religious intolerance] [Islamophobia, anti-Arabism, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia];

ALT: Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world;

25. Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and recognizes that only a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law may determine, case by case, in a fair and public hearing, whether the facts presented qualify as incitement to racial or religious hatred [prohibited by law]; ALT: Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and [should be prohibited by law;]

26. [[Notes with concern] [Seriously concerned at the] instances of defamation of religions, which manifests itself in [projecting negative, insulting and derogatory images of religions and religious personalities,] generalized and stereotypical association of religions, in particular Islam, with violence and terrorism, thus impacting negatively on the rights of individuals belonging to these religions, including Muslim minorities, and exposing them to hatred and discrimination. Such situations are further aggravated by the imposition of restrictions on the profession of religions, including [the surveillance of places of worship and restrictions on their construction] [the construction of places of worship and their surveillance];]

Reaffirms a holistic approach to human rights guaranteeing the indivisibility of all human rights, and stresses that [fundamental freedoms of expression and association should continue to contribute and promote the positive and desirable phenomenon of multiculturalism, respect for cultural diversity and tolerance among all religions, peoples and societies.] [the fight against racial and religious hatred should not serve as a pretext to legitimize impermissible limitations to freedom of expression] [as the right to freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society as it ensures individual self-fulfillment and a pluralistic, tolerant society with access to multitudes of ideas and philosophies]; ALT/NEW PARA: Reiterates that freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression and non-discrimination are interdependent and stresses the need to strengthen the process of effectively adjudicating cases associated with incitement to national racial and religious hatred in accordance with the permissible limitations under article 20 of the ICCPR and analogous instruments; NEW PARA: Recognizes the importance of the positive role that can be played by the media in this context in particular through a responsible media that abstains from diffusing hate or defamatory information and that engages to fight against such practices;

[Expresses deep concern at the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people as well as [Syrian nationals of the occupied Syrian Golan] [other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories] which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence and prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, and renews the call for the cessation of all such practices;]

31. [Reiterates that the Palestinian people have the inalienable right to self determination and that, in order to consolidate the [Israeli] occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction of movement and arbitrary closure of their territories. Also notes [with concern] that illegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied [Arab] territories [since 1967];]

32. [Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory[y][ies], as well as the practice of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, villages and cities from one another, [totally] contradicts the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations [and constitutes a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a crime against humanity, a contemporary form of apartheid and serious threat to international peace and security] [and violates the basic principles of international human rights law];]

[NEW PARA: Expresses deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories as well as displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially-based law of return. It recognizes the right of return of Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 of 11 December 1948, and calls for the return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;]

33. [Reiterates deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people [as well as inhabitants of the other occupied territories] under foreign occupation, [including the obstruction of the return of refugees and displaced persons, and the construction of the segregation wall,] and urges respect for international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, and calls for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;]

34. [Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection, in particular from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, for [Palestinian] civilian populations under occupation in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law;] [Proposal to include reference to Gaza situation – language to be provided]

Durban II Alert: Take Action!

Durban Alert, February 26, 2009

In the latest Durban II alert, Anne Bayefsky reveals what is happening and why. Here is the conclusion of her report. Click the link above to read the full report..

The Obama Administration has everything it needs to decide the matter. While the Bush administration did not participate directly in Durban II planning, it carefully monitored the dozens of preparatory meetings since they began in August 2007. And now the State Department has added last week’s four days of “engagement.”

The administration, therefore, knows that Durban II will provide: a global megaphone for anti-semites in the name of combating racism and xenophobia, a forum for religious extremists to play-act as guardians of the freedom of religion, a stage for state sponsors of terrorism to fuel the sentiment that counter-terrorism activities are racist plots – and a vehicle for dictators to champion limitations on free speech in the name of human dignity.

With only a few days of scheduled planning meetings left before the conference, it is decision time for President Obama. Whose side will he be on?

Certainly not on the side of truth, justice & liberty; Barack Hussein Obama is a Chicago politician. He ran on a platform of appeasing the enemy and that is exactly what he will do if left to his own devices.

If our first amendment right of free expression means anything to you, if our alliance with Israel means anything to you then let President Obama and your Senators know about it! Tell them you object to participation in the Durban II hate fest. Tell them exactly why and tell them you won’t vote for them again if they don’t pull us out of it. http://www.congress.org has a form which lets you send the three emails at once.

If you don’t know exactly why Durban II is unacceptable and intolerable, then read: Durban II: Revised; Reject it!, it contains the essential details.

Durban II draft document getting worse.

by Findalis


I told you so President Obama. The second Durban Conference on bigotry and racism will be worse than the first.

Not only is Israel the only nation singled out for attack, but the idea of Free Speech will be destroyed too when they meet in April and force the world to accept as International Law that any criticism of Islam is a crime.

The draft document for the United Nations anti-racism conference, dubbed Durban II, is problematic both for Israel and western democracies in general, Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Roni Leshno Yaar told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Besides issues relating to Israel, the draft has problematic paragraphs regarding free speech, defamation of religion and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, he said.

“At this stage it is not possible to say what in the text would improve, if at all. In fact I expect the text to get only worse on all issues which are important for western democracy,” Leshno Yaar said in a telephone interview from Geneva.

He spoke as representatives from 190 nations have been meeting in Geneva to debate the language for a document in which Israel is alluded to as a “racist” and “apartheid” power.

The final draft will be presented at an April meeting in Geneva, which is the follow-up to the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which took place in Durban, South Africa.

Israel and the United States walked out of the 2001 conference to protest its disintegration into an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate-fest. Israel and Canada have already announced they do not intend to participate in this April’s conference in Geneva.

On Friday, the State Department stated that it had gone to the preparatory meetings in Geneva “to work with countries that want to achieve a successful review conference” and added that the United States had “strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism, places unacceptable restrictions on freedom of expression under the guise of defaming religion, and calls for payment of reparations for slavery.”

While in Geneva, US representatives met with 30 national delegations to outline their concerns.

The Americans were present but did not appear to have made improvement in the document, which he said “is getting worse every day.”

Irwin Cotler, a Canadian MP and former justice minister, told the Post that the conference had been initially designed to speak about global issues relating to racism without singling out any country or group.

Israel was the only country that was alluded to in this way, he said.

Read the full story here.

Sorry followers of the Great Pedophile. But it will come down to which system of government is better. The backward 7th Century ramblings of a lunatic who hated everyone or the enlightened men of Philadelphia who foresaw this and placed the Freedom of Speech as 1st in the American Constitution.

What will the President do? Support those who follow a 7th Century madman, those who reject everything this nation stands for? Or finally listen to reason and reject not only the Durban II Conference, but anything that comes from it?

President Obama swore to uphold and defend the Constitution on Jan. 20th. Will he now do that? Or to please the Muslim world will he ignore our laws and impose the UN’s on us?