der spiegel


Father Roy writes:  

Pasted below is an article from the Jerusalem Post which reports a controversy that’s dividing Germany and German Jewry.  I’ve highlighted the cause of the furor. 

A similar development is evolving in the UK.  An Anglican Priest has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism.  The Rev’d Dr. Stephen Sizer is under attack by organized Jewish groups because he challenges Christian Zionism.

Controversy in the Church of England is growing, albeit quietly. Click here for updates. A ruling from Stephen’s Bishop may come later this month. Read on to learn about the controversy in Germany. Notice that the dynamics in the two cases are virtually the same.

Peace, Roy


ADL slams German Spiegel author for anti-Semitism


Anti-Defamation League tells ‘Post:’ Augustein’s statement “crosses the line into anti-Semitic conspiracy thinking.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BERLIN — The deputy national director of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League on Friday weighed in on the raging German dispute over the alleged anti-Semitism of Der Spiegel Columnist Jakob Augstein and his attacks on Jews and Israel. Augstein’s statement about Jewish control of US foreign policy “crosses the line into anti-Semitic conspiracy thinking,“ Ken Jacobson, the ADL‘s deputy National Director, told the Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center included Jakob Augstein in its list of last year’s (2012) top-ten anti-Semites. Jacobson, a leading expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, cited one of Augstein‘s quotes in the Wiesenthal list as being contaminated with conspiratorial anti-Semitism . The quote from Augstein’s Spiegel column reads,“With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

The ADL, like the Wiesenthal Center, carries great weight with its assessment of modern anti-Semitism in Europe in general and Germany in particular.

Though Jacobson said the assertion about US Jews controlling foreign policy is anti-Semitic, he added “I don’t know enough about him [Augstein] to say he is an anti-Semite.“

Jacobson also added that Augstein’s quote, in which he equated Haredi with Islamic fundamental terrorists, “crosses the line into steroetypes of Jews.”

Jacobson qualified his remarks as a general matter “anti-Israel criticism is not necessarily anti-Semitic.”

The Augstein controversy has divided Germany’s Jews. German media reported that the vice president of Germany’s Central Council Jews Salomon Korn said Augstein’s writings are anti-Semitic. Korn argued that the Wiesenthal Center should not have included Augstein in its list because the organization “does not know German relations.”

Though the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Dieter Graumann did not completely agree with the Wiesenthal ranking list in connection with Augstein, he, however, said Augstein’s Israel texts are “dreadful and not nuanced.”

Graumann added that Augstein apparently has an “Israel obsession and “spreads “anti-Jewish resentments. “ His Spiegel columns contribute to an “anti-Israel atmosphere” in the Federal Republic, noted Graumann, whose comments were reported in the main German Jewish newspaper, die Jüdische Allgemeine.

Dr. Alexander Brenner, the former head of Germany’s largest Jewish community in Berlin, told the Post on Friday that he agrees with Wiesenthal Center’s designation of Augstein as their number 9 anti-Semitic and anti-Israel person of the year.

Brenner, who has a seat in the directorate of the Central Council, and in the representation board of the Berlin community, sharply criticized Solomon Korn as an “alibi Jew.” The phrase “alibi Jew” is frequently used by German Jews to describe a small group of fringe Jews who serve to protect anti-Semites and anti-Israel critics from rebuke in the public sphere. Brenner, a popular Jewish leader in Berlin, called on the Central Council to stand behind the Wiesenthal Center and Henryk Broder.

Broder was the first German journalist to term Augstein’s articles anti-Semitic and has labeled the Spiegel author a “flawless ant-Semite” because of his writings. Brenner said Korn’s behavior makes one want “to throw up.” He said Augstein is, “without question an anti-Semite.”

Augstein has told the German media that he does not know what prompted him to be placed on the Wiesenthal list and said the inclusion of him on the list only hurts “critical journalism” because it will be stigmatized as anti-Semitic or racist.


Father Roy writes: Projects funded by foreign aid organizations or the EU have been destroyed in the past.  The best known example is the Gaza airport which was financed with $38 million from the EU only to be destroyed by Israeli bombs a short time after its construction.   Peace, Roy

Published on Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Common Dreams

A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500  Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy.

(Photo: AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.

* * *

Der Spiegel reports:

The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines. Since then, such facilities have been installed in 16 communities, providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity. […]

The success, though, could soon be a thing of the past. Israel has threatened to tear them down with five municipalities in recent weeks having received "stop work" orders — the first step on the road to demolition. The problem is that the facilities are in the so-called Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank and is administered by Israel. Permission from the Israelis is a requirement before construction projects can move ahead — and permits are almost never given to Palestinians. […]

European diplomats in Ramallah and Tel Aviv suspect that the demolition orders are a reaction to a recently drafted, unusually critical EU report on the situation in Area C. It states: "The window for a two-state solution is closing rapidly with the continued expansion of Israeli settlements." The conclusion: The EU needs to target investment in economic development and improved living conditions of Palestinians in Area C. […]

"What can you do if there are impediments to development, such as an undefined de-development policy?" says Tsafrir Cohen, Middle East coordinator of Medico International, which supported two of the systems.

A few months ago, a similar project co-financed by the Spanish government was scheduled for demolition, something which has been prevented thus far through massive diplomatic pressure.

Projects funded by foreign aid organizations or the EU have often been destroyed in the past, the best known example being the Gaza airport, financed with $38 million from the EU only to be destroyed by Israeli bombs a short time after its construction. Generally, though, the demolitions have been the result of security concerns. The fact that harmless solar cells — installations which are funded by allied countries to provide basic humanitarian needs — are at risk of demolition is a new development. […]

Hundreds of people live in the village, and they are the poorest of the poor. A community of shepherds, they moved freely through the area until Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, they have settled, collecting rain water during the winter and buying expensive drinking water brought in by a truck along a gravel track in the summer. A well-maintained road to the settlement doesn’t exist, despite the fact that Shaab al-Buttum lies between two Israeli outposts. The settlements are illegal, but miraculously they have all the basics their Palestinian neighbors are missing: electricity, water and roads.

* * *

Ma’an News reports:

In recent months, the army issued demolition warnings against six solar and wind power systems in the South Hebron Hills, which were funded by European governments and development groups.

"What can you do if there are impediments to development, such as an undefined de-development policy?" says Tsafrir Cohen, Middle East coordinator of Medico International, which supported two of the systems.

Known locally as Masafer Yatta, the communities lie almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israel civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords. […]

Cohen says if Medico International abandons development work in Area C, moving to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas where permits are not a problem, they would do little more than "painting the walls of Bantustans."

"We cannot just facilitate a nice jail cell, and a system where people don’t have rights." […]

Threats to demolish vital village resources are intended to "silently move us from the land," village council head Ali Muhammad Ali Heirezat says. "We have been here since 1948, and we don’t have another place to go."

* * *

Several West Bank villages had been without electricity for years. Not long ago, however, international funding and an Israeli foundation made it possible to erect solar panels and wind turbines. In total, 16 communities with 1,500 residents have benefited. Here, a woman in the West Bank village of Susya.

Israel To Demolish Palestinian Solar Energy Program | Common Dreams