Posted tagged ‘Italy’

The never-ending fight against delegitimization of Israel

December 15, 2017

The never-ending fight against delegitimization | Anne’s Opinions, 15th December 2017

Even before Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration there was no shortage of anti-Israel agitation going on, as readers of this blog know well. But times are changing, and so are the attitudes of those confronting this bigotry, in particular the Israeli government which has finally woken up to the threat of BDS and delegitimization and is starting to act in a coordinated manner to combat it – with some success.

Just a few items from the last few weeks:

Israel bans Swiss diplomats from visiting Gaza:

Israeli authorities announced on Thursday [30th Nov.] that Swiss diplomats will not be allowed to access the Gaza Strip because of their ongoing contacts with the EU and US-classified terrorist group Hamas.

Switzerland, a non-EU country, does not recognize Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that Israel declines to comment on the ban.

Swiss diplomats meet Hamas members

A photograph of Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar and Swiss diplomat and representative for the Palestinian Authority, Julien Thöni, at a joint Tuesday meeting sparked irritation from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, according to a report in the Swiss daily Basler Zeitung.

How “neutral” can you get? Switzerland, which benefits from a “halo” image of a human-rights benefactor, does not recognize one of the pre-eminent terror organizations in the world as a terror organization? This is mind-boggling. I am pleasantly surprised that Israel has found the backbone to stand up to this Swiss hypocrisy, not to say idiocy.

Due to more European double-think, Israel pulled out of a German exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Despite the German’s decrying the latest manifestations of antisemitism in their country this week, following the anti-Trump protests, the government itself cannot find it within itself to acknowledge Israel’s own Jewish history, encapsulated by the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Israel has pulled out of a planned exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Frankfurt because the German government would not guarantee their return if claimed by Palestinians or Jordanians.

No country on earth would allow its precious artefacts to be exhibited in another country if that country would not guarantee their return. What gives the Palestinians the right to claim the Dead Sea Scrolls as their own? They contain pieces of parchment describing Jewish history, Jewish laws, and Jewish customs of Jewish sects who were hiding in caves in the desert during the Roman occupation. They have no connection whatsoever to the Arabs, whether in the form of Jordan or the Palestinians – who only came into being in 1964!

Fragment of the Hebrew Bible from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The chutzpah of the Arabs to attempt to claim these scrolls as their own is paralleled only by the Germans’ bending over backwards to accommodate these potential claims.

The Frankfurt Bible Museum announced that it has canceled the exhibit which was scheduled for a September 2019 opening. Its director, Jürgen Schefzyk, said he regretted the German government’s decision, adding that neither Holland nor Austria would have hesitated to issue general immunity guarantees.

According to German news reports, the government guarantee would have blocked Palestinian or Jordanian authorities from contesting the provenance of the scrolls, which are among the oldest known texts related to the Hebrew Bible.

“Because of the unwillingness of both ministries to give the necessary declaration, as Qumran lies in today’s West Bank, the Israel Antiques Authority is not letting the material out of the country and the Bible Museum had to cancel its plans,” Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor of Frankfurt, told The Jerusalem Post.

Becker expressed outrage at Germany’s foreign and culture ministers on Thursday, sending letters to Culture and Media Minister Monika Grütters and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel asking them to change their position to support the exhibition.

“If Germany is unwilling to clearly express the legal status of the fragments of Qumran as Israeli world-cultural-heritage goods, it would dramatically change the coordinates in our German-Israeli relations. And it would mean the construction of a wall toward the places of the birth of Christianity in the holy country, because it would be the same for Bethlehem, Jericho, east Jerusalem and many other places of Jesus’s work,” Becker said.

Kol hakavod to Mr. Becker. He should be leading the German government, not their painfully PC leadership. Interestingly:

Becker, widely considered one of Israel’s strongest supporters in the federal republic, led a legislative effort to ban BDS activity in Frankfurt.

Becker said that the German government’s decision to not guarantee a return of the scrolls also damages Germany’s relations to Christianity in the Middle East. He noted that in consideration of “Palestinian sensitivities, the special relationship to Israel weighs more significantly.”

Here too I am delighted that the Israeli government had the courage of its convictions and refused to play along just to “make nice” with a foreign government, however friendly it might be.

And here is another piece of excellent news: The Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled was prevented from entering Italy – this shortly after she addressed the European Assembly in Brussels:

ROME —Leila Khaled, a member of the US and EU-designated terrorist Palestinian group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who is conducting speaking tours across Europe to promote the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, was prevented from entering Italy. She was denied entry at Fiumicino airport near Rome.

Leila Khaled, Palestinian terrorist, denied entry to Italy

The move came a week after the European Parliament decided to ban members of terrorist organizations from addressing the body. The decision came after Khaled spoke at an event in September in the European Assembly in Brussels, using the stage to incite to violence against Jews and comparing Israelis to the Nazis. She glorified terrorism and trivialized the Holocaust. “Don’t you see a similarity between Nazi actions and Zionist actions in Gaza?,” she declared. “While the Nazis were tried in Nuremberg, no one has ever tried the Zionists,” she said.

Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan and several pro-Israel groups had complained to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani regarding Khaled’s speech.

Kol hakavod to Italy for carrying through on the European Parliament ban. And kudos too to the European Parliament for instituting this (very belated) ban on terrorists and terror groups.

Just a reminder of who Leila Khaled is:

Leila Khaled was a key member of a terrorist cell that hijacked TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the attempted hijacking of EL AL Flight 219. She lives in Jordan.

Olga Deutsch, Europe Desk director at the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, applauded Italy’s decision to deny entry to Khaled.

‘’We have long warned European governments that they have been funding radical, politicized NGOs, including those linked to the PFLP terror group and which were involved with Khaled’s event,’’ she said.

However, these successes notwithstanding, we still have a long way to go and there is no end in sight. The pro-Israel educational and activist NGO Stand With Us produced a video showing the highlights – or rather the lowlights – of the last week’s demonstrations around the world where pro-Palestinian, i.e. anti-Israel, protests descended rapidly into outright antisemitism, calling for Israel and the Jews’ destruction (as I mentioned in my post on the subject last week).

 

Let us keep up the good fight. Remember the lesson of Hannukah – the few against the many, the righteous against the evil, the weak against the strong. With G-d’s help we beat the enemy then and we shall beat them again today.

Austrian Troops at the Brenner Pass?

July 4, 2017

Austrian Troops at the Brenner Pass? PJ MediaMichael Walsh, July 4, 2017

(Please see also Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Views from Central Europe. –DM)

(Photo by David Speier/NurPhoto)

[A]s Italy, France and parts of Germany continue to morph into a third-world slum, the countries of central and eastern Europe have had enough of cultural diversity.

******************************

The ongoing European disaster euphemistically known as the “migrant” crisis has just taken a turn for the worse — or for the better, depending on your point of view:

Italy has summoned Austria’s ambassador after the government in Vienna announced it was ready to deploy border troops to block any migrant influx. Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told Kronen Zeitung daily that troops could go to the Brenner Pass. He said four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region and 750 troops were on standby.

Austria has border checks with Hungary and Slovenia. But elsewhere it adheres to the EU open borders system.

The “open borders” system is also known as the Schengen agreement, which overlaps but is not contiguous with, the European Union.

Mr Doskozil said a military deployment at the busy Alpine pass, on the Italian border, would be “indispensable if the influx into Italy [across the Mediterranean] does not diminish.” Later Italy’s foreign ministry said it had summoned Austrian Ambassador Rene Pollitzer “following the Austrian government’s statement about deploying troops to the Brenner (pass)”.

People-smuggling gangs have been exploiting the violence and chaos in Libya. The shortest crossing from Libya to Italy is only about 460km (290 miles).

Which is why Libya was a Roman colony two thousand years ago. But whereas the Romans brought civilization and Christianity to North Africa, north- and sub-Saharan Africa are bringing chaos along with them on the return trip across the Mediterranean. But as Italy, France and parts of Germany continue to morph into a third-world slum, the countries of central and eastern Europe have had enough of cultural diversity.

The Brenner Pass is now seen as a potential migration hotspot, as the influx to Italy so far this year is higher than last year. Nearly 85,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Italy in the first half of this year, across the Mediterranean. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says that is about 20% more than in the first half of 2016.

So far 101,000 migrants have entered Europe in 2017 via the Mediterranean and according to the latest figures, 2,247 people have died or are missing at sea.

The Italians, who essentially provide free ferry and naval escort service for any Libyan who steps a toe into the waters off Tripoli or Tobruk, are finally threatening to close their ports and impound the so-called “rescue” agencies’ ships. Rescue from what is the question nobody ever asks, of course, because they don’t want to know the answer.

Italy: Priest who canceled Nativity scene to avoid offending Muslims is overruled

December 18, 2016

Italy: Priest who canceled Nativity scene to avoid offending Muslims is overruled, Creeping Sharia, December 18, 2016

workersWorkers begin to erect a Nativity scene at a Catholic cemetery in Cremona, Italy.

Source: Italian priest cancels Nativity scene to avoid offending Muslims – then bishop overrules him | News | Lifesitenews

CREMONA, Italy, December 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The northern Italian town of Cremona will get its Nativity scene in the cemetery after all after the Catholic priest who refused to put it up for fear of offending Muslims was overruled by his diocese.

According to the vicar general of the Cremona diocese, Sante Braggie’s words were “falsely attributed” and the Nativity scene was to be installed. “The right integration and fraternal encounter among people of other faiths does not imply the cancellation of their roots and identity, but it demands respect, mutual exchange and knowledge of different religious traditions, especially when they — as the message of Christmas — transmit a message of peace and unity among all peoples.”

The controversy, commented Virginia Coda Nunziante, president of the Association for the Defense of the Family, demonstrated “the fear of the Islamic threat” of violence felt by many in Europe as well as ongoing secularist pressure for “the elimination from the public square of all symbols and evidence of Christianity.” Finally, she feared, it showed “a loss of faith” among priests.

The fuss arose when the local municipality tried to economize by foisting the job of putting up the nativity scene in the town cemetery (one of several the town government erects) on the Catholic church via the cemetery’s chaplain Fr. Sante Braggiè .

The Corriere della Serra tracked down Fr. Sante Braggiè’s predecessor, who had presided over many installations of the cemetery Nativity. Fr Oreste Mori strongly criticized the decision, saying: “Seriously? I can’t believe it!”

We cannot renounce our culture and traditions,” he said. “That would be an unpardonable weakness. I am, for the time being at least, in Italy, not Saudi Arabia.”

Civic and regional officials echoed the priest’s response and spoke out in defense of Christianity and tradition. Cristina Cappellini, the regional cultural minister, urged Fr. Sante Braggiè to “make a mea culpa … and apologize to the community.” She not only dismissed the idea that members of other faiths would take offense but invoked the persecution of Christians in the Middle East by Muslims.

“Reconsider,” she urged the priest, “think of all those Christian children still under the yoke of the Islamic State or under regimes practicing state atheism or not guaranteeing freedom of worship. Think about those families and those children who are not allowed to make the crib, and even the sign of the Cross, to those people going to Mass not knowing if he will return alive to their homes, those people for whom wearing a cross neck means signing their own death sentence, often after torture and abuses of all kinds. Think about the Christian cemeteries being desecrated in the Middle East, as happened just a few days ago in the Galilee, due to religious intolerance that destroys us in our humanity if we show ourselves weak and subject to those who reject our civilization.”

The municipal government declared, “The crib is neither right nor left [and] cannot be exploited for political propaganda. Let alone the crib and Merry Christmas to all!”

Nunziante told LifeSiteNews that the Cremona controversy is not isolated but expresses a spirit “dhimmitude” or subjugation to Islam found in “many of our pastors and bishops.” She noted Cardinal Reinhardt Marx’s November visit to Jerusalem to meet with Muslim leaders in front of the Temple Mount, where they all hid their pectoral crosses.

“In the spirit of ecumenism, they are avoiding every way of offending,” Nunziante said. She noted that many Italian schools no longer have Nativity scenes.

Nunziante added that it was understandable to be afraid of Muslim attacks but not to cover it up with “an ideological explanation. … Priests and bishops should defend our Christian roots.” When they don’t, she fears the basic reason is “they have lost their faith.”

Nigel Farage says the EU is a threat to NATO nations

December 15, 2016

Nigel Farage says the EU is a threat to NATO nationsRobinHoodUKIP via YouTube, December 14, 2016

Italy: Priest bans Nativity scene for fear of offending Muslims

December 13, 2016

Italy: Priest bans Nativity scene for fear of offending Muslims, Jihad Watch

(The last Obama family “Christmas card” being sent from the White House does not mention Christmas, wishing everyone merely “Happy Holidays.” — DM)

Remember the rule: in Muslim countries, be careful to conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, be careful to conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities.

nativity-manger-scene

“Nativity Scene Could Offend Muslims, Priest Says,” by Nick Hallett, Breitbart, December 12, 2016:

A priest in Italy has caused uproar after announcing there would be no Christmas nativity scene at the local cemetery this year because it could offend Muslims and atheists.

Fr Sante Braggiè said there would be no crib in the cemetery in the northern city of Cremona because it may anger people of others faiths or none whose relatives are buried there.

“A small corner of the cemetery is reserved for Muslim graves,” Fr Braggiè said. “A crib positioned within sight of them could be seen as a lack of respect for followers of other faiths, hurt the sensibilities of Muslims, as well as Indians and even atheists.”

He also cited a lack of council workers to set up the crib as another reason for abandoning the tradition.

Corriere della Serra reports that Fr Braggiè’s predecessor as local priest, Fr Oreste Mori, strongly criticised the decision, saying: “Seriously? I can’t believe it!”

“We cannot renounce our culture and traditions,” he said. “That would be an unpardonable weakness.”

“I am, for the time being at least, in Italy, not Saudi Arabia.”…

RIGHT ANGLE: Is Italy Next Out of the E.U.?

December 7, 2016

RIGHT ANGLE: Is Italy Next Out of the E.U.?, Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, December 6, 2016

BREAKING: Italy’s Renzi Is Big Loser in Referendum, Says He Will Resign

December 5, 2016

BREAKING: Italy’s Renzi Is Big Loser in Referendum, Says He Will Resign, PJ MediaMichael Walsh, December 4, 2016

renziMatteo Renzi (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

The result is another blow to the European Union, which is struggling to overcome a number of crises and was keen for Mr Renzi to continue his reform drive.

*********************************

Norbert Hofer may have lost his bid for the presidency of Austria, but in neighboring Italy, prime minister Matteo Renzi and his center-left government seem to have suffered a catastrophic defeat:

Italian PM Matteo Renzi has suffered a heavy defeat in a key referendum on constitutional reform, according to a projection. The projection by the Piepoli Institute/IPR for state broadcaster RAI estimated 57-61% will vote “No”, compared to 39-43% for “Yes”.

The projection points to an even wider margin of defeat for Mr Renzi than was suggested by three exit polls released immediately after polls closed. Mr Renzi had staked his future on a “Yes” vote, vowing to resign if voters rejected his plans to reduce the role of the country’s Senate and take back powers from regional authorities.

Renzi is scheduled to address the Italian nation right about now.

Opposition parties were quick to call for Mr Renzi to go. “Renzi is going to go and with him the powerful lobbies who were also defeated”, Renato Brunetta, the parliamentary leader of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party. Matteo Salvini, the head of the Northern League party, said Mr Renzi should quit “in the coming minutes” and called for early elections.Spearheaded by the populist Five Star Movement, the biggest rival to Mr Renzi’s Democratic party, the “No” campaign took advantage of the PM’s declining popularity, a struggling economy and problems caused by tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Africa.

The vote is a major victory for Five Star leader Beppe Grillo, who had urged Italians to follow their gut instincts.

If Mr Renzi resigns, it could plunge Italy into political turmoil and cause economic instability in the struggling eurozone country. The result is another blow to the European Union, which is struggling to overcome a number of crises and was keen for Mr Renzi to continue his reform drive.

It seems likely at this moment that the Renzi government will fall.

UPDATE: Renzi has resigned, according to the AP.