Du bow digest american edition january 23, 2011

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Du bow digest american edition january 23, 2011

  1. 1. AMERICAN EDITIONJanuary 24, 2011Dear Friends:Germany seems quiet at the moment. Yes, they’ve undergone a farm scandal(cancer producing dioxin in their chickens and chicken eggs), their railroadsystem fell apart in the snowy weather and they are suffering continued worryover the stability of the Euro countries they may have to bail out but…there donot seem to be any disasters on the immediate horizon. That sort of situationnever lasts very long so with seven state elections coming up and continueduncertainty with their economic situation (which is presently strong) they’rewaiting for the next shoe to drop (It will!)However, with the relative peace and quiet “stuff” that interests us is stillhappening. So, let’s get on with it…IN THIS EDITIONAN HONOR FOR THE CHANCELLOR – AJC bestows an award.THEY KNEW – Where “he” was hiding out.BND IN A BETTER LIGHT – Help from the secret service.AN “A” GRADE – In hunting Nazis.GERMANY & THE SECURITY COUNCIL – It takes a non-permanent seat.THE EU & EAST JERUSALEM – A troublesome report.DIE LINKE: POPULARITY POOPS OUT – Will the Left Party be left out?A NEW GERMAN JEWISH VOICE – The Z-rat President speaks out.THE SUBS ARRIVE – In Israel from Germany.THE NEO-NAZIS & WILLIE HORTON – “…where they are”. 1
  2. 2. AN HONOR FOR THE CHANCELLORThis past week AJC presented Chancellor Merkel with its “Light unto the NationsAward”.In a press release AJC reported, “David Harris, AJC Executive Director,present(ed) the award on January 20 at a ceremony at the Chancellery in Berlin."Chancellor Merkel is a true light unto the nations,” said Harris in advance ofThursday’s ceremony. “Her outspoken support for the Jewish people, the Stateof Israel, and the values of human freedom and human dignity are hallmarks ofChancellor Merkel’s visionary political leadership.”The award presentation comes during an AJC senior leadership delegation visitto Germany. AJC has maintained close relations with Germany for decades, andopened its Berlin office in 1998. Deidre Berger is the current director.I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive this award. The Chancelloris a genuine friend of the Jewish people and a great supporter of Israel. Herpersonal stands on Iran and discrimination in her own country are exemplary. Wejust could not ask for more. ‘Nuff said! Congrats to a great person.THEY KNEWThe Local reporting on an article that appeared in the daily newspaper Bild notes,“German and American intelligence services knew where Nazi war criminal AdolfEichmann was hiding eight years before Israeli agents apprehended him,according to documents released this week.”Daily paper Bild reported … that it had succeeded in getting the German federalintelligence service, the BND, to release microfilm of documents which show itknew how to get to the man known as the architect of the Holocaust, back in1952.“SS colonel EICHMANN is not to be found in Egypt but is residing in Argentinaunder the fake name CLEMENS. E’s address is known to the editor of theGerman newspaper ‘Der Weg’ in Argentina,” says an index card dated 1952,according to the paper.There is also evidence to show that the BND told the Americans aboutEichmann’s flight to Argentina – CIA documents released in 2006 show that theBND told a US agent of his whereabouts in 1958.Eichmann was captured by the Israelis in 1960, brought to Israel for trial andexecuted. 2
  3. 3. So, how come if both the CIA and the BND knew where Eichmann was, howcome they didn’t try to get him arrested in Argentina? That’s an easy one. TheGermans at that time were not trying very hard to bring former Nazis to justice. Infact, many convicted Nazis who were give long prison sentences were beingreleased. Some were serving in the government and more focus in general onNazis in the 1950’s was about the last thing the German political leadershipwanted to provoke.If the suppression of Eichmann’s whereabouts were suppressed is not badenough it now comes out that the BND paid Klaus Barbie, the Nazi war criminalknown as the Butcher of Lyon for political information well into the 1960’s.According to The Local,” Barbie fled to Bolivia after the war, in which he hadserved as the head of the SS in Lyon, and lived there under the name KlausAltmann from 1951. It was there that he was recruited by the BND intelligenceservice, the magazine reported on Saturday.A file on Barbie, whose codename was Eagle, says he was of ‘complete Germanattitude’ and a ‘committed anti-Communist’. He delivered at least 35 reports andwas seen as a political source, although it is not yet known what kind ofinformation he gave the agents.Payments for his work were made to him via a branch of the Chartered Bank ofLondon in San Francisco”. Read more.http://www.thelocal.de/society/20110115-32449.html 3
  4. 4. As far as the CIA is concerned, back in those days they were putting their effortsinto tracking down and dealing with Communists. As our kids would say today,“Nazis were so yesterday”.I have the feeling that things are not much different today. Politics still play animportant part in the way these agencies operate. Luckily we do have some“sunshine” laws these days in the U.S. so that the intelligence people cannottotally hide whatever it is they want to hide. Of course, there is a need for secrecyin national defense. However, I hope the CIA and the BND are not shielding anyinternational criminals presently. (Don’t bet on it).In the meantime DW-World.de noted, “Germanys domestic intelligence agencywants to shed light on its past by opening the books on its many former Naziemployees during the post-war era. A team of historians is to be given this task.There seems to be some difficulty is what sorts of records they would open upbut, at least, they are finally getting around to being more transparent. You canread about it be clicking here.http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14775766,00.htmlBND IN A BETTER LIGHTHaving lambasted the BND of the past let me now mention a very positiveundertaking that they are involved in on behalf of Israel – the freeing of Israelisoldier Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped by Hamas four years ago.Haaretz reported, “Senior Hamas official tells Al-Hayat that Gerhard Conradpresented a number of new ideas, but refuses to elaborate expect to say thatHamas insisting Israel agree to release all prisoners it had demanded in officiallist.The German mediator negotiating for the release of captured Israeli soldier GiladShalit has concluded a two-day visit to the Gaza Strip where he held talks withsenior Hamas leaders, the Al-Hayat daily reported on Thursday.Gerhard Conrad presented a series of new ideas to Hamas in a renewed effort toreach a deal with Israel over a prisoner swap that would see Shalit freed aftermore than four years in Palestinian captivity, a top Hamas official told the daily.The official did not elaborate on what those ideas entailed, but said that Hamaswould remain firm in its insistence that Israel free every prisoner that itdemanded on a list it presented earlier in the negotiations.Hamas wants some 1,400 prisoners released from Israeli jails in return forhanding over the soldier, who was captured in a cross-border raid in June 2006. 4
  5. 5. Israel has balked at a number of the names on Hamas list - which includes someresponsible for deadly terror attacks in Israel - agreeing to free around 980prisoners.Negotiations have stalled numerous times. Hamas last year accused Israel ofchanging its stance over points to which it had already agreed. Hamas sourceshave said that Israel is delaying the completion of the Shalit deal by refusing torelease 50 Hamas officials it holds in its jails.One must give Conrad and the BND a lot of credit for keeping on this case. Let’scontinue to hope that success will come soon.AN “A” GRADEAccording to The Jerusalem Post, “First time Simon Wiesenthal Center hasgiven "A" grade to anyone but US for trying Nazi war criminals; Canada, Hungaryreceive failing grades.It is the first time the center has given any country besides the United States an"A grade for prosecuting suspected Nazi war criminals.The director of the centers Israel office, Efraim Zuroff, said Wednesday thatHungary received a failing grade for not imprisoning Dr. Sandor Kepiro, aHungarian military officer convicted in 1944 in the mass murder of civilians.Zuroff said Canada didnt extradite former Nazis even after stripping them ofcitizenship.The annual report covers the period between April 2009 and March 2010.”I’m not too sure what determines an “A” as opposed to and “F” but this sort ofnews coming from the Wiesenthal Center confirms what I have been saying for along time, namely, that Germany these days (as opposed to “those days”) is veryserious about cleaning up any left over Nazis criminals.GERMANY & THE SECURITY COUNCILAccording The Local, “Germany has taken its seat on the UN Security Councilthis week touting an ambitious agenda. Some of this will end in disappointment,experts warn. But there is still much Berlin can achieve.Germany (has taken) its temporary seat this week touting an ambitious agenda,including human rights, climate change and – the big prize – reform of thecouncil itself. 5
  6. 6. Some of this will end in disappointment, foreign policy experts warn. But thereare still useful things Germany can achieve. However complicated, unwieldy andout-of-date the structure of the Security Council may seem, it is still theinternational body where collective decisions on global security are made andcarried out. And there is value being on the inside of that.German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has made clear nucleardisarmament will remain a priority for Berlin. But some of Germany’s stated aims,such as raising climate change to the status of a global security issue, are plainunrealistic, some experts say.Germany can bring its values to the UN – multilateral promotion of the rule of lawand human rights, peace-building and peace consolidation, protection of civiliansand the primacy of diplomacy before armed intervention.As the third-highest contributor to the UN, Germany paid €130 million to theorganisation in 2010 – about 8 percent of the total budget. It does, on the otherhand, contribute relatively few of the actual “blue helmet” troops, said DavidBosold, an analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations. Bosold pointsout – about 10 times fewer than say Italy and France. A challenge ahead forGermany will be to contribute more of these troops to boost its leverage inpersuading other countries to send troops.“That would benefit their reputation. If a crisis occurs, they would need to deployat least a kind of symbolic contingent of troops. That’s a way to demonstrate,‘We’re on the Security Council.’”Germany’s biggest goal for the next two years will be helping push along whatmany impartial observers agree is much needed reform, particularly changingthe regional representation to reflect the 21st century.”What Germany relishes, of course, is a permanent seat on the Security Council.As the leading country of the EU (more so in many ways that the UK or France)many feel that they are entitled to one. However, that is not about to happenanytime soon unless there is a general reform with countries like India and Brazilgaining permanent seats if, indeed, those sorts of seats will remain. Again,nothing along these lines is going to happen in the near future so the Germansmust be satisfied with a two year seat. However, their values certainly seemadmirable so – good luck!THE EU & EAST JERUSALEMWhen (and if) most of us think of the EU, we think about trade, easy access foracross borders for travelers and Euro bailouts. A united Europe, after centuries ofwar seems like a wonderful idea. A Germany linked to other countries makes it 6
  7. 7. very remote that it will repeat its 20th Century behavior. However, when the EU asan entity gets itself involved in world politics, especially Middle East politics, amuch more troublesome entity shows itself.For a year or so I have been harping on the one-sidedness of the EU’s HighRepresentative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and warning thatGermany’s even handed outlook on the Israel – Palestinian situation was beingsubsumed (and watered down) by the EU policy.Haaretz reported, “East Jerusalem should be treated as the capital of thePalestinian state, according to a report compiled by the heads of Europeandiplomatic missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah. The report includes severalother unprecedented recommendations to the European Union regarding itsattitude toward East Jerusalem.The European diplomats, mainly consuls, also recommend that EU officials andpoliticians refuse to visit Israeli government offices that are located beyond theGreen Line and that they decline any Israeli security in the Old City andelsewhere in East Jerusalem.The report, which was completed last month, was sent to the EUs main foreignpolicy body, the Political and Security Committee in Brussels. It was apparentlynot released at the time due to the sensitivity of its content.The diplomats report also discusses the possibility of preventing "violent settlersin East Jerusalem" from being granted entry into EU countries. In the area ofcommerce, it recommends encouraging a boycott of Israeli products from EastJerusalem.The first part of the report details construction and expansion of settlements inEast Jerusalem, the infringement of human rights of Palestinian residents of theeastern part of the city, as well as inequality in education and medical servicesavailable to Palestinians. The report concludes that beyond their humanitariansignificance, these conditions weaken the Palestinian hold on the city.European criticism of Israeli policy in the territories and particularly EastJerusalem is not new. But the dramatic turn in the report can be seen in theoperative steps it recommends, which in fact constitute the foundations forsanctions against Israel.For example, the document proposes that visiting senior EU officials not useIsraeli businesses operating in East Jerusalem, such as hotels andtransportation companies, and that archaeological sites operated by "pro-settlerorganizations" (a reference to the City of David National Park ) not be visited. 7
  8. 8. The report goes on to suggest that public awareness be raised about settlementproducts, "for instance by providing guidance on origin labeling for settlementproducts to major EU retailers," and that EU citizens be informed "of the financialrisks involved in purchasing property in occupied East Jerusalem."The diplomats also recommend that the EU encourage Israel to allow thereopening of Palestine Liberation Organization offices in East Jerusalem, inkeeping with the road map. Israel closed the PLO institutions during the secondintifada.EU diplomats are called on to express great concern during their meetings withsenior Israeli officials over the state of emergency services to East JerusalemArabs, the report also says.It added that EU officials should be present at house demolitions or evacuationsfrom homes, as well as at court hearings on such issues, and "ensure EUintervention when Palestinians are arrested or intimidated by Israeli authoritiesfor peaceful cultural, social or political activities in East Jerusalem".The report further recommends that the European Union "encourage Arabcountries to acknowledge the multicultural dimension of Jerusalem, including itsJewish and Christian heritage."Granted! This report was issued only by Consuls who, for the most part, are nottop policy makers. And, as far as I can tell, the report has not been issued as anEU document nor does it have the backing of the EU – as yet. However, onemight be led to believe that there is a state of mind being developed (or isalready developed) which is terribly (I mean terribly!) one sided – and it ain’t onour side.This is serious business! The American Jewish community should not be taking itlightly. Some sort of confrontation with the EU and the nations whose consulswere involved in the report is called for. I hope it happens. Stay tuned!DIE LINKE: POPULARITY POOPS OUTDer Spiegel notes, “Not so long ago, the Left Party (Die Linke) was hailed as aradical new force that would give a voice to millions of people who felt thecountry was no longer delivering social justice. But it has failed to build on itsearly success. Its charismatic founders have retired, its new leadership is weakand it is beset by in-fighting.When Germanys Left Party was founded in 2007, it looked destined to shake upGermany with a radical, populist social agenda that rapidly won support andshifted the entire political spectrum to the left -- even Chancellor Merkelsconservatives adopted shades of pink. 8
  9. 9. The emergence of a new political force left of the center-left Social DemocraticParty threw the SPD into turmoil by attracting voters incensed at the welfarecutbacks pushed through by the SPD-led government in 2003 and 2004.But the Left Party, formed out of an alliance between former eastern communistsand disgruntled western Social Democrats and trade unionists, has not lived upto its early promise. Its current leadership is divided and weak, it is losingmembers as a result of intrigue and persistent quarrelling in local partyorganizations, and it doesnt have a convincing manifesto to take it into sevenimportant state elections this year.Its problems were highlighted last week by an ill-judged statement from co-leaderGesine Lötzsch in a guest commentary for a left-wing newspaper in which shesaid: "We can only find the paths to communism if we hit the road and try themout, whether in opposition or in government."The remark drew heavy criticism from rival parties but also from within the LeftParty, which is keen to shake its associations with the communist party that ruledEast Germany. It has also prompted fresh questions about whether the partyscurrent leaders are up to the job.The party is still surprisingly stable in national opinion polls at between 8 and 10percent. But its influence in national politics is waning. No one knows what itreally stands for. Democratic socialism or a return to communism?The party has failed to reconcile its two identities. Does it want to be a pragmatic,broad-based governing party like it is in eastern German states, or does it wantto be a radical political sect like it is in the west? Does it favor reform or does itwant the "revolutionary Realpolitik".The other leader of the Die Linke, Klaus Ernst recently said (The Local) that, “thesocialist party was in danger of becoming “as attractive as a cow pie.”http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20110113-32379.html Click here for the article.If you don’t know what a cow pie is, drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you a pile – ifthe post office will allow me to ship it.My guess is that Die Linke will lose a lot of support in the State elections andslowly fall into insignificance nationally. It really has no place on the nationalscene except for a small minority on those on the very left side of the politicalspectrum and for those in the eastern part of Germany who haven’t gotten EastGermany out of their minds as yet. The left, it seems to me, is going to be takenup more and more by the Greens and maybe a resurgent SPD (SocialDemocrats). Political reality for those who are the left, if they’re sensible, willdictate that a vote for Die Linke is a wasted vote. One caveat however. There aresome local D.L. people who are good representatives and they are likely to 9
  10. 10. survive.Die Linke were never a real force except for the initial splash they made.Germany would better off without them.A NEW GERMAN JEWISH VOICEI previously reported that Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat), theumbrella group for all Jewish communities, had inducted a new president.I didn’t know much about Dieter Graumann except that he was 60 (Born after theHolocaust), born in Israel and runs a real estate business. He is also an attorney.JTA reported, “In several interviews since his election, Graumann has stressedthe importance of building Jewish identity, interfaith relations with Christians andMuslims, support for Israel and for democracy in Germany. He has said thatcriticism of Israel is normal, but must go hand in hand with support for Israelsright to exist peacefully next to its neighbors.Graumann also supports a renewed attempt to ban the far-right NationalDemocratic Party of Germany, which he said promotes xenophobia and anti-Semitism, and intimidates elected officials.He emphasized the need for stronger ties between the established postwarcommunity and Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union.Most importantly (in my opinion) Graumann has been quoted as saying that Jewsin Germany must stop emphasizing their role as victims and develop theirpositive Jewish identity. This position is enormously important. First, the old guilttrip is working less and less as younger Germans come into leadership rolesfeeling little direct connection to the Holocaust. If the German Jewish communityis to continue to have political influence it must learn to relate to these youngerpeople.Second, with the current Jewish community being made up of people from theformer Soviet Union, many of whom have very poor (if any) Jewish training andconnection, focus has to be on what I would call “community development”.Graumann seems to understand all of that. We can only wish him great successand as American Jews who understand the importance of Germany to Jewishinterests, give him as much help and support as we can.THE SUBS ARRIVEI have previously reported that Israel gets its submarines from Germany. TheIsrael Defense Forces (IDF) website recently reported, “After months of 10
  11. 11. preparation, the Israeli Navy is prepared to receive its new submarine. In the lasttwo enlistment cycles for the corpss Submarine Flotilla, there was an increase of30% combat soldiers trained for the position, a result of two new submarinesacquired from Germany.Navy officials explain that the submarines’ arrival will increase the number ofsuch vessels in the IDF. In order to have enough soldiers to successfully operatethe new vessels, more fighters will complete the course each cycle.These soldiers completed their naval course just two weeks ago. "Were at thepeak of a process and were slowly adding more crews to be trained for theposition," explains Commander of the Naval Training Base, Col. Ronen Nimni."Additionally, we made sure to increase the number of commanders to maintainmore personalized instruction for soldiers."Since all military personnel in Israel are in one organization (no distinct navy)their submarine sailors are referred to as soldiers.The important point is that no matter what sort of political differences Germanyand Israel might have, the needed military equipment keeps coming. Frankly,that’s more important than a lot of nice or even troubling diplomatic words.THE NEO-NAZIS & WILLIE HORTONThe infamous American bank robber, Willie Horton is reported to have respondedwhen asked why he robs banks, by saying “because that’s where the money is”.It seems that the neo-Nazis in Germany have adopted that philosophy in trying toimpact on German youngsters. The Local reported, “Right-wing extremists havebegun infiltrating sports clubs to influence young people across the country, aleading researcher said Tuesday, calling the situation a pressing problem.Sociologist at the University of Hannover, Gunter Pilz, has found that neo-Nazisare taking advantage of a general unwillingness to volunteer at sports clubs toinstall members as functionaries and coaches. Some are also founding their ownsports clubs, he said.There they organise free time activities for young people in an attempt to gain afoothold for their ideas in the centre of German society, he added.“It’s not just a problem in the east,” Pilz said, explaining that he has observed thephenomenon across the country.The problem has gained the most attention for being at football clubs, but othersports are also included, though there it is often “suppressed” or “played down,”he said. 11
  12. 12. The sociologist’s comments came ahead of a meeting on Tuesday in Berlin forpoliticians and sporting authorities, who aim to create an initiative against right-wing extremism in sports.Why should anybody be surprised? The neo-Nazis are not dumb and if they wantto make inroads with German young people sports clubs are the perfect startingplaces. I do not expect Hitler Youth clubs to emerge. The neo’s are too smart forthat – it’s illegal. However, a militaristic, nationalistic point of view interspersedwith soccer practice does not seem out of the question. I’m encouraged by thefact that sports authorities and politicians are aware of the problem. Oncesurfaced at least there is a chance that something will be done about it.Thank you Gunter Pilz!********************************************************************************************See you in February.DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contactedby clicking here.Both the American and Germany editions are posted atwww.dubowdigest.typepad.comClick here to connect 12
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