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AN AMERICAN JEWISH – GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION                  NEWSLETTER                     dubowdigest@optonline.ne...
Now, on to the news…IN THIS EDITIONTHE AMERICAN ELECTION – What do the Germans think?THE CIRCUMCISION CIRCUS – It’s a mess...
thinks people want to hear instead of the truth. Even if Romney were now toapologize, people will not buy his remorse.""Ne...
thats something. The candidate said that it was not his job to concern himself withthe 47 percent of voters who supposedly...
Of course, that is exactly what happened. For instance…DW reported, “Israels president has defended the practice of male c...
Germanys ethics committee took a further step towards forging a compromise onThursday, when the 26-member panel said it su...
A RABBI IS ATTACKEDIt wasn’t bad enough that the issue of male circumcision cast Germany in a badlight. To make things wor...
when he said yes, they beat him and threatened to kill his child. The attackerspresumably identified the victim as Jewish ...
legal neo-Nazi party (NPD) has succeeded in winning seats in State parliaments,they have never been able to gain even one ...
the population doesn’t care and refuses to do anything about it that is a majorproblem. It will require stronger moves by ...
Authorities raided a total of 146 buildings in 32 North Rhine-Westphalia cities andtowns, Jaeger said.At the headquarters ...
The 420 participants met Monday at the Treblinka, Kielce, Warsaw, Sobibor,Chelmno, Majdanek and Belzec. A memorial ceremon...
ESMWhat is ESM? Well, it’s not some vitamin supplement or a new self-improvementprocedure. However, in the long run it mig...
Therefore, for the moment the Euro remains and Germany keeps paying. How longcan that go on? Stay tuned!******************...
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DuBow Digest American edition sept. 19, 2012

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DuBow Digest American edition sept. 19, 2012

  1. 1. AN AMERICAN JEWISH – GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION NEWSLETTER dubowdigest@optonline.netAMERICAN EDITIONSeptember 19, 2012Dear Friends:If the German government leadership went by the Jewish calendar they would knowthat 5772 ended on a very sour note and they’d be glad to have arrived at 5773.They could attend Yom Kippur services, confront their troubles, miseries andshortcomings and feel that they were starting over. However, they go by theGregorian calendar so they’re stuck for another three plus months.The last month or six weeks have been dismal. They are caught in a nasty situationbrought on by a district court which ruled circumcision to be a criminal act. Tocompound the problem the State of Berlin ruled that only medical doctors couldperform the operation. The reaction that world Jewry had was not unexpected.While that dispute was underway a rabbi, who was wearing a kippa, was attacked inBerlin by what seemed to be a group of “Middle Eastern looking youths” who alsothreatened his young daughter. The perpetrators have not as yet beenapprehended.If that wasn’t enough a report came out indicating that neo-Nazi activity in EasternGermany was stronger than before.The “cookie topper” was the City of Frankfurt’s awarding the Theodor Adorno Prizeto Judith Butler an American Jewish Israel hater. (Click here to read about it).. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120912-44913.htmlOther than the above, everything else went along quietly and peacefully.Before you get on to the news in detail, let me, once again, wish you all, Jew andnon-Jew alike, a great 5773. Good health and happiness! 1
  2. 2. Now, on to the news…IN THIS EDITIONTHE AMERICAN ELECTION – What do the Germans think?THE CIRCUMCISION CIRCUS – It’s a mess. No cutting remarks please!A RABBI IS ATTACKED - Wearing a kippa proves dangerous in Berlin.ARE THE NEO-NAZIS STRONGER? HOW STRONG? – Too strong!IN THE MEANTIME – Anti-Nazi action – but in the West.HEARTENING – For a change some nice news.ESM – Not a vitamin supplement but charged with important energyTHE AMERICAN ELECTIONWith our election less than two months away, as you might imagine, there isconsiderable interest in it not only in the U.S. but across the Atlantic as well. With theU.S. being the world power it is, whoever our President turns out to be after Nov. 6ththe result will have great impact on the lives of Europeans (in this case Germans) aswell as those of us who live on this side of “the pond”. .With “European style socialism” being one of the boogiemen of our electioncampaign, I thought it might be instructive for you to hear from a cross section of theGerman press as to how they feel about the upcoming contest. Granted! Pres.Obama is and has been tremendously popular in Europe since the last election andwhat follows below was published right after Gov. Romney’s 47% speech hit themedia. With that in mind…Spiegel Online reported, “The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:"Sure, other candidates have also put their foot in it while talking in a supposedlyintimate setting. Four years ago, Barack Obama, for example, talked disparaginglyabout white workers who desperately cling to guns or religion. That comment stillhaunts the Democrats today ….""But Romneys verbal blunders threaten to leave deeper scars. Even before thelatest comments, the once-moderate Massachusetts governor was considered anopportunist. Three-fifths of his countrymen think he is a man who says what he 2
  3. 3. thinks people want to hear instead of the truth. Even if Romney were now toapologize, people will not buy his remorse.""Nevertheless, the election has not yet been decided. Romney still has threeopportunities, in the form of the three TV debates with Barack Obama in October.Romney has to hope that many voters will only start paying close attention to himthen. But he will be on his own. No touching speech by his wife or million-dollardonation will save him then. He has to help himself. Otherwise, he will soon join theranks of those who he despises -- the losers."The conservative Die Welt writes:"The vote will be counted on the evening of Nov. 6, but it can already be predictedwith a degree of reliability that Mitt Romney has lost the US presidential election.The former Massachusetts governor personally hammered the nail in the coffin ofhis political career when he told donors that 47 percent of Americans would vote forBarack Obama because they see themselves as victims and rely on the state.""Obama, too, has made his fair share of rhetorical blunders … but by excludingalmost half of his compatriots from the American dream, Romney has insulted allthose people in question. Romneys off-the-cuff speech is not only quantitativelydevastating, it is also qualitatively worse because it provides ammunition for theDemocrats charge that Romney wants to conduct politics for the benefit of thebetter-off."The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:"Its not very convincing if a presidential candidate who says he wants to revive theAmerican dream excludes almost half of voters right from the outset because theylive on state aid anyway and are not willing to take responsibility for themselves. MittRomney may be right when he says that those people will not actually vote for him.Nevertheless, he committed a strategic blunder: Ronald Reagan or George W. Bushcertainly gave the impression that they also cared about the fate of those whoselives could not be described as a success story.""It will now be even easier for Obamas people to portray the Republican nomineeas a rich man who will conduct politics on behalf of Americas rich -- and as a manwho commits gaffes and is therefore not capable of holding the countrys highestoffice."The Financial Times Deutschland writes:"Of all the blunders that Mitt Romney has made in the current election campaign,this is the worst. We can ignore the fact that the Republican presidential candidatecalled the Olympic host Great Britain incapable or attacked the incumbent BarackObama in sharp tones. But writing off one half of his own countrys population? Now 3
  4. 4. thats something. The candidate said that it was not his job to concern himself withthe 47 percent of voters who supposedly rely on government assistance and aretherefore Obama supporters. Its amazing how a politician can voluntarily brandhimself as a cold-hearted capitalist.""We Germans can already hardly understand why many Americans would prefer tovote for Romney. But if we now like to believe that he has stumbled, then that iswishful thinking on our part. The policies that we like -- the welfare state, universalhealth insurance, a foreign policy of rapprochement-- are the policies that Obamastands for. He is Europes preferred candidate. But the political culture in parts of theUS is different. It is more conservative, more religious, more skeptical aboutgovernment and more focused on the individual. And some statements that wouldcause a scandal in Germany are only enough to cause a blip in the polls in the US."The business daily Handelsblatt writes:"A professional politician would never make such comments publicly -- at most, theywould talk about it in a small group -- but never at an event for donors, even if theypaid $50,000 for their lunch. Yet this is what Mitt Romney did when he chatted alltoo openly in Florida a few months ago. Hence, it is less the content of his remarksand more the lack of professionalism that surprises us and gives us pause. After all,who wants an amateur in the White House who cant even keep his campaign undercontrol?""This new scandal could spell the end of Romney, who is already notorious as acapitalist and cold-hearted millionaire. Five years after the Lehman bankruptcy,Americans dont need a president who divides society into the rich and those wholive off the state. That also applies to Republican voters. After all, many of themdont pay any taxes."From Gov. Romney’s perspective I guess it’s a good thing the Germans don’t vote inour elections.THE CIRCUMCISION CIRCUSSomehow Germany has become embroiled in a (now) international dispute not onlywith Jews around the world but with itself over the issue of whether circumcision islegal.As reported in my last edition, a ruling by a Cologne District Court determined thatcircumcision was a bodily harm and, therefore, illegal. The decision goes against thedeeply held religious beliefs of two important religious minority groups, Jews andMuslims, and without a quick about face was destined to turn into a severe disputewith international overtones. 4
  5. 5. Of course, that is exactly what happened. For instance…DW reported, “Israels president has defended the practice of male circumcision in aletter to his German counterpart. Hes the latest high-profile figure to weigh in on adebate over a German court ruling which declared it illegal.In the letter sent to German President Joachim Gauck on Thursday, PresidentShimon Peres asked that Germany protect the religious practice.Circumcision is "a Jewish ritual that has been at the core of Jewish identity forthousands of years and defines the Jewish people, from the time of the firstcommandment given by God to Abraham," he wrote."I am therefore confident, Mr. President, that Germany, in keeping with its values,will remain committed to conducting their Jewish religious traditions in freedom,"Peres said in the letter quoted by his office.The tension even heightened when, as The Daily Beast reported, “The debate cameto a head this week when David Goldberg, an Israeli rabbi living in Germany, wascharged with inflicting bodily harm for performing ritual circumcisions, which is thesurgical removal of male foreskin. Goldberg, who is a mohel, or a Jewish persontrained in the practice of circumcision, regularly travels throughout Germany,Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Italy performing the procedure for Jewishfamilies. He has not been arrested formally, but a Cologne court confirmed to TheDaily Beast that he faces charges that could result in jail time and heavy fines. Inlate June”. The charges were eventually dropped.Several regions of Switzerland and Austria have also followed suit, makingperforming circumcisions illegal. The debate is also on the agenda in severalScandinavian countries. In Europe, around one in 10 males is circumcised, with theoverwhelming majority due to religious practices. The procedure is most commonamong those who practice Judaism and Islam; the rest are most likely due tomedical necessity.The Chancellor refused to be cut out of the action (sorry!). DW reported, “Theensuing controversy prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to voice her support for thepractice, warning her Christian Democratic Union party that Germany riskedbecoming a "laughing stock" over the issue.The German parliament responded in July, adopting a nonbinding cross-partyresolution to protect religious circumcision. The resolution urges the government todraw up legislation that "ensures that the circumcision of boys carried out tomedically professional standards and without undue pain is fundamentallypermissible." 5
  6. 6. Germanys ethics committee took a further step towards forging a compromise onThursday, when the 26-member panel said it supported the practice under certainconditions."There must be a green light for circumcision but under the conditions of a fullexplanation to the parents, the agreement of both parents, the treatment of pain andthe professional execution of the circumcision," committee chairwoman ChristianeWoopen said.The German government has gotten the message. Most recently, according to TheJerusalem Post, “The German government will ensure that Jews can performcircumcisions, a top aide to German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote the EuropeanJewish Association on Sunday.The letter was sent to Menachem Margolin, director of the Rabbinical Center ofEurope.Dr. Rufolf Teuwsen, the chancellor’s representative to Churches and ReligiousCommunities, wrote in the letter that the “German government sees a specialobligation to cultivate Jewish culture and religion. The chancellor is grateful thatJewish life has, once again, found a home in Germany.”For this reason, the German government is working hard to find a solution to thecircumcision problem, the letter continued.Teuwsen stressed that religious freedom is an essential part of Germany’sdemocratic society.”It seemed as if the situation would be quieted but the State of Berlin (it is both a cityand a federal state) stepped in with a new ruling deciding that circumcision was,indeed, legal, but had to be performed by a physician and not a mohel. Thesituation, which was quieting down, erupted once again with statements ofdenunciation and even a public demonstration.Of course, one cannot blame all Germans for this public relations disaster. WhenGerman officials, in this case in Cologne and Berlin, decide that a 3,000 year oldJewish tradition defies German law I believe that feeling about Germany will not bein the “laughing stock” category as expressed by the Chancellor but in one closer to“anti-Semitic.”I hope that whole matter will eventually be taken care of by the Bundestag early thisfall. However, much damage is already done and the bad taste it will have left in themouths of many will last for a long time to come. If by some chance the Bundestagdoes not act and return male circumcision to the pre-Cologne situation as a religiousmatter then the battle will even become more intense. 6
  7. 7. A RABBI IS ATTACKEDIt wasn’t bad enough that the issue of male circumcision cast Germany in a badlight. To make things worse, a rabbi was viciously attacked on a Berlin streetupsetting an already deeply concerned German Jewish community regarding itsplace in German society.DW reported, “An anti-Semitic attack has caused consternation in Berlin. Politicianshave called for more moral courage. Jews in the German capital have expressedfear, while Jewish organizations worldwide demanded more security.The attack was completely unexpected for Rabbi Daniel Alter, who was walkingdown the road with his 6-year-old daughter. Four young men jumped the 53-year-old, beat him viciously and threatened to kill his child. Before attacking Alter, whowas wearing a kippa, the men asked him if he was Jewish.Alter, who later underwent surgery for a cheekbone fracture, described his attackersas Arab-looking. The beating did not take place in one of Berlins districts with alarge number of Arab immigrants - it happened in affluent suburb Friedenau,southwest of the city.Since the incident on Tuesday (28.08.2012), several members of Berlins Jewishcommunity have described their negative experiences when appearing recognizablyJewish on the street - in any district of the city. Many have taken to hiding theirkippas under a baseball cap. Rabbi Andreas Nachama, a well-respectedrepresentative of the citys Jewish community, has said he tries to avoid publictransport after being attacked ten years ago on one of Berlins elevated trains.In most cases, the attacks are motivated by far-right extremism. But there are manyreports of an aggressive anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiment in certain schoolsand among young Arab people. It has become a highly charged political issue.Happily, the attack did not go unchallenged by a goodly number of Berlin citizens.DW reported, “Jews, Christians and Muslims took to the streets of Berlin on theweekend, in support of a rabbi who was brutally attacked last week. Rabbi DanielAlter praised the "wonderful outpouring of moral support."Alter joined around 1,500 demonstrators on Sunday near the scene of the attack inBerlins Schöneberg district.It followed a rally on Saturday, when hundreds took to the streets wearing traditionalJewish skullcaps in a show of solidarity.Alter was approached by several young men as he walked down the road with hissix-year-old daughter last Tuesday. They asked him whether he was Jewish and 7
  8. 8. when he said yes, they beat him and threatened to kill his child. The attackerspresumably identified the victim as Jewish from the traditional skullcap, the “kippa”he was wearing.The 53-year-old Alter, who later underwent surgery for a cheekbone fracture,described his attackers as Arab-looking. They have not yet been found.On Saturday, Berlins interior minister, Frank Henkel, again condemned what hedescribed as a “cowardly attack.“The news of the attack triggered a discussion whether Jews in general had to fearfor their safety in the German capital.The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, calledFriday on the countrys large Muslim community to do more to combat anti-Semitism.Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, condemned the attackand professed solidarity and empathy with all Jews in Germany. Other Muslimassociations joined in the condemnation of all religious hate and violence.Protestant Bishop Markus Dröge of Berlin warned Saturday against blanketaccusations of violent anti-Semitism being prevalent among Muslims in Germany.“We should not make the mistake of blaming this on religion,” he said, pointing to aprevalence of violent behavior among socially disadvantaged young menindependent of their beliefs.As of this writing the perpetrators of the attack have not been apprehended. Beingthat it was a group, as opposed to a single attacker, it should be easier to locate thecriminals and bring them to justice.I join a lot of others who are---waiting!ARE THE NEO-NAZIS STRONGER? HOW STRONG?The matter of neo-Nazis in Germany is a complicated and not easily understoodsituation. There is no question that these extreme right-wing groups are strongest inthe eastern states of Germany which until 1989 comprised the Communist nation ofEast Germany. After the Berlin Wall came down and unification was effected, theeastern states were the poorest with the highest rate of unemployment. Thatremains the case today.While neo-Nazi activity remains highest there, it does not seem, in any significantway, to have bled over into the western states of the Federal Republic. While the 8
  9. 9. legal neo-Nazi party (NPD) has succeeded in winning seats in State parliaments,they have never been able to gain even one in the national Bundestag. Measure thatagainst other European countries and you do not get a feeling that neo-Nazism isgaining a national foothold. Since I am a great believer in “Never say never”, that isnot say that, given the right sort of circumstances, what is happening in the Eastcould not jump the boundaries and infect the West.In late August Spiegel On-Line ran a story entitled, “In Eastern Germany, the Neo-Nazis Are Winning”. It noted, “Twenty years ago, an asylum-seekers hostel inRostock was set ablaze by rioting neo-Nazis as thousands of ordinary peoplewatched and cheered. Today, much of eastern Germany remains a no-go area forforeigners, say commentators. Authorities have failed to tackle the problem andsociety remains indifferent.Germany is marking the 20th anniversary this week of a racist riot againstimmigrants and asylum-seekers in the eastern port city of Rostock. Between Aug.22 and Aug. 26, 1992, hundreds of right-wing extremists hurled stones andfirebombs at a high-rise apartment block where asylum-seekers, most of them Sintiand Roma from Romania, and Vietnamese workers were being housed.Several thousand people stood by and applauded the attackers. At one point policeand fire department officials retreated from the scene, abandoning the burningbuilding and the people trapped inside. It was a miracle that no one was killed in theriots which first focused national and international attention on the growth of neo-Nazis and xenophobia in the former communist east.Fast forward 20 years, and Germany still has a far-right problem. Mediacommentators say the police and government authorities have not done enough tocombat right-wing extremism, which has festered especially in depopulated ruralregions of the east where neo-Nazis sit on town councils, organize local sportsfestivals and youth activities and are even trying to staff kindergartens.Many believe that unchecked hatred in some eastern German states of the sortseen in Rostock created an atmosphere that allowed the terrorism of the NationalSocialist Underground, the neo-Nazi cell uncovered by chance last November thatmurdered and bombed immigrants, to happen. But yet again, critics lament, theresno big push in German society to root out the problem.It is not arguable that neo-Nazi activity is a problem in the East. However, as Ireported in the last edition, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich kicked out some ofthe high ranking security people and brought in some new faces. That should bringsome positive results.To me the most troubling part of the matter is the reported seeming indifference onthe part of the populace. Of course, there are counter demonstrations and anti-Nazistatements from state and local officials. However, if a vast segment (majority?) of 9
  10. 10. the population doesn’t care and refuses to do anything about it that is a majorproblem. It will require stronger moves by the national government and furtherdiscussion about the outlawing of the NPD Party.If you’re interested in reading the rest of the Spiegel On-Line article click here.http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/press-review-on-the-german-far-right-20-years-after-the-rostock-riots-a-851193.htmlBTW, a welcome voice on the subject has come from German President JoachimGauck. An Easterner himself, according to DW “Gauck told the LeipzigerVolkszeitung newspaper on Monday that any fresh application by federal authoritiesto Germanys Constitutional Court to ban the far-right National Democratic Party(NPD) must be "very thoroughly" prepared.In 2003, the court in Karlsruhe rejected a previous prohibition application on thegrounds that evidence had been tainted by the authorities use of informants.Germanys constitution sets high hurdles for the banning of political parties.”Calls for a NPD prohibition have surged since the detection last year of a neo-Nazigang that had murdered nine immigrants, mostly of Turkish origin, and apolicewoman between 2000 and 2007.Who knows? Maybe it will happen.IN THE MEANTIME…While most of the neo-Nazi activity is in the east, the former East Germany, therewas a major crackdown in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.In late August The New York Times reported, “More than 900 police officers raidedhomes and clubhouses of suspected neo-Nazis in a crackdown in a westernGerman state on Thursday, seizing far-right propaganda material, computer harddrives and a wide variety of weapons, the regions top security official said.The raids to collect evidence came after North Rhine-Westphalia state interiorminister Ralf Jaeger banned three local neo-Nazi groups."These groups are anti-foreigner, they are racist and they are anti-Semitic," Jaegersaid at a news conference.The crackdown in North Rhine-Westphalia comes amid a greater focus nationally onthe far right in Germany. That was sparked by the revelation last year that a smallgroup of neo-Nazis apparently managed to kill nine minorities and a police officerover a seven-year period while remaining off the radar of the countrys intelligenceservices. 10
  11. 11. Authorities raided a total of 146 buildings in 32 North Rhine-Westphalia cities andtowns, Jaeger said.At the headquarters of one of the groups in Dortmund, officials found 1,000 electionposters for the National Democratic Party, which federal officials are currently tryingto decide whether to ban, Jaeger said."This shows the close interlacing between this right-extremist party and the neo-Nazi scene in North Rhine-Westphalia," he said.The raids also netted a variety of weapons, including firearms — though it is stillbeing determined whether they were functional — switchblade knives, baseball batsand brass knuckles.The interior ministry said there had been no arrests, though criminal prosecutions ofsome of the members of the neo-Nazi groups had helped form the basis for the ban,and some were already in prison.I don’t think there is any question about the fact that neo-Nazi activity is terriblyembarrassing to Germany’s political leadership, In addition, and more important, Ibelieve they see it as dangerous – dangerous enough to start doing somethingabout it. The level of concern has certainly increased since the revelation that therewas a gang of neo-Nazi killers that operated under the security radar for 10 years.Public demonstrations are one thing; the fact that weapons are now being found isquite something else. I look forward to increased police activity. We’ll have to waitand see if that happens. North Rhine-Westphalia is encouraging.HEARTENINGI recently came across three different pieces in three different periodicals dealingwith three different subjects that were, indeed, heartening.First, J-Net News reported, “Some 50 decedents of Nazi SS and Wehrmacht officerswill be taking part in reconciliation march with Holocaust survivors through Polandsextermination campsTheir relatives massacred the Jews, and now they are marching together withHolocaust survivors to commemorate the tragedy. Over 50 members of the Germandelegation are descendants of members of Wehrmacht, police, or SS, who weredirectly involved in the annihilation of Europes Jews. They will join together with thesurvivors in a reconciliation march that will make stops at Polands exterminationcamps. 11
  12. 12. The 420 participants met Monday at the Treblinka, Kielce, Warsaw, Sobibor,Chelmno, Majdanek and Belzec. A memorial ceremony will be held at each of thesites.Second, Spiegel On-Line reported, “Germanys eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a longstanding reputation as a hotbed of xenophobicactivity. Recently, a number of projects have sought to burnish the regionstarnished reputation. The latest is a golf tournament that raised thousands of eurosto be given to groups that combat extremism in youth.The Golf and Country Club Fleesensee in Germanys famous lake country offers anidyllic stretch of lush green fairways and glistening ponds. At first glance, it doesntseem like an obvious frontline in the battle against right-wing extremism.On Saturday, though, the site hosted 70 golfers from across Germany andSwitzerland, who had gathered for the countrys first "Golf gegen Rechts," or Golfagainst the Far-Right, tournament to remember past extremism and stop future actsin the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.Third, though it happened in Sweden and not Germany, I thought I should include it.JTA reported, “Several hundred kipah-wearing Jews and non-Jews marched inSweden as a sign of solidarity with Malmo’s Jews.Some 400 marchers gathered Saturday outside the synagogue in Malmo andwalked to Mollevangs Square, a part of the city with many Muslim immigrants fromthe Middle East.“The idea is to show ourselves and others that we refuse to be afraid or hide ourJewish affiliation,” Fredrik Sieradzki, director of communications for the Jewishcommunity of Malmo, told JTA before the march.. “The statement is that Jews should be free to walk in Malmo without fear, and thatis sadly not the case right now,” Lena Posner-Korosi, president of the Council ofSwedish Jewish Communities, told JTA. “Many Jews are frightened to show theiraffiliation. We in Stockholm are having a kipah march in solidarity with the Malmocommunity, but for our own sake as well. It’s a signal which says, We are here, wedon’t harm you, so don’t harm us.’ ”Anti-Semitism in Malmo first drew international attention in 2009, when riots brokeout due to the presence of Israeli tennis players in the city, which was hosting theDavis Cup.If you felt depressed by the first two articles about the neo-Nazis, this one shouldraise your spirits somewhat. There are good people and we should pay as muchattention to them as to those on the other side. 12
  13. 13. ESMWhat is ESM? Well, it’s not some vitamin supplement or a new self-improvementprocedure. However, in the long run it might be more important to your well being,especially your financial health than either of the other choices.ESM stands for European Stability Mechanism which improves the standing of theEuro and the Eurozone. After some question as to whether the German High Court(like our Supreme Court) might rule it unconstitutional, they finally said it was.Spiegel Online reported, “Germany and Europe can both breathe a sigh of relief onWednesday: The Federal Constitutional Court has rejected a petition to stop theratification of the permanent euro rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism.The decision clears the way for the ESM to go into effect.In a historically significant signal for the euro rescue, the German FederalConstitutional Court on Wednesday ruled there are no grounds to stop the countryfrom ratifying the European Stability Mechanism, the permanent euro bailout fund,and the fiscal pact aimed at bringing economic governance to countries in the eurozone. The decision bolstered stock markets in Europe and around the world andalso strengthened the euro. However, the justices at the Karslruhe-based court alsoexpressed some reservations.The court ordered that ratification can only be completed if it is ensured underinternational law that Germanys current maximum liability of €190 billion ($245billion) can only be increased with the approval of the German representative in theESM board, court President Andreas Vosskuhle said. "(No) provision of this treatymay be interpreted in a way that establishes higher payment obligations for theFederal Republic of Germany without the agreement of the German representative,"the court states.This also means that Germanys federal parliament, the Bundestag, must play theleading role in important decisions.The ruling on ESM is a big victory for Chancellor Merkel. Though there are manycritical voices on the subject even in her own party, her desire to save the Euro iswinning out. Needless to say, much of the bailout money is coming from Germanyand that certainly makes many of the taxpayers very unhappy."This is a good day for Germany, a good day for Europe," she said during a specialsession of the German parliament. "We havent yet overcome the crisis, but we haveachieved our first steps." She said Germany had sent a "strong message to Europeand beyond." The court has cleared the way for the ESM and the fiscal pact while atthe same time strengthening the rights of parliament. This, she said, would providecertainty for everyone -- not only members of the Bundestag but also taxpayers. 13
  14. 14. Therefore, for the moment the Euro remains and Germany keeps paying. How longcan that go on? Stay tuned!************************************************************************************************See you again in October.DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted byclicking hereBoth the American and Germany editions are posted atwww.dubowdigest.typepad.comClick here to connect 14

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