Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is the pope Catholic?

This is relevant now as it was last year when I wrote it:

Why all the fuss about the Bavarian Pope stating his beliefs? At least he is telling the plain truth about official Roman Catholic teaching -- even if he's in grave error and spewing religious lies, according to the Bible. Those drunk on the ecumenical spirits, who are in a state of shock or confusion, staggering over his statements, expose they've either been misled by the Vatican or in a stupored state of denial, having fooled themselves that reconciliation between the Catholic Mother and Protestant Daughters was a two-way street rather than a one way street back to Rome and its dead end.

The Roman Catholic Church is not the Church Jesus Christ founded on the holy day of Shavuot/Pentecost. The Roman Catholic Church is the Babylonian Mystery Religion in Christian drag, and they do well to call themselves Catholic because they're not Christians! That's right - Catholics are not Christians. To state anything less is to endanger folks who fail to recognize the seriousness of religious sins or discern doctrines of demons.

The Roman Catholic Church is the apostate organization of those who fell away from the original Sabbath-keeping Church of God. The RCC represents those who became prey to wolves in sheep's clothing and were misled from the Faith once delivered to Jews in Jerusalem, even though they were warned by Peter, John, Jude, Polycarp, Polycrates and other witnesses. Rome is foreign to Jerusalem and anathema to Christ!

Throughout history, the true Church of God has always been the "little flock," the chosen few -- never the majority. The legitimate Church of God's succession is revealed by faithfulness to biblical doctrines (easily proven by noble "Bereans") -- not by a pompous parade of pagan men who blindly follow idolatrous traditions and engage in identity theft, in a massive fraud, a counterfeit Christianity that pollutes the holy name of Jesus Christ and misrepresents God (Rev. 12:9).

It appears the German-Jesuit pope is determined to discipline, and in the unholy spirit of the Inquisition and Crusades is clearly gearing up for battle and drawing lines in the sand and is prepared to crack the whip -- whether it's his tongue (like his stinging rebuke of the EU as "apostate" over their refusal to acknowledge Catholicism's contributions to Europe in their Constitution) or Caesar's sword.

Watch for the pope to promote a man after his own heart to govern Europe and wield whatever force is necessary to stabilize the world -- even if it means going ballistic.

Contribution to Operational Command

Newsletter 2008/11/27 - Contribution to Operational Command

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KABUL (Own Report) - Before the new administration in Washington takes office, a new transatlantic accord concerning the future war strategy at the Hindu Kush is in the making. This accord foresees a rise in troop levels to 20,000 soldiers, while the civilian-military accompanying component will be given more importance, as Berlin demands. In addition, efforts will be made to see if the loyalty of individual clan chiefs can be bribed. The
program is very controversial. Critics are warning that this would strengthen the warlords, responsible for the decades of Afghan civil war. The new strategy includes a large portion of Pakistan. The German government is already participating in the initiative, with which the
growing frequency of military attacks on Pakistani territory is to be supplemented with a non-military component. Berlin has doubled the "development aide" to Islamabad and reinforced its projects in the border regions with Afghanistan. As was confirmed by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the "civilian-military" cooperation, which is now to be extended, "has little to do with humanitarian and development aid," but rather contributes to the acceptance of the mission "as well as to operational planning and command."


Friday, November 28, 2008

Israel Resource News Agency

Report of UN November 26 Jerusalem press conference

Covering JFK's Funeral: Memories from 45 Years Ago

The Connection Of The Jewish People To Hebron

Open Europe press summary: 28 November 2008


Poland on EU climate package: "We won't do it, this is not a viable political scenario";
France to propose new 'CAP-style' system of industrial subsidy
According to Deutsche Welle, Polish Minister for Europe Mikolaj Dowgielewicz said yesterday in regard to the EU energy and climate package, "We are as far from an agreement as we were in October ... It is really difficult to understand why a number of the most affluent member states ... are not really moving an inch. A lot of countries which are very strict in negotiations are not prepared to work towards the agreement. I will not accept a situation where somebody would put the blame on Poland, Bulgaria and Romania for the failure of negotiations," he said.

"Do you think we'll turn off the lights and switch to gas? We won't do it, this is not a viable political scenario," added Dowgielewicz. According to Agence Europe, Dowgielewicz indicated that other countries shared Poland's concerns, but would not express their views openly, saying that "Certain countries will hide behind us".

According to Euractiv, the French EU Presidency is now "putting everything on the table" in a "desperate" bid to agree on the climate and energy package before the end of the year, sources close to the negotiations have said. France is putting forward a compromise that includes free emission rights for coal plants, financial compensation for energy-intensive industries and extensive use of third country emissions reductions to meet CO2 'effort sharing' targets. Ireland, the UK and France would be excluded from the free emission rights part of the scheme due to their relatively low use of coal for power generation. In regard to the mechanism to compensate energy intensive industries, the article reports that "There is also some speculation that Paris has modelled the mechanism on the subsidy scheme that underpins the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), of which France is a main beneficiary."

EU heads of state and government are set to debate the climate proposals at their annual year-end summit on December 11-12, with the French government lobbying intensively for a deal.

Open Europe's Research Director Hugo Robinson was quoted in the Eastern Daily Press arguing that "against a backdrop of a shrinking economy and rising unemployment, the EU plan is an inefficient approach."
Eastern Daily Press NY Times blog DW Euractiv

Heavy industry will be "taxed out of existence" by EU climate package
Open Europe hosted an event last night entitled "EU climate change package: Are we about to be locked into the wrong policy?" Andrew Bainbridge, Director-General of the Major Energy Users' Council, argued that "It is not feasible to diversify away from fossil fuel dependence to reduce CO2 emissions so quickly in pursuit of arbitrary, politically determined targets of questionable practicality... We need a common sense approach which doesn't tax glass manufacturers or chemical companies or other energy intensive industries out of existence. If renewables are going to whack 30% on our energy bills by 2020, do not expect major energy users to sit back and accept what the government says is inevitable". He concluded "All I can foresee is continued chaos, and then the lights will go out".

Ian Fells of Newcastle University said, "There's no chance at all of getting to 15% renewable energy by 2020." He went on to say, "Where do these targets come from? I was in Brussels about 18 months ago talking to the civil servants there at the Commission, and I said 'Where does this 2020 target come from?' And they laughed. They said, 'those are political targets - those are not the real targets.' A bit depressing that the civil servants at the Commission think that".

Gordon Edge of the British Wind Energy Association argued that the binding target for renewable energy was needed because "if we're going to have it, let's have it now - let's force the pace and make it happen... an early challenging target is a good idea".

Meanwhile, the Times reports that a senior executive of EDF has warned that a lack of capacity in the nuclear construction industry means that Britain will have to increasingly rely on imported natural gas to meet an emerging shortfall in power generation over the next decade
Times For more details, see the Open Europe website: Open Europe events

German government rejects EU economic stimulus plan
Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports that German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück has rejected the proposed EU economic stimulus plan, saying: "there will be no big bail-out plan". Stressing the need for sound German budgetary policies, he said: "because we have achieved a certain [economic] success we would be forced to be the main contributor". The article notes that Germany would have to pay a quarter of the cost of the EU proposal. Tagesspiegel quotes Martin Wansleben of the German Industry and Chambers of Commerce saying: "Commission President Barroso speaks a lot about the financial means of the member states, instead of showing what he can do himself to support industry".

Meanwhile, the Spanish government yesterday announced an 11 billion euro stimulus package, primarily targeted at infrastructure and the motor industry.
Sueddeutsche AFP Tagesspiegel WSJ FT FT FT IHT BBC

Irish parliamentary report considers second Lisbon referendum the main option
The FT reports that prospects of a second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty rose yesterday after an all-party parliamentary report said there was no legal obstacle to another poll. The Irish Times notes that the report said that a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty with EU assurances on certain issues is the main option open to Ireland. The paper reports that the Irish government is looking to secure assurances on a range of issues, ahead of a second vote, to meet popular concerns raised by the No camp during the first referendum. These include Ireland's military neutrality, and clarification on issues such as abortion and corporation tax.

The FT notes that Ireland agreed with its EU partners in October that by the time of the December European Council, in two weeks time, it would be in a position to "define the elements of a solution and a common path to be followed". Ireland had been expected to hold a second vote late in 2009 but some experts believe Irish PM Brian Cowen may go for an earlier date, recognising that as the economic crisis will deepen popular dissatisfaction with the government.

The Economist suggests that Cowen's domestic problems of increasing unemployment and public dissatisfaction with his government may "prove terminal for the Lisbon Treaty" if a second referendum is held. It argues "it is hard to see Mr Cowen, who failed to sell Lisbon to voters when he and his government were popular, succeeding next autumn. He will find it difficult to stop a vote turning into a referendum on his government." The article also notes that "some argue that the Irish will say yes only if they believe that a second No would lead to their country's ejection from the EU".

The Irish Times reports that the Irish parliamentary report warns against this "high-stakes strategy" of holding a referendum including a commitment that a No vote would mean leaving the EU.
EUobserver FT Economist Irish Independent Irish Times Irish Times 2 Standaard Irish Independent-Quinn

High Court rules that UK taxes broke EU law
British American Tobacco expects to recover up to £1.2bn in taxes back from the Treasury after the High Court ruled that the system of tax relief for dividends paid to the UK from EU-based companies violated EU law, the FT reports. The Times quotes a partner at KPMG arguing that the judgement "makes absolutely clear that the UK dividend taxation rules breach EU law, opening the door for massive tax rebates." The Mail also reports that the rebate could extend to earnings from as far back as 1973, when Britain joined the Common Market.
FT Economist Mail BBC IHT Times

French call for EU football regulator to combat English dominance;
Clubs could be forced to open their books to EU regulators
French Sports Minister, Bernard Laporte, yesterday called for the European Union to help redress the dominance of English football clubs in European competitions at a conference in Biarritz, reports Bloomberg. Laporte told the conference that foreign investment in the league goes against the spirit of the sport. The French Minister was also backed by European Sports Commissioner, Jan Figel, who said that "Sport does not and cannot exist outside EU law", according to EUobserver. However, the BBC reports that UEFA President Michel Platini has rejected calls for a "super-regulator", saying that UEFA did not want to "interfere" with national leagues in Europe.

The Times reports that the French consider that only a "super regulator" can restore fair competition to the sport and regulate the "light touch" financial rules in the English league, as compared to the rest of Europe. Following objections from UK Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, a call for "European control of club management" has been removed from the draft conclusions from the conference. However, the paper writes that reference to the principle of a level playing field that could force clubs to open their books to EU regulators and dramatically cut levels of debt remain in the document.
NY Times Bloomberg BBC EUobserver Times AFP

TV Channel France 2 had extensive coverage on Wednesday of Open Europe's briefing "100 examples of EU fraud and waste".

Sorrrell: Europe is like an ageing company
In the Times, Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive of the media company WPP, argues that "structural changes" must be made in Europe if it wishes to keep up with the rest of the world, following the recession. He argues, "Western Europe is like an ageing company with huge healthcare and pension liabilities that are difficult to fund. That is why admitting Turkey to the EU should be a no-brainer. It is the gateway to the Middle East, has a young population, is highly entrepreneurial and would be a huge boost to the EU's 450 million people."

EU states reject telecoms "super-regulator" idea
EU telecoms ministers rejected on Thursday the Commission's proposals for a Union-wide "super-regulator" to replace the current European Regulators Group, EUobserver reports.
EUobserver AFP European Voice

Economist: Europe's surprising labour flexibility
The Economist notes an unexpected fluidity in some of the EU's labour markets, owing to the 2004 accession states. Ireland (along with Sweden and Britain) was able to capitalise on the influx of Eastern European workers by allowing unfettered migration as the economy boomed even as unemployment fell to record lows. With unemployment now surpassing 7% as Ireland enters the beginning of a severe recession, immigrant workers are forecast to return home, the paper reports.

The Regeneration & Renewal magazine reports that the Commission has confirmed a £12.6 million fine for the UK Government due to 'poor management' of the Structural Funds in Wales.
No link

EUobserver notes that a leaked Polish security briefing has suggested that Georgia may have staged the shooting of a convoy carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to the border of the Akhalgori district last weekend.

EU member states will admit 10,000 Iraqi refugees that are currently in camps in Syria and Jordan, according to a Belgian news website.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

(Own report) - The arrest in Kosovo of several agents of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) shines the spotlight once again on the political criminal happenings in this western protectorate. The three men, working for a front company of the German foreign espionage service, are charged with involvement in several bomb attacks against facilities of the EU and the UN. As a matter of fact, the BND had been implicated in criminal intrigues in Kosovo in the past. It assisted in setting up the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA) terror organization and maintained contact to organizers of the Kosovo-Albanian Pogroms that caused numerous deaths in March 2004. The objective in both cases was to have a decisive influence on political developments in the region. It remains to be seen if this is also the case now. Observers are not excluding the possibility that the arrests had been initiated by the Kosovan Mafia. On various occasions, the BND has reported on organized crime in Pristina. Several members of the "government" are from this milieu, such as the current "prime minister." Berlin is primarily responsible for the criminal conditions in Kosovo. With the collaboration of the BND, Germany prevailed in the formation of a Kosovan "state" under the leadership of suspected gangsters.

The obscure occurrences that led to last week's arrests of three suspected BND operatives in Pristina, exposes once again the political criminal character of what is taking place in that protectorate. The agents are charged with implication in the November 14, bombing attack on the Kosovo EU headquarters. The men had already been placed under surveillance in connection with other attacks carried out on institutions of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Kosovan Parliament. They will probably be also indicted for espionage for a foreign service, which carries up to a 20 year sentence, if found guilty. According to analogous reports from several intelligence sources, the three were employees of a BND front company, the "Logistics Coordination Assessment Services", which allegedly offers investment consultation to German companies in Kosovo. Pristina is obviously seeking to create a scandal around the BND activities. Whereas the German foreign ministry had hoped to clear up the matter without too much public attention - also by referring to the significant role played by Germany in Kosovo's secession - the Kosovan press has published not only the names, but also photos of the agents.

Controversy over EULEX
This scandal was preceded by complicated disputes concerning Pristina's secession. The press reports that, "for the first time, since the beginning of the Kosovo Crisis in the early 90s" not the Serbian, but the Albanian side has come under international pressure.[1] The bone of contention is EULEX - the 2,000 police and customs officers, jurists and administrative personnel that the EU, under the label of European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), wants to send into the South Serbian province. EULEX is supposed to transform the Kosovan authorities into a state apparatus, thereby making Pristina's secession irrevocable. According to Berlin and the EU's original plans, the EULEX was supposed, to primarily replace the UNMIK, literally placing Brussels in control of the Kosovan transformation. This has so far been unsuccessful due to resistance from within the United Nations, in spite of massive obstructions set up also by Berlin ( reported [2]).

Protests in Pristina
Two members of the UN Security Council (Russia and China), as well as the majority of UN member nations, still refuse to recognize Pristina's illegal secession, which is why the transfer has not succeeded. To the surprise of the West, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has been supportive and has been refusing for months his accord for an implementation of the EU plans, if there are no concessions to Belgrade. Already a while ago, Ban tabled a proposition that took the Serbian minimal position into account. According to his proposition, EULEX was to be active in the Albanian-speaking areas of Kosovo, while UNMIK would maintain control over the police and justice in the Serb-speaking regions of the province. EULEX would also be formally obligated to remain "status neutral" and not promote Pristina's independence. Brussels has now agreed to Ban's concept, to avoid further delay and speed up the EULEX engagement. Pristina rejects this mediating proposal and protests, for the first time without western back-up. Last Wednesday, thousands of Kosovo Albanians demonstrated against Ban's plans and the EU's approval.

Political Objective
Observers initially supposed that the bomb attack on the EU headquarters in Pristina - just two days after Brussels made known its approval to the EULEX restrictions - was also in protest of the EU's concessions to Belgrade. If it is proven that the German intelligence agents were implicated in that attack, it would not be the first time. Already in March 2004, during the large scale pogroms against Serbs and Serbian institutions, a BND informer played a noteworthy role. The man was one of the organizers of the pogroms while serving as an informer of the German intelligence service.[3] Only two weeks before the pogroms began, the BND supposedly broke contact with their informer. "I suppose that the BND certainly must have informed the German government" said the intelligence service expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, at the time and concluded that "the Albanian attacks on the Serbs were tolerated" by the German side.[4] Nineteen people were killed, approx. 4,000 driven from their homes, over two dozen monasteries were severely damaged during these pogroms. But the pogroms had a political effect: Berlin and Brussels demanded Kosovo's accelerated secession.[5]

With Criminal Means
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the BND has been pursuing political objectives in Kosovo with criminal means - through its support for the KLA terror troops. According to reports, the BND established contact to Kosovo Albanian militants in 1992 [6] and soon afterwards helped "in training and arming the rebels (...), to consolidate German influence in the Balkans."[7] These close ties were advantageous during the aggression against Yugoslavia, with the KLA replacing NATO ground forces and helping to vanquish the Serbian adversary. It soon became clear that Berlin and the rest of the West would not be able to shake off their deputy, a militia of criminals. Former KLA commanders have been able to prevail not only as bosses of the Kosovan Mafia but also in high political positions.

Get in the Way
For years, the BND - the organization that, with its support for the KLA in the 90s, made its rise possible in the first place - has been regularly warning against the Mafiosi structures in Pristina. The BND had reported back in 2005, in a paper destined for the public, that Hashim Thaci - today's "prime minister" - had earlier been a boss of the Kosovan Mafia. Two years later, another study, whose authors seem also to have had access to BND sources, says that "at the international level" Thaci has access to wide-ranging "criminal networks."[8] Also other Kosovan politicians are seen as criminals by the BND. The intelligence service expert Udo Ulfkotte, explains that an important task of the "Logistics Coordination Assessment Services" front company of the BND, was to gather information on money laundering, drug trafficking and sexual slavery in Kosovo. Ulfkotte sees the current arrests in Pristina as a counter-attack by the Mafia: "The BND men got in somebody's way."[9]

In Both Cases
If Ulfkotte proves to be right, the current scandal will be the hardest counter-strike delivered to date by the criminal structures put into power in Pristina by Berlin and the West. The only thing left to acknowledge - also if the BND agents' involvement is proven: Berlin can no longer rid itself of the criminal forces, it called into being in the 90s, to end Serbian control over Kosovo.

Further information on German cooperation with criminal structures in Kosovo can be found here: Political Friendships, "Thank You Germany!", Arbitrariness in Power and In Accordance With NATO Standards.
[1] EU gibt Serbien bei Kosovo-Mission nach; Der Standard 12.11.2008
[2] see also Pure Chaos
[3] Was wusste der Bundesnachrichtendienst?; 19.11.2004
[4] Kosovo-Unruhen: Wer wusste was?; Telepolis 22.11.2004
[5] see also Konsequenz des Krieges, Model, Kolonialherren and "A Piece of Land with no Status"
[6] Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Kosovo-Krieg und Interesse;
[7] Matthias Küntzel: Der Weg in den Krieg. Deutschland, die Nato und das Kosovo, Berlin 2000[8] see also "Thank You Germany!"
[9] Agenten-Thriller auf dem Balkan; Abendzeitung 23.11.2008

Open Europe press summary: 27 November 2008

Open Europe is hosting a debate in London this evening: "EU climate change package: Are we about to be locked into the wrong policy?" For details, please contact Poppy Scott-Plummer - / 0207 197 2333.


Lukewarm reaction to EU Commission's economic stimulus plan
The EU Commission yesterday urged member states to spend 200 billion euros on stimulating the continent's economy. The WSJ notes that "Much of that money wouldn't represent new spending, however, since it includes economic-stimulus funds already announced by many EU nations."

The FT carries the headline "EU's stimulus plan triggers rapid doubt". Ambrose Evans-Pritchard notes in the Telegraph that "plans for a euro 200bn fiscal boost to head off a severe recession have already begun to unravel as Germany and other Northern states dig in their heels over extra spending."

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said those countries with budgets in good health - chiefly Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian states should make a "much bigger offer'' in terms of overall stimulus than they have provided so far. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reluctant to pursue such a policy, which could jeopardise her country's balanced budget. "We should not get into a race for billions,'' she said. "Germany is very strong.''

EUobserver notes that the Irish finance department has already said it will not participate in the EU stimulus scheme. AFP reports that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk greeted the plan with some scepticism. "If there is something that's missing these days on the market, it's money...I would be cautious about such political declarations", he said.

Marco Annunziata, Chief Economist at Italian bank Unicredit, dismissed the EU package as "more of a publicity stunt than anything else", according to AFP. The IHT reports that Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, called the package "mostly a PR exercise." He added, "I think the numbers are completely misleading and useless." Open Europe's Lorraine Mullally was interviewed this morning on LBC Radio to discuss the EU's proposals. She argued that since much of the proposed spending had already been announced by national governments, the main purpose of the plan seemed to be the EU Commission trying to appear relevant in the crisis.

Markets appeared unimpressed with the initiative. In late afternoon trading, stocks were down 3.3% in Paris, down 1.2% in London and up slightly in Frankfurt.
Times WSJ Mail Independent Guardian EUobserver EUbusiness Le Figaro Bouilhet Le Figaro IHT Irish Times Telegraph FT FT: Leader BBC European Voice

French Education Minister: Investment in space is "appropriate answer to economic crisis"
European ministers have pledged billions of euros for a European space programme at a meeting in The Hague. EUobserver quotes French Education Minister, Valerie Pecresse, saying that "Investing money in long-term space projects is an appropriate answer to the economic crisis". The European Space Agency consists of 18 member states and the new budget represents a substantial increase in funding, up to 10bn euros for the next 3-5 years, which is one billion more than the commitments made at the last meeting in Berlin in 2005, according to the BBC.
EUobserver Le Figaro BBC

Irish parliament report published today expected to raise possibility of second referendum
The Irish Oireachtas Parliamentary committee's report on the future of Ireland in the EU is due to be published today, but is not expected to vary much from the draft report already circulated to committee members, a copy of which has been obtained by the Irish Times. It is expected to raise the possibility of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty accompanied by supplementary material such as a declaration on sensitive social issues.

Libertas has applied to the EU for a portion of the 17 million euro funding scheme it provides to promote the "European nature of the European elections", reports the Irish Times. It has also opened a Brussels office and is recruiting candidates across the EU to run in next year's European elections.

Libertas founder, Declan Ganley, is quoted in the Irish Times saying that the only thing that would cause him to rethink launching Libertas on the European stage would be if Prime Minister Brian Cowen told other EU leaders that the Lisbon Treaty was dead at next month's EU summit.

Meanwhile, following yesterday's decision by the Czech Constitutional Court on the compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with the country's constitution, President Vaclav Klaus expressed regret that the court had not reacted to the legal arguments he made, according to news site Ceskenoviny.
Irish Times Irish Times 2 Irish Times: Comment

UK resists French plans to regulate sport - for now
The Times reports that sports ministers from across Europe will be urged today to sign up to plans for common financial regulation that would outlaw the current levels of indebtedness at top English football clubs. The French hosts of the summit have drawn up proposals that include a call for "European control of club management", a move seen by the Premier League as an attempt to shift control of key sports from national to EU-level bodies, stifling the most successful clubs.

The paper notes that the EU currently has no power to make laws governing sport but opponents fear that the proposals from France, which holds the rotating EU Presidency, could resurface in another context where Brussels can regulate, such as employment, competition or company law.

A spokesman for UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said last night that the Minister would argue that national federations should continue to decide on the appropriate rules and regulations for their sports. However, the draft conclusions to the summit include a call for further investigation of EU-level action, declaring: "The ministers support the European Commission's project to hold a European Conference on licensing systems for professional clubs in order to help implement a self-regulatory system."
Times Liberation Suddeutsche Canadian Press

China blames France for cancellation of China-EU summit
China has pulled out of an upcoming summit with the EU and has placed the blame on French President Sarkozy's decision to meet with the Dalai Lama in Poland next week. The Guardian reports that Beijing warned France a week ago that the summit was in jeopardy and the cancellation will mean that this is the first time in 11 years that the EU and China have failed to hold an annual summit.
FT Guardian EUobserver Guardian-Garton Ash IHT FT FT: Leader BBC European Voice

UK Defence Secretary John Hutton will today tell Germany that it needs to play a greater role in NATO, pledge more spending on defence and take a greater role in Afghanistan, if the alliance is to remain relevant.

EU reluctant to deploy battle groups in Congo
The Guardian reports that a group of former world leaders and human rights activists called yesterday for an EU force to be sent in to stop "the greatest loss of life on the face of the earth" in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The paper notes that EU countries including Britain oppose the dispatch of an EU battle group to Congo, arguing that the existing UN force, Monuc, should deal with the turmoil.

There are two joint EU battle groups (of about 1,500 troops) ready to deploy at short notice. But a Downing Street official said yesterday Britain opposed the use of a battle group. "Our view is it's best done through the UN system" the official said. "The battle groups were designed to go into crisis areas as a stopgap until other peacekeepers could get on the ground. There already is a force in DRC. To send an EU battle group under these circumstances would involve...renegotiating its terms."

The Irish Times notes that Belgium has declared that it is ready to contribute troops to an EU-led peace-keeping force.
Guardian Irish Times

Stelzer: Sarkozy is "deluded" to think he can tame America
Writing in the Spectator, Irwin Stelzer argues that Nicolas Sarkozy "wants to cut American influence down to size, to a notch below that of France if possible, well below Europe if he has to settle for that comparison."

Stelzer adds that "The made-in-America model, appropriately reformed, sensibly regulated, modified and updated will again be the international gold standard for democratic countries. Mr Sarkozy is doomed to disappointment: the dominant post-recession model will be nothing like the highly regulated, state-bound model, with markets replaced by political 'leadership' that he is hoping for."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Open Europe press summary: 26 November 2008


UEFA backs UK in opposition to French plans for European sports regulator
Le Figaro reports that France will today push for national quotas and spending controls on sport, to be discussed at a meeting of EU sports ministers in Biarritz tomorrow. The FA and the UK Government are strongly opposed to the idea. Premier League club chairmen face financial restraints on how they run their clubs, such as a cap on debt, if the proposals are accepted at next month's EU summit in Brussels. The BBC notes that the plans would ban British football clubs from transferring players aged under 18.

The Times reports that the UK is backed by UEFA President Michel Platini, who was long suspected as the driving force behind moves to create a European version of La Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion, the French national regulator for football.

Gerry Sutcliffe, Sports Minister, said while the UK backed many of the French proposals, giving European bodies greater powers over the finances of football and other sports was "a step too far". He said "Many of the solutions have to be sorted out by sports themselves and by subsidiarity... There are common problems, but no one-size-fits-all ... [The French licensing proposal] would be against the spirit of what we are trying to achieve." The Minister heard objections to the French proposals from leading figures in football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league and tennis.

Christopher Heaton-Harris MEP, who chairs the European Parliament Sports Group, said an "EU sports super-regulator would devastate British sport" and "If you give the European Union any kind of power over sport it will be very difficult to get it back." Speaking to EUobserver, Michele-Ann Okolotowicz, the French EU Presidency culture counsellor, denied that France was proposing a super-regulator, saying, "You know how these British conservatives are - they always exaggerate."
FT BBC EUobserver Times

Commission accused of bullying developing countries on tuna deal
The WWF has accused the EU of bullying developing states over a new international agreement on bluefin tuna fishing by threatening those nations who supported lower tuna quotas with trade retaliation measures, according to European Voice. All countries that fish the tuna have agreed to reduce their hauls, but only to a level 50% higher than scientists believe is needed to prevent stocks collapsing.
European Voice Diariodelweb

Fine Gael leader: rushed second Lisbon vote would end in defeat
A draft report produced by the Oireachtas Subcommittee on Ireland's Future in the European Union has highlighted the possibility of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, reports the Irish Times. The report recommends that a second vote should be accompanied by clarifying declarations on controversial issues, such as Ireland's neutrality, according to EUobserver.

The main Opposition party Fine Gael has outlined a number of proposals that should be met before any decision on the Lisbon Treaty is reached. These include the creation of a new constitutional watchdog to monitor the government's role in EU decision-making, reports the Irish Independent.

Meanwhile Fine Gael's leader, Enda Kenny, has warned the government that a rushed second vote on the Lisbon Treaty would end in defeat and could have "catastrophic and, possibly, irreversible implications" for Ireland's future relations with the European Union, according to the Irish Times.

Meanwhile, the Czech Constitutional Court has ruled today that the Lisbon Treaty does not conflict with the country's constitution, reports European Voice. If the Senate now ratifies the Treaty, as looks likely, President Klaus would have to sign it into law, which he revealed yesterday he would be prepared to do as long as Ireland approved the Treaty, reports the Irish Times.
European Voice Coulisses de Bruxelles Irish Times EUobserver Irish Times 2 Irish Independent Irish Times 3 Irish Times 4 Irish Times 5

French Agriculture Minister: Further liberalisation won't ensure food security
The BBC has a feature on the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It notes that an as yet unpublished report commissioned by the UK Government's chief scientist, John Beddington, into the agricultural and economic elements of food security suggests we could double, even treble, our agricultural production in years to come with better farming techniques. Government advisers say this agricultural revolution will not happen unless there is price stability in food markets.

However, speaking on the BBC's Today Programme, President of the National Farmers Union, Peter Kendall, said that he did not want a system of farm subsidies but that he wanted the CAP to be unravelled in an "even-handed way" across the member states. He also called for more money to be invested in agricultural research and development because it is the best way of ensuring that farmers increase their future production.

The French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier writes in the Guardian that, "The reliability and size of the European Union's farm output means that it can and should play the role of regulator in global markets. If Europe cut back on its agricultural production, the increase in its own food imports would contribute significantly to a worldwide increase in food prices."

Barnier notes that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a "global partnership for food", which would include an international group to draft a worldwide strategy for food security and an international scientific platform to be charged with evaluating the world's agricultural situation.

Barnier adds that, "Further liberalisation of farm trade will not ensure food security. Faced with the erratic nature of agricultural markets, regulation is needed to soften the impact on poorer countries of volatile food prices. This does not mean that protectionism is the way forward, only that taking account of specific issues that affect international farm trade - weather, price volatility, or health risks - may be necessary from time to time."
Guardian Barnier BBC Today BBC

Sarkozy and Merkel: "There is no single model for recovery" for EU states
Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have a joint piece in Le Figaro. They argue that "There is no single model for recovery that can be applied to the 27 member states with very different budgetary and economic situations... But we believe that co-ordinated budgetary stimulus can restore the confidence of consumers and investors and prevent opportunistic actions between states which share much more than institutions."
Le Monde BBC Le Figaro Sarkozy & Merkel FT Reuters El Pais Irish Times Telegraph EUobserver DW DW2

Bulgaria loses 220m euros of EU funding after failing to combat corruption
The Times reports that Bulgaria has been punished by the EU for a "persistent failure to tackle corruption and organised crime". The loss of 220m euros of EU funding comes at a time when the European Commission is considering whether to hand over the 11bn euros of aid that the country has been promised over the next six years.

The paper notes that alarm bells rang in Brussels after the arrest of the head of the Bulgarian roads agency for handing a 50m euro contract to build a new highway to his brother. The paper also cites a case included in Open Europe's briefing, "100 Examples of EU Fraud and Waste", where an agency allegedly claimed for the cost of brand new tractors for a modernisation programme but actually bought scrap vehicles from the former East Germany, pocketing the difference.

The IHT notes that the Commission is determined to ensure that future funding is not lost through corruption. "In terms of the future money," a Commission official said, "we are undertaking more extensive auditing. We are looking to make sure that the structures are in place so that the authorities are able to cope with the significant amount of money that they will receive during the 2007-13 financial period."
Irish Times IHT European Voice EUobserver NY Times Times Open Europe: 100 Examples of EU Fraud and Waste

Climate expert warns EU not to go "flaky" on climate change;
Lords are "sceptical" on EU target
In an interview with the IHT, climate expert Nicholas Stern has urged the EU to agree a strong package of measures to tackle greenhouse gas emissions even if that means making special concessions to satisfy reluctant countries like Poland. Stern said, "It's absolutely crucial that they hold together on this... Now is not the time for Europe to go flaky."

Meanwhile the Lords Economic Affairs Committee has said that the planned expansion of wind energy would be "costly" and "risky". The Lords were "sceptical" that the UK could meet the EU target of generating 15% of energy from renewables sources by 2050, reports the FT.

Miliband prepared to break EU pollution laws to expand Heathrow
The Evening Standard reports that Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband yesterday signalled he was prepared to break EU pollution laws to give the go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow. Experts believe that nitrogen dioxide levels will be exceeded for years to come around Heathrow if it is allowed to grow, and would breach new EU limits due to come into force by 2015 at the latest. But Mr Miliband, when asked to give a guarantee that the Government would not ignore minor breaches of air quality laws to allow another runway, stopped short of giving such a pledge.

EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas has warned that the Government must respect new EU limits on pollution, and backbench Labour MPs opposed to the expansion plans said the new EU laws were "non-negotiable." John Grogan MP, who has led a Commons rebellion with Cabinet support over a third runway, said: "If ministers are not careful, they will find themselves in court." Former Cabinet minister Lord Smith, now Chairman of the Environment Agency, warned that a third runway at Heathrow would make it "impossible" for the Government to meet legally binding targets on air pollution.
Evening Standard

EU fails to reach agreement on car emissions regime
The EU has failed to reach agreement on new rules to cut car emissions after talks foundered over the issue of penalties to be levied on non-complying automakers. EUbusiness reports that France and Germany are determined to help their car industries weather the financial crisis. President Sarkozy said, "We will not let down our automobile industry, this is a permanent fixture for Europe".

It has emerged that General Motors in Europe has approached governments in Britain, Spain, Sweden, Belgium and Poland to try to secure financial help, according to the Times.
EUbusiness Times

EU Telecommunications Ministers are set to endorse price limits on mobile data roaming tomorrow.

Martine Aubry, the architect of France's 35-hour working week, has won the battle with Ségolène Royal for leadership of France's main opposition Socialist Party.
Times WSJ

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lyndon Johnson and the Jews

Lyndon Johnson -- A Friend in Deed
By Lenny Ben-David

A few weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that newly released tapes from US president Lyndon Johnson's White House office showed LBJ's "personal and often emotional connection to Israel." The news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969), "the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier."

But the news report does little to reveal the full historical extent of Johnson's actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war. But few know about LBJ's actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews during the Holocaust - actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail. Indeed, the title of "Righteous Gentile" is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan, whose centennial year is being commemorated this year.

Appropriately enough, the annual Jerusalem Conference announced this week that it will honor Johnson in February 2009.

Historians have revealed that Johnson, while serving as a young congressman in 1938 and 1939, arranged for visas to be supplied to Jews in Warsaw, and oversaw the apparently illegal immigration of hundreds of Jews through the port of Galveston, Texas.

A key resource for uncovering LBJ's pro-Jewish activity is the unpublished 1989 doctoral thesis by University of Texas student Louis Gomolak, "Prologue: LBJ's Foreign Affairs Background, 1908-1948." Johnson's activities were confirmed by other historians in interviews with his wife, family members and political associates.

Research into Johnson's personal history indicates that he inherited his concern for the Jewish people from his family. His aunt Jessie Johnson Hatcher, a major influence on LBJ, was a member of the Zionist Organization of America. According to Gomolak, Aunt Jessie had nurtured LBJ's commitment to befriending Jews for 50 years. As a young boy, Lyndon watched his politically active grandfather "Big Sam" and father "Little Sam" seek clemency for Leo Frank, the Jewish victim of a blood libel in Atlanta. Frank was lynched by a mob in 1915, and the Ku Klux Klan in Texas threatened to kill the Johnsons. The Johnsons later told friends that Lyndon's family hid in their cellar while his father and uncles stood guard with shotguns on their porch in case of KKK attacks. Johnson's speechwriter later stated, "Johnson often cited Leo Frank's lynching as the source of his opposition to both anti-Semitism and isolationism."

Already in 1934 - four years before Chamberlain's Munich sellout to Hitler - Johnson was keenly alert to the dangers of Nazism and presented a book of essays, Nazism: An Assault on Civilization, to the 21-year-old woman he was courting, Claudia Taylor - later known as "Lady Bird" Johnson. It was an incredible engagement present.

FIVE DAYS after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the "Dixiecrats" and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the US Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his life.

That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend, Jim Novy, that European Jews faced annihilation. "Get as many Jewish people as possible out [of Germany and Poland]," were Johnson's instructions. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw.

But that wasn't enough. According to historian James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle "hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico and other Latin American countries.... Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration... Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more."

During World War II Johnson joined Novy at a small Austin gathering to sell $65,000 in war bonds. According to Gomolak, Novy and Johnson then raised a very "substantial sum for arms for Jewish underground fighters in Palestine." One source cited by the historian reports that "Novy and Johnson had been secretly shipping heavy crates labeled 'Texas Grapefruit' - but containing arms - to Jewish underground 'freedom fighters' in Palestine."

ON JUNE 4, 1945, Johnson visited Dachau. According to Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that when her husband returned home, "he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized and bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen."

A decade later while serving in the Senate, Johnson blocked the Eisenhower administration's attempts to apply sanctions against Israel following the 1956 Sinai Campaign. "The indefatigable Johnson had never ceased pressure on the administration," wrote I.L. "Si" Kenen, the head of AIPAC at the time.

As Senate majority leader, Johnson consistently blocked the anti-Israel initiatives of his fellow Democrat, William Fulbright, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Among Johnson's closest advisers during this period were several strong pro-Israel advocates, including Benjamin Cohen (who 30 years earlier was the liaison between Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis and Chaim Weizmann) and Abe Fortas, the legendary Washington "insider."

Johnson's concern for the Jewish people continued through his presidency. Soon after taking office in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, Johnson told an Israeli diplomat, "You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one."Just one month after succeeding Kennedy, LBJ attended the December 1963 dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin. Novy opened the ceremony by saying to Johnson, "We can't thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler."

Lady Bird would later describe the day, according to Gomolak: "Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said, 'I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He helped me get out.'" Lady Bird elaborated, "Jews had been woven into the warp and woof of all [Lyndon's] years."

THE PRELUDE to the 1967 war was a terrifying period for Israel, with the US State Department led by the historically unfriendly Dean Rusk urging an evenhanded policy despite Arab threats and acts of aggression. Johnson held no such illusions. After the war he placed the blame firmly on Egypt: "If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision [by Egypt] that the Strait of Tiran would be closed [to Israeli ships and Israeli-bound cargo]."

Kennedy was the first president to approve the sale of defensive US weapons to Israel, specifically Hawk anti-aircraft missiles. But Johnson approved tanks and fighter jets, all vital after the 1967 war when France imposed a freeze on sales to Israel. Yehuda Avner recently described on these pages prime minister Levi Eshkol's successful appeal for these weapons on a visit to the LBJ ranch. (Pictured: LBJ receiving Yitzhak Rabin in the Oval Office.)

Israel won the 1967 war, and Johnson worked to make sure it also won the peace. "I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel," Johnson said in a March 1968 conversation with his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg, according to White House tapes recently released.Soon after the 1967 war, Soviet premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Johnson at the Glassboro Summit why the US supported Israel when there were 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis. "Because it is right," responded the straight-shooting Texan.

The crafting of UN Resolution 242 in November 1967 was done under Johnson's scrutiny. The call for "secure and recognized boundaries" was critical. The American and British drafters of the resolution opposed Israel returning all the territories captured in the war. In September 1968, Johnson explained, "We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders. Some such lines must be agreed to by the neighbors involved."

Goldberg later noted, "Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate." This historic diplomacy was conducted under Johnson's stewardship, as Goldberg related in oral history to the Johnson Library. "I must say for Johnson," Goldberg stated. "He gave me great personal support."Robert David Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College, recently wrote in The New York Sun, "Johnson's policies stemmed more from personal concerns - his friendship with leading Zionists, his belief that America had a moral obligation to bolster Israeli security and his conception of Israel as a frontier land much like his home state of Texas. His personal concerns led him to intervene when he felt that the State or Defense departments had insufficiently appreciated Israel's diplomatic or military needs."

President Johnson firmly pointed American policy in a pro-Israel direction. In a historical context, the American emergency airlift to Israel in 1973, the constant diplomatic support, the economic and military assistance and the strategic bonds between the two countries can all be credited to the seeds planted by LBJ.
It's great to read of cooperation between Joes and Jews, Joseph and Judah, since the United States (Artzot Habrit) - "the lands of the covenant" - is the prophesied biblical inheritance of Menashe ben Yosef.

Interesting (and controversial) to read about the illegal immigration of Jews into Galveston, Texas. I was in a work-study program at Kibbutz Sdot Yam, famous for illegal immigration and mentioned in Leon Uris' book, Exodus.

My kibbutz mother, Miriam Weiss, had been in the Warsaw Ghetto with her mother.

Miriam Weiss: Holocaust Survivor and Kibbutz Mother

Yom Kippur at Sdot Yam

Waves of Memories of Sdot Yam

Joseph isn't Jewish!