organization:world zionist organization

  • Why you should be skeptical of Israeli government’s anti-Semitism reports -

    It’s important to monitor hate crimes, but the reports illustrate the difficulty of measuring incidents on social media and the findings seem to reflect interests, not reality

    Ofer Aderet Jan 22, 2018

    Yaakov Haguel, acting director of the World Zionist Organization, offered cabinet members Sunday a harsh and emotive assesment as he presented them what he called “an important and comprehensive survey on anti-Semitism”
    That it was a report thin on methodology and data, did not stop him from declaring, according to a press release: “The Jewish people and the state of Israel will lose contact with millions of Jews around the world if something isn’t done with regard to European governments and the world.”
    “Jews are afraid; they are assimilating and taking cover,” he said “Anti-Semitism is on the rise and European governments and the world is ignoring this. Israel’s government is also responsible for world Jewry.”
    And then came the presentation of antother report on anti—Semitism to the Cabinet: this time presented by Naftali Bennet, speaking in his capacity as Minister for Diaspora Affairs. The report is entitled “Report on anti-Semitic Trends and Incidents for 2017.”
    According to Bennett’s report, 2017 was a record year in terms of the number of anti—semitic incidents in Great Britain, with Germany also seeing a number of “serious incidents.” His ministry’s official website, which posted the report, sends readers to a more extensive write-up on the topic on the website of the Arutz Sheva (also known as Israel National News), a network associated with religious Zionism.
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    The post there claimed, citing unnamed surveys, “more than 50 percent of refugees in Western Europe hold anti-Semitic views.”
    There are now numerous reports of “spiking anti-Semitism in Europe”, “a record number of incidents” and “a new rise in anti-Semitism.” However, an even cursory review of the “data” on which these reports are based and their comparison to other reports in order to raise some questions or the suspicion that the two documents - which were presented ahead of Saturday’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day – are less scientific reports but are appear to be more public relations tools meant to justify agencies whose existence is arguably questionable – the ministry for Diaspora affairs and the World Zionist Organization.

    Consider the statements attached to their pubilcation. Two of Haguel’s statements are particularly noteworthy. “Israel is responsible for world Jewry”. Is it? Shouldn’t Jews around the world be asked if they agree with this statement? He then said that “Jews are assimilating.” One only need ask if this is a result of anti-Semitism, which he warns against, or a natural corollary of life outside Israel, where the majority populations are not Jewish.
    Even the most significant words of the acting director of the WZO, according to which anti-Semitism is on the rise, can be disputed. To do this one should look at another report, the one published on the last Holocaust Remembrance Day by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University. This report showed a 12 percent decline in the number of violent attacks committed in Europe with an anti-Semitic basis. The report notes that this decline reflects a continuing trend, mainly in the decline in violent incidents which were registered in key countries, in terms of the size of their Jewish populations and their international standing.
    On the other hand, the Kantor Center’s report notes a “continuing rise, often dramatic, in visual and verbal expressions [of anti-Semitism], mainly on social networks and at demonstrations.” It notes that this cannot be quantified, concluding that “even though the number of incidents has declined, the prevailing sense among Jews is that things are bad, and that’s the most worrisome feature.”
    Indeed, it’s hard to argue with feelings, but the professional integrity of the Kantor Center prevented it from providing the media with dramatic headlines indicating a “sharp rise” in anti-Semitism. One doesn’t need to look far in order to find contradictions in the current furor. While Haguel’s report showed one thing, Bennett’s presented the opposite. His report states that in France the government is taking determined steps to prevent expressions of anti-Semitism, including a government-sanctioned program to combat racism and anti-Semitism. This has borne fruit, with a drop last year in the number of incidents.
    So what’s going on here? A drop? A rise? Are governments ignoring the phenomenon or combating it? It depends how you count an “anti-Semitic incident”, who’s counting, who is presenting it and what his interests are.
    Looking again at the WZO report, the data raises the suspicion that someone was looking hard for ways to present the numbers in a manner that migtht sound alarm bells, as is worthy of a week ending in Holocaust Remembrance Day. Eighty percent of people surveyed around the world “were exposed to incitement against Jews in the media or on social networks”; 70 percent were affected by anti-Semitic events last year” and “78 percent experienced anti-Semitism in recent years.”
    It’s hard to argue with such superficial, general and unscientific statements.
    But it’s surprising that only 80 percent were exposed to incitement – anyone with access to Facebook could be considered someone exposed to incitement, not only of the anti-Semitic kind.
    Secondly, one could ask if every anti-Semitic response by some wooly-headed ultra-nationalist is necessarily an anti-Semitic “incident” and every exposure to it an anti-Semitic “experience”. If so, then the more hours one spends in front of a computer screen, particularly reading anonymous talkbacks, the more one can be considered someone deeply affected by anti-Semitic content. How should one relate to the data indicating that 59 percent of respondents across the world thought that politicians in their countries were somewhat anti-Semitic?
    This is certainly not scientific research.
    “The situation is deteriorating daily, spreading to new countries,” Haguel wrote in his dramatic summarizaton of the report’s findings. “We see the WZO playing a key role in preserving Jews and their identity around the world and in helping welcome and acclimitize [immigrants] to this country.”
    Herein lies the not so covert vested interest lurking behind the current round of cries bemoaning anti-Semitism. The WZO needs to show that it is still needed in 2018. Who if not this organization will work to preserve Jewish identity and settle Jews from around the world in Israel?
    It’s regrettable that state agencies belittle the public’s intelligence. It’s also lamentable that they contribute to producing fake news, confusion and deceptions such as these.
    The topic is too important to be left in the hands of politicians and public relations officers.
    It’s certainly important to follow with concern data that is not based on telephone interviews or social media. It’s preferable to rely on police reports, public security or internal affairs departments in different countries, as well as interviews with local Jewish community leaders and people who are more connected to events on the ground.
    But still, let there be no doubt. Even without these surveys there is no room for optimism. Anyone visiting Jewish communities in Europe knows that in 2018 there are places where it’s uncomfortable for Jews to wear a kippah. Traditional hatred of Jews has been joined in recent years by threats coming from extremist elements among Arab migrants, whose hatred towards Israel because of conflict in the Middle East is morphing into anti-Semitism.
    One shouldn’t take an extreme stance and shut one’s eyes to these reports. But the worrisome situation requires serious analysis, thorough and based in accurately collected data. It should be done by independent researchers using scientific tools and accepted methodology.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent

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  • Vincent Lemire sur Netanyahu sur Facebook • Haaretz se saisit du sujet : l’interprétation...

    • Haaretz se saisit du sujet : l’interprétation hallucinante de Netanyahu sur la Shoah / Hitler / Mufti Husseini, avant-hier devant le World Zionist Congress.
    • Déclaration de Netanyahu : "the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, « If you expel them, they’ll all come here. » "So what should I do with them ?" he asked. He said, « Burn them. »
    • Donc, dans une même phrase, Netanyahu absout Hitler (il voulait seulement « expulser les Juifs », en cela il était donc un peu sioniste, au minimum allié objectif du projet sioniste , on retrouve ici le fameux charabia sur « Eichman le sioniste ») et énonce explicitement que les concepteurs et les responsables de la solution finale sont les islamistes. Pourquoi ? Car ils craignaient que l’expulsion massives des Juifs ne renforce le sionisme territorial en Palestine. On est bien dans une démonstration complotiste : tout colle !
    • Il faut prendre au sérieux cette sortie qui n’est ni un dérapage ni un ballon d’essai. On retrouve tout le texte disponible sur le site officiel >…/Spe…/Pages/speechcongress201015.aspx)
    • Il faut savoir que le discours du PM israélien devant le WZO est un exercice hyper codé, hyper cadré, relu, testé et approuvé par les spin doctors du PM. Pour comparer, c’est un peu le discours sur l’Etat de l’Union aux US, ou les Voeux présidentiels le 31 déc en France. Ce n’est donc pas un « bon mot » testé en privé, ou une phrase qui aurait été attrapée par un micro mal placé, ni même une diatribe de meeting devant la droite dure du Likoud ou des organisations de colons . Non, c’est le Premier ministre d’Israël (régulièrement élu par sa population) qui s’exprime, à la tribune, micro ouvert, devant la World Zionist Organization, fondée à Bâle en août 1897 par Theodor Herzl et qui est à la fois la matrice originelle et la colonne vertébrale idéologique d’Israël. Ce qui s’énonce ici, c’est donc une doctrine. Une nouvelle doctrine. Dont il faut prendre acte.
    • La droite israélienne est en train d’accompagner voire d’encourager le révisionnisme le plus extrême sur la Shoah (Charles Enderlin disait même hier soir « le négationnisme »), se résumant explicitement à : l’islamisme est pire que le nazisme. Ou : le nazisme est moins dangereux que l’islam politique. Voire : même dans les années 1930 - 1940, le nazime ÉTAIT moins dangereux que l’islam politique puisque ce ne sont pas les nazis qui ont l’idée de la solution finale, c’est Haji Amin al Husseini. Hitler est absout, il a été mal conseillé par Haji Amin. Avec Hitler, tous les fachos collabos antisémites de Vichy sont également absouts (on retrouve ici le délire zemourien sur Vichy protecteur des Juifs de France). Tout est cohérent dans cette offensive idéologique d’une violence inédite.
    • Il faut prendre date. Quelque chose se passe. Netanyahu n’est pas fou. Il fait de la politique. Il désigne le nouvel « ennemi global », pire que le nazisme, plus nazi que les nazis : l’islam politique.
    • Je découvre tout cela depuis Berlin, au retour d’une semaine éprouvante à Jérusalem. 70 ans après 1945, le monde est en train de pivoter, et ça ne tourne pas dans le bon sens.

  • Israel’s attorney general to block coalition deals aimed at funding settlements - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to oppose any distribution of funds as part of Likud’s coalition agreements with Habayit Hayehudi and United Torah Judaism, particularly those earmarked for the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division.

    In an opinion published in February, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber wrote that the government must stop funding the Settlement Division, either through the general budget or directly to the department. Consequently, the 2015 budget will not include funding of the division.

    Weinstein approved the opinion and is therefore expected to oppose its contravention in the coalition agreements.

    Under the coalition agreement signed between Habayit Hayehudi and Likud late last week, 50 million shekels (around $13 million) will be added to the budget of the WZO’s Settlement Division, which funds infrastructure for West Bank settlements and which Agriculture Minister-designate Uri Ariel will control.

    According to a directive issued by the attorney general in April with regard to political agreements with funding ramifications, money is not to be earmarked in a way that gives the sense that it “belongs” to parties or factions, and a political agreement is not to be implemented at all if it earmarks funding to a specific entity.

    The directive was issued out of concern that such earmarking of funds could make the receiving entities dependent on the parties that wrote the agreement “to their benefit,” and could also often constitute a cover for personal or political gain. The directive requires professionals in the various ministries to weigh in on any such political agreements before they are signed.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government faces its first challenge even before being sworn in later this week. Netanyahu will have to ensure that all 61 members of the coalition vote to amend the Basic Law on the Government tomorrow, in order to enable an increase in the size of the cabinet. Only then will Likud begin to hand out portfolios.

    This morning, the outgoing cabinet will be asked to approve Netanyahu’s request to postpone implementation of the clause restricting the cabinet to 18 members. Netanyahu will also ask the cabinet to allow him to renew the controversial tradition of appointing ministers without portfolio to his new cabinet, along with increasing the number of deputy ministers.

    The outgoing cabinet is expected to ask the Knesset to move these amendments ahead by expedited legislation, and to vote on the second and third readings as early as Monday. MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said Saturday that his faction would petition the High Court of Justice against the move.

    As part of the coalition agreement, Likud and Habayit Hayehudi also agreed on the appointment of a team to review ways to legalize unauthorized settlement outposts and unauthorized buildings within settlements. The government has not promised to renew construction in West Bank settlements and in Jerusalem, despite Habayit Hayehudi’s demand for such a commitment.

    The outposts team – which is likely to include the cabinet secretary, a representative of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and two representatives of Justice Minister-designate Ayelet Shaked and Ariel – will only have three months to formulate its recommendations.

    The coalition agreement features a special arrangement whose purpose is to prevent Shaked from obtaining total control of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation (the body that determines which bills the coalition will advance and which will be blocked). As justice minister, Shaked will chair the committee.

    Likud took action to curb her power out of fear she will delay legislation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports, or accelerate the passage of controversial draft laws behind his back. Under the coalition agreement, Netanyahu will appoint a deputy to Shaked, with whom she must coordinate the committee’s agenda. “If the deputy requests that a vote be delayed, it shall be delayed until a new arrangement is agreed between the deputy and the chairwoman of the committee, or until the prime minister decides otherwise,” the agreement states.

    Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett requested a billion-shekel addition to the budget of the Education Ministry, which he will head, but in the end his party will be allotted 630 million shekels to support its goals in the areas of education, welfare, settlement, culture, religion and agriculture. The money will come out of coalition funds that, prior to the 2013 election, Bennett referred to as “pocket change.”

    The coalition agreement also stipulates that the government is “to examine claims of a rise in illegal missionary activities in Israel and the steps to deal with them, as needed.” Likud and Habayit Hayehudi also agreed to establish a forum for communication among the parties in the coalition on the issue of religious services.

    The Gush Katif Heritage Center, meanwhile, will be allotted a three-year budget of 15 million shekels that will also cover the costs of commemorating the 10-year anniversary, later this year, of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

  • Shaffir: Israel gave extra $172m to settlements in winter Knesset session
    By Jonathan Lis | Mar. 23, 2014

    Nearly 600 million shekels ($172 million) were transferred to the settlements through budget adjustments that the government requested from the Knesset during the winter session, according to MK Stav Shaffir (Labor).

    Shaffir, who collected the statistics, said that, among other things, the Knesset approved transferring 133 million shekels to the World Zionist Organization’s settlement division; 36 million shekels in compensation for the settlement construction freeze in 2009; 24 million for “young settlement” in the West Bank; and 28 million shekels to complete work in the Beit El settlement.

    These sums were not included in the state budget passed last July. They were brought to the Knesset Finance Committee as requests for budgetary changes, even though in most cases these allocations were planned beforehand, she said. For example, compensation for the 2009 building freeze has been allocated to local authorities in the West Bank annually since 2010, but these funds were not included in the budget.

  • Document confirms World Zionist Organization allocates land to settlers in Jordan valley -
    By Chaim Levinson
    Haaretz, Sep. 9, 2013

    An internal Civil Administration document confirms a Haaretz report that the World Zionist Organization has allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley more than 5,000 dunams (1,235 acres) of private Palestinian land located east of the border fence, namely, between that fence and the actual border with the Kingdom of Jordan.

    This area between the border fence and the actual border — the Jordan River — is a closed military zone that in some places is two kilometers wide. A military order prevents the Palestinian owners from accessing their lands in this area. On the other hand, Jewish settlers are allowed to farm the lands.

    In January, Haaretz reported that under the aegis of this order, the WZO had allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley over 5,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands. Following this report, the Civil Administration began to investigate how this situation had come about and how much land had been allocated in this manner.

    The documents that have come into the possession of Haaretz indicate that following the June 1967 Six-Day War and after the border fence was completed, Palestinians continued to farm their lands located close to the border. But following a number of incidents in which Palestinian farmers in this area helped infiltrators to cross the border into Israeli-controlled territory, the entire area was declared a military zone. Several Palestinians who owned plots in the area submitted applications requesting permission to farm their lands; however, their requests were denied.

    In 1979, the WZO’s Settlement Division submitted a request for the cultivation of these lands “in light of the shortage of farmland in the Jordan Valley, a shortage that is preventing the expansion of existing communities and the establishment of new ones.” During the first government headed by Menachem Begin, the Ministerial Committee on Security Affairs authorized the cultivation of state lands or lands belonging to absentee owners.

    In the wake of the committee’s decision, the Israel Defense Forces cleared the mines in this area. Plia Albeck, who directed the Civil Department of the State Prosecutor’s Office for 24 years and maintained close ties with rightist circles, issued a number of statements of professional opinion. In light of the statements she issued, the WZO was authorized to allocate some 75,000 dunams (18,750 acres) of land for farming purposes. Senior military officials, including then-GOC Central Command, Major General Amram Mitzna, approved the allocation of land for cultivation on condition that the farmers had served in the army and were permitted to bear firearms, and on condition that Palestinians would not farm the lands in their stead. It should be pointed out here that, despite the peace settlement Israel signed with Jordan in 1994, these guidelines were not reviewed and remain in effect to this day.

    The Civil Administration subsequently signed three agreements with the WZO, allocating to the latter organization some 29,000 dunams (7,250 acres) for farming purposes. An examination conducted by the Civil Administration shows that a total of 8,565 dunams (2,116 acres) are cultivated beyond the border fence; of these, 4,765 dunams (1,177 acres) are Palestinian lands, 578 dunams (143 acres) are privately owned and another 3,222 dunams (796 acres) are state lands.

    Discussions have recently been held in the Civil Administration and in the office of the coordinator of government activities in the territories on this matter. It is a complex legal issue, because the settlers farming these lands are not trespassers but are persons who were legally allocated the lands by the WZO. On the other hand, the lands also legally belong to their Palestinian owners. The coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, has instructed that all Palestinians who request compensation for the lands they cannot farm should be compensated by the Civil Administration.

    A Civil Administration official has told Haaretz that the Civil Administration has no intention of initiating any action with regard to this matter. “If someone submits a petition to the Supreme Court in its capacity as the High Court of Justice, requesting that his lands be returned to him, we will have to decide what to do,” the official said.

  • Après avoir publié quelques articles témoignant d’un malaise quant à l’article de Joseph Massad (censuré puis réintégré par Al Jazeera), Mondoweiss publie maintenant un témoignage à charge contre le mouvement sioniste durant la seconde guerre mondiale (qui va donc sur le même terrain que Mondoweiss semblait trouver très glissant la semaine dernière) : Hannah Arendt and the Hungarian Jews.

    In point of fact, members of the Zionist movement actively collaborated with Nazism from the beginning. The World Zionist Organization sabotaged world Jewry’s attempt to boycott the Nazi economy in order to be allowed to send money from Germany to Palestine. They fought against liberalization of U.S. immigration laws, for they wanted European Jews to go to Palestine, notAmerica. As Ralph Schoenman wrote in The Hidden History of Zionism, “This obsession with colonizing Palestine and overwhelming the Arabs led the Zionist movement to oppose any rescue of the Jews facing extermination, because the ability to deflect manpower to Palestine would be impeded.”

    David Ben-Gurion summarized to a meeting of “left” Zionists in 1938 in England, “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative.”

    My cousin was one of several thousand Hungarian Jews who survived the fire: 800,000 died. A pact was signed by Dr. Rudolph Kastner of the Jewish Agency Rescue Committee and Nazi exterminator Adolph Eichmann in 1944 allowing 600 prominent Jews to leave in exchange for Zionist silence on the fate of the remainder.


    Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s organization proposed on Janurary 11, 1941, a formal military pact between his Irgun — a Zionist military organization — and the Third Reich. In offering to enter the war on the side of Germany, the Irgun proposed that, “The establishment of the historical Jewish State on a national and totalitarianbasis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.” (see Lenni Brenner, “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”, p. 49)