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European Parliament passes resolutions condemning Palestinian failure to stop hate in school textbooks

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The resolutions were adopted as amendments by the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control by MEPs across the EU political spectrum including members of the three largest political groups, the Center-Right European People’s Party (EPP), the left leaning Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the liberal Renew Europe (RE) party. The resolutions were passed by over 60% majority of the European Parliament, writes  

The European Parliament passed three resolutions which condemn the Palestinian Authority (PA) for continuing to teach hate and violence in its school textbooks and which oppose European Union aid to the PA being used for this purpose.

The legislation notes that problematic material in Palestinian school textbooks has still not been removed, points to the continued failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in Palestinian textbooks. It calls on the European Commission to ensure that salaries of teachers and education sector civil servants financed by the European Union are used to teach curricula that reflect UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and non-violence.

The resolutions were adopted as amendments by the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control by MEPs across the EU political spectrum including members of the three largest political groups, the Center-Right European People’s Party (EPP), the left leaning Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the liberal Renew Europe (RE) party. The resolutions were passed by over 60% majority of the EU Parliament.

One of the resolutions relates particularly to Palestinian school textbooks and to the PEGASE fund, the main source of EU funding to the Palestinian Authority’s Education Ministry, which is responsible for drafting, writing, teaching and implementing the new PA curriculum.

German MEP Niclas Herbst of the European People’s Party stressed that ‘’EU funds should be spent on peace and mutual understanding. Paying teachers to teach Antisemitism and incitement to violence through Palestinian schoolbooks should never be subsidised by EU-money. The result of votes today is a strong signal on this regard.’’

Impact-se CEO Marcus Sheff: "This parliament, which oversees the spending of the European Commission, is clearly exasperated by the continued payment of massive grants to the Palestinian educational sector, which is then promptly turned into one of the most hate-filled, violent and extreme curricula worldwide."

Romanian MEP Christian Ghinea of Renew Europe insisted that ‘’no funds should be used for drafting and teaching curricula which includes support for intolerance. I believe that, under no circumstances, should European money contribute, even indirectly, to encouraging a logic of violence.’’

Swedish MEP Charlie Weimer of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party said: "Terrorism, extremism and hate can never be the answer and should under no circumstances ever be funded by EU taxpayers." He added: "I fully welcome that the European Parliament voted in favor of keeping the strong language stating that incitement and support for terrorism in Palestinian schoolbooks is unacceptable. Peace needs to be promoted in the Palestinian curricula as to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

IMPACT-se, a Jerusalem-based watchdog that monitors peace and cultural tolerance in school education, initiated the resolutions and adoption of these measures, keeping the Palestinian curriculum a hot-button issue in the European Union Commission and Parliament.

Marcus Sheff, CEO of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), noted that EU officials told the group that its report on Palestinian curriculum will be classified. ‘’There now must be a moment of truth for the European Union. Will it continue to ignore the parliament that oversees its spending? Will the Commission now publicly release the freshly- minted report on the Palestinian Authority’s textbooks? Governments, legislators and over a million Palestinian children know what’s in the textbooks. Classifying the report is senseless and frankly, seems highly suspicious,’’ he said.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee Transatlantic Institute, praised the European Parliament for condemning the Palestinian Authority’s failure to act against incitement in text books. ”By putting both Ramallah and the EU Commission on notice, lawmakers took a clear stand against EU funds being misused to poison the minds of young Palestinians. Palestinian incitement remains one of the main obstacles to a negotiated two-solution with Israel.”

Anti-semitism

Greek court orders jail for neo-Nazi leaders

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A Greek court today (22 October) ordered neo-Nazi Golden Dawn chief Nikos Michaloliakos and his former top aides to begin immediately serving prison sentences, capping one of the most significant trials in the country's political history, writes Erika Vallianou.

Following the ruling, warrants are to be issued for the immediate arrest of Michaloliakos and several former party lawmakers, the court said.

Several of those convicted including some lawmakers have already turned themselves in, state television ERT said.

Michaloliakos and other former members of his inner circle were sentenced two weeks ago to more than 13 years in prison for running a criminal organization after a five-year trial.

Michaloliakos, a long-term Hitler admirer and Holocaust denier, has rejected his party's prosecution as a political witch hunt.

He remained defiant Thursday after the court ordered his imprisonment.

"I'm proud to be taken to jail for my ideas...we will be vindicated by history and by the Greek people," he told reporters outside his home in an affluent northern Athens suburb.

"I thank the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who stood by Golden Dawn all these years," said the 62-year-old mathematician and former protege of Greek dictator Georgios Papadopoulos.

Those going to jail include deputy Golden Dawn leader Christos Pappas and the party's former spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, who recently formed a new nationalist party.

But the ruling cannot be immediately enforced in the case of former Golden Dawn lawmaker Ioannis Lagos, who was elected to the European parliament in 2019 and has immunity.

Greek judicial authorities must formally request that Lagos' immunity be lifted by the European parliament before he can be imprisoned.

The court had issued guilty verdicts to Michaloliakos and over 50 other defendants, including his wife, on October 7.

But the conclusion was delayed by a number of legal disputes, including last week when Lagos tried to have the court's three judges recused for bias.

The head judge Maria Lepenioti on Monday also publicly questioned the state prosecutor's demand that most of the convicted be provisionally released pending appeals trials, which could take years to adjudicate.

Modelled on Nazi party

The court has accepted that Golden Dawn was a criminal organization run by Michaloliakos using a military-style hierarchy modelled on Hitler's Nazi party.

The probe was sparked by the 2013 murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, who was ambushed by Golden Dawn members and fatally stabbed.

Fyssas' murderer, former truck driver Yiorgos Roupakias, has been handed a life sentence.

In a lengthy investigation, pre-trial magistrates outlined how the group formed black-clad militia to intimidate and beat up opponents with knuckle dusters, crowbars and knives.

A search of party members' homes in 2013 uncovered firearms and other weapons, as well as Nazi memorabilia.

Another former Golden Dawn organiser, former death metal bassist Georgios Germenis who is now an assistant for Lagos at the European parliament, on Thursday said his conviction was "absurd" and politically motivated.

"I am 100% innocent. I was just helping people," Germenis said as he turned himself in at his local police station.

For Michaloliakos, the sentence caps a stunning downfall for a man whose party was the country's third most popular in 2015, the year the trial began.

The party won 18 seats in parliament in 2012 after tapping into anti-austerity and anti-migrant anger during Greece's decade-long debt crisis.

It failed to win a single seat in last year's parliamentary election.

Michaloliakos and other former Golden Dawn lawmakers had already spent several months in prison after Fyssas' murder in 2013.

Time served in pre-trial detention will be deducted from the overall sentence.

Under Greek law, they must serve at least two-fifths of their sentence before requesting an early release.

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Anti-semitism

Munich auction house under fire again for selling Nazi memorabilia

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Less than a month since the head of Germany’s domestic security agency has warned that Jews in Germany are facing increasing levels of anti-Semitism, a Munich-based auction house is under fire, again, for selling Nazi memorabilia, this time including various speaking notes from Adolf Hitler, writes

The auction house, Hermann Historica,  came under fire in November 2019 for a similar auction, whose lots ended up being bought by a Lebanese businessman, Abdallah Chatila, who then donated them to Yad Vashem to do with as they saw fit.

Following the fallout of the last auction, the European Jewish Association (EJA) has been pushing European lawmakers to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia as part of an overall plan to tackle antisemitism across the continent.

In a statement EJA Chairman Rabbi Margolin said: “I cannot get my head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity, in such a febrile climate, of selling items such as the ramblings of the world’s biggest killer of Jews to the highest bidder. What auctions like this do help legitimise Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff.’’

He added: “Last year a miracle in the form of Mr Abdallah Chatila stepped in. But we cannot rely on miracles going forwards. We understand that COVID-19 is rightly occupying the thoughts of governments and parliaments, but we cannot allow the virus of antisemitism to grow unchecked. This auction must be stopped and we urge the government to step in. We also ask our supporters not to engage or participate in any way with this unethical auction. The message must be sent that the further development of this ‘market’ is taboo and beyond the norms of acceptability.”

Earlier this month, a young Jewish man sustained severe head injuries after he was assaulted with a spade outside a synagogue in the northern German city of Hamburg on Sunday afternoon in what politicians have condemned as a “disgusting” antisemitic attack.

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Anti-semitism

How exceptional America Is

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America is becoming exceptionally exceptional. In some votes at the UN General Assembly — the Assembly of nations — only Israel,  or one or two other US allies, vote along with it, and all others either vote against it, or else abstain in order to prevent US retaliation against their own nation. No other nation is anything like that. In fact, on many occasions, the US arm-twists other delegations in order to get them to abstain from voting so as to make less stark, and less embarrassing, America’s international isolation. But America is also extraordinarily exceptional in other ways, which have nothing to do with the UN, writes Eric Zuesse, originally posted on Strategic Culture.

America is thus truly an exceptional nation. As the Republican Party magazine National Review commented, on 15 September: “Last week, the United States and Israel were the only countries to vote against a General Assembly resolution on the global coronavirus response. Some have seized upon that vote to paint the United States as a bad faith actor that stands alone in the world.” However, this vote wasn’t about only “the global coronavirus response.” It was — perhaps even more importantly — about US sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Russia, China, and other countries that the US regime considers to be its enemies. (None of these countries ever invaded or even threatened to invade America; all of those sanctions are 100% US aggression. These are target-countries that America’s aristocracy wants to take over. The world’s US-sanctioned countries are marked in red on this map of the world.) Israel strongly supports sanctions against both Syria and Venezuela, and it routinely invades and bombs Syria, just for good measure. So, it joined America’s position on that UN vote — not because of the coronavirus provisions of the Resolution.

That UN General Assembly vote was held on 11 September. America’s Associated Press bannered the following day, 'UN assembly approves pandemic resolution; US, Israel object', and reported that: “The 193-member world body adopted the resolution by a vote of 169-2, with Ukraine and Hungary abstaining. It was a strong show of unity by the UN’s most representative body, though many countries had hoped for adoption by consensus.” The AP further stated:

It calls on governments and international financial institutions “to provide more liquidity in the financial system, especially in all developing countries.” It supports recovery plans that “drive transformative change towards more inclusive and just societies including by empowering and engaging all women and girls”. And it urges U.N. member nations “to adopt a climate- and environment-responsive approach to COVID-19 recovery efforts” including by aligning investments and domestic policies with the UN goals and the 2015 Paris agreement to combat climate change. By a vote of 132-3, the assembly amended the resolution to urge all countries to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.” The United States was then overwhelmingly defeated in attempts to remove two paragraphs from the resolution, one referring to women’s rights to “sexual and reproductive health” and the other to “promoting global sustainable transport.” In addition to arguing against the language on sanctions, the United States opposed all references to the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration stopped funding, accusing the UN agency of failing to do enough to stop the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China.

Nowhere in the AP’s article was any mention made that in the “vote of 169-2,” the two nations which had voted against the Resolution were the U.S. and Israel, but only that there had been “objections from the United States and Israel,” regarding attachment, to the Resolution, of the Amendment that added the anti-sanctions provision to it. This omission was not an error. It is a type of omission that is common in propaganda. America was more isolated than that ‘news’-report made clear, and the omission of the crucial fact that only America and Israel had voted against the Resolution on the pandemic wasn’t a mistake. In fact, the ‘news’-report said nothing about why either America or Israel had voted against it. To have said anything about why they voted aainst the Resolution on the pandemic would have required mentioning that they (and only they) had voted against the Resolution on the pandemic. A dictatorial regime doesn’t want its public to know such things. And America is a dictatorship. Censorship is essential to a dictatorship.

This vote was about only a 'Resolution', a statement of the various nations’ values, to work toward, not about any nation’s policy, but the US and Israel don’t share those goals — not even rhetorically. This opposition to that Resolution’s goals was truly exceptional.

In particular, nothing is more abhorrent to the US regime than to stop or impede its sanctions. These sanctions include, for example, punishments against any company or government that will, in any way, assist in Russia’s 96% completed NordStream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany, for the EU to buy Russia’s pipelined natural gas instead of America’s fracked canned shipped natural gas. The US regime insists that EU nations buy the far costlier trans-Atlantic-shipped fracked US liquefied natural gas (LNG). That insistence upon the EU’s wasting money, in order to prop-up America’s fracking industry, is, indeed, exceptional, because European nations haven’t customarily been treated as being mere colonies of other powers. America is treating purchasers from, or cooperators with, that competitor (Russia), as being its enemies.

The way the US Representative stated this (after a lengthy diatribe which blamed China for Covid-19 and said that the U.S. had quit the World Health Organization because WHO lacked “independence from the Chinese Communist Party”) was: “Economic sanctions are a legitimate means to achieve foreign policy, security, and other national and international objectives, and the United States is not alone in that view or in that practice.” (That exact same sentence had earlier been stated by the US regarding a different matter, on 18 November 2019.)

Actually, the US regime is very “alone” on it. Furthermore, the other part was also a lie: the US regime asserts that coercing corporations and countries to not buy from the lowest-cost supplier is within its sovereign right to do. However, as Professor Alfred de Zayas, who until recently was the UN’s top expert on this topic, explained in depth on 27 June 2019, that assertion is blatantly false, on many clear grounds concerning international law. It is a blatant lie, no matter how many times the U.S. regime asserts it (and asserts that the US regime isn’t “alone” in asserting it).

Even back when Barack Obama (the man who repeatedly claimed that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”) was America’s President, the U.S. was exceptional at the United Nations. For example, on 24 November 2014, I headlined “US Among Only 3 Countries Officially Backing Nazism & Holocaust-Denial”, and reported: “In a UN vote, on 21 November, only three countries  — the United States, Ukraine, and Canada — voted against a resolution to condemn racist fascism, or nazism, and to condemn denial of Germany’s World War II Holocaust against primarily Jews. This measure passed the General Assembly, on a vote of 115 in favor, three against, and 55 abstentions (the abstentions were in order not to offend US President Obama, who was opposed to the resolution).” Then, on 21 June 2015, I headlined 'America’s U.N. Ambassador Continues Standing Up for Nazis' and noted that, again, Obama’s U.N. Ambassador, Samantha Power, had stood up for nazism; she had just delivered an address in Ukraine rallying that country’s supporters of nazism to war against Russia. Then, on 21 November 2017, I headlined 'Trump Continues Obama’s Support of Nazism', and reported that:

On 16 November, US President Donald Trump, acting through an agent of his agent U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, voted at the UN against a resolution that condemns bigotry, and especially condemns nazism and all forms of racism. He thus, yet again, continues in the tradition from his predecessors, Presidents Obama and Bush, each year placing this nation in the company of only one or two US allies throughout the world who join with the US in refusing to commit to opposing and doing everything to reduce not just political Nazism (which, of course, is past), but ideological nazism, racist fascism — institutionalized bigotry (which, sadly, is not past).

But, be that as it may, the U.S. is also exceptional in many other ways. I listed some of those on 13 July.

There are two main reasons why the US regime is able to coerce other nations to not violate its will. One is that though publicly available reports allege that it spends approximately 37% of the entire world’s military expenditures, the US regime actually spends around 50% of the entire  world’s military costs, and therefore it possesses extraordinary physical capacity to impose its will, if and when merely economically blockading an ‘enemy’ country (via sanctions) fails to do the job of getting it to comply. And the other main reason is that, since the US government is at least as corrupt as the average “third-world” country is, but is instead one of the world’s richest countries, arranging pay-offs to other world leaders, in order to obtain their cooperation, is easily affordable. (These payoffs are being paid by all U.S. taxpayers, not by only America’s billionaires, who reap all of the profits from the empire that is imposed.)

American exceptionalism is real. It’s not the type of exceptionalism that the regime’s propaganda claims to be the case, but nonetheless it is real.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The opinions expressed in the above article are those of the author alone, and do not reflect any opinions on the part of EU Reporter.

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