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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:

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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.

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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.

Anti-semitism

Antisemitic prejudices widespread in Greece, survey shows, but Greek MP insists the state has been fighting a lot antisemitism in the last few years

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A comprehensive survey of anti-Semitic prejudices in 16 European countries, which was released last week in the framework of a meeting of Jewish leaders in Brussels, shows that Greece is, along with Poland and Hungary, the country where the population has the most negative feelings towards the Jews and where antisemitic prejudices are widespread, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

According to the survey, commissioned by Action and Protection League (APL), a partner organization of the European Jewish Association, more than a third of Greeks  surveyed believe that “Jews will never be able to fully integrate into society”.

The belief in a “secret Jewish network that influences political and economic affairs in the world” is shared by 58% of Greeks. In addition, some 36% of Greeks  have ‘’rather negative feelings” towards Jews.

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The survey globally shows that in  Western European countries, there is more anti-Israel sentiment while in Eastern European countries (including Greece) there is more traditional anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism.

“Greece stands out as the country where antisemitic prejudices are the most present although I do not believe that Greece is the least safe country for Jews,” said Rabbi Shlomo Koves, leader of the APL, during a presentation of the survey.

“The worrying results of the survey show that anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Europe,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, President of the EJA, who presented a 10-point action plan to the Jewish leaders at the conference.

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Asked by European Jewish Press to comment the results regarding his country, Konstantinos Karagounis (pictured), a member of the Greek parliament and former minister, stressed that since the 1980s, a period of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, the Greek state has made a huge turn which has resulted in making Israel one of its most important allies.

‘’The results of the survey are quite distrurbing but we have been fighting a lot antisemitism in the last few years by making the law more strict which seems to be very effective,’’ he said.

‘’We show zero tolerance for Neo-Nazis and extremists,’’ he added

He noted that the survey shows that the percentage of antisemitic prejudices is very high especially for Greek people that are more aged (more than 50/60 yea old). ‘’This has to do with perceptions. ‘’The optimistic part is that is that for the younger generation the percentage is very low. That makes me optimistic and shows that if we give more education  and if we inform more the population, especially the youths, I think that our fight will be very effective,’’ Karagounis said.

‘’Another good thing is that we have no violent incidents against Jews in Greece but of course we still have a lot of work to do,’’ he added.

He described the ties between his country and Israel (and Cyprus) as ‘’veryu strong’’. ‘’We share the same values,’’ he added.

‘’Now we can speak of a country that has embraced its Jewish heritage, recognized the destruction of its Jewish communities by the Nazis, recognized its inherent faults. Greece is now a country that is actively fighting antisemitism through education, through law-making and of course through public statements,” said Karagounis.

Last Sunday, the European Commission Vice-President, Margaritis Schinas, visited  the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki (Salonika). During his visit, Schinas, who is from the northern Greek city,  reassured Jewish communities of Europe that the European Union will support them in the face of modern threats.

“As Vice President, I want to assure the Jewish communities in Europe that the EU will not leave them unprotected from the many modern threats that are overshadowing their lives today. We will guarantee their safety, we will strengthen their education and culture, we will do everything to preserve the historical memory of the Holocaust, especially now that the last survivors are leaving us without their personal stories,” he said.

His visit to the Jewish Museum of Salonika came a few days after the presentation of the EU’s first strategy on combating antisemitism and preserving Jewish life.

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Anti-semitism

French Jewish leader: ‘While the European institutions and politicians devote significant resources and spare no effort in the fight against anti-Semitism, the situation in Europe is not improving. Worse, it is deteriorating’

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"While the European institutions and politicians devote significant resources and spare no effort in the fight against anti-Semitism, the situation in Europe is not improving. Worse, it is deteriorating," said Joel Mergui (pictured), president of the Central Israelite Consistory of France as he addressed on Tuesday (12 October) a conference in Brussels of Jewish leaders organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA), writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

"It is time to face the facts. Combating anti-Semitism cannot be reduced to isolating and penalizing anti-Semitic acts. This penalty is of course essential. Perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts should not never go unpunished. But for it to be truly effective, the fight against anti-Semitism must get to the root of the problem," he added.

Mergui said that Europe must launch concrete initiatives in the field of education to combat anti-Jewish stereotypes. "It must also value the heritage and the contribution of Judaism and remind ceaselessly that Jewish spirituality is an integral part of European culture."

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His remarks came as a new comprehensive survey of antisemitic prejudices in 16 European countries was unveiled ahead of the conference. The survey results appear to be rather disturbing. The Action and Protection League (AP)– partners of the EJA – commissioned the survey with IPSOS SA, under the leadership of Professor András Kovács of Central European University in Vienna-Budapest, taking in 16 European countries and asking respondents direct questions, and following up where seemed necessary. The countries polled are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Amongst the disturbing figures are: Nearly one third of respondents in Austria, Hungary and Poland said Jews will never be able to fully integrate into society. Nearly one third agreed that there is a secret Jewish network that influences political and economic affairs in the world. (Romania – 29%; France – 28%; Czech Republic – 23% ). In Spain, 35% said Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians; 29% said the same in the Netherlands; and 26% agreed with the statement in Sweden. In Latvia, just over a third – 34% – said Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes; 23% agreed in Germany; and 22% agreed in Belgium. A quarter of all those surveyed agreed with the statement that Israel’s policies make them understand why some people hate Jews.

“Jews around Europe need to propose specific action-plans to their governments as well as on the EU level,” said Rabbi Shlomo Koves, founder of APL and initiator of the survey. “We need to take our fate into our hands if we want our grandchildren to be able to live in Europe in 20-50 years from now,” he added.

The two-day Brussels conference was attended by dozens of prominent European Jewish leaders, parliamentarians, and diplomats from across the continent, including EU Commission Vice-President Margiritis Schinas, as well as the President of Israel Isaac Herzog and the Minister for Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai who will address the gathering from Jerusalem. The European Commission last week presented the first-ever EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.

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With antisemitism worryingly on the rise, in Europe and beyond, the strategy intends to set out a series of measures articulated around three pillars: to prevent all forms of antisemitism; to protect and foster Jewish life and to promote research, education and Holocaust remembrance.

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Anti-semitism

Top Jewish amd Swedish leaders celebrate local Jewish community

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Ahead of a landmark global conference, top Jewish and Swedish leaders joined at Malmö Synagogue today to celebrate the history and life of the local Jewish community, especially its resilience during a period of heightened antisemitism in the region.

The synagogue event, hosted by the World Jewish Congress, along with the Official

Council of Swedish Jewish Communities and the Jewish Community of Malmö, was held the day before the 13 October Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

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The international forum, to be attended by heads of state or government of some 50 countries, will focus on identifying and implementing concrete steps to counter antisemitism and other forms of hatred and to advance Holocaust education and remembrance.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Jewish communal leaders shared their insights at Tuesday’s synagogue gathering about the rich history of the Jews of Sweden and next steps in fighting current-day expressions of hatred against Jews at the local and national levels.

In his remarks at the synagogue, Amb. Lauder said:

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“I have been dealing with antisemitism since I became involved in the Jewish world. That’s most of my adult life. I’ve witnessed it, I’ve talked to too many victims of antisemitism. I’ve also been the target of it, myself. I have seen people lose their lives … because they happened to be Jewish.”

Amb. Lauder also said, “I am aware that a just and reasonable settlement must be found with the Palestinian people. I have pursued a two-state solution for years and I have never given up on this idea. Two states for two people is the only way that this long conflict can finally come to a just conclusion.”

He added, “All schoolchildren must learn about the Holocaust and understand how it came about and where hatred ultimately leads.” He went on to advocate for a national holiday on January 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated in 1945, for schools worldwide to teach about the Holocaust.

“There is still so much to be done. I am not naïve; I realize the hatred of Jews has been with us for 2,000 years and will never completely go away. But we can do everything in our power to keep this virus from spreading. We applaud the Swedish Prime Minister and the government for taking the first steps. And I thank you for your help with the Jewish community here in protecting its synagogues, its school and its people,” Amb. Lauder concluded.

In recent years, antisemitism has occurred regularly in Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, especially in its schools, and has gained international attention. Sweden’s top leaders have pledged to devote resources to democracy-strengthening initiatives in schools and other educational venues. At the end of March 2022, the country will assume the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and has pledged to open the Swedish Museum of the Holocaust by July 2022.  

“This week we are gathering here in Malmö to remember history’s darkest chapter, humanity’s darkest chapter,” Löfven said. “It didn’t take place on Swedish soil; however, when Jews started leaving Germany following 1933, most countries, Sweden included, were reluctant to accept more than a handful of Jewish refugees.”

He also said: “Every Shabbat candle lit, every song in Yiddish or Ladino and every Swedish Jew who wears a kippah or a Star of David with pride is a stance against hate.”

Dr. Nachman Shai, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, told the audience that Israel stood behind the Malmö Jewish community.

“It is the right of every Jewish individual to live full and proud Jewish lives wherever they choose,” he said. “Additionally, you should have the opportunity to proudly and actively have relationships with Israel … without being questioned.”

Ann Katina, chair of the Jewish Community of Malmö, emceed the ceremony while discussing the vibrant history of Jewish life in Malmö. The community will celebrate its 150th anniversary next month.

“Jewish life in Sweden is more than antisemitism,” Katina said, adding that a Jewish learning center will open in the synagogue “with the aim of increasing the knowledge of Jewish culture, religion, history, the Holocaust and antisemitism.”She joined Aron Verständig, Chair of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, in thanking the local community for its support and dedication to education.

Immediately after the close of the Oct. 13 forum, Amb. Lauder and Prime Minister Löfven will join a Holocaust survivor representing the Malmö Jewish community to reflect on the proceedings and to continue the conversation about how to end antisemitism. Media wishing to attend this event must already be credentialed to attend the Malmö Forum.

After Wednesday’s conference, WJC’s international meeting of Special Envoys & Coordinators Combating Antisemitism (SECCA) will convene to exchange views, share best practices and policies and evaluate progress in the shared fight against antisemitism. The SECCA forum comprises officials tasked with combating antisemitism, with participants from dozens of countries and from such organizations as the European Commission, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the United Nations.

About the World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.

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