|T-R (Tribal Reports) brings News Items, Historical Notices and Other Relevant Information from Nations amongst whose population we find a significant proportion of Israelites from the Ten Lost Tribes.|
Contents in Alphabetical Order
|Contents by Subject||
1. The Jewish vote in Canada|
By URI MARANTZ
'There are so many great connections between Canada and Israel,' said Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird. Canada's Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty chimed in, 'I think that for many years Israel felt there was no one in its court, but as Minister Baird said, it's not that Canada is behind Israel, it's that Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel.' Both Cabinet ministers recently visited Israel at the beginning of February in a high-profile visit, meeting with their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts while reaffirming Canada's support for the Jewish state.
This most recent tour of Israel by Baird and Flaherty follows several top-level ministerial visits between Canada and Israel, which have become increasingly commonplace in the past few years. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made no secret of his Conservative Party's favourable opinions of Israel since assuming office in 2006, a position that has remained constant through federal elections in 2006, 2008 and 2011. After finally winning the coveted parliamentary majority in 2011, Harper has the mandate to continue to express his Conservative Party's pro-Israeli positions through Canadian foreign policies.
Many questions follow from this fact, but one sticks out in particular. What accounts for the principled Conservative stand on the security of Israel and other Jewish issues in recent years' There is always the theory that foreign policy choices reflect domestic political considerations, meaning that Tory attempts to garner support from the Jewish community during election season would manifest itself in support for Israel during that time. The problem with applying this theory here is that Jews are only 1% of the population in Canada and represent significant voting populations in a mere handful of ridings.
So if the Harper Conservatives are not just pandering to domestic Jewish constituencies, what explains the recent pro-Israel shift in Canadian foreign policy? There are a few potential reasons. The argument for human rights and a moral foreign policy is dubious because Palestinians have human rights as well, with Arab and Muslim voters far outnumbering Jewish ones, while the Canadian trade relationship with China has always outweighed any serious concern on Harper's behalf for human rights there.
Then there is the idea that Stephen Harper's personal convictions demand that he back the Jewish state, but could a prime minister really convince the Cabinet, his own party and his fellow parliamentarians (especially in a minority government) to indulge his personal preferences if they were simply irrational' Of course not. Much more likely is the fact that social conservatives and Evangelical Protestants are likelier to vote in blocs and to support Israel, but for radically different reasons than Jewish Canadians.
For socially conservative Evangelical voters, biblical prophecy ' as interpreted by their religious leaders ' suggests that the Jewish people's return to the land of Israel will trigger the End of Days and signal the onset of the Messianic era. Never mind that when the Messiah arrives, neither the Jews nor any other non-Evangelicals will have any part in the majestic bounty of the heavenly kingdom to come. The point for this much more numerous (3.5 million versus the Jewish 350,000) and thus much more significant voting bloc is that political support for Israel is a religious duty and a theological imperative.
Still, other reasons may very well exist for why the Canadian government has evolved into such a staunch supporter of Israel under Prime Minister Harper's watch.
2. Ireland. Nicky Larkin: Israel is a refuge, but a refuge under siege
Through making a film about the Israeli-Arab conflict, artist Nicky Larkin found his allegiances swaying
Sunday March 11 2012
I used to hate Israel. I used to think the Left was always right. Not any more. Now I loathe Palestinian terrorists. Now I see why Israel has to be hard. Now I see the Left can be Right -- as in right-wing. So why did I change my mind so completely'
Strangely, it began with my anger at Israel's incursion into Gaza in December 2008 which left over 1,200 Palestinians dead, compared to only 13 Israelis. I was so angered by this massacre I posed in the striped scarf of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation for an art show catalogue.
Shortly after posing in that PLO scarf, I applied for funding from the Irish Arts Council to make a film in Israel and Palestine. I wanted to talk to these soldiers, to challenge their actions -- and challenge the Israeli citizens who supported them.
I spent seven weeks in the area, dividing my time evenly between Israel and the West Bank. I started in Israel. The locals were suspicious. We were Irish -- from a country which is one of Israel's chief critics -- and we were filmmakers. We were the enemy.
Then I crossed over into the West Bank. Suddenly, being Irish wasn't a problem. Provo graffiti adorned The Wall. Bethlehem was Las Vegas for Jesus-freaks -- neon crucifixes punctuated by posters of martyrs.
These martyrs followed us throughout the West Bank. They watched from lamp-posts and walls wherever we went.
But the more I felt the martyrs watching me, the more confused I became. After all, the Palestinian mantra was one of "non-violent resistance". It was their motto, repeated over and over like responses at a Catholic mass.
Yet when I interviewed Hind Khoury, a former Palestinian government member, she sat forward angrily in her chair as she refused to condemn the actions of the suicide bombers. She was all aggression.
This aggression continued in Hebron, where I witnessed swastikas on a wall. As I set up my camera, an Israeli soldier shouted down from his rooftop position. A few months previously I might have ignored him as my political enemy. But now I stopped to talk. He only talked about Taybeh, the local Palestinian beer.
Back in Tel Aviv in the summer of 2011, I began to listen more closely to the Israeli side. I remember one conversation in Shenkin Street -- Tel Aviv's most fashionable quarter, a street where everybody looks as if they went to art college. I was outside a cafe interviewing a former soldier.
He talked slowly about his time in Gaza. He spoke about 20 Arab teenagers filled with ecstasy tablets and sent running towards the base he'd patrolled. Each strapped with a bomb and carrying a hand-held detonator.
The pills in their bloodstream meant they felt no pain. Only a headshot would take them down.
Conversations like this are normal in Tel Aviv. I began to experience the sense of isolation Israelis feel. An isolation that began in the ghettos of Europe and ended in Auschwitz.
Israel is a refuge -- but a refuge under siege, a refuge where rockets rain death from the skies. And as I made the effort to empathise, to look at the world through their eyes. I began a new intellectual journey. One that would not be welcome back home.
The problem began when I resolved to come back with a film that showed both sides of the coin. Actually there are many more than two. Which is why my film is called Forty Shades of Grey. But only one side was wanted back in Dublin. My peers expected me to come back with an attack on Israel. No grey areas were acceptable.
An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it's not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English.
But hating Israel is not part of my personal national identity. Neither is hating the English. I hold an Irish passport, but nowhere upon this document does it say I am a republican, or a Palestinian.
My Irish passport says I was born in 1983 in Offaly. The Northern Troubles were something Anne Doyle talked to my parents about on the nine o'clock News. I just wanted to watch Father Ted.
So I was frustrated to see Provo graffiti on the wall in the West Bank. I felt the same frustration emerge when I noticed the missing 'E' in a "Free Palestin" graffiti on a wall in Cork. I am also frustrated by the anti-Israel activists' attitude to freedom of speech.
Free speech must work both ways. But back in Dublin, whenever I speak up for Israel, the Fiachras and Fionas look at me aghast, as if I'd pissed on their paninis.
This one-way freedom of speech spurs false information. The Boycott Israel brigade is a prime example. They pressurised Irish supermarkets to remove all Israeli produce from their shelves -- a move that directly affected the Palestinian farmers who produce most of their fruit and vegetables under the Israeli brand.
But worst of all, this boycott mentality is affecting artists. In August 2010, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign got 216 Irish artists to sign a pledge undertaking to boycott the Israeli state. As an artist I have friends on this list -- or at least I had.
I would like to challenge my friends about their support for this boycott. What do these armchair sermonisers know about Israel' Could they name three Israeli cities, or the main Israeli industries'
But I have more important questions for Irish artists. What happened to the notion of the artist as a free thinking individual' Why have Irish artists surrendered to group-think on Israel' Could it be due to something as crude as career-advancement'
Artistic leadership comes from the top. Aosdana, Ireland's State-sponsored affiliation of creative artists, has also signed the boycott. Aosdana is a big player. Its members populate Arts Council funding panels.
Some artists could assume that if their name is on the same boycott sheet as the people assessing their applications, it can hardly hurt their chances. No doubt Aosdana would dispute this assumption. But the perception of a preconceived position on Israel is hard to avoid.
Looking back now over all I have learnt, I wonder if the problem is a lot simpler.
Perhaps our problem is not with Israel, but with our own over-stretched sense of importance -- a sense of moral superiority disproportional to the importance of our little country'
Any artist worth his or her salt should be ready to change their mind on receipt of fresh information. So I would urge every one of those 216 Irish artists who pledged to boycott the Israeli state to spend some time in Israel and Palestine. Maybe when you come home you will bin your scarf. I did.
3. Sibling Concern? Another Look at Scandinavian Interference in Israel
by Yair Davidiy.
On 22 July 2011, Anders Behring Breivik bombed the government buildings in Oslo, which resulted in eight deaths. He then carried out a mass shooting at a camp of the Workers' Youth League (AUF) of the Labour Party on the island of Ut'a where he killed 69 people, mostly teenagers.
Breivik was apparently severely mentally unstable but otherwise intellectually active and aware.
# Breivik was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia by the court-appointed psychiatrists. According to their report, Breivik acted compulsively based on a delusional thought universe. #
Breivik could legitimately be described as all at the same time having been a Freemason, a Knights Templar, a Christian Fundamentalist, an avid Zionist, a supporter of English Fascists, and a far-right Norwegian Nationalist. On top of that he was a self-made millionaire and a fluent propa\gandist. In other words he was a prime candidate to fuel the imaginations of a lot of Conspiracy Theory Freaks!
What is of interest to us is that the youth camp that Breivik shot up is linked to the ruling party of Norway and the young people there could have been considered the elite of Norway.
They were there to discuss Israel and to condemn Israel!
Ut'a Attack Shows Magnanimity of Israel and Vacuity of BDS Campaign
# Forty-eight hours before Friday massacre, teens participating in ruling party youth camp met with Norwegian foreign minister. Some called for boycott of Israel.
Gahr Stoere told the youths that the Palestinians deserve a country of their own and that the occupation must end, Norwegian website Politisk reported. Several of the youths waved signs reading: 'Boycott Israel.'The teenagers who took part in Norway's ruling party youth camp in the island of Utoya met with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and demanded he recognize Palestine on Wednesday, two days before the deadly terror attack which left many of them dead. #
Anyway the incident serves to illustrate what apparently occupies the minds of many Scandinavian youth.
Scandinavians in General seem unfairly prejudiced against Israel and active against her.
Scandinavian NGO Funding: Promoting Boycotts, 'Lawfare,' and the Rhetoric of Conflict
# Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland contribute millions of dollars annually to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that include some of the most radical groups operating in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The scope of funding from these countries is extensive compared to NGO support from other European governments. #
The organizations funded by Scandinavians vary from pro-Palestinian pro-Terror type Arab-loving activist bodies to pansy self-hating Jewish groups in Israel.
Scandinavian motivations may in part be Jew-hatred under another guise. The fathers of some of the anti-Israeli activists in Scandinavia were probably Nazi sympathizers.
Even though in World War-2 most Scandinavians were emotionally committed to an Allied victory and against the Nazis there was a sizeable minority who thought differently.
In addition another possibility exists, i.e. sibling concern.
Parents who are successful and feel they have made it in the world will usually wish their children to follow after them in the same path.
This includes social attitudes, religious adherence, and political agendas.
It does not matter if these are irrelevant to the parents success or not. As far as they are concerned it is all one.
Scandinavians are often wealthy, most are well-off, and many are irreligious. Sexual mores are liberal and so are political outlooks.
Could it be that the wish of many Scandinavians for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be resolved at any price and for the Jews in Israel to have a more Scandinavian type attitude to sex, religion, and other matters emanates from a concern for the Jews of Israel??
Do they identify with the Israelis so much that they want the Israelis to be copies of themselves?
Is this a case of misplaced misdirected fraternal concern?
It could be that the answer lies somewhere between the two possibilities: Scandinavians both dislike the Jewish-Israelis but would also like to remake the Israelis in their own image.
A similar suggestion could be made concerning some of the other anti-Israel elements in Western nations.
It may not all be simple Jew hatred. Some of it could be genuine concern.
This does not necessarily make the said attitudes less culpable. It just helps us understand a little.
A homosexual if he loves someone may try to seduce them. A drug addict may want to get his lover hooked so that both of them can enjoy the same dosage.
Either way they are the enemy and those they love the potential victim.
Survival can mean treating those who harm you as just that, regardless of whether or not misplaced good intentions were involved.
Someone who commits an earthly offence is to be punished by the court. The judgment does not need to take too expansive a cognizance of what the motivation may have been.
In Heaven things may be different.
29 'The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
'It is impossible to rightly govern the world
without God or the Bible'
Brit-Am is the "still small voice" that contains the truth.
[1-Kings 19:12] AND AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE A FIRE; BUT THE LORD WAS NOT IN THE FIRE: AND AFTER THE FIRE A STILL SMALL VOICE.