I am neither a historian, decent author or a journalist and the chances are, unless there is a link or reference to somewhere else, the perpetrator is your's truly-Renaud Sarda.
I created this blog as a focal point, to arm friends and people with arguments and facts that they could perhaps use to counter the anti- Israel propaganda, biased media and Israel boycott campaign.
I am a Zionist and a proud Sephardi Jew who will fly the Israeli flag, and defend whatever Israel does.
The World Jewish Congress has failed to back its general counsel Menachem Rosensaft after he called for the international Jewish community to boycott Poland until it adopts a law on the restitution of Jewish property.
WJC secretary general, Michael Schneider, said in a statement Thursday that, “Although Mr. Rosensaft is the general counsel of the World Jewish Congress his statements on the issue were made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the WJC. At no point has the WJC proposed a boycott of Poland, nor have we considered or discussed any such measures.”
The statement, however, recalls what WJC President Ronald S. Lauder has already said on the restitution problem.
"This issue has been under discussion in Poland for almost two decades, through many economic periods, including the present one when Poland is experiencing some of the strongest economic growth in the European Union.
“It is unacceptable that Poland cannot find some way to meet its responsibility to former landowners. Most central and eastern European countries have adopted some type of law to provide for the restitution of or compensation for confiscated property. Poland stands out for its failure to do so.” (kk/pg)
Calls for compromise have emerged following the escalation of the dispute over compensation to Jewish families who lost property in Poland as a result of Nazism and Communism.
The announcement of Prime Minister Tusk earlier this month that Poland is stalling further waves to those seeking compensation for dispossessed property – regarding claimants of all religious denominations – provoked a war of words, uniting pressure groups in several countries.
PM Tusk said that payments of billions of zloty owed to those who lost property during German Nazi occupation and the Communist regime that followed WW II would have to wait due to the “global financial crisis”.
When American lawmakers criticised the move, Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski argued that as of 1960, Poland has paid 40 million dollars (current value 300 million zloty) to the United States with regards to dispossessed landowners, and that subsequent American claims should be handled individually in the law courts.
Earlier this week, Menachem Rosensaft, an American legal expert and the president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, argued that the 1960 deal was only a partial solution to the problem.
His concluding assertion, that the Jewish community “should stop injecting tourist and other dollars into the Polish economy,” prompted a wave of controversy when it was republished on the web site of the World Jewish Congress.
“In spite of the fact that Sikorski was technically correct, he [the minister] got a little carried away,” said Professor Bohdan Szklarski, a specialist in American matters at Warsaw's Collegium Civitas, told the Rzeczpospolita daily.
“The Jewish question is a delicate topic,” he said.
“You have to think before you say anything, because there are also radicals in American Jewish organizations, and they react very intensely to such statements.”
Sikorski, whose wife Anne Applebaum is a distinguished American Jewish historian, had remarked that the U.S. had missed a crucial chance to help resolve the issue.
“If the United States would have wanted to help Polish Jews, a good moment for that would have been 1943-44, when the majority of them were still alive, and Poland was pleading for help through the voice of Jan Karski [ a courier of the Polish wartime underground ed.].” Backtrack on boycott rhetoric
Menachem Rosensaft later declared that the Karski remark was “gratuitous”.
However, following the republication of his article on the World Jewish Congress web site, he has tried to play down his notion of suspending Jewish investment in Poland.
“I do not call for a boycott, because I do not believe in it,” he told the Rzeczpospolita daily after headlines in the Polish media claimed that he did in fact call for a boycott of Jewish tourism to Poland.
“However, if the Polish government tells Holocaust survivors and their descendants that it will not honour the promises it made over the last twenty years, then it will have to bear the consequences,” he added.
Speaking generally, Minister Sikorski has added that individual cases can be carried out in the courts.
'There is no distinction in the process of restitution. The courts do not know the religion or nationality.'
Nevertheless, whilst thousands of claimants of all denominations have been successful in their property claims since the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989, thousands remain outstanding.
Many properties were resold to a third party, without the original owner's consent. Likewise, many cases have stalled for years in the courts.
Somewhat sidelined in the overall debate has been the reaction of non-Jewish claimants in the ongoing affair. These include many members of the Polish gentry and other landowners, a good deal of whom, like so many Jewish counterparts, lived in emigration as a result of the communist take-over of Poland.
The Polish Landowners Association, which has offices around the globe, has responded to the halt of compensation 'with disapproval' but noted that it did not come as 'much of a surprise.'
In a statement, the association said that 'after twenty years of struggling' the claimants had 'lost the confidence in the will and competence of any political group' to achieve resolution in the matter.
Both the Polish Landowners Association and the World Jewish Congress have noted over the years that Poland is the only EU country not to have carried out satisfactory compensation in such matters.
However, a large section of public opinion continues to hold that the Polish losses during the war were exceptionally far-reaching, and that Poland should not be made to pay for the crimes of German Nazi occupiers and a puppet Communist government that was introduced by force. (nh/pg)
Source: Polskie Radio, Rzeczpospolita, The Jewish Week
Pair are alleged to have acted in a racially aggravated manner which was intended to cause alarm or distress to Jewish student.
Two students at St Andrews University are to stand trial accused of racially offending a Jewish student by putting their hands down their trousers, touching their genitals then rubbing their hands on an Israeli flag.
Samuel Colchester, 20, and Paul Donnachie, 19, appeared at Cupar Sheriff Court. The pair are alleged to have acted in a racially aggravated manner which was intended to cause alarm or distress to Chanan Roziel Reitblat.
It is claimed they carried out the offensive act then made comments "of an offensive nature" in Mr Reitblat's presence.
Fiscal depute Tracy Plant said the pair had been due to appear on a separate complaint, but asked that it be dropped and replaced by more serious charges.
Colchester and Donnachie were to stand trial on that complaint in mid-April, but that date has now been changed as it falls during the Jewish festival of Passover.
The prosecutor said: "I would ask for the trial to be set for early May.
"The essential witnesses in this case are Jewish and Passover falls on those earlier dates."
Passover, which this year begins on Tuesday April 19 runs for seven days until Monday April 25, commemorates the story of Exodus, inw hich the ancident Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
Colchester, 20, of Andrew Melville Hall, North Haugh, St Andrews, and Donnachie, from McIntosh Hall, Abbotsford Crescent, St Andrews deny the offence.
An alternative charge, which they also deny, alleges that they behaved in a threatening or abusive manner that was likely to cause fear or alarm.
The offences are said to have happened on March 12 this year at a building owned by the University of St Andrews at 30 Links Crescent in the Fife town.
The pair will stand trial in May, and were released on bail by Sheriff Mungo Bovey QC. He ordered them to return to court in April for a pre-trial hearing.
Abused, violated, imprisoned and now is being tortured for daring to speak out against Gaddafi's men, her crime she was from Benghazi visiting relatives in Tripoli.
This is how this woman represents the issues of the Arab and Muslim countries around the globe living under dictatorship.
As the Western world watches in disbelief with their eyes glued to their TV screens, Libya's murderous regime continue with their bare lies against this poor woman and has even allowed those who brutalised her to carry on with their horrendous crime.
Iman al Obeidi represents the majority that are forcibly silenced and coerced to the will of others in a countries like Algeria where Might is Right.
There is no justice, free speech or democracy, there is no value for human life, and people in Arab or Muslim countries are treated like dirt or worse.
For all those Muslims who lives in the UK, Europe or the USA think yourself very very very very fortunate, blessed, and lucky to live amongst Christians, Jews, and others who respect human rights, liberty, free speech and democracy.
Read her story below;
A distraught Libyan woman has told journalists in Tripoli how she was raped by government troops, before being bundled away by officials.
Iman al-Obeidi sought out foreign reporters in the capital's Rixos hotel on Saturday morning, weeping and claiming that troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her and then led her away to be gang-raped.
As al-Obeidi spoke she was tackled by hotel staff and government minders dragged her out of the hotel.
Her story could not be independently verified, but the incident is being reported as an indication of the crackdown on dissenters ordered by Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.
At a hastily arranged press conference following the incident, Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said investigators had told him that the woman was drunk and possibly mentally challenged.
Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tripoli, said: "The government initially suggested that she was drunk ... but when they [officials] came back to the journalists later to reassure them that she was being well cared for ... they did describe this as a case of rape."
Before she was dragged out of the hotel, al-Obeidi was able to tell journalists that she was detained by a number of troops at a Tripoli checkpoint on Wednesday.
She said they were drinking whiskey and handcuffed her and that 15 men later raped her.
"They tied me up ... they even defecated and urinated on me," she said. "The Gaddafi militiamen violated my honor." Victim intimidated
Al-Obeidi, who appeared in her 30s, wore a black robe and a floral scarf around her neck.
She had scratches on her face and bruises on her body. She said neighbours in the area where she was detained had helped her escape.
She said that she was targeted by the troops because she is from the eastern city of Benghazi, the stronghold of rebel fighters battling Gaddafi.
The Associated Press news agency reported that waiters called her a traitor and told her to shut up.
She retorted: "Easterners - we're all Libyan brothers, we are supposed to be treated the same, but this is what the Gaddafi militiamen did to me, they violated my honor."
Government minders attacked al-Obeidi and pushed out of the way journalists who tried to protect her, smashing some of the journalists' equipment. Media restrictions
Eventually the minders overpowered the woman and led her outside, shoving her into a car that sped away.
The woman shouted that she was certain she would be thrown in jail and begged photographers to take her picture, raising her robe to show them her bruised body.
A minder tried to cover her mouth with his hand to keep her from talking.
"Look at what happens - Gaddafi's militiamen kidnap women at gunpoint, and rape them ... they rape them," she screamed.
Government minders in Tripoli have sought to keep a tight rein on what journalists there see and who they talk to.