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Jerusalem Post compares labeling settlement products to Nazism

The paper’s correspondent in Berlin, known for his ties with radical right-wing groups, has done it again.

In a couple of articles published last month, the widely-read Jerusalem Post compared the European Union’s decision to label Israeli settlement products to nothing less than Nazism.

A year ago, the European Union passed a decision to label Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories, differentiating them from products of Israel proper. The Union is objecting to Israel’s settlement policy, but nevertheless has many trade agreements and joint projects with Israel. (The EU is Israel’s largest trade partner.) The decision to label products from the occupied territories was seen as a political compromise, allowing consumers to decide whether they want to purchase them or not, but remaining very far from a total ban of those products, let alone a boycott of Israeli goods.

Recently, 13 European Counties wrote EU Foreign Affairs chief Catharine Ashton, requesting that she forumlate guidelines for product labeling. Some EU countries have already taken some independent steps in this direction.

In Germany, the Green Party sent a questionnaire to the government asking what steps it plans to take on the issue of settlement labeling. The government has confirmed that it doesn’t view the settlements as part of the European-Israeli trade agreement.

In response, The Jerusalem Post published a piece in which the paper (citing various “public figures,” all expressing the same opinion) accuses the Green Party of no less than Nazi policy – naturally, the most serious accusation one could make in Europe, and most of all in Germany.

Another item in the Post targeted Bundestag deputy Kerstin Müller, who is set to be the new head of the Tel Aviv office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is affiliated with the Green Party (disclaimer: +972 Magazine has received support from the Heinrich Böll Foundation). The piece cites a rabbi from the Wiesenthal Center who says that “Ms. Müller should relocate to Riyadh, not Tel Aviv.”

There is a back story here: the reporter behind both stories – the one who called politicians and Jewish community leaders asking for their comments on the Green Party questionnaire – is Benjamin Weinthal, who is credited as the Post’s correspondent in Berlin. Weinthal, however, is a paid fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a U.S.-based neo-conservative think tank dedicated to fighting “militant Islamism” through “strategic communication” and similar means – a fact which is conveniently absent from his bio on the Jerusalem Post website. Obviously, neither of Weinthal’s items include a disclosure on his paid affiliation with the think tank.

This week, Weinthal continued his campaign against the German Green party with an op-ed in Haaretz. This time he signed his piece as a “fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,” ommitting the fact that he is supposed to be a reporter for the competition.

Weinthal, who lives in Berlin, is also known for his ties with radical right-wing American-Israeli groups like NGO Monitor, who conduct blacklists of people and organizations that oppose the occupation. In fact, many of Weinthal’s stories are no more than NGO Monitor press releases (examples: herehereherehere, here, herehere). He specifically targets institutions and funds that support human rights organizations in Israel – hence the attacks on the Heinrich Böll Foundation, that has a long track record of working with left-leaning and environmental organizations, as well as with groups who promote co-existence between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The right-leaning Post’s articles serve two causes then: with the worst of accusations and slurs, intimidating European policy-makers who are ready to critically engage with Israel; and undermining the work of the human rights community in Israel through personal attacks on its supporters.

Even those who support Israeli policies should be alarmed by such tactics. By politicizing the memory of the Holocaust or comparing product labelling to the exclusion of Jews from German life, which was followed by their extermination, Weinthal and the Post are seriously undermining the fight against real anti-Semitism, which targets Jews just for being Jews.

This is of little importance to the Post, which was once a decent paper but has mobilized in recent years for the sole cause of defending the occupation and all subsequent policies. The fact that some German politicians and Jewish leaders are ready to take part in this game is much more alarming.

Related:
EU diplomats recommend sanctions against Israeli settlements
Resource: EU Heads of Mission report on Israeli settlements

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  • COMMENTS

    1. rsgengland

      If the NGO Monitor organization can be called “a radical right wing group”, then this author seems to be approaching a state of delusional fantasy.
      NGO Monitor is a group started by Bar Ilan Professor Gerald Steinberg to monitor anti-Israeli activity and reporting, by many NGO’s, and to try to ensure more balance in their activities and reporting.
      If this is called far-right activity, it says more about the authors attitudes and views than anything else.
      It has been proven quite regularly, that without pro-Israel organizations monitoring and reporting on unjust, incorrect, biased or inflammatory articles and actions by these NGOs’,
      the delegitimization and demonisation of Israel would be far more rabid than it is now.

      Reply to Comment
      • shmuel

        NGO monitor is an extreme right-wing organization.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Rose

      To me, it doesn’t matter whether it is labeled as from the occupied territory; because of their horrible occupation of the Palestinian people, I will not buy *anything* that says from Israel. Something I recently bought then discovered the producer was Israel had to go back to the store and my money refunded.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        That is because you are a hypocrite and , apparently, a racist.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      Why would any country need to monitor “Anti-Israeli activity?” [In this case.]

      Unless it was:
      a) Israel is Guilty of crimes it wishes to cover and use a global spying and propaganda machine to keep an eye on those critical of its wretched and racist policies?

      b) Israel is Paranoid about everyone Hating “Das Juden” to the extent it belongs on a Psychiatric chair.

      c) Israel is such a Busy-Body that it loves to believe(needs to believe) everyone just Hates Jews as that is a form a narcissistic self Flattery and helps maintain a Seige like Ghetto mentality and that is how people stay employed monitoring instead of finding real work.

      d) That Jews are intrinsically afraid of being seen as ordinary. For would that to dawn on Israelis that they are just as ordinary and flawed and petty as the rest of humanity, their reason for existence would be of no more importance to any Cosmic Super Agency.
      And everyone wants to feel special.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        A Palestinian NGO headed by Ashrawi recently printed a libel that Jews use Christian blood for Passover.
        A Palestinian Child killed in an accident circa 2006 in Gaza shown as having died in an Israeli attack in 2012.
        Child killed by Palestinian rocket in 2012 in Gaza blamed on Israel.
        The list is endless.
        Without monitoring anti-Israel propaganda, the incessant stream of hatred would be a torrent.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          Miftah was founded by Ashrawi, it is not headed by her.
          Also, rsg, it apologized – how could you forget? http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinian-nonprofit-apologizes-for-blood-libel-article/

          Re Pillar of Whatever, that still leaves about 30 Palestinian children killed by Israel – not counting those killed over the rest of 2012.

          Whether Steinberg is right, extreme right or radical right is meaningless. In today’s Israel the center is not in the middle, there’s no left left and the right is wrong.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Apology is worthless.

            About as worthless as an apology of a husband, who beats his wife.

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        e) Israel is threatened by racists who are constantly dehumanizing Israelis/Jews.
        Ex:
        “Israel is Guilty of crimes it wishes to cover”
        A country can not be guilty of crimes, my racist and uneducated friend.

        “Israel is Paranoid about everyone Hating “Das Juden” to the extent it belongs on a Psychiatric chair”

        Claiming that a country/nation is “psychotic” is racist dehumanization.

        “Israel is such a Busy-Body that it loves to believe(needs to believe) everyone just Hates Jews as that is a form a narcissistic self Flattery and helps maintain a Seige like Ghetto mentality and that is how people stay employed monitoring instead of finding real work.”

        Some senseless mumbling, further dehumanization attempt. Such a shame that you are not too bright and come up with some worthy propaganda slogans.

        “That Jews are intrinsically afraid of being seen as ordinary. For would that to dawn on Israelis that they are just as ordinary and flawed and petty as the rest of humanity, their reason for existence would be of no more importance to any Cosmic Super Agency.
        And everyone wants to feel special.”

        More racist dehumanizational claims. At first some straw-man “Ober Israelis” (and non-humans in that) are created, than it is attempted to beat this image with some fictional nonsense.

        Probably you are aware that dehumanization is one of important steps towards genocide.

        Reply to Comment
        • Khaled Khalid

          Tresspasser (aka Gutless Coward hiding behind anonymity)
          You’ve been doing such a good job of Racist Dehumanizing of Palestinians and anyone else who disagrees with you. I think you wrote the book on it.

          If you want to believe I hate your guts because you are a JEW then go on believing that.
          I hardly think I need lessons from a Double Talking Hasbara Propagandist such as yourself on ethics and morality.

          Go on defending your right wing Self Pitying Religious Cult called “Israel.” The more you come out with this Right Wing Double Talk the more you’re just proving my point.

          (By the way, I’m well aware this site is being monitored by various government agencies in Israel, Mossad, Shin Bet and Right Wing NGO Monitors etc. If I’m being “Racist against Jews” as your say, I’m hardly being smart by using my name so I’m easy to trace. I’m not the one hiding behind anonymity like you. What have you got to hide? Or are you ashamed of your shameless Right-Wing Propaganda activities?)

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            *facepalm*
            It is so difficult to deal with ignorant and semi-literate…

            >Tresspasser (aka Gutless Coward hiding behind anonymity)

            1 – Given that there is tens of thousands of Khaleds Khalids, you are pretty much anonymous as well.

            2 – You do belive that anonimity in internet is defined by user name? Probably you haven’t even heard about IP addresses and such.

            >You’ve been doing such a good job of Racist Dehumanizing of Palestinians

            What “Palestinians”? Palestinian Jews? Palestinian Arabs? Palestinian Samaritans?

            >and anyone else who disagrees with you.

            Dehumanizing whoever disagrees with me?

            *facepalm*
            You don’t even know what dehumanization means.
            You see, when I’m laughing at you, I’m not dehumanizing you – I’m fully accepting that you are a human being – ignorant, uneducated and brainwashed, but a human being nonetheless.

            >I think you wrote the book on it.

            Don’t think. It is not your strongest skill.

            >If you want to believe I hate your guts because you are a JEW then go on believing that.

            I never claimed anything similar, but it is nice to know that you hate my guts for whatever reason.

            >I hardly think …

            Yes. You hardly think. I could not put it better myself.

            >… I need lessons from a Double Talking Hasbara Propagandist such as yourself on ethics and morality.

            You need lessons on pretty much everything, including “Ethics”, “Logics”, “Computer Sciences” and “English Language”

            >Go on defending your right wing Self Pitying Religious Cult called “Israel.”

            Oh, this is a nice dehumanizing slur.

            >The more you come out with this Right Wing Double Talk the more you’re just proving my point.

            Your only point is that Jews have no right for homeland, and that could not be proved.

            >By the way, I’m well aware this site is being monitored by various government agencies in Israel, Mossad, Shin Bet and Right Wing NGO Monitors etc.

            You are not aware of pretty much anything.

            Monitored by Mossad rofl.

            >If I’m being “Racist against Jews” as your say

            No, I’m saying that you are a racist in general, however I ackowledge that racism (as well as chauvinism and homofobia) is inherent to Arab society, so that is not entirely your fault.

            >I’m hardly being smart by using my name so I’m easy to trace.

            On that one I’ll have to agree – not smart at all. But again – your names if far from unique (jeez, what makes you think that there is anything unique about you?) thus you are not quite traceable by your name. However, there are more monitoring technologies than you would ever be able to comprehend.

            >I’m not the one hiding behind anonymity like you.

            Yes, you do.

            >What have you got to hide?

            On, nothing much really. You see, it’s an old habit, from times when computers were big, slow and expencive and online communications were available only to a few chosen.

            >Or are you ashamed of your shameless Right-Wing Propaganda activities?

            What is really shameful in current situation is Palestinian Arabs’ denial of Jewish right for a homeland and Palestinian Arabs’ refusal to declare own state and coexist with Jews, but you are not ashamed, are you?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Carl

      ‘The list is endless.’

      That’s a pretty narrow view of eternity you’ve got there.

      Reply to Comment
    5. ben zakkai

      i knew a guy who worked for FDD and wrote op-eds for them. He turned out to be a mossad agent. Big surprise

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        How do you know that he’s an agent?
        Seen his ID? Paycheck? He admitted?

        Reply to Comment
    6. directrob

      I thought the point was that people that deny that the West Bank is Israel are (completely over the top) called Nazis. No need to call the Israeli Nazi in return. It is not a good start for a new state. You might considering to take those words of your web site. It will not weaken your arguments.

      In web etiquette the one that calls the other Nazi first has lost the discussion.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        I am not offended when my answer to a deleted post is also deleted. Now the comment looks more than a bit silly.

        Reply to Comment
        • Sorry about that. It is the policy of this blog to delete comments making the Nazi analogy (on each side).

          Reply to Comment
          • Piotr Berman

            Now if only JP joined +972 in that de-Nazification of comments.

            I think it was also in JP that an editorial accused the Kingdom of the Netherlands of funding the new Holocaust of Jews, and the details were that they contribute some money to UNWRA.

            Reply to Comment
    7. The Trespasser

      >” Zionism and Nazism: Is there a difference that makes a difference? ” He could just google it.

      Pity that you did not google definitions of Nazism and Zionism.

      “Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus, the first part pronounced as “Nazi”), is a variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism… Nazism claimed that an Aryan master race was superior to all other races.”

      “Zionism is a form of nationalism of Jews and Jewish culture that supports a Jewish nation state in the territory defined as the Land of Israel.[1] Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority in their own nation, and to be liberated from antisemitic discrimination, exclusion, and persecution that had historically occurred in the diaspora.”

      It takes a significant amount of dishonestly to even compare these political movements, and even greater deal of idiocy and racist hatred to mindlessly refer to a such comparison.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gearoid

        Yet Zionism is becoming more closely tied with fascism. You must only look at yourself.

        Hardline nationalism? A security state? Use of military force against people from the non-dominant group? Racial discrimination? A state based SOLELY around one ethnicity/religion?

        Yes, it is a stretch to relate Zionism with Nazism. But Zionism as it is currently practiced shares more than a few tendencies with fascism as a whole, and is only moving more in that direction.

        If you are so worried about the comparison, perhaps you should work to end the Occupation, since that is the primary bit of data supporting the fascist tendencies of right wing Israelis like yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >Yet Zionism is becoming more closely tied with fascism. You must only look at yourself.

          1 – Fascism is not the same as National-socialism.
          2 – Who said that (any form of) fascism is bad?

          >Hardline nationalism?

          Desire to have a nation-state could hardly be considered “hardline nationalism”

          >A security state?

          Irrelevant. Kind neighbours more than once attempted to subject Israelis to genocide, thus security measures.

          >Use of military force against people from the non-dominant group?

          Who are hostile non-citizens. By what standard is it fascism?

          >Racial discrimination?

          Greatly exaggerated. For example, a while ago a group of African refugees, who settled in an Arab village, was beaten and kicked out by Arabs – and it never made it to news websites similar to this one. Needless to say that if same refugees would be beaten by Jews, it would make it to headlines for at least a week.

          >A state based SOLELY around one ethnicity/religion?

          Irrelevant – no other religions are prohibited and rights of all religious groups are respected.

          >Yes, it is a stretch to relate Zionism with Nazism. But Zionism as it is currently practiced shares more than a few tendencies with fascism as a whole, and is only moving more in that direction.

          You are representing it like evil Zionists are evil simply because they are evil inherently, and not considering EXTREMELY racist neighbours which we do have around here.

          >If you are so worried about the comparison, perhaps you should work to end the Occupation

          The occupation – from Palestinian Arab point of view – had stated in 1948 and could only be ended by the destruction of the State of Israel.

          >since that is the primary bit of data supporting the fascist tendencies of right wing Israelis like yourself.

          No. The primary bit of data supporting the fascist tendencies is Arabs’ determination to subject Jewish population of Israel to a genocide.

          Reply to Comment
    8. Bonnie

      I seems to me, those settlers are animals, why would anybody want to buy products from them? You don’t know whether they wash their hands, or how clean their foods are, or the containers.

      When you think that those settlers put raw sewage in the water going to the Palestinians, what else are you to think?

      Their talmudic laws say, they shoudl cheat and lie to the goyim.

      So, really, why should we buy those products from the ILLEGAL settlers?

      Reply to Comment
    9. That’s good news that the government of israel has confirmed that it doesn’t view the settlements as part of the European-Israeli trade agreement.

      Reply to Comment
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