Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Report on Summit of Americas in Panama

Nil NIKANDROV | 14.04.2015 | 09:49
The seventh Summit of the Americas was held at Panama City, Panama, on April 10–11, 2015. President Barack Obama shook hands and chatted with Cuban President Raul Castro. The handshake to symbolize the normalization of relations between the two countries was the main event at the Americas top level meeting. It’s hard to say how long the process will last. There is a history of hostility and mistrust, many Cubans suffered as a result of US-imposed blockade of island – it cannot be instantly forgotten. US Congress has not deleted Cuba from the list of the countries sponsoring terrorism. If it takes place, then Washington and Havana will exchange ambassadors. 
The major part of the address delivered by Raul Castro was devoted not to the relations with the United States, but rather to the strategic tasks related to Latin American and Caribbean integration. He noted that the second summit of CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), that took place in Havana in 2014, declared Latina America and the Caribbean a zone of peace. According to him, it was an important step on the way to reaching stability on the continent. Many other organizations, besides CELAC, pursue the goal of integration, for instance: UNASUR (the Union of South America Nations), CARICOM (the Caribbean Community), MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market), ALBA (the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) and some others. 
Cuban President Raul Castro told the Summit of the Americas on April 11 that US President Barack Obama, who was in attendance, is an «honest man» as the leaders seek to restore diplomatic ties. «Barack Obama had no responsibility for this [Cuba’s blockade]», Castro said. «I again assure President Obama that we are set to participate in the dialogue and work on bilateral relations as the civilized world takes it», the Cuban leader added. «The U.S. President’s words that Cuba should be removed from the list of states sponsors of terrorism are a positive step forward. But our country should have never been on that list». At the same time, Castro noted that «Havana will protect the ideas which have come to the Cubans through sufferings and dangers». «We will continue modernization of Cuba’s economy so as to promote socialism and to strive for justice for the Cubans», the President said. 
The conflict between the United States and Venezuela was in focus. The deterioration of relations was sparked by the fact that on March 9 U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order which declared Venezuela a national security threat. It was perceived as the demonstration of hostile intent towards the Bolivarian regime by Venezuela and other Latin American states. Signatures were gathered to protest the executive order. Venezuelan President Maduro warned that his country intended to stand up to US imperialism. The United States clearly wanted to avoid confrontation. The top counselor in the U.S. State Department, Thomas Shannon, traveled to Caracas to meet with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The meeting lasted for almost three hours…
Upon his arrival at Panama City Maduro went to El Chorrillo Neighborhood paying a visit to a monument honoring victims of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. The barbarous attack on the central headquarters of the Panamanian defense forces (La Comandancia) touched off several fires, one of which destroyed most of the adjoining and heavily populated El Chorrillo neighborhood in downtown Panama City. The intervention was explained by the need to overthrow President Manuel Noriega who had faithfully served Washington for a long time to be finally declared a dictator and a drug trafficker. Thousands of Panamanians were killed and wounded. Their families are still waiting for the reparations to be paid by the United States. Maduro laid a wreath at the monument. He met the relatives of the dead and promised to convey their messages to Obama. The US President missed the Maduro’s address to the summit. Maduro said he respected Obama, no matter he has committed an act of aggression against Venezuela. He called on the US leader to cancel the executive order and said he was ready to shake hands with the US counterpart. The hand shake did take place. A chat lasted a few minutes. Obama assured Maduro that the United States did not intend to intimidate Caracas. According to him, Washington supported democracy, stability and prosperity in the whole region. 
Obama tried to insert some changes into traditional US Latin America policy. He promised not to meddle into internal affairs of other countries in the continent. «We are respectful of the differences among our countries», Mr. Obama said at the Summit of the Americas. «The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past», the US President said. Obama admitted that his country was not an ideal when it comes to human rights issues, «It’s not to say that my country’s perfect, we are not. And that’s the point», Mr. Obama said. «We have to wrestle with our own challenges from issues of race to policing to inequality. We embrace our ability to become better through our democracy».
Rafael Correa, the President of Ecuador, immediately explained the reason for pliability of Obama, «We will no longer tolerate interferences, interventions or unilateralisms, nor we will ever be backyard to anybody, specified the head of State during the closing ceremony of the Summit of the Peoples which sessioned in Panama in parallel to the Summit of the Americas». «We speak more of the present, the ridiculous decree of the United States to declare Venezuela a menace to its national security in the 21st Century», asserted the President. He noted that the anti-Venezuelan decree was a gross violation of international law and the Charter of the Organization of American States, «It all about elementary norms of coexistence, of respecting the own OAS Charter, that bans the interference of some over the others, unilateralism, the beginning to revere international law and the coexistence between nations».
Correa proposed to solve regional issues through the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and leave the OAS as a forum to present conflicts with North America.
Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, said the United States should stop acting like an empire. The Bolivia’s leader called on Obama to leave the double standards behind and stop putting forward ultimatums and resorting to the policy of terror. Morales emphasized that the nations were changing. Latina America and the Caribbean are not what they used to be, it has become impossible to impose military dictatorships on them anymore. The region has stopped being subservient and submissive. The vibrant continent strives for self-determination. «We are no longer submissive. No longer can coups be imposed in our countries, as we are a region seeking to determine its own future … We are no longer the shadow of U.S. imperialism, as we say what we think and we do what we say. We ask that you respect our democracy and our sovereignty», he said. Morales asked the United States to stop turning the world into a battlefield. The only one who gains from wars is financial tyranny. He lambasted the US for preaching democracy at the time when America daily breached the human rights of millions on the planet. According to him, the United States was the country «that resorts to torture more than any other country», he said, questioning the human rights discourse of Washington when justifying interventionist policies against another nation. 
The representatives of opposition from many states of the continent gathered in Panama with the help of State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. Behind the curtain Obama met Cuban dissidents and representatives of non-government organizations from other countries. He promised them unconditional support. Cacerolazo (a metallic tapping, a cacophony of clanging pots and pans) filled the air in Panama City at the time of the summit. Normally Venezuelan opposition uses it to protest the government policy. Nobody is dying of hunger in Venezuela, but the opposition must earn its keep. Probably rebroadcasting transmitters were used to make the noise produced by protesters louder. 
The Obama’s flexibility did not mean a big thing in reality. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said the anti-Venezuelan decree would not be called off. She was among the first to report there will be no final declaration of the summit because it was hard to work out a final document all the participants would agree with. Indeed, no compromise on the final declaration was found. 
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez wanted a condemnation of the sanctions imposed on his country by the United States to be part of the introduction. President Maduro said not a single country of the region would endorse the unjustified sanctions introduced by Washington. Finally the United States and Canada blocked the declaration. It is not the first time a document is blocked. In 2005 the summit was characterized for a regional opposition against the Bush Jr. sponsored FTAA (the Free Trade Area of the Americas). Since then the summit never arrived at common agreements. The next summit of Americas is slated for 2018. It will take place in Peru. 

Ukraine: The Truth

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 14.04.2015 | 21:14
Reuters headline, April 9: “Ukraine sets sights on joining NATO.”
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty headline, April 9: “Far-Right Leader Names Ukrainian Military Adviser.”
Moscow’s official line on Ukraine—and it should not be dismissed just because that’s what it is—is that the U.S. has spent about $ 5 billion backing “regime change” in that sad, bankrupt country, ultimately resulting in a coup d’etat (or putsch) in Kiev in February 2014 in which neo-fascists played a key role. The coup occurred because the U.S. State Department and Pentagon hoped to replace the democratically elected administration with one that would push for Ukraine’s entry into NATO, a military alliance designed from its inception in 1949 to challenge Russia. The ultimate intent was to evict the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the bases it’s maintained on the Crimean Peninsula for over 230 years.
Personally, I believe this interpretation is basically true, and that any rational person should recognize that it’s true. Victoria Nuland, the neocon thug who serves as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and is the key official shaping U.S. Ukraine policy, openly admitted to an “international business conference on Ukraine” in December 2013 that Washington had “invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine achieve [the development of democratic institutions] and other goals.”
She repeated this assertion in an CNN interview, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has proudly reiterated it as well on cable news. The unspoken goal was Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
(Imagine if a top-ranking official in the Russian Foreign Ministry were to boast of a $ 5 billion Russian investment in undermining the Mexican or Canadian government, with an aim towards incorporating one of those countries into an expanding military alliance. John McCain and Fox News would be demanding the immediate nuking of Moscow.)
Russia, as you know, has relatively few naval bases for a country its size. These face the Barents and Baltic Seas to the north, surrounding Scandinavia. In 1904, when Russian forces were attacked by the Japanese navy at Port Arthur in Manchuria, Russia had to dispatch the Baltic fleet to the region in a voyage requiring six months (and ending in the disastrous Battle of Tsushima). Russian geography poses obstacles to a strong navy.
There is one Russian naval base in Astrakhan on the landlocked Caspian Sea (which is really a vast lake, from which one can sail to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran or Azerbaijan but nowhere beyond). And there are several bases in or near Vladivostok on the Siberian Pacific coast, which is iced over part of the year, as well as bases on the Kamchatka Peninsula north of Japan. Russia has a modest naval base at Tartus on the Syrian coast, and a logistics base in Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam. But the only bases with ready access to the Mediterranean and thence the Atlantic or Indian oceans are those in and around Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea.
Compare the U.S. with over 30 major naval bases on its east and west coasts and Hawaii, and others—some of them huge—in Japan, Italy, Cuba, Bahrain, Diego Garcia and elsewhere! There are more naval bases in the state of California than in the entirety of the Russian Federation.
The U.S. has military personnel stationed in about 130 countries in the world—that is, in two-thirds of the countries who are members of the UN. In contrast, Russia has military forces stationed in, by my count, ten foreign countries, eight of them on its borders. And yet the U.S. press and political class depict Russia and specifically its president Vladimir Putin, a threatening juggernaut. (Just as they once did Saddam Hussein, that lame creature demonized as—as the warmongers always do, before attacking and destroying him—“a new Hitler.”)
Any student at a U.S. university, enrolled in an interdisciplinary program in “international relations” (and educated, as is the norm, by political scientists of the “realist” school) is likely to conclude that—leaving aside the vilified personality of Putin—any Russian leader would insist on retaining the Crimean military assets. Anyone at all! Retention of that historic real estate is a no-brainer. Any outsiders with designs on it (which would include the hawks leading the U.S. Republican Party) are simply unrealistic if not brain-dead.
How could any Russian leader say to Victoria Nuland, “Fine, go ahead, take it,” and hand over this ethnic-Russian region—locus of the Crimean War of 1853-56 and some of the bloodiest battles against the Nazis in World War II, locus of the fateful Yalta meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in February 1945–to forces overtly hostile to Russia? Forces that moreover are inclined to praise Ukrainian fascists who during World War II collaborated with the Nazis, even rounding up Jews for the slaughter at their bidding?
The Reuters article referenced above confirms the intention of the U.S-installed regime to formally apply for NATO membership. It cites Oleksander Turchynov, head of the new regime’s national security council, as stating to the parliament that NATO membership was “the only reliable external guarantee” of Ukrainian “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” (As though Russia, which had a cordial relationship with the previous President Viktor Yanukovich—who, let us repeat, was elected in a poll universally regarded as legitimate and democratic in 2010—has in recent times challenged the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine or any other country!)
It thus validates the key Russian charge that this is all about NATO—the NATO that, following George H. W. Bush’s promise to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that the alliance would not advance “one inch” towards Russia’s borders has in fact advanced to surround European Russia since 1999. NATO now includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Albania, all expected by group rules to devote 2% of their GDPs to the mutual “defense” effort.
If it does not include Russia’s other neighbors, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia, it is not for lack of trying. The “National Endowment for Democracy” (a “private, non-profit organization” used by the State Department to fund regime change abroad) has sought to draw all of them into NATO. As though this were the most natural thing in the world, for all peoples living in countries bordering Russia to aspire to join an anti-Russian alliance!
Nuland’s talking points for popular consumption on Ukraine include the assertion that the U.S. supports “the Ukrainian people’s European aspirations.” She ignores the fact that the country is deeply divided between east and west, and that in the east there are substantial “Russian aspirations” deeply rooted in a history she does not and indeed disdains to even try to understand. She also conceals the fact that U.S. support for regime change in Ukraine, leading up to the February 22, 2014 coup, was not really based on U.S. support for Ukraine’s entry in the European Union.
The EU is a trading bloc that challenges the U.S. and NAFTA. In a world of imperialist competition for markets and resources, the EU and the U.S. often disagree. Washington is angry that EU members Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg are all joining the Chinese-led investment bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), mainly because it’s likely to boost the Chinese currency and contribute to the decline of the dollar as the international reserve currency. Congress fumes over the EU’s refusal to allow importation of Monsanto’s genetically modified food products. The U.S. State Department is not in the business of promoting EU membership. That’s not what this is about.
In 2013 Hillary Clinton’s State Department seized on the decision made by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to back away from a deal he’d initialed with the EU. His advisors told him the austerity regime the EU would impose would be unacceptable, while Russia offered a generous aid package including continued supply of cheap gas.
Yanukovich’s decision to opt for the latter option was based on economic logic, and eminently defensible in economic terms. But the U.S. actively fanned the flames of a movement which depicted Yanukovich’s decision as a betrayal of Ukrainian nationhood and a statement of fealty to Russia. Hence Nuland’s oft repeated sound bite about “European aspirations.” As though Ukraine hadn’t always been part of Europe! As though “Europe” were some shining star, and all those horrible inflictions of terror on the Ukrainian Socialist Republic by European fascists during the 1940s were irrelevant. And as though submission to a Greek-style EU-inspired austerity regime would bring relief to the suffering Ukrainian masses.
In fact, Nuland’s own thoughts on “European aspirations” were sweetly summarized in her phone conversation with U.S. ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt just before the putsch in early February 2014. Quite probably leaked by Russian intelligence, and never disavowed by the State Department, the recording shows how Nuland had hand-picked the current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, for his post over rivals Oleh Tyanybok (leader of the neo-fascist Svoboda Party, who has publically inveighed against the “Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine” and referred to “Muscovites” and Jews as “scum) and Vitali Klitschko, a former boxer and sometimes anti-corruption activist.
In the phone call, Pyatt tells her “I think we’re in play,” meaning everything’s set for a coup. “The Kitschko piece is obviously the complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister…I’m glad you sort of put him on the spot as to where he fits into this scenario.” Pyatt had apparently informed Kitschko that despite some EU backing, he was not a suitable candidate for the U.S. (In the call, Nuland blandly asserts that he needs more time “to do his homework.”)
Nuland wanted to marginalize Klitschko, who in the coup’s aftermath was awarded (as consolation prize) the post of Kiev mayor, She wanted to make sure that the former Minister of the Economy, Yatsenyuk, advocate of severe austerity measures and proponent of NATO membership, succeeded Yanukovich.
The phone call makes clear that Nuland had recruited UN officials to endorse the regime change.
Towards the end of the conversation, Nuland tells Pyatt “OK,” signaling that the two agreed on the general strategy. She then alludes to the welcome complicity of several other assets: Jeff Feltman, Robert Serry, and Ban Ki-moon.
She reports that Jeff Feltman has “now gotten both Serry and Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday.” Meaning: to help facilitate the coup and validate it afterwards.
Who are these people? Geoffrey Feltman, a career U.S. diplomat, was at the time the UN Under Secretary-General of Political Affairs. He is perhaps best known for his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon between 2004 and 2008 when he exercised so much influence that Hizbollah—echoed by other parties—referred to the Fouad Siniora government as the “Feltman government.”
Robert Serry is a Dutch diplomat who served as NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General of Foreign Crisis Management and Operations between 2003 and 2005 and also had been Dutch ambassador to Ukraine. An advocate of Dutch participation in the Iraq War based on lies, he was a reliable U.S. ally.
Ban Ki-moon is of course the UN Secretary-General who, as South Korea’s foreign minister, pressed for the deployment of South Korean troops in that same Iraq war based on lies. We know from Wikileaks that, prompted by the U.S., he urged the UN Security Council to ignore the UN Board of Inquiry’s report on the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2008-2009 to avoid U.S. and Israeli embarrassment. It’s safe to call him a reliable U.S. puppet.
Towards the end of the intercepted phone call Nuland signs off: “So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.” Fuck them, that is to say, if their ideas about Ukraine’s future differ from our own.
So much for respect for anybody’s “European aspirations.”
In the same phone call, Nuland notes that Yatsenyev “will need Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside, he needs to be talking to them four times a week.” One has to ask: what’s more disgusting, the fact that the U.S. State Department would so attempt to micro-manage a regime change in a sovereign state, or that this neocon Nuland (who just so happens to be Jewish) representing the U.S. government, would urge the U.S. puppet to routinely network with a neo-fascist who describes Jews as “scum”?
In this case, commitment to the expansion of NATO cause plainly trumps the resistance to anti-Semitism cause. Nuland ought to be ashamed of herself.
When confronted last May in a House hearing by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher with photographic evidence of the role of neo-Nazis in the Maidan events, Nuland acknowledged that “there were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors.” She didn’t mention her own photos with Tyahnybok, all smiles, or her instruction to “Yats” to be on the phone with him four times a week.
The Radio Free Europe article referenced above begins: “The controversial leader of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector paramilitary group has been named an army adviser.  Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Oleksey Mazepa announced on April 6 that Dmytro Yarosh would ‘act as a link between volunteer battalions and the General Staff.’ Yarosh’s Right Sector militia claims to have some 10,000 members, but so far has not officially registered with the government as other paramilitary forces have done. The Right Sector militia is fighting alongside Ukrainian government troops against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.”
The neo-fascist Right Sector was formed in 2013 during the Maidan protests in Kiev, amalgamating a number of groups aligned to the Svoboda Party. As the latter was striving for international respectability, its leaders meeting with Nuland and John McCain among others, the Right Sector functioned as its violent activist contingent. It was almost certainly involved in sniper fire on the square, attributed to the regime and used to validate its overthrow.
Now its head is awarded a government post, to coordinate the actions of the right-wing militias (most notoriously the Azov Battalion, which proudly sports Nazi insignia and has attacked civilian targets in east Ukraine). Does this not validate the Russian charge that there is a strong fascist component to the regime?
The situation is complicated. The neo-fascist shock troops deployed to pull off the putsch are not in favor of EU membership. They don’t want its tolerance for diversity, its immigration rules. They have a vision of White Power manifest in their varied symbols, that include Confederate flags, certain Celtic crosses, and swastikas. They might not even favor NATO membership. But as the Radio Free Europe article indicates, their support is valued and needed by the regime.
No matter that Dmytro Yarosh is wanted by Interpol for “public incitement to terrorist activities” for threatening to destroy Russian pipelines in Ukraine. He’s a necessary part of a team, and Washington backs the team. And the State Department and captive media pooh-pooh any suggestion that there’s any fascism here, or any underhanded effort to encircle Russia. It’s all about Ukrainian “freedom,” supported by its benign self, which has in recent memory visited such memorable liberations on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
There is a fascist-friendly regime in Ukraine, ushered into power by the U.S. State Department. And it does want to enter NATO, and weaken Russia—if possible, by re-establishing control over Crimea and booting the Russian fleet out. Given German opposition to its admission into the alliance, it is doubtful that will occur short-term.
But with crazies running the U.S. State Department, successfully promoting a bogus narrative about what’s happened in Ukraine over the last two years—a narrative echoed slavishly by a clueless mainstream media—it’s just barely conceivable that there might come a day in which U.S. forces join the Azov Battalion in battling forces of the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.
It won’t have anything to do with “freedom,” any more than the last few U.S. wars have had anything to do with that abstraction. It will be about imperial expansion, which while it might serve the .01% that rules this country, is not in your interest at all.
GARY LEUPP, counterpunch.org

Wider den bösartig hetzerischen Umgang mit Günter Grass, nachdem dieser 2012 sagte, was gesatgt werden msste:

"Über den Antisemitismus bei Günter Grass" http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/2012/06/13/grass-11/ 

(Dies ist nur eine der vielen Webseiten über die die Zionisten gebieten, um ihre Kritiker mundtot zu machen. Wir  trauern um Günter Grass und um das Andenken des Dichters zu ehren, bitten  wir um kritische Lektüre und Einspruch gegen die unten dokumentierte Verleumdung. )

Am 11. Juni 2012 erhielt Johano Strasser, Schriftsteller, SPD-Politiker und Präsident des deutschen P.E.N. (Poets Essayists Novelists) die Gelegenheit, seine Verteidigung von Günter Grass, dem Ehrenpräsidenten des deutschen P.E.N., zu begründen.
Unter der Überschrift „Antisemitismus – oder Sorge um Israel? Was bleibt nach dem ,Aufschrei aus dem Schweigen‘ von Günter Grass?“ hatten die Evangelische Akademie der Nordelbischen Kirche und die Katholische Akademie Hamburg zur Debatte geladen. Mitdiskutanten waren Prof. Moshe Zimmermann von der Hebräischen Universität Jerusalem sowie Ulrich Hentschel, der Leiter des „Arbeitsbereich Erinnerungskultur“ der Evangelischen Akademie.
Johano Strasser, Mitglied der SPD-Grundwertekommission, stritt jeden Zusammenhang zwischen Grass-Gedicht und Antisemitismus ab. Grass habe diesmal – im Falle der „Erben der Opfer“ – sein Schweigen auch deshalb brechen wollen, weil er während der Nazizeit über das Verschwinden seiner verfolgten Klassenkameraden geschwiegen habe. Für die Mitgliedschaft des späteren Nobelpreisträgers in der Waffen-SS fand Strasser eine freundliche Umschreibung: „Er hatte Waffen-SS-Uniform getragen“ – rein äußerlich, versteht sich.
Warum dann das Grass-Gedicht so umstritten war? Johano Strasser: „Viele wollten mit Grass eine Rechnung begleichen – deshalb die Waffe des Antisemitismus.“ Der Vorwurf des Antisemitismus sei ein „diskussionsverweigernder Verdacht“, denn: „Kritik an Israel ist nicht antisemitisch.“
Begriffe, wie den des „sekundären Antisemitismus“ lehnte Strasser ab. Er sei dagegen, die Bezeichnung Antisemitismus „hilfsweise zu erweitern“, werde doch bei einer derartigen „Interpretationskunst“ der echte, der „harte Antisemitismus“ verharmlost. Man müsse sich „auf das konzentrieren, was Antisemitismus tatsächlich“ sei, anstatt „die Übergänge“ zu betonen.
Was aber Antisemitismus tatsächlich ist, lässt sich noch am besten den „Protokollen der Weisen von Zion“ entnehmen, jenem Klassiker, der für Hitler der Leitfaden war. Die „Juden“, heißt hier, werden, „sobald ein nichtjüdischer Staat es wagt, [ihnen] Widerstand zu leisten, … den Weltkrieg entfesseln.“
Günter Grass griff diesen Grundgedanken auf und versah ihn mit seinem manierierten Ton: „Warum sage ich erst jetzt, gealtert und mit letzter Tinte: Die Atommacht Israel gefährdet den ohnehin brüchigen Weltfrieden? Weil gesagt werden muss, was morgen schon zu spät sein könnte.“
Strasser gibt sich radikal, wenn er die Kritiker des Grass-Gedichts bezichtigt, mit angeblich inflationären Vorwürfen den „eigentlichen“ Antisemitismus zu „verharmlosen“. Dass der „eigentliche“ Antisemitismus aber in eben jenem Gedicht enthalten ist, welches er so wortreich verteidigt; dass er nolens volens den „eigentlichen“ Antisemitismus also in Schutz nimmt, das sieht er nicht – denn: „Kritik an Israel ist nicht antisemitisch.“ Basta.
Nur in einem Punkt war Strasser über Grass empört: Er habe mit der Schwerpunktsetzung seines Gedichts „die Politik Netanjahus bedient.“ Denn es gehöre zu dessen Politik, mit der „Kriegspropaganda“ vom „eigentlichen Skandal, der Siedlungspolitik“, abzulenken.
Ulrich Hentschel vertrat die Gegenposition. Wer von einer „Keule des Antisemitismus“ rede, versuche, die Debatte zu ersticken. Grass habe in der Tat „antisemitische Klischees“ bedient und er habe „dies nicht unwissentlich“ gemacht.
So basiere die „emotionale Wucht des Gedichts“ darauf, dass sich Grass als „Opfer“ stilisiere. „Wer straft? Wer zwingt? Wer erpresst? Wer tabuisiert? Von wem geht die Lüge aus?“ Die derart in die Welt gesetzten Gerüchte regten Phantasien an, um bekannte Feindbilder zu mobilisieren.
„Wir sind als Deutsche antisemitisch konnotiert“ betonte Hentschel und plädierte für einen Umgang mit der Judenfeindschaft, der die allseitige „antisemitische Prägung und Beeinflussung“ selbstkritisch reflektiert.
Moshe Zimmermann gab Hentschel in der Beurteilung des Grass-Gedichtes recht: „Grass wollte Assoziationen befördern, die vorprogrammiert waren.“ Die Logik, wonach Israel den Weltfrieden bedrohe, sei der NS-Propaganda entnommen, die stets die Juden für den Zweiten Weltkrieg verantwortlich gemacht hätten.
Grass habe mit dem Antisemitismus gespielt. Die Abwehr der Deutschen, dies zur Kenntnis zu nehmen, erinnere ihn an die Abwehr der Araber, die von sich behaupteten, als „Semiten“ keine Antisemiten sein zu können.
Aus israelischer Sicht sei der Antisemitismus in Deutschland aber eher ein Nebenproblem. Im Vergleich mit anderen Ländern in Westeuropa und besonders Mitteleuropa stehe Deutschland nicht besonders negativ da. Gefährlich seien die Araber und der Iran. Von ihnen gegen heute eine Gefahr aus, die mit der Gefahr, die Deutschland in den 30er Jahre darstellte, vergleichbar sei.
Zimmermann kritisierte die „deutsche Nabelschau“ und frage die zahlreich Anwesenden in seiner Schlussbemerkung: „Warum sind Sie heute abend gekommen? Wollten Sie bestätigt wissen, keine Antisemiten zu sein? Oder wollten Sie gewarnt werden, wie groß hier der Antisemitismus ist?“
Ich fand es schon richtig, das Grass-Gedicht und dessen Wirkung zur Diskussion zu stellen. Immerhin wurden an diesem Abend – auch in den Publikumsbeiträgen – zahlreiche, zuweilen versteckte Elemente des Machwerks zur Kenntlichkeit gebracht. Strasser hatte in der Rolle des Beschwichtigers einen schweren Stand; die Hymne eines Teilnehmers – „Das Gedicht ist genial!“ – blieb isoliert.
Gleichwohl traf Zimmermanns Vorwurf einer „Nabelschau“ zu. „Wer wen bedroht ist heute nicht das Thema“ – hatten die Veranstalter in ihren Eröffnungsworten postuliert. Man kann aber die Grass-Debatte von ihrem materiellen Hintergrund – der iranischen Atomwaffe und den Möglichkeiten, diese noch zu vereiteln – nicht trennen. Die Frage, ob Iran den jüdischen Staat bedroht, oder Israel den riesigen Iran – diese Frage ist zentral.
Das Anliegen der Veranstalter, an diesem Abend hierüber NICHT zu sprechen, zeugt von der großen Verunsicherung, die die Möglichkeit eines israelischen Präventivschlags gegen nukleare Installationen auch bei jenen, die sich dem Land verbunden wissen, erzeugt. Dass Ulrich Hentschel im Laufe der Debatte nicht Iran, sondern Pakistan und Moshe Zimmermann nicht das Mullah-Regime, sondern den Palästina-Konflikt zum „eigentlichen Problem“ erklärten, hat jene Unsicherheit verstärkt.
Wer über die Bedrohung Israels durch den Iran und über das in Deutschland emblematische Feindbild „Netanjahu“ nicht sprechen will, ist schon dabei, die von einer Teilnehmerin kritisierten „Herzenskälte“ gegenüber den Menschen in Israel, die zu den Kennzeichen des Grass-Elaborats gehört, zu befördern."
* Matthias Küntzel (born 1955), is a German author and a political scientist. He is a research associate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations DGAP, ...
From 1984 to 1988, Küntzel was a senior advisor of the Federal Parliamentary Fraction of Germany’s Green Party. He was member of the German Communist Union (Kommunistischer Bund) and part of the Anti-Germans movement.[1] Wikipedia

Assistance to Palestinian Women: UN ECOSOC/Draft Resolution

United Nations
Economic and Social Council
Commission on the Status of Women Fifty-ninth session
9-20 March 2015
Agenda item 3 (c)

Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century: gender mainstreaming, situations and programmatic matters
South Africa* and State of Palestine:** draft resolution Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
On behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China.
In accordance with rule 69 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council.

Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A.
Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

The Commission on the Status of Women recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft resolution:
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

 See full text: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=E/CN.6/2015/L.2