Hate crimes of the Zionist EU - European Union

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Hate crimes of the Zionist EU - European Union

Post by TonyGosling »

EU pledges to help Israel suppress criticism

Ali Abunimah Power Suits 26 June 2017
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/al ... -criticism

EU’s Vera Jourova met on 26 June with Israeli justice minister Ayelet Shaked, whose 2014 Facebook post called for genocide of Palestinians. (via Twitter)
The European Union is pledging to help Israel crack down on critical speech.

During a visit to the Israeli foreign ministry in Jerusalem this week, EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova lauded efforts to remove so-called hate speech from online forums.

Jourova said that Europe had made “substantial progress” in removing “illegal hate speech” through cooperation with technology firms.

Her visit was billed as part of the EU’s cooperation with Israel aimed at “combating racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Her Israeli host, foreign ministry director general Yuval Rotem stated, “Israel believes that the IT industry needs to take on greater responsibility in the proactive effort to detect hate speech online.”

Target is criticism of Israel
But while genuinely combating hate speech might be laudable, the evidence is that this initiative is more about trying to suppress criticism of Israel.

The joint statement issued by the EU and Israel places their effort in the context of the European Parliament’s recent endorsement of the so-called International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on anti-Semitism and calls for using it “for better training of law enforcement and government.”

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is virtually identical to the one originally drawn up by pro-Israel lobbyists as part of an exercise coordinated by a European Union agency.

That definition was never formally adopted by the EU.

But it was embraced by the US State Department in 2010 and Israel lobbyists have continued to push institutions and governments around the world, including the US Congress, to formally endorse it.

It contains the uncontroversial statement that anti-Semitism “is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and which may be manifested through rhetorical or physical attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions.

But the definition is flanked by an explanatory memorandum, citing examples that muddy the waters between anti-Semitism – bigotry against Jews – on the one hand, and criticism of Israel and its state ideology Zionism, on the other.

Those examples include “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

This could mean that arguing for a single, democratic non-sectarian state in historic Palestine in which Jews, Muslims and Christians enjoy equal protection amounts to anti-Semitism.

It also implies that accurately cataloguing the racist laws and principles Israel is founded on – especially the denial of the right of return of Palestinian refugees solely because they are not Jewish – could be deemed anti-Semitic.

“Bewilderingly imprecise”
“The definition deliberately elides the difference between criticizing Jews for imagined negative characteristics, and criticizing Israel for very real negative behaviors,” the Jewish-led activist group Free Speech on Israel wrote to European Parliament lawmakers in March. This is no accident. “The construction of a defensive shield against advocacy by and on behalf of Palestinians is the specific purpose that the definition was created for,” Free Speech on Israel added.

David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London, has called the definition “bewilderingly imprecise” and the accompanying examples dangerous because they may “place the onus on Israel’s critics to demonstrate they are not anti-Semitic.”

Even the lead author of the original definition, former American Jewish Committee executive Kenneth Stern, has strongly opposed efforts to enshrine it in legislation.

In a letter to members of the US Congress last December, Stern warned that giving the definition legal status would be “unconstitutional and unwise”

Stern highlighted the difficulty with legislating against political opinions, asking, “If denying the right of Israel to exist is enshrined as anti-Semitism by law, would Congress then pass parallel legislation defining opposition to a Palestinian state as anti-Palestinianism?”

Stern stated that the original definition he had drafted “was never intended to be used to limit speech … it was written for European data collectors to have a guideline for what to include and what to exclude in reports.”

Yet the EU is now signalling that it plans to use the definition to train police, who will presumably use it to monitor and punish citizens’ utterances.

Ignoring Israeli incitement
Israel and its supporters have long pressured social media companies, especially Facebook, to crack down on Palestinians, and the company has in the past blocked the accounts of Palestinian journalists.

Israel has routinely jailed Palestinians for expressing opposition to its policies in online forums.

During her visit, the EU’s Jourova met Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli justice minister.

Jourova tweeted that her meeting with Shaked would herald “deeper EU-Israel cooperation.”

In 2014, Shaked notoriously promoted a call for genocide of the Palestinians on Facebook.

Shaked’s posting declared that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justified its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

The posting also called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

The EU has never launched an initiative to hold Israeli leaders accountable for their pervasive racist and genocidal incitement, whether against Palestinians or refugees and asylum seekers from African states.

But Israel can count on the EU to help in its thought-policing and punishment of criticism of its regime of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism.
Last edited by TonyGosling on Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by TonyGosling »

European court rules employers can ban women from wearing Islamic headscarves and religious symbols
Judges find workplace rules governing all political and religious clothing is not discriminatory

Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden Tuesday 14 March 2017 15:15 GMT
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 28626.html

Two women from France and Belgium brought case after being dismissed from work for refusing to remove headscarves

The European Court of Justice has ruled that companies can ban employees from wearing the Islamic headscarf, but only as part of prohibitions including other religious and political symbols.

It is the first case of its kind amid a series of legal disputes over the right for Muslim women to wear the hijab at work.

“An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the court said in a statement.

“However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer's services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination.”

The Luxembourg-based court found that a headscarf ban may also constitute “indirect discrimination” if people adhering to a particular religion or belief, such as Muslims, are put at a particular disadvantage.

But indirect discrimination is permissible if it is “objectively justified by a legitimate aim”, such as a company's policy of neutrality, provided that the means of achieving it are appropriate and necessary.

François Fillon, the conservative candidate in the French presidential election, hailed the ruling as “an immense relief” that would contribute to “social peace”.

But a campaign group backing the women said it could shut many Muslim women out of the workforce and European rabbis said the court had worsened rising hate crime by sending a message that “faith communities are no longer welcome”.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, said: “This decision sends a signal to all religious groups in Europe.”

The United Sikhs advocacy group said the “disturbing” ruling allowed employers to override fundamental human rights.

Theresa May backs Muslim women's right to wear a headscarf
Mejindarpal Kaur, the group's international legal director, said that although the ECJ only allowed for rules with “legitimate aims”, “we fear that employers will treat it as a licence to discriminate at the point of hire”.

Amnesty International welcomed the ruling on the French case that “employers are not at liberty to pander to the prejudices of their clients” but said bans on religious symbols opened “a backdoor to precisely such prejudice”.

Two employees in Belgium and France had brought the case to the ECJ after being dismissed for refusing to remove their headscarves, which did not cover the face.

The Belgian woman had been working as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions, which has a general ban on wearing visible religious or political symbols, while the French claimant is an IT consultant who was told to remove her headscarf after a client complained.

The G4S dispute, which started in 2006, was originally based on an “unwritten rule” banning employees wearing signs of their political, philosophical or religious beliefs, and the company’s workplace regulations were not updated until a day after the woman started wearing a hijab.

Although they apply to all beliefs, the ECJ said it was “not inconceivable” that such rules could be deemed indirect discrimination for targeting Islam over other religions and referred the issue back to the Belgian Court of Cassation.

The French claimant, a design engineer for Micropole, was asked to stop wearing her headscarf to maintain neutrality after a client’s complaint but refused and was dismissed.

Hijabs are headscarves that cover the hair, leaving the face open (AFP/Getty)
The ECJ referred the case back to the French Court of Cassation to establish whether the move was a “genuine and determining occupational requirement” and whether there were any formal rules in place that meet non-discrimination requirements.

The court's advocate general recommended that companies should be allowed to prohibit headscarves as long as a general ban on other symbols was in place, theoretically applying to Sikh turbans, Jewish kippas and Christian crucifixes.

Their advice in the French case was that a rule banning employees from wearing religious symbols when in contact with customers was discrimination, particularly when it only applied to Islamic headscarves.

Jonathan Chamberlain, an employment lawyer at Gowling WLG, said the decision brings the EU into line with what has been the UK's approach for several years.

“For example, it's fine for employers to have a dress code but it needs to be applied with some sensitivity and flexibility to take account of religious beliefs,” he added.

“What is almost certainly never OK is for an employer to tell an employee to stop wearing a religious symbol because a particular customer has asked for it."

The Open Society Justice Initiative, a group backed by the philanthropist George Soros which had supported the women, said it was disappointed by the ruling.

A spokesperson said it ”weakens the guarantee of equality that is at the heart of the EU’s anti-discrimination directive”.

In pictures: Protest against burkini bans in London
show all
Maryam Hmadoun, the initiative’s policy officer, said: “In many member states, national laws will still recognise that banning religious headscarves at work is discrimination.

“But in places where national law is weak, this ruling will exclude many Muslim women from the workplace.”

The Open Society Justice Initiative said all future cases on religious discrimination in workplaces inside the EU will be government by the ruling, which it feared would strengthen wider attempts at headscarf bans.

“When an employer singles out religious clothing this is direct discrimination, and such an aim is not neutral,” a statement said.

“The supposed ‘neutrality’ is really discrimination, making the false claim that employers who allow staff to wear the headscarf are in some way not neutral.”

The ruling, which sets an EU-wide precedent, came a day before the Netherlands’ parliamentary elections, which have been dominated by issues of integration and identity.

Dutch MPs voted in support of a partial ban on full-face Islamic veils last year, but no law has yet been implemented, while prohibitions have been implemented in countries including France, Belgium and Bulgaria, and are being considered in Germany.

Attempts by local authorities in the French Riviera to ban so-called “burkinis” worn by Muslim women and impose fines generated fresh debate last year and have since been repealed by courts.
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Post by TonyGosling »

EU washes its hands of Gaza

Ali Abunimah Rights and Accountability 22 June 2017
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/al ... hands-gaza

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, left, has remained silent about Israel’s electricity cuts to Gaza. (European External Action Service)
After 10 years of Israeli blockade, conditions for two million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip are by all accounts worse than ever.

Israel’s blockade, according to the human rights group B’Tselem, has consigned Gaza’s residents “to living in abject poverty under practically inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”

Yet the European Union, which markets itself as a champion of freedom, democracy and human rights, has washed its hands of the people there.

After four successive days of reductions, Israel has now cut the electricity it supplies to the Gaza Strip by 60 percent.

This comes on top of chronic shortages that meant most households only had about four hours of electricity a day.

As numerous international bodies have warned, the territory is in the midst of an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

In mid-May, the International Committee of the Red Cross said that Gaza was on the brink of “systemic collapse” as operating rooms, water and sanitation systems cease functioning.

Already, Gaza City’s main hospital has slashed surgeries by one-third, and as a result of the blockade, exacerbated by the electricity crisis, the territory is swimming in sewage.

Palestinian Authority’s cruelty
Israel hides behind the Palestinian Authority, which asked Israel to reduce the electricity supply, as part of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ effort to undermine Hamas, which rules the interior of Gaza.

Fuel supplies for Gaza’s sole power plant ran out in April, turning a severe chronic shortage of electricity into a looming catastrophe. Authorities in Gaza have now managed to secure a few days supply of fuel from Egypt – despite PA efforts to stop Egypt providing this brief reprieve.

The PA’s cruel campaign against the people of Gaza also includes cutting off medicine supplies to the territory. As a result, more than 300 cystic fibrosis patients are in mortal danger and 90 percent of cancer patients do not receive full treatment, among other imminent threats to life and health, according to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

EU enablers
But as numerous human rights groups have pointed out, Israel cannot escape its responsibility.

Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza. It alone has the power to immediately end the suffering and it has a legal obligation to do so under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel however acts with impunity because it is supported and enabled by world powers, especially the European Union, its biggest trading partner.

For days, The Electronic Intifada has been asking the European Union External Action Service – effectively its foreign ministry – to comment on the situation in Gaza and to explain what, if anything, it is doing to pressure Israel to reverse the electricity cuts.

On Tuesday, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, confirmed that she had received The Electronic Intifada’s inquiry and promised “to see what the latest is” and “come back to you ASAP.”

But another two days and a Thursday afternoon deadline have passed, and there is total silence from the EU despite repeated follow up inquiries to Kocijancic and her colleagues.

Silence is consent
The EU grants Israel all kinds of trade concessions and funding under their so-called Association Agreement.

That agreement specifies that relations between the EU and Israel “shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles,” a stipulation deemed “an essential element” of the agreement.

Dozens of European Parliament members have urged Mogherini to suspend the agreement – in light of Israel’s repeated and flagrant violations of Palestinian rights.

But instead, the EU seems only set on further rewarding Israel.

A reliable indicator of this is the EU’s representative office in Tel Aviv, which produces a steady stream of tweets on its official account celebrating the EU’s “partnership” with Israel – including “research” programs that fund Israel’s military industry.

Even this week as conditions in Gaza deteriorated, the EU has been touting its military cooperation with Israel over so called “shared challenges.”

Meanwhile, the EU External Action Service has not tweeted anything at all about Gaza since 2015.

The latest crisis in Gaza has been unfolding since April and has prompted warnings that it could lead to another war.

The EU’s silence cannot therefore be an oversight.

It should be read as a positive endorsement of Israel’s tightening blockade of Gaza and the suffering Israel is knowingly inflicting on a population exhausted and traumatized by a decade of isolation and successive Israeli military assaults.

The European Union is indeed deepening its vaunted partnership with Israel. It is a partnership in crime.
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