Friday, 28 October 2016

EU NAVFOR: Counter Piracy Newsletter September

Operation Atalanta Spanish Warship Relampago Donates Equipment to a School In Djibouti
During her port visit to Djibouti earlier this week, sailors from Spanish warship, ESPS Relampago, visited a school Couvent de la Nativit├ę, directed by Franciscan Missionaries of Notre Dame.

Operation Atalanta Bids Farewell to Spanish Warship ESPS Santa Maria and Welcomes ESPS Relampago
On Monday 24 October Spanish warship, ESPS Santa Maria, completed her six month deployment with Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia and handed over this important role to Spanish warship, ESPS Relampago.

Dutch EU NAVFOR Flagship HNLMS Tromp Greets Somali Fishermen During Counter-Piracy Patrols Close to the Somali Coast
Whilst conducting EU NAVFOR counter-piracy patrols near to the Somali coastline, Dutch frigate and Operation Atalanta flagship, HNLMS Tromp, met a number of Somali fishermen and took the opportunity to explain how EU Naval Force warships are helping to keep the seas safer for all seafarers by deterring any potential armed pirate attacks.

ESPS Santa Maria Sailors Celebrate Spanish National Day and Ship’s Birthday
Wednesday 12th October was a memorable day for the sailors of Spanish warship, ESPS Santa Maria.  Not only was it the Kingdom of Spain’s national day, it was also the thirtieth anniversary since the warship was commissioned into the Spanish Navy.

Operation Atalanta’s Serbian WFP Vessel Protection Team Welcomes Visit by Republic of Serbia First Secretary to Kenya
During MSM Douro’s recent port visit to Mombasa, the Serbian maritime protection team that is currently embarked as part of Operation Atalanta’s protection of World Food Programme vessels carrying humanitarian aid for displaced people in Somalia, welcomed the First Secretary from the Serbian Embassy, Ms Irina ┼Żarin, on board.

Strengthen Ties During Port Visit to Mombasa
Operation Atalanta’s French warship, La Fayette, was recently welcomed into the port of Mombasa. This was the first time an EU Naval Force ship has had the opportunity to visit the Kenyan port in over a year.

Atalanta Flagship HNLMS Tromp Conducts Local Maritime Capacity Building During Visit to Dar es Salaam
During their recent port visit to Dar es Salaam, sailors from the Operation Atalanta flagship,   HNLMS Tromp, conducted two days of Local Maritime Capacity Building (LMCB) training with personnel from the Tanzanian Navy and Coastguard.

Medal Parade Held on board HNLMS Tromp for Operation Atalanta Sailors
On Sunday 2 October the Operation Atalanta Force Commander, Commodore Luyckx, awarded the Operation Atalanta Medal to the multinational staff members embarked onboard the flagship, HNLMS Tromp.

Atalanta Force Commander Visits Acting Chief of Tanzanian Navy
On Tuesday 4 October 2016, Atalanta Force Commander, Commodore Luyckx, visited the acting Chief of the Tanzanian Navy Brigade, General Rogastian Shabani Laswai.

Atalanta’s Operation Commander and IMO’s Secretary General – Piracy Still a Threat to Ships in Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean
On Thursday 6th October 2016, Atalanta’s Operation Commander, Major General Rob Magowan, visited the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim, at the IMO headquarters in London.

ESPS Santa Maria Sailors Train with Seychelles Coastguard and Maritime Police Unit During Visit to The Seychelles
Earlier today Operation Atalanta warship, ESPS Santa Maria, arrived in the Seychelles for a port visit.

EUCAP NESTOR, Somali Coastguard and Maritime Police Unit Visit Operation Atalanta Flagship HNLMS Tromp
On 30 September a team from EUCAP Nestor, led by the recently appointed Head of Mission, Maria-Cristina Stepanescu, paid a visit to the Operation Atalanta flagship, HNLMS Tromp.

French Warship La Fayette Joins Atalanta To Conduct Counter-Piracy Operations
On Wednesday 28 September 2016, Atalanta was boosted by the arrival of French warship La Fayette.

Operation Atalanta Says “Arrivederci” to ITS Euro as she Begins her Return Home to Italy
On 30th September 2016, 190 days after joining Operation Atalanta, Italian frigate, ITS Euro, has said goodbye to the EU’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.
EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia - Operation Atalanta is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to tackle symptoms and root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia and the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa adopted in November 2011.

EU NAVFOR conducts anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the protection of World Food Programme (WFP) shipping carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Somalia and Horn of Africa as well as the logistic shippings supporting the African Union troops conducting Peace Support Operations in Somalia (AMISOM). Additionally, Operation Atalanta contributes to the monitoring of fishing activity off the coast of Somalia. 

Finnish City Kauniainen start housing 9 “Afghan boys” in million euro house – all paid by tax payers!

image of young Afghan boys not related to article 

Local residents are horrified. They do not want these "Afghan children" in their amidst, as their proneness to crimes is well-known, as well as the fact that they are rarely children.
Nine “Afghan boys” will move in the beginning of December to a million euro house. All expenses will paid by the Finnish tax payers!

The city of Kauniainen in southern Finland has decided to house “under-aged Afghan asylum seekers” to a house that was for sale just last month for 995 000 euro, or alternatively to let for 3950 euro / month.

The house has 301 square meters of living space. There are 7 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room with a fireplace, a sauna, a garage for 2 cars, and an annexing building with 48 square meters, plus other spaces such as a wine cellar.
This precious, well-kept house will now be offered as a home to “asylum seeker boys” from underdeveloped Afghanistan.

Local residents are horrified. They do not want the “Afghan children” in their amidst.While the town accommodates the “children” to this quite expensive house, it has also announced that the communal tax will rise in Kauniainen. 
After one year of these Afghans, the beautiful house will probably be worthless and ready for demolition.

Ambassador ret, Yoram Ettinger: Surging overseas investment in Israel defy global downtrend

1. According to KPMG, one of the four largest global auditing firms, Israel has become a leading hothouse for FinTech companies. 9 out of 100 globally-promising FinTech companies are from Israel, an improvement from 8/100 in 2015. One of the Israeli companies, Payoneer digital payments company, raised $180MN on Oct. 6 in a round led by the Silicon Valley-based Technology Crossover Ventures and the Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Susquehanna Growth Equity (Globes Business Daily, Oct. 27, 2016). 

2. In defiance of the global financial downtrend – but as a derivative of Israel’s cutting-edge technologies - Israeli hightech companies raised $1.19BN during Q3 2016, the second highest quarterly amount in ten years. During the first nine months of 2016, Israeli hightech companies raised $4BN, 27% above the $3.15BN raised during the first nine months of 2015. However, the third quarter of 2016 has recorded a 24% decline compared with the third quarter of 2015, although the total for September was higher than August (Globes, October 26).

3. Boston Scientifics acquired Israel’s EndoChoice for $210MN (Globes, September 28). Israel’s Ormat Technologies concluded a senior-unsecured-bonds tender for $204MN (Globes, September 11). The NY-based $14BN CA Technologies acquired Israel’s BlazeMeter for $100MN, CA’s 13th Israeli acquisition (Globes, September 22). 

4.  The $3BN US cyber giant, ProofPoint, acquired Israel’s FireLayers for $55MN, which has become the research and development center of ProofPiont. FireLayers is the third startup developed and sold by its two co-owners (Globes, Oct. 26).  eBay acquired Israel’s Corrigon for $30MN, eBay’s 6th Israeli acquisition (Globes, Oct. 7). The Lexington, MA and Dublin, Ireland-based, Shire, a biopharmaceuticals giant, extends its strategic partnership with Israel’s plasma-derived protein therapeutics company, Kamada, which is expected to yield a minimum of $237MN in revenues during 2017-2020 (Globes, Oct. 7).

5. According to Forbes, September 22 issue: “Since 2011, there has been a 50% year-on-year growth of Chinese investment in Israel…. The business relations between Israel and China is growing…. For example, Li-Ka-Shing, the Hong-Kong-based tycoon, has invested – privately and via his venture capital fund, Horizon Ventures – in 30 Israeli companies. China’s $3BN Neusoft IT co-established a $250MN investment fund with Israel’s Infinity Capital Equity Fund, targeting Israeli digital pharmaceutical equipment companies (Globes, September 26). Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant partnered with Israel’s Carmel investment fund, invested in three Israeli companies and opened an office in Israel. China’s Innovative Medical invested $30MN in Israel’s Pluristem (Globes, October 26). About $15BN have been invested in Israel, by Chinese giant companies such as ChemCina (acquired Adama, a crop protection company, for $3.7BN), Bright Food (acquired Tnuva, a dairy producer, for $2.5BN), Fosun (acquired Ahava, a cosmetic producer, for $77MN), Shanghai Giant Network Technology, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and additional Chinese investors (acquired Playtika, an online company, for $4.4BN), etc.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Paris home of Racism: Yesterday killing and harassing Jews to leave France today its the Asians turn to think about leaving ....

David Liu, a Chinese Frenchman, says he walks around Paris with "fear in his chest".

The 22-year-old student was assaulted and robbed by a gang of youths in a side street when he was in primary school.  It was a long time ago, but he still crosses the road if a large group of people are coming his way. After all, everyone in his family has been targeted in a similar fashion.  France's ethnic Chinese population have long suffered casual racism and been stereotyped as easy targets for crime. But they say they have now reached breaking point.

In August, 49-year-old tailor and father-of-two Zhang Chaolin died in hospital after being attacked by three teenagers. He had been walking in a quiet street in the north Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.

Zhang was reportedly kicked in the sternum and fell, striking his head on the pavement. The aim of the attack was allegedly to steal his friend's bag. The tailor had nothing on him except sweets and cigarettes. In response, on 4 September, at least 15,000 ethnic Chinese turned out in Paris's Place de la Republique to give vent to their deep feelings of insecurity.

Estimated at more than 600,000 people, France has Europe's largest Chinese community. But they have not been in the country as long as more prominent migrant groups, including those from Africa.

David was born in Paris to parents who migrated from China in the early 1990s. He says he has been asked publicly if he eats dogs, and has been called a "spring roll head".
He has also been told to "go back to his own country" and "go and work with his little Chinese hands".

Such jibes might be familiar to east Asian migrants and their descendants across the West. As with British Chinese, French Chinese say that racist comments toward them are tolerated, in a way that they are not for more established migrant communities. Ask any Jew and you will hear absolutely the same. Which explains why there are more jews in London or UK in general than in France 

But in France, there is a sense that Asian migrants are targeted with particularly nasty violence. "[These attacks] are because of the beliefs they have about us," says David, who is too fearful to use his real name. 

'Weak and cashed-up'

A working-class area, home to more than 1,200 mostly Chinese wholesalers, Aubervilliers is an important European textile centre. Buyers come from far and wide to haggle over Italian-made coats and Chinese-made shirts.

Activists say at least 100 attacks against Chinese nationals were reported in the suburb in just the first seven months of this year. France does not keep statistics based on ethnicity, so it is difficult to know the real number of incidents. This has also been a very comfortable way of reporting when it comes to antisemitism ...

French-Algerian Meriem Derkaoui, the suburb's communist mayor, condemned Zhang's murder as "racist targeting". Community groups say such attacks are driven by a perception that Chinese people are weak, will not fight back and carry a lot of cash.

During a recent trial of three youths accused of 11 attacks in a three-month span in Aubervilliers, the defendants insisted the ethnicity of their targets was just a coincidence. But when interrogated by police, they reportedly admitted to seeing Chinese people as "easy targets" with money on them.

In interviews with the media, several ethnic Chinese shopkeepers and residents of Aubervilliers said they felt that the level of violence was getting worse.

"It's getting out hand. The situation had stabilised in recent years, but now it's broken out again," says Franky Song, 20, who works in a jeans shop in the CIFA Fashion Business Center. Inter-communal relations in the area have deteriorated, he adds.

In this shopping centre, home to a few hundred clothing wholesalers, everyone would know someone who had been assaulted, he said. "We have the businesses, but not the build, so they take advantage of us."

Heng, a middle-aged lady who has run a florist's with her husband in Aubervilliers for 17 years, joined the recent protests because of the "horrible situation" in the suburb. 
Her shop has been broken into twice, and her insurer will no longer cover it.
The anger of people like Franky and Heng is mostly directed towards the state, which they say has failed to protect them. 

Zhang's death was the final straw. It prompted a community normally regarded as quietly focused on work and family to take a public stand....

'We've had enough'

"Asian people are not used to being in the spotlight; they like to be in the shadows," says Frederic Chau, a well-known comedian and actor of Cambodian-Chinese descent. He has played a high-profile role in the "Safety for All" campaign, which previously organised demonstrations in 2010 and 2011.  "To be more than 20,000 people in the Place de la Republique to make this protest - it's not normal, for us, [especially] for my mother, my father, my uncles.  "But doing this is necessary because we have had enough. We have to do something to change the mentality in France."....But that´s what the media writes, fat is that nothing will change and racism will continue towards anyone non Muslim or new nazi.

France's colonial history meant that some of these refugees from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia - many, like Frederic, of Chinese descent,  already spoke French.
The Chinese wholesale trade in Aubervilliers, on the other hand, is dominated by migrants from Wenzhou, a city in China's southeast known for its entrepreneurial migrants. They mostly arrived in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the first generation struggling with the French language.

a-Han Chuang researched the integration of Chinese migrants for her doctorate at Paris-Sorbonne University. She says that compared to the Indochinese, these mainland migrants have struggled to accrue "cultural capital".  "The fact that they tend to work in and inherit family enterprises creates some more barriers," she says.  But Rui Wang, the son of Wenzhounese migrants and president of the Association of French-Chinese Youth, belies the stereotypes.

Born in China but raised in France, he casually quotes French philosophers and sociologists like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Pierre Bourdieu. Articulate and driven, he has written to Prime Minister Manuel Valls to warn him that the situation in places like Aubervilliers is "explosive".

He describes how husbands will pick up their wives and children from metro stations and schools in groups of five to six people for safety reasons.  In La Courneuve, near Aubervilliers, look-outs are posted near weddings to prevent robberies. Security information and patrols are coordinated via the WeChat messaging app.

"There is an anger that has accumulated for too long," Rui says.
The association's immediate demands are straightforward: more police and security resources. Since the demonstrations in August and September, extra police officers have been promised for Aubervilliers. But according to Rui, city hall says it cannot afford to provide more security cameras.The mayor did not respond to requests for comment on these issues.  She would answer if the matter would touch her own Muslims as she is of Algerian ancestors her self.

The only thing that could bite on this would be a Asian Mayor.

The recent protests have captured rare media and political attention for a community unused to the limelight. Alain Juppe, a former prime minister and likely presidential candidate, visited the family of Zhang Chaolin in early September. Speaking to French-Chinese in the area, he condemned rising incidents of "anti-Chinese racism" and spoke of France "finding harmony between its communities". Just like they did to the Jewish ones most of us used to know i France ......They did not either fight and usually carried money.
It seems like in France once you are a Muslim without a dime you can enjoy the support of the French neo nazis and defame Jews and Asians like there was no tomorrow.

We at SDR ask you dear reader: Did you ever hear of crime ridden Cities by Jews or Asians ? No you haven't so its time that France either starts thinking hard about who does what or be happy with the label of being the most racist nation in EU.

Rui wants more support from the government for social projects that build links between different migrant communities.  Frederic Chau, the actor, feels the same way. He describes his family home's doormat as being like a border between France and China when he was growing up: "I rejected my origins, I wanted to be whiter than white".

Now, he has fully embraced his Cambodian and Chinese origins, and is proud of them.

What France's Asians want now, Frederic says, is to be "considered French". Adding hopefully ...When perceptions change, they hope a sense of security will follow.
We at SDR suggest him to ask all the hundreds of thousands of Jews who since the 1990s have left France to U.S or Israel. Where they don't have to fear stepping on the streets.
Especially in Texas where equality comes in the form and shape of a 45Cal bullet !
So far its the only crime prevention that we have seen is working equally for Jews, Asians 
or against rape crimes on women .....

Kenneth Meshoe, chairman of the African Christian Democratic Party: No Apartheid in Israel!

Any black South African who claims there is apartheid in Israel is either uninformed or blatantly dishonest, says a member of parliament in Pretoria.
According to Kenneth Meshoe, chairman of the African Christian Democratic Party faction, any attempt to compare Palestinians’ experience in Israel with the former racist regime is offensive to individuals who suffered under the system of racial separation.
Whatever challenges the Arab minority in Israel faces, the reality of life here cannot be compared to his experiences growing up, he insists.

“There is freedom of movement in this country that we never had in South Africa,” Meshoe told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) during a visit to Jerusalem last week. “Benches and bathrooms said ‘whites only.’ We could never take ‘white’ transportation. Most white doctors would not treat black patients, only white ones. And those who were willing to treat black patients out of compassion – many of them would ask the patients to enter their clinics through the back door so they wouldn’t be seen by the white patients in the lobby. I don’t know if it was illegal for white doctors to treat black patients, but the reality was that very few did.”

‘Perpetuating Propaganda’

According to Meshoe, “Some South Africans who say there’s apartheid in Israel are only repeating things they’ve heard from other people, not because they’ve actually seen it themselves. They are just perpetuating propaganda.
“Other people – politicians – are only thinking about their needs, and the statements that will serve their needs. They ask ‘what do I gain [by claiming there is or is not apartheid in Israel] and then make a decision. So they are perpetuating something that that they know very well is a lie.”
Meshoe said he first visited Israel several years after Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994. He joined a church delegation to the Holy Land and used the opportunity both for a religious pilgrimage and a political education, but the latter came as a surprise.
“On that trip, I deliberately looked for anything that looked like apartheid. I took a bus to the center of Jerusalem, but blacks, Jews, Arabs and everybody else all sat together. Swimming at the Dead Sea was mixed. I looked for the ‘black only’ beaches, but there were none. Arab school teachers stood in front of Jewish classes! That would never have happened under apartheid,” he said.

Parliamentarians Avoid Fact-Finding Missions

In parliament, Meshoe said he has offered to lead parliamentary fact-finding trips to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but he said that few of his colleagues are prepared to come. He added that even the ANC government discourages its members from visiting Israel because too many have come and changed their minds as a result – something that poses a political problem in a country where there is both widespread dissatisfaction with the current government and a growing, vocal Muslim minority with staunchly pro-Palestinian views.
It there is any group that frustrates Meshoe, it is the Arab members of the Knesset. While he did not meet with members of the Joint List faction on this trip, he told TPS that he has been frustrated with his interactions with MKs such as Haneen Zoabi on previous trips.
“[They] complained about not being treated fairly. One of the realities that we had to make clear to them is that the fact that you are a member of parliament makes your situation fundamentally different than our situation under apartheid…
“It hit them between the eyes. Of course, they may face challenges, but you cannot call it apartheid. If there were apartheid here, they would not be in the parliament. It’s a simple as that. An Arab judge would not be allowed to preside over a case involving a Jew. So let them coin another word for yourselves, but it isn’t apartheid,” Meshoe said.

US elections 2016: In the eyes of Africans

Trump and Hilary dressed in traditional African attire.
Africans are laughing at the US elections on Twitter.
Allegations of sexual assault, high-level corruption and vote rigging are normally found
in less stable countries, but this year's presidential race is testing the resilience of
America's electoral system.

Nigerians in particular have found the irony of the world's foremost democracy slipping
into embarrassing feuds and demagogic threats too hilarious to resist.
Thousands have been picking events apart on Twitter under the hashtag #Nov8AfricanEdition
- a reference to the date of the election. 
Under the hashtag, Nigerians and other Africans have been flipping the script and
imagining how events in America would be reported if they were happening in Africa,
with fake "breaking news" headlines and sarcastic support. 
The tag began trending after the third presidential debate, in which Donald Trump hinted
he might not accept the election result if Hilary Clinton wins.
The jokers saved their best material for Trump's claim that the US campaign is "rigged."



On Nigeria's most popular chat forum, Nairaland, a number of posts specifically
targeted Trump in a thread named
"What does Donald Trump hope to achieve by calling the election rigged?"
The conversation was heated.
"It is obvious the [Republican Party] is fraudulent," read one comment, while another 
shot back: "Trump will make a fine president that will restore America back to its glory."

Image of Trump as a generalImage copyrighNAIRALAND

Some felt the jokes were too close to the bone, including one Nigerian government
official who resented the self-deprecating tone of the #Nov8AfricanEdition posts.


But the overwhelming majority of tweets were light-hearted. Nigerians,
in particular, appear to be enjoying the calamitous US election as it unfolds. 


Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman Warns Hamas: Next Attack on Israel will be its Last

In an honest and effort to communicate directly with the Palestinian people, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned, in a rare interview with the Al Quds daily, that Hamas would be destroyed if it dares attack Israel again.

Israel’s defense chief threatened the Hamas terror organization which rules the Gaza Strip, and dismissed the Palestinian Authority (PA) head as an incapable leader in a rare interview published Monday in the Al Quds daily, a popular Palestinian newspaper.

The positions of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman are well known, but it is unusual for the Palestinian media to interview him. 
He started his interview saying, “it’s important for me to talk directly to Palestinian people … I tried to do that since I took office … because I believe there is misunderstanding.”
Liberman said PA head Mahmoud Abbas is not capable of signing a peace deal with Israel. 
“This agreement needs someone else, someone capable of taking a tough decision,” he said.

Liberman expressed support for a two-state solution, restating his proposed plan that it should be based on an exchange of territories, and saying that Israel does not need some areas, such as the Arab town of Umm el-Fahm in the north.

He warned Hamas against testing Israel with violence.
“If they (Hamas) impose a war on Israel, this war will be the final war for them; we are going to destroy them completely,” Liberman was quoted as saying in the full-page interview.

However, he said that Israel has no interest in reconquering and occupying the Gaza Strip and emphasized that Israel does not want another war with Hamas.

Hamas official Fathi Hammad said his group is “in no way afraid and this is a powerful message from Gaza to Liberman.”  In the interview, Liberman also said that Israel is ready to invest in an airport, sea port and industrial park in Gaza,  if Hamas ceases its violent actions against Israel and “stops building tunnels and launching rockets.”

“Gaza could be the Singapore or Hong Kong of the Middle East,” he said.

Israel has in the past presented concrete plans for such developments.
The interview angered some Palestinians, with the Palestinian Ministry of Information issuing a statement criticizing the reporter as “giving a stage to the murderer Lieberman.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attacked Liberman over his comments.
“Liberman is trying to subtly drive a wedge between the Palestinian people, the Palestinian leadership and repeats his attacks on Mahmoud Abbas like a broken record. 

He is deluding himself that he has the ability to find a Palestinian partner for peace that suits his own views,” the ministry stated.

UNESCO Denounced by Lawmakers from 17 Countries

United with Israel reports: Lawmakers from 17 countries signed a declaration last Thursday against last week’s United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution and called for international recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided and eternal capital of Israel.
The UNESCO resolution rejected any Jewish link to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In the declaration, 19 MPs representing the 17 countries, said that “the U.N. resolution is disconnected from reality and is incorrect. We will work toward the international recognition of Jerusalem, as the undivided, eternal capital of the state of Israel.”
The parliamentarians presented the declaration to Deputy Minister Michael Oren, who delivered it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Oren called the UNESCO resolution “unacceptable.” He said it “must be fought in every way possible. The signing of the declaration by MPs from all over the world against UNESCO is one of the steps we will take against this atrocious decision. We will continue to emphasize the eternal connection between the Jewish people and our eternal capital forever and ever, which nobody in the world, and certainly not UNESCO, can break.”

The visiting lawmakers are from countries including the Netherlands, Finland, Latvia, Spain, Switzerland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Malawi, South Africa, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile.
They were in Israel for the 5th Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference, sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The event was held at the Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Ambassador ret. Yoram Ettinger: Biblical Moses, the foundation of US - Israel Ties

According to Professor Robert Bellah, a leading UC Berkeley sociologist, there is "a well-institutionalized civil religion" in the United States that stipulates separation between religion and state, but not between religion and society. In fact, President John Quincy Adams wrote: "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code."

Bellah contends that civil liberties, reflecting more responsibility than rights, are Bible-driven: "Behind civil religion lie biblical archetypes [such as] the Exodus, Chosen People, Promised Land, New Jerusalem ... a heritage of moral and religious experience." 

The legacy of Moses, the definitive lawgiver, has been such an archetype, an integral part of American cultural, ethical, legal and political history, highlighting Judeo-Christian ethical principles that shaped the U.S. and forged the foundation of its special ties with the Jewish state. Most Americans, from the early Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers until today, hold Israel in high regard and consider the Jewish state more than just a foreign policy issue. 

The metaphor of Moses has been employed extensively in American political discourse. In April 2010, Professor Thomas Sugrue wrote in his book, "Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race": "The metaphor of Moses and Joshua, the freedom fighter and the nation builder, offered a powerful framework for Obama's campaign." In January 2000, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell greeted the newly elected President George W. Bush at the traditional post-inauguration Senate luncheon with: "We trust that you shall lead us in the best tradition of Joshua and Caleb." 

On Jan. 14, 2013, the Kansas City Star wrote: "Martin Luther King must have had Moses in mind that night of his last sermon when he said, 'God has allowed me to go up on the mountain, and I have seen the Promised Land.'" Harriet Tubman, a leading abolitionist and a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, was named "Mama Moses."

On June 27, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol. 

According to Chief Justice William Rehnquist: "Religion has been closely identified with our history and government. … Acknowledgments of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation's heritage are common throughout America. ... Since 1935, Moses has stood, holding two tablets that reveal portions of the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew, among other lawgivers in the south frieze [of the Supreme Court]. Representations of the Ten Commandments adorn the metal gates lining the north and south sides of the courtroom as well as the doors leading into the courtroom. 

"Moses also sits on the exterior east facade [of the Supreme Court] holding the tablets of the Ten Commandments. ... Since 1897, a large statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments, alongside a statue of the Apostle Paul, has overlooked the rotunda of the Library of Congress' Jefferson Building. A medallion with two tablets depicting the Ten Commandments decorates the floor of the National Archives. Inside the Justice Department, a statue entitled 'The Spirit of Law' has two tablets representing the Ten Commandments lying at its feet. In front of the Ronald Reagan Building stands another sculpture that includes a depiction of the Ten Commandments. So too a 24-foot-tall sculpture outside the Federal Courthouse, depicting, among other things, the Ten Commandments and a cross. Moses is also prominently featured in the Chamber of the United States House of Representatives. ... Moses was a lawgiver as well as a religious leader, and the Ten Commandments have undeniable historical meaning."

A 2005 Gallup Poll shows that 76% of Americans were in favor of displaying the Ten Commandments monument on the ground of the Texas State Capitol.

On March 29, 2006, the California State Senate approved bill SCR 108, stating: "This measure would recognize and acknowledge that the Decalogue, also known as the Ten Commandments, ranks among the influential historical documents that have contributed significantly to the development of the secular governmental and legal principles and institutions of the USA and the State of California. ... In the history of American institutions, no book -- except the Bible -- has played so great a role. ... Members of the U.S. Supreme Court have noted the foundational role played by the Ten Commandments in the development of our legal system."

On April 8, 2015, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill instructing the state to erect a privately funded Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the State Capitol in Little Rock. The Arkansas State House and the Senate approved the bill 72:7 and 27:3 respectively.

President Harry Truman stated: "The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount." A century earlier, President Abraham Lincoln referred to Exodus, Chapter 20, the Ten Commandments, as the summation of his theology. 

Moses and/or the Ten Commandments feature in courthouses and in other public buildings around the country. 

Moses and the Ten Commandments have always been part of the American story, shaping the worldviews of the American people. They have underscored the 400-year-old Judeo-Christian foundation of the U.S.-Israel covenant, which transcends transient politics and geostrategic considerations, catapulting U.S.-Israel cooperation to unprecedented levels -- in defiance of the State Department, but consistent with the will of the American people.

SDR Wishes to remind our readers that: Ambassador ret, Yoram Ettinger will be in the US in November 2016, and is has a few rare days still available for speaking engagements. Don´t hesitate contact Ambassador Ettinger in order to book available times while they still are available.....