Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Perverted British prosecutors again
"Minorities" can do no wrong. "Not in the public interest" to prosecute them, even for gross crimes
A gang of boys who molested a girl of 14 have escaped prosecution because it is 'not in the public interest'. The eight, aged from eight to 12, sexually assaulted the teenager as she walked to a friend's house during the day.
For five minutes they 'mauled her like animals', before she escaped. A 14-year-old girl, pictured with her mother, is outraged after the CPS decided not to pursue charges against her alleged attackers
A 14-year-old girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and her mother have told of their outrage after the CPS decided not to pursue charges against her alleged attackers.
Officers arrested the five boys aged over ten - the legal age of responsibility - and recommended charges. But they are said to be furious after the Crown Prosecution Service refused to press charges, saying insufficient evidence meant it was not in the public interest.
It is thought it could prove hard to establish which of the boys, from Slovakian gipsy families, carried out different parts of the attack.
Last night the girl's 34-year-old mother condemned the authorities for failing to protect her daughter. The mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said: 'These dangerous little thugs are allowed to walk the streets. 'I shudder to think what will happen if they attack another girl. I'm deeply disappointed with the CPS. 'Something has to be done, if only to deter these yobs from ever doing anything so despicable again. But they're going to be smug as hell.'
The girl's ordeal took place as she walked in the Hillfields area of Coventry at midday on January 6.
The boys, from local Romany migrant families who settled in the city in the late 1990s, threw snowballs at her to attract her attention before surrounding her. They then touched her 'all over', telling her she was pretty and saying they wanted her to be their girlfriend, she said.
West Midlands Police prepared a file for the CPS recommending charges be brought - but prosecutors refused. CPS spokesman Patrick Noonan said: 'The age of the alleged attackers is not a difficulty.
'I have spoken to the prosecutor concerned and they have gone through the evidence in detail and decided it is not in the public interest to prosecute.'
Last night the girl described how she still suffers from nightmares and does not dare leave the house alone. Her family have moved in with relatives at the other side of the city out of fear they will have to face the attackers again.
The 14-year-old, who wants to be a doctor when she is older, broke down as she said: 'I still have nightmares and can hear them laughing and mauling me like animals.'
The CPS decision not to prosecute left her feeling as if she had not been believed, she added. 'I did nothing wrong but still feel like I'm being treated like a liar,' she said. 'After what happened I get scared really easily. 'I can't even go out to meet my mates because I might bump into one of the people who attacked me. 'I'm not really sure how I can move on from this. I'm having to borrow my cousin's dog just to walk around because I don't feel safe.'
West Midlands Police sources said they were 'frustrated' by the decision after the girl 'was brave enough to come forward'. A force spokesman said: 'We've done all we can to try to bring the case forward - there is nothing more we can do.'
Support for Israel increasingly runs on party lines
by Jeff Jacoby
IN THE WAKE of the diplomatic fight that the Obama administration went out of its way to pick with Israel last month, two high-ranking members of the US House of Representatives -- Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Minority Whip Eric Cantor -- invited their colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter reaffirmed the signers' commitment to the "unbreakable bond" and "extraordinary closeness" that exists between the United States and Israel, and declared that "our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement."
It expressed dismay at the "highly publicized tensions" between the White House and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, and pointedly counseled the administration to resolve its differences with Israel "quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies."
The letter was polite, but there was no mistaking the implicit rebuke of the president for treating Israel so shabbily. Nor, one might think, was there any mistaking its bipartisan appeal: It was signed by 333 members of the US House, more than three-fourths of the entire membership.
The Hoyer-Cantor letter wasn't the only apparent evidence in recent weeks that American friendliness for Israel crosses party lines. At the national conference of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, for example, two of the featured speakers were US Senators Charles Schumer, a staunch Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, an equally staunch Republican.
In a Gallup poll released in February, Israel was one of the five countries most positively viewed by a majority of US citizens: 67 percent expressed a favorable opinion of the Jewish state. And the president's tilt against Israel has been denounced as bluntly by GOP loyalist Liz Cheney ("President Obama is playing a reckless game of . . . diminishing America's ties to Israel") as by lifelong Democrat Ed Koch ("It is unimaginable that the president would treat any of our NATO allies, large or small, in such a degrading fashion.")
Peer a little more closely, however, and the wall of pro-Israel solidarity turns out not to be quite so -- well, solid.
Take that Gallup survey earlier this year, which found that 67 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Israel. The same survey also found that when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 63 percent of the public stands with Israel -- more than quadruple the 15 percent that support the Palestinians. There's not much doubt that the American mainstream is pro-Israel.
But look at the disparity that emerges when those results are sorted by party affiliation. While support for Israel vs. the Palestinians has climbed to a stratospheric 85 percent among Republicans, the comparable figure for Democrats is an anemic 48 percent. (It was 60 percent for independents.) And behind Israel's "Top 5" favorability rating lies a gaping partisan rift: 80 percent of Republicans -- but just 53 percent Democrats -- have positive feelings about the world's only Jewish country.
Similarly, it is true that 333 US House members, a hefty bipartisan majority, endorsed the robustly pro-Israel Hoyer-Cantor letter to Hillary Clinton. But there were only seven Republicans who declined to sign the letter, compared with 91 Democrats -- more than a third of the entire Democratic caucus. (Six Massachusetts Democrats were among the non-signers: John Olver, Richard Neal, John Tierney, Ed Markey, Michael Capuano, and Bill Delahunt.)
From Zogby International comes still more proof of the widening gulf between the major parties on the subject of Israel. In a poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute last month, respondents were asked whether Obama should "steer a middle course" in the Middle East -- code for not clearly supporting Israel. "There is a strong divide on this question," Zogby reported, "with 73% of Democrats agreeing that the President should steer a middle course while only 24% of Republicans hold the same opinion."
Taken as a whole, America's identification with Israel is as stout as ever -- the "special relationship" between the two nations still runs deep. But the old political consensus that brought Republicans and Democrats together in support of the Middle East's only flourishing democracy is breaking down. Republican friendship for Israel has never been more rock-solid. Democratic friendship -- especially now, in the age of Obama -- is growing steadily less so.
Amnesty organization now no friend of liberty
The issue between Amnesty International and Gita Sahgal is not a personnel dispute. It is about the type of organisation that Amnesty has become. Its critics charge that it has diluted its defence of universal human rights by allying with a group that rejects that principle. By its treatment of Ms Sahgal, and its grudging and euphemistic explanation for its behaviour, Amnesty has confirmed that the critics are right.
Amnesty was founded in 1961 to support individual prisoners of conscience. It built a formidable reputation for identifying nonviolent dissenters, writing to them, and collectively nagging the regimes that had locked them up. It did this vital work, of solidarity and lobbying, regardless of politics. Yet Amnesty has ended up collaborating with people who have fundamentally different motivations and values. Moazzam Begg, the British former inmate at Guantánamo Bay, and the organisation Cageprisoners do not promote liberty and pluralism. They defend radical Islam.
Begg left Britain with his family in 2001 to live under the Taleban in Afghanistan – a place of violent suppression of supposedly heretical branches of Islam, as well as the subjugation of women and the quasi-judicial murder of homosexuals. Begg now asserts “the right of people to resist the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan”. An organisation such as Amnesty, which emphasises international legal standards, is apparently unconcerned that Begg is referring to multilateral forces who operate under a UN mandate to support constitutional government.
Ms Sahgal went public with her misgivings about her employer only after repeated expressions of her concern. She found herself summarily suspended, and the breach has now been made formal. Amnesty’s public statements about her case have been reflexively obtuse. In defending its work with Begg, it insists that he “never used a platform he shared with Amnesty to speak against the rights of others” – as if the objection to Begg were about his diplomacy rather than his beliefs.
Amnesty was once so concerned not to compromise its political impartiality that, even during the mass killings by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, in the 1970s, it preferred to lobby governments directly rather than to denounce them. Yet in 2005 it described the US detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay as “the gulag of our times” and was a natural ally for extremists such as Begg.
Someone who has suffered the restriction of liberty does not become thereby the friend of liberty. Disastrously for itself and those who depend on its support, Amnesty is no longer the friend of liberty either.
The Holocaust can happen again, warns top anti-Semitism scholar
The photograph on the jacket cover of Robert Wistrich's new book on anti-Semitism shows two fog-shrouded train tracks that careful observers will recognize as leading to Auschwitz. But for Wistrich, one of the world's leading historians of anti-Semitism, this image is not only a look at the past.
While depicting Auschwitz as the culmination of where extreme Jew-hatred can lead, the photo is also meant to hint at the ubiquitous threat of anti-Semitism - what Wistrich calls a "future of uncertainty." Indeed, the British-Israeli scholar seems to suggest that while the worst is, perhaps, behind us, there may yet be another genocide just around the corner.
"We are in an era once again where the Jews are facing genocidal threats as a people," the author of the recently published "A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad" said during an interview in his Jerusalem office. "We have not been in that situation for quite a while. And maybe this is the first time since the Shoah that [Jews] feel that this is palpable."
Wistrich, who heads Hebrew University's International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, a nonpolitical research center, is referring to the threats against Israel emanating from the Muslim world, especially Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Sixty-four years after Auschwitz, the politics of genocidal anti-Semitism and the indifference that made it possible are still with us," he writes at the end of the book.
Yes, Jews said the same thing after Israel's wars in 1967 and 1973, Wistrich acknowledged. Yet he maintains the current threat is much more serious: There are people who seek the Jews' extinction and aren't shy about their intentions.
"It's not a matter of speculation, are we interpreting it right or wrong - they say it in such a brazen, open way," he said. "It cannot be a mistake."
Wistrich, who is 65 and moved from Britain to Israel in 1980, pays special attention to the first decade of the 21st century. "I think that the graph of anti-Semitism significantly exploded in this period," in terms of the volume and the aggressiveness of anti-Jewish hostility, he said. He said his analysis was based on "a substantial amount of data" he accumulated.
Weeks before a Jewish Agency study made headlines earlier this year for calling 2009 the worst year for anti-Semitism since the end of World War II, Wistrich reached the same conclusion. (However, Wistrich says it was the worst, in terms of both violent and non-violent incidents, only since 1982, which he said was the first year accurate statistics about anti-Semitic incidents became available.)
In addition to studying statistics, a historian also "has to have a feeling beyond what is quantitatively analyzable," he said. Expressing such "feelings" sometimes make Wistrich sound more like a politician or an activist than a scholar. Indeed, while virtually all reviews of "A Lethal Obsession" praised its attention to detail and richness of sources, some have called it sensationalist. One reviewer wrote that the book reminded him of the famous one-liner: "What's a Jewish telegram? 'Start worrying: Letter follows.'" But this is no joke for Wistrich, who insists there is indeed good cause for concern.
"We're way beyond the monitoring phase," he said. "We have to act, we have to mobilize opinion, we have to enlighten people about the gravity of the threat. The way I see my own contribution here as a scholar is that I have mapped it all out in a way that has never been done before and made the danger crystal-clear. Nothing is determined, there is no fatality about this unless we close our eyes and shut our eyes. And then indeed, the worst scenario could materialize."
"A Lethal Obsession" devotes a substantial chunk of its 1,184 pages to global jihad and contemporary expressions of anti-Semitism. Naturally, however, the Holocaust is another central theme of the monumental work, although only two chapters are exclusively devoted to Nazi Germany.
"Probably in as many as in 20 out of 25 chapters, the shadow of Nazism and its different manifestations and legacies - both in an earlier period and the postwar era - and the central themes and metaphors that belong to Nazi anti-Semitism are continuously evoked," Wistrich explained. "For instance, in the chapters on Muslims and anti-Semitism there are constant parallels, analogies, and also sometimes differences, which are analyzed. The reader is constantly aware [of the Holocaust], in the sense that the cover evokes: There is a menacing cloud, this obscure but rather threatening fog - and of course, we do know it ultimately leads to Auschwitz. But it also may lead into an indefinite and infinite future of uncertainty. That sense of ominous threat is there all the time and it's inextricably linked with what I call genocidal anti-Semitism, of which the overwhelmingly dominant prototype is Nazism."
For Wistrich, anti-Semitism isn't just a matter of dry theory. Having grown up in England as the son of Polish immigrants, he says he felt "the brunt of British xenophobia." He estimates that roughly 90 percent of the teachers in the grammar school he attended in the late 1950s and early 1960s were classic anti-Semites. "There were two teachers, who, though they fought against Nazi Germany in World War II, were in fact Nazi-like anti-Semites who truly hated the Jewish people," he recalled.
In the mid-'60s, the climate changed in Britain and it became less accepted to display one's anti-Semitism in public, Wistrich said. But an anti-Israel movement arose after the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, "on a larger scale than people realize today." In 1980, Wistrich left the U.K. and moved to Israel. "I wanted to make my choice a free choice, and not feel like I'm leaving the country because it's too hot," he said. "That wasn't the case in 1980. But I could see enough of what was emerging under the surface."
Wistrich believes his prediction was right. "In Britain, all the taboos that exist in polite society are long gone when it comes to Israel and the Jews," he said, adding that anti-Semitic comments are a daily occurrence, "whether it's at dinner tables, in academia or in the churches." While politicians are less apt than those less in the public eye to publicly display the same kind of animosity, anti-Semitism is widespread even among political leaders, he said. "When I look at anti-Semitism in Britain, I feel it's always been underestimated by people outside the country," said Wistrich. "Having lived with it, I would say it is structurally almost built in to British life and culture."
While the U.K. isn't necessarily the worst country in Europe, Wistrich called it "one where it's become, over a number of years now, an inhospitable climate for any self-respecting Jewish person who feels even the most minimal identification with Israel. And even if they don't, it's becoming an inhospitable and unpleasant environment where you have to constantly justify your identity. Britain is going through one of the most anti-Jewishly tinged periods of its history."
If the statistics are accurate and anti-Semitism is stronger than ever, what can we expect for the future?
"It is almost certainly unrealistic to imagine that we could eradicate anti-Semitism," Wistrich said. Although, there have been periods during which Jew-hatred has seemed to be relatively dormant, he said, "it's always there beneath the surface."
"But we can live with that," said Wistrich. "The Jewish people have always been able to live with that, and there is no reason why everybody has to love the Jews."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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