Lieberman’s wild claim that Europe is ignoring another Holocaust masks effort to rob Palestinians of $423 million

Israel/Palestine

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused European governments of ignoring another Holocaust Tuesday night. His bizarre claim is evidently an effort to buttress Israeli plans to withhold over $400 million in tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.

The Jerusalem Post reports the shocking statement by Lieberman: 

Echoing comments made earlier in the day on Israel Radio comparing the actions of some European governments now to actions during the Holocaust, Lieberman said that the Jews have seen in the past how certain European nations turned their eyes from the evidence and pretended not to see when Jews were threatened with destruction and sent to concentration camps. In the Israel Radio interview, he compared the EU’s polices now to the polices of European countries in the 1930s and 1940s.

“I am not happy with Europe’s position that for another time in history it ignores calls to destroy Israel,” he said. “Hamas leaders said repeatedly that their goal is clear – to destroy the State of Israel. And Europe is quiet. The EU’s call yesterday was not condemnation of Hamas’s statements, but a call for Hamas heads to refrain from inflammatory statements. We already went through that with Europe at the end of the 1930s and in the 1940s.”

Just what are the Europeans doing? Israel’s actions have led to sharp criticism from European ministers. After Israel announced it planned to colonize the E-1 area on the West Bank, as retaliation for Palestine’s UN upgrade,  EU foreign ministers warned Israel to avoid “undermining the financial situation” of the PA and hinted at enforcement measures.  At that time the ministers issued a statement indicating future agreements “between the EU and Israel will explicitly say that they do not extend to areas beyond the Green Line.

That statement also said that the EU would work to ensure that all agreements between Israel and the EU “must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

According to diplomatic officials, this means that future agreements between the EU and Israel will explicitly say that they do not extend to areas beyond the Green Line.

Ouch.

Israel already withheld the PA’s December tax revenue. Now the Israeli government has extended that policy through March– which would add up to $423 million in lost revenue for the PA.

And Israel is now carrying out its retribution against the Palestinians, just as it threatened to do– so none of this should come as a shock to any of us.

Lieberman’s smash-mouth accusations and the Israeli reprisals against the Palestinians may actually prove to be benefits of the Palestinian upgrade at the U.N.; these extreme actions will force the global community to respond. Nadia Hijab, director of Al-Shabaka The Palestinian Policy Network, made just this point in a recent piece in Al Jazeera:

The biggest ray of sunshine on the horizon is the virulent opposition to the UN bid by the Israeli and American governments. In fact, they have been boxed in. If Israel cuts aid to the PA, it will have to manage its own occupation. If the US cuts aid to the PA, it will lose its clout over the Palestinian agenda.

Furthermore, the PLO/PA’s apparent interest in reviving itself provides opportunities for Palestinian civil society and its allies to hold the leadership accountable for Palestinian rights. But first, it would be good to read that document, to know just what to hold it accountable for.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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37 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    December 12, 2012, 9:32 pm

    The biggest ray of sunshine on the horizon is the virulent opposition to the UN bid by the Israeli and American governments.

    ha! just had to repeat that one more time.

    • Bumblebye
      December 12, 2012, 10:13 pm

      Lieberman’s just practising goose-stepping further to the right in preparation for the elections. Obviously he expects the country’s electorate to be even keener on his fascism than before. If he is proved right, then I think it would be very much harder to maintain US unconditional support and financial aid. Can’t wait for that schism to materialise.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        December 13, 2012, 10:01 am

        I was surprised to see that Lieberman was able to function as foreign minister. I thought foreign diplomats might refuse to deal with him. But they do. Why should that change if he becomes prime minister? It seems they don’t know what specific Israeli politicians stand for, or they don’t care, or there is no line they will ever refuse to cross.

      • Bumblebye
        December 13, 2012, 12:24 pm

        Isn’t he supposedly aiming for Defense Minister for the first 3 years? In which he’ll waste no time provoking the next Intifada, and shovelling Palestinians out of Area C as fast as possible, extending it into the B areas for spurious “security” reasons. Emperor US has been shown to have no clothes by the UN vote, I don’t think the EU and other countries will hang back out of deference any more. I’m sure we’ll see them go beyond being verbally bolder.

  2. piotr
    December 12, 2012, 9:56 pm

    Something is fishy, I would not rely on Steinitz to be an impartial bill collector.

    There were articles about the debt of Palestinian electricity distributors in Summer. The total debt was under 700 M shekels, which means under 180 M USD. So grabbing 400 M USD has no justification.

    Moreover, 2/3 of the debt belongs to a company that chiefly serves East Jerusalem and nearby refugee camps, and because these places are outside the law enforcement of PA, PA cannot control electricity theft there. This was a fact recognized by Israel before, and the low remaining debt for electricity stems from the fact that money owed to Israeli utilities were deducted from Israeli tax transfers on a regular basis.

    If GoI makes PA responsible for unpaid electricity bills in East Jerusalem, it could be a “progressive step” of recognizing PA jurisdiction there, instead of insane reprisals for any acts that hints at such jurisdiction (insane in the meaning that there were not sane but rather pathetic, like shutting down theater performances that were sponsored by PA ?!?).

    I suspect that GoI can be sued in normal courts everywhere where there are Israeli assets.

  3. American
    December 12, 2012, 10:49 pm

    ‘Israel already withheld the PA’s December tax revenue. Now the Israeli government has extended that policy through March– which would add up to $423 million in lost revenue for the PA.’

    Palestine should declare Oslo null and void …end all agreements with Israel. Every state in the mE that has any relations at all with israel should ditch them..totally.

    • Accentitude
      December 13, 2012, 5:58 am

      Oslo has always been null and void. Settlements declared it dead long before lieberman decided that they’d withhold PA cash. The truth is that Israel has never stuck to the terms of Oslo on any account and yet the PLO are so stupid to think that they themselves should continue to do so…for the sake of diplomacy of course. Even at their own expense while Israel skips and prances its way to Eretz Israel.

  4. Abdul-Rahman
    December 13, 2012, 12:17 am

    I immediately thought of Norman Finkelstein’s classic work “The Holocaust Industry” when I read this article.

    link to normanfinkelstein.com

    As Finkelstein notes; “Much of the outrage was directed at the chapter entitled The Double Shakedown, in which I documented the Holocaust industry’s blackmail of European governments in the name of ‘needy Holocaust victims’ and then the shakedown of Holocaust victims by the Jewish organizations that pocketed the ‘Holocaust compensation’ monies.”

    Finkelstein goes on to note how the people he pointed the finger at have now widely being exposed as corrupt crooks.

  5. seafoid
    December 13, 2012, 12:28 am

    Lieberman is just revving up his base for the election. Modern yesha zionism requires a population in a state of constant panic about shoah 2.0 while the dispossession of the Palestinians continues unimpeded.

    • piotr
      December 13, 2012, 9:11 pm

      It is still amazing that the guy is FM. It is like appointing John Bolton as an ambassador to UN. Except that Bolton was not a gangster with multitalented former personal driver racking in millions from some strange transactions.

  6. seafoid
    December 13, 2012, 12:33 am

    Maybe the bots want to goad the palestinians in the pay of the PA into an intifada. Or maybe lieberman thinks he can do a gaza on the west bank. I find it hard to believe that god is so cruel that 1900 years of mitzvot have culminated in a return to zion with leadership of the calibre of this moldovan bouncer.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 13, 2012, 10:25 am

      Maybe the bots want to goad the palestinians in the pay of the PA into an intifada.

      it seems to me as if a lot of extra provocation is going on right now. not sure if it’s about goading the pa into an intifada, the palestinian people, or both. the pa will turn elsewhere for money.

      • American
        December 13, 2012, 10:56 am

        News Sources on December 9, 2012

        Reuters reports: Arab states agreed to provide the Palestinian Authority with a $100 million monthly “financial safety net” to help President Mahmoud Abbas’s government cope with an economic crisis after the United Nations granted de facto statehood to Palestine.

        Israel has responded to the November 29 U.N. vote by ordering 3,000 Jewish settler homes be built in the occupied West Bank and announced it would hold back payments of customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinians to pay an outstanding electricity bill.
        In a statement issued on Sunday after a meeting in Doha, Arab foreign ministers called for the “immediate implementation” of a resolution passed at an Arab summit in Baghdad in March, which called for the provision of a $100 million monthly safety net.
        But the statement did not give details of how the money would be paid or who would pay.”

      • Annie Robbins
        December 13, 2012, 4:11 pm

        thanks american, sounds like turkey may be filling in too.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        i would soooo appreciate driving a wedge between the US and it’s role as broker in this deal.

      • American
        December 13, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Heheheh…….this could be a wedgie coming.
        I’ll be very surprised though if Obama really has the balls to appoint a “America-Firster” like Chuck Hagel as Defense Chief.
        But if he does the I-Firsters will be shitting bricks.

        link to bloomberg.com

        Hagel Said to Top Obama’s List to Take Over at Pentagon
        By Hans Nichols – Dec 13, 2012 5:02 PM ET

        Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) — Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has emerged as the leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s next Defense secretary and may be nominated as soon as this month, according to two people familiar with the matter. Hans Nichols reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.”
        Hagel, who served as an enlisted Army infantryman in Vietnam, has passed the vetting process at the White House Counsel’s office, said one of the people. The former Nebraska senator has told associates that he is awaiting final word from the president, said the other person. Both requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
        Other contenders are Michele Flournoy, former defense undersecretary for policy, and Ashton Carter, deputy defense secretary, administration officials have said.
        Obama invited Hagel, 66, to the White House on Dec. 4 to discuss the position with him, according to an administration official. The president hasn’t made a final decision, said another official. Both asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
        White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today declined to comment on whether Obama is considering Hagel, saying only that the two-term onetime lawmaker was widely respected.
        The current defense secretary, Leon Panetta, 74, has indicated he won’t serve in Obama’s second term. His successor will face a shrinking budget and the need to cut defense programs as well as managing the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. ”

        The Times of Israel-7 hours ago

        In move likely to raise pro-Israel hackles, Obama reportedly set to nominate Hagel as defense chief
        President reportedly met to discuss position with ex-Republican congressman, who has been critical of Jerusalem
        By Ilan Ben Zion December 13, 2012,

        The Obama administration is expected to select former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to succeed Leon Panetta as the United States secretary of defense, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing sources in Washington.
        The nomination of Hagel would likely worry Israel supporters, who have criticized the former Republican senator for what they see as a chilly stance toward the Jewish state.
        Following weeks of speculation, Hagel reportedly met with US President Barack Obama at the White House last week to discuss America’s top security position. It has neither been confirmed that Hagel accepted, nor that Obama has officially offered the former Nebraska senator the position.
        Some critics of Hagel point at what they regard as a questionable policy in respect to Israel. He criticized the Bush administration in 2002 for refusing to meet with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and rebuked Israel for not engaging in negotiations with an Arafat-led Palestinian Authority.
        “Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace,” he wrote in the Washington Post at the time. “This does not mean giving up or limiting its right to self-defense against terrorism. But Palestinian reformers cannot promote a democratic agenda for change while both the Israeli military occupation and settlement activity continue.”
        During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hagel broke party ranks by calling for an immediate unilateral ceasefire by both Israel and Hezbollah.
        “The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now,” the then-senator from Nebraska said. “President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.”
        Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, was also an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Iraq, and rebuked his party’s approval for deploying more troops later in the war.
        “There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there,” he wrote in the Washington Post in 2006. “The time for more US troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq.”

      • seafoid
        December 14, 2012, 1:02 am

        It’s not sustainable. The Palestinians don’t get the benefit of the taxes they pay so others have to chip in. It is Zionism par excellence but it requires a third party to underwrite Israel’s nihilism indefinitely. Stupid move by Israel. They should think abut their long term interests- it is dumb to expose the machine to outside eyes.

  7. Nevada Ned
    December 13, 2012, 12:47 am

    Avigdor Lieberman is not a smooth talker like the late Abba Eban. Lieberman is a thug. He is unwittingly sabotaging Israeli-EU relations. For that, we are all grateful!

    Last week, there was a burst of criticism by EU leaders of Israel’s colonization policy in E-1. But unless that is followed by action that raise the price of its illegal actions, Israel will not be deterred from continuing its land theft program. Thanks to FM Lieberman, the EU leaders might actually take some action, but based on their past record I suspect that they won’t do anything.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 13, 2012, 10:30 am

      based on their past record I suspect that they won’t do anything.

      hmm, this ‘statement’ sounds definitive.

      That statement also said that the EU would work to ensure that all agreements between Israel and the EU “must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

      i’d like to read the full statement. i remember last year there was some talk of ‘concrete’ measures. sounds kinda boycotty-ish to me. sounds bigger than 423 million.

      plus, this is what lieberman is all jacked up about. the snowballing effect of a european boycott.

  8. ToivoS
    December 13, 2012, 1:46 am

    Isn’t this called price tag. The Israeli government is one with the settlers. Do not defy us for we can cause even more pain. And do not forget because they have 300 nuclear weapons. Now that would be price tag pain that no one in the West is willing to endure.

    I think it is time for all to bow down in surrender to the crazed Zionist — they are not to be defied.

  9. Dutch
    December 13, 2012, 1:50 am

    Israel’s punishment of the Palestinians is shortsighted for reasons mentioned by Nadia Hijab. But what happens when the Gulf nations step in, Israel won’t like either. In that situation Israël will loose it’s control over the Palestinian para-military and the tax-system. In other words: it’s position will be weakened further. And further.

    • piotr
      December 13, 2012, 2:37 am

      I am not sure if Gulf nations are very bold, however, they already promised PA a subsidy equal to the money withheld by Israel. I think that Israel will quickly concede on this silly matter, but not until after the elections.

  10. seafoid
    December 13, 2012, 2:05 am

    One of the policies the Nazis are remembered for, of course, is the sterilisation of Jewish women. They didn’t want the wrong babies.

    And guess where the policy is pursued today.

    link to haaretz.com

    It’s hard to believe, but in Israel, in 2012, Ethiopian women are forced to receive injections of the Depo-Provera contraceptive. This injection is not a commonly prescribed means of contraception. It is considered a last resort and is usually given to women who are institutionalized or developmentally disabled. Yet according to an investigation recently aired on the “Vacuum” documentary series hosted by Gal Gabay and shown on Israeli Educational Television, it is also given to many new immigrants from Ethiopia.

    In transit camps today, future immigrants enter a horrifying bureaucratic entanglement, which gives them the burden of proving they are worthy of arriving in Israel. As in the past, those who arrive here are not quickly released from the grasp of state institutions. They continue to receive “treatment” in absorption centers, where the children are sent to religious boarding schools and included in special education frameworks, while the parents stay in ghettos and the women continue to receive injections. We are told there is no choice. The repressive, racist and paternalistic policies continue unhindered – policies that are supposedly in the best interests of the immigrants, who don’t know what is best for them.

    This policy of total control over their lives, which starts while they are still in Ethiopia, is unique to immigrants from that country and does not allow them to adjust to Israel. Using the excuse that they need to be prepared for a modern country, they are brainwashed and made to remain dependent on the state absorption institutions.

    The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee said the claims the women made in the investigation were nonsense. This reminded me of some other women who spoke nonsense, such as the mothers of the kidnapped Yemenite children or the Moroccan women who underwent “treatment” for ringworm. To this day, their words are dismissed as nonsense. If they tried to sterilize me or take my children away, I think I would be talking nonsense too.

    • chinese box
      December 13, 2012, 8:52 am

      @seafoid

      WTF?! Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked by anything Israel does anymore…

    • Dutch
      December 13, 2012, 11:31 am

      Seafoid —This is totally unbelievable. Complete evil has come down over the ‘Jewish state’.

      BTW, just read in the Dutch media that Lieberman has a little legal problem at home, ten years old, but backfyering now.

      • seafoid
        December 13, 2012, 4:14 pm

        The court just waived all action against him.

        Sterilising women because they are the wrong colour is not what Judaism was supposed to be about.

  11. Sin Nombre
    December 13, 2012, 3:42 am

    I suppose at some point shouting “the Holocaust! the Holocaust!” at every turn will indeed come to be seen as the cynical ruse it often is and thus its insult to the Holocaust’s actual victims too. In the meantime though it still seems to have at least some magic, trump-card type of power in which, at its mention, the thought of the Palestinians just disappears.

    If I were the latter I’d get my West Bank and Gaza population to start wearing the yellow stars that Germany required jews to wear in Hitler’s early days. See if that wouldn’t change the perspective a bit.

    • Dutch
      December 13, 2012, 10:36 pm

      Sin Nombre — “If I were the latter I’d get my West Bank and Gaza population to start wearing the yellow stars that Germany required jews to wear in Hitler’s early days. See if that wouldn’t change the perspective a bit.”

      Wow. Cynical, raw, but amazingly effective idea.

      • American
        December 14, 2012, 12:28 am

        Sin Nombre — “If I were the latter I’d get my West Bank and Gaza population to start wearing the yellow stars that Germany required jews to wear in Hitler’s early days. See if that wouldn’t change the perspective a bit.”

        Meanwhile Jews are being told to undress:

        Denmark: Jews warned not to wear religious symbols – Israel News …
        Ynetnews-14 hours ago
        After facing an onslaught of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incidents recently, Israeli officials in Denmark and Spain have decided to call for…..

        Jordan warns Israelis not to visit wearing ‘Jew clothes’ | The Times of …www.timesofisrael.com › Israel & the RegionCached
        1 day ago – Tourism ministry in Amman wary of unfriendly reactions to Jewish dress or rituals in public places……

        Don’t know how true this is, but if there is this uptick of Jewish resentment, people taking out their anger willy nilly on whatever Jews they come across……it is directly related to Israel’s actions. Maybe that’s what the Zios want, more Jewish harrasment and fear to aid their cause.

  12. pabelmont
    December 13, 2012, 5:25 am

    This “crying Holocaust” is so very reminiscent of Ben-Gurion and others crying “Holocaust” when swindling the USA into not inspecting and not objecting to their development of the Dimona plutonium factory and when demanding arms to offset soviet arms being delivered to Egypt in the 1950s.

    They do it because [1] it seems it ought to work and [2] it has worked in the past.

    To cry “Hamas threatens holocaust” when Hamas is essentially disarmed and Israel is armed with the most modern weapons (never mind the nukes; these would not be used so close to home) is (I should have thought) transparent hypocrisy. We’ll see if the EU find their ponderous way to action of any sort whatever on Israel’s money-shenanigans or violations of the “truce” or anything else (e.g., the existing settlements, existing wall, or new settlements).

  13. Shmuel
    December 13, 2012, 5:28 am

    Avigdor der nebechdiker (Oded Yaron): link to haaretz.co.il

  14. justicewillprevail
    December 13, 2012, 6:10 am

    Well if Leiberman wants to use that language, he is right. The Europeans and many others ignore the incipient fascism of the dominant power and turn the other way when Palestinians are subject to mob violence, ejection from their homes, abuse, demonisation and ethnic cleansing. As Ilan Pappe observed the parallel is clear – no, not a holocaust, but a remarkably similar parallel to the events some years before it, a climate which led to the ultimate tragedy, and one which Leiberman demeans by his cheap slurs. Rabble rousing and racism of the worst kind.

  15. Shingo
    December 13, 2012, 8:06 am

    It looks like Lieberman’s diatribe is backfiring. The Europeans are not going to be intimidated anymore – one would hope

    link to haaretz.com

    • piotr
      December 13, 2012, 10:56 am

      What Ashton says has small importance in itself, but to the degree that European public is aware of Lieberman antics (and let us remember that Netanyahu says the same stuff) they are annoyed, and this gradually influences the policies.

      I also hope that the theft is a huge mistake. There are really no good procedures for massacres, but in the case of financial disputes where one side violates an agreement there are assets that can be frozen by court order and pretty lowly courts can do it. And justifying that with Holocaust is almost comical.

  16. Kathleen
    December 13, 2012, 10:29 am

    Let’s keep hoping and pushing that using the holocaust card does not have as much punch especially when used so inappropriately. Just like the Israeli government to flip the script and attempt to divert attention from all of their horrendous and illegal activities.

    Phil and Annie was watching a program the other day on illegal settlements on the West Bank and the report was saying that illegal settlers in the West Bank can have firearms but Palestinians who are living on their own land can not. Is this true?

    Diane Rehm show has been going newslite lately. Little of substance on foreign policy over there. Not even going to turn the program on. Wonder if they are getting hammered by anyone? There has been a noticeable shift on what they do stories on over there.

  17. American
    December 13, 2012, 3:33 pm

    Do a google search on ‘Holocaust Fatigue’.
    If it’s not yet total and complete fatigue thru out the world , it’s very close to it, and their going on 70 years now Holocaust excuse, blame and backmail game is responsible for it.
    You would think they could recongize in the UN vote on Palestine that most of the world does not accept the Holocaust as a excuse for what Israel does any longer.
    But Israel refuses to accept that so it is literally creating it’s own self fulfiling prophecy.

  18. American
    December 13, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Websters new definition of Anti Semitism

    Washington Post –

    A leading Arab American civil rights organization has asked Merriam-Webster Inc. to publicly repudiate what the group calls a “false and damaging” definition of anti-Semitism in the unabridged version of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.
    That dictionary lists, as one of the meanings of anti-Semitism, “opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel.”

    In its complaint to Merriam-Webster, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee also asked the company to delete the definition in future reprintings of the 2,662-page dictionary’s current edition and to insert a correction sheet into printings already made. Leaving the definition uncorrected, the committee said in a March 3 letter, “smears and impugns the motives of all those who support the human and political rights of Palestinians; undermines the efforts of Arab and Jewish groups working for Middle East peace [and] stigmatizes legitimate political opinions and activities.”… ”

    How crazy is that?….is Websters another zio owned organ?
    Idiots, ……. do they understand that this definition make anti semitism seem like ‘normal” for people to be since so much the world’s population is in sympathy with the Palestines?

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