Posted by John Rosenthal

A Round-Up of Notable Quotes and Curious Sightings from the Last Two Weeks in Europe. The Savior   

Bill Clinton interviewed in the August 10 edition of Le Monde:      

Question: The image of the United States has greatly deteriorated in the last few years, particularly in the Muslim world. This fuels terrorism and the fears of a clash of civilizations. Do you think that you have solutions?     

Clinton: It is possible to do something. One example. Former President George Bush and myself traveled around the United States last year in order to raise funds to come to the aid of the victims of the tsunami in Asia. Then we went to the stricken regions and we made a report to the President. I showed him an opinion poll. Before the tsunami, in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, only 36% of the population had a favorable opinion of the United States. After, the figure had gone up to 60%.     

Clinton makes no mention in his Le Monde interview of the some 14,400 American military personnel who – aboard 25 ships, 37 cargo aircraft, 8 patrol aircraft and 51 helicopters and distributing “almost 6 million pounds of relief supplies and equipment, including water, food and medical supplies” – were among the first to provide relief to the affected regions… long before Bill Clinton went on his well-publicized charity drive.   (State department figures cited via the sorely missed Diplomad.)      


Not the Season for Bras or Hayek   

The Figaro of August 11 reports on the panic of French retailers as EU quotas on Chinese textile imports fill up. But the European Commission is serene as always:     

After sweaters and pants [the quotas for both of which have already been surpassed – JR], concerns could now turn to other articles. Of the ten categories subject to import limitations, several are already at nearly 80% of the quantities authorized for the whole year. According to the data published yesterday by the European Commission, this is the case for blouses, bras or tee-shirts. But the Commission relativizes the importance of these statistics, underscoring that the season for these sorts of articles is already behind us.     


Is Recognizing Jews as the “Root of all Evil” a Contribution to Peace and Understanding?     

In a development that was left strangely unpublicized in the English-speaking world, the Paris-based UN cultural organization UNESCO announced on August 13 that its 2005 IMC International Music Prize would go to Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. This might not be so notable here if the prize was awarded strictly on musical merits.  But this is UNESCO of which we are speaking, so, of course, it is not.  According to the UNESCO press release [pdf-file], the IMC International Music Prize was established:      

to honour musicians or musical institutions whose activities have contributed to the enrichment and development of music and have served peace, understanding between peoples, international cooperation and other purposes proclaimed by the United Nations Charter and UNESCO’s Constitution.     

The IMC laureate is the same Mikis Theodorakis who in November 2003 made headlines – and friends among “Jewish conspiracy” theorists, as one can judge by the eager reproduction of his words in the “National Journal” – by identifying Jews as the “root of all evil”.     


Get Rupert!    

Two consecutive economic “briefs” on soccer broadcasting rights from the Figaro of August 18, one concerning the German digital television network Premiere and the other, Premiere’s Murdoch-controlled British counterpart BSkyB 

Premiere Wants to Rename the Bundesliga    

The German pay-per-view television group Premiere, which for €280 million already enjoys exclusive broadcasting rights for the German soccer league, is prepared to spend an additional €50 million to have its name attached to that of the Bundeliga.  Negotiations are underway, but inasmuch as the television rights expire at the end of the season, the league would not accept the name “Premiere Bundesliga” without a reassessment of their value….     

Rebukes the English “Premier League”     

The European Commission has called to order the “Premier League”, which manages the English soccer league and whose broadcast rights are not sufficiently open to competition.  These rights are currently held in their entirety by the British satellite broadcaster BSkyB…. If no solution is found, the Commission is considering opening a procedure for violation of community law [procedure d’infraction].  

The broadcasting rights for the first French soccer league are also held by a single broadcaster: Canal+.    


Gaza Pullout a “Show” says German Television Expert… Israel Shamir  

When the popular “Kulturzeit” [“Culture Time”] program on German private television network 3Sat needs expert commentary on the Gaza pullout, whom do the producers call?  The particularly fevered “Jewish conspiracy” theorist who goes by the name Israel Shamir, aka Jöran Jermas – that’s who. Shamir/Jermas has, among other things, endorsed the theory of a “ZOG” or “Zionist Occupation Government” that is supposed to rule the United States and asserted that if the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” had “no relation to reality, they probably wouldn’t be as popular as they are. The Jews are sufficiently powerful to dream of domination, and some do.” For more background on Shamir/Jermas, see this May posting from Trans-Int.    

Click here to see a full screen capture from the “Kulturzeit” homepage made on 19 August, two days after the Shamir interview. In the left column, note the picture link to the interview (“Im Gespräch”). In the right column, note the picture link to a report on an ex-concentration camp inmate’s encounter with “Jew saver” Oskar Schindler: “Der rettende Weg: Schindlers Liste” ( “The Way to Save: Schindler’s List). This telling juxtaposition should disabuse anyone who still believes that ritualized memorialization of the Holocaust, such as has become an integral part of German public culture, provides a guarantee against anti-Semitism. (For more on this question, see earlier Trans-Int entries “The Neue Wache: Germany and Historical Revisionism” and “Looking Behind the Scenes of German Holocaust ‘Remembrance’”.)     

Speaking of “concentration camps”, Shamir took the opportunity to say that the West Bank was nothing other than a “big concentration camp”. He also denounced the Gaza pullout as “just a show”, apparently, on Shamir’s account, undertaken in order to dramatize Jewish suffering and thus distract attention from Palestinian suffering.     

(Hat tip Gudrun Eussner! [link in German])     



Blogging will remain light for the rest of September, as we continue to build the site. But check back in one week, on August 30, for a second edition of “Spots” and an update on the launch of the Quarterly.

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