EAPPI demonizes the Jews of Hebron
Yesterday there was an anti-Israel speaking event arranged by EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) in conjunction with Finn Church Aid which is funded by the Finnish government via the taxpayer. It’s making its rounds to all the major university campuses in Finland.
The Finnish branch of radical extremist ICAHD, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, are promoting the tour as well, so you can imagine the depth of shared agreement in their hostility towards the state of Israel.
EAPPI- University tour /Jyväskylä / What is really happening in Palestine now?
JYVÄSKYLÄ UNIVERSITY 12.2 IN THE EVENING
Former EAPPI-observers speaking:
Rami Kolehmainen, journalist and teacher
Eero Mäntymaa, journalist
Elina Savo, Master of Science in Technology
First up was Rami Kolehmainen, who gave a brief run down on what EAPPI supposedly stands for and their mission. They’re there supposedly at the behest of the local Christian community (he named Haifa as one of the communities inside Israel they respond to) to ”administer aid”.
They are supposedly a ”grass roots” organization that has taken upon itself the task to observe human rights violations of the Arabs in the disputed territories, (he uses the standard term of West Bank). He made a point of highlighting their work as one of intervention between violent ”settlers” and their Arab victims.
According to Kolehmainen he knows all about international law, has studied it, and says Israel is repeatedly in violation of it. For an example he brings up the Geneva Conventions 49, but fails to mention that it can only apply to an area belonging to a de facto recognized state as prescribed under UN laws. That in order for article 49 to be valid in this context, the area in question has to have belonged to a high contracting power, instead, it was internationally recognized, and still is under black and white law, a disputed territory.
Basically they’re banking on the ignorance of the listener concerning these finer points, seeing that he’s a ”self defined expert” on international law. (So not). Kohlemainen goes on to state that it’s the settlements that keep the conflict going, Israel has the ways and means to control the Arabs, multiple I.D. cards, permits etc., while only casually referring to the terror that causes these draconian but necessary measures. In fact, he never once addressed the security measure that Israelis have to endure inside Israel, as a matter of everyday life to ensure its security needs.
Israel was cast in the role of being simply vindictive, supposedly thousands of Arabs climb through the security fence (which he referred to it as such before correcting himself and took to calling it The Wall) which begs the question as to why its needed in the first place since no suicide bombing have occurred for a long time. To his credit he did mention, however begrudgingly so, that attacks and crime have come down since its being constructed.
Then there is the so called Israeli usurpation of ”Palestinian land”: Using the map of lies that the Elder of Ziyon has definitively debunked, he went on to show (falsely) how Arab ”owned” land was taken away from them.
Back to how Israel supposedly ”vindictively persecutes” the Arabs, Kohlemainen insists that the Palis have no rights, IDF soldiers are power hungry, ”it’s like a drug with them”, a miniscule percentage of cases brought up against them hardly ever end in a conviction, etc. etc. and etc..
Then it came time to really pulling the heart strings, the vindictive Israeli army and the judicial system vis-a-vis the poor children.
They are hunted down in their homes as the IDF makes it a habit to rouse them in the middle of the night (supposedly intimidation and victimization tactic, actually its the best time capture suspects who are not fully awake and able to act quickly) as they trash their surroundings on purpose as a form of collective punishment.
We are told that water is fully in the hands of the Israelis, using 88% of it, the Arabs have got squat, while their houses are being demolished (supposedly 300 in 2013) and their olive trees uprooted (supposedly 7000 in 2013 according to a UN report). Villages with no water, electricity, whole villages not hooked up to the grid at all, and not once, outside a vague statement concerning P.A. corruption where the Palestinians to blame for anything at all.
The Arabs are the weaker party, Israel holds all the keys to power, so it’s all Israel’s fault, who for some inane reason left unexplained, they just love to persecute people. I responded to the issue of SodaStream after it was brought up by one of the members of the audience, saying the the firm is a direct response to the Oslo accords signed in agreement between the two sides, to encourage co-existence, it was one of the shining lights of that process, which was met with dead silence and they quickly changed the subject.
I noticed that the presenters were guarding their words, while using the regular hyperbole used by such activists, they couched them in a way to use them, while not owning them directly. ”It is said”, ”others have described it as such”, but the understanding is that they fully back those words, they do not denounce them at all.
An interesting note, neither of these self defined ”experts” knew about why the security fence is a wall in some places, and chain fence in other areas which comprise the majority. I had to school them and the audience that the Israeli government’s sole purpose is to save lives of their citizens, not to take land from owners, so in some places a wall does in fact exist, because it doesn’t demand a wider area for construction and service, chain link sections demand 25 meters or so on either side, totally unworkable in a city.
That in itself proves that Israel is not vindictive, but actively seeks ways to secure its security without undue hardship to others, but this was all lost on these people, they couldn’t care less.
Hanna Brag incites.
Israeli extremist Hanna Brag from Machsom Watch, tells audience in EAPPI organized event that they should boycott SodaStream and the state of Israel. And yes, she was slamming her fist down on the table shouting and popping veins on her forehead. She admitted that the majority of Israelis deem her to be a traitor. This all of course is typical of the Left, present the Israeli position with extremes, and the Palestinians as hapless victims, and they play that formula to the hilt.
One side note, they admitted that the BDS campaign really hasn’t a chance of succeeding, the Israelis would have to lose the US as a main backer for that to become a reality, and according to them, it simply isn’t going to happen.
I’ll drink to that.
Report on an event held at the University of Turku, Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 at 17.00 -20.00 hours. The topic of the event was the human rights situation of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
The main organizer of the event is a foundation closely connected to the Lutheran Church of Finland called The Church’s Foreign Aid of the, which participates in the international EAPPI-project of the churches (EAPPI= Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel).
The organizers are arranging these events in universities around Finland during February 2014.
This report plus comments pertains exclusively to the event held at the lecture hall Calonia 1 in the legal faculty of the University of Turku.
We were present at this very depressing event. We have believed that the Church’s Foreign Aid focuses on helping people in distress. This event, however, was organized solely to discredit the state of Israel.
Three speakers had been invited to the event: Rami Kolehmainen, a reporter and teacher; Laura Kajala, a cleric and instructor plus Juha Hyrsky, a teacher. All of the speakers reported on the situation in the Palestinian territories very emotionally based on their own experience. All the reports vere extremely one sided.
The main problem was, that all three speakers presented only the Palestinian narrative of the situation in a blatantly one-sided and skewed way.
The organizers promised, at the beginning of the event, that questions from the audience would be welcomed. The entire set-up was, however such, that there no time for proper questions and the organizers tried to stop all interpellations. There was no intention on the side of the organizers to allow any proper debate; all comments were belittled with remarks like ”everybody is entitled to his opinion”.
EAPPI, under whose auspicies the speakers acted, is a body seemingly working for the promotion of human rights, but the entire staging of the event was a dastardly one-sided smear campaign against Israel in general and the Israeli Army in particular. There was not a single remark on any violations, murders, corruption and other crimes perpetrated by the Palestinians. Nor was the audience given any chance to bring these matters up.
The distortion of historical facts and the maps shown at the event had one purpose only: to portray the criminal Israel against the victimized Palestinians. The territories A, B and C as defined in the Oslo II accords, were not highlighted either because of a lack of understanding or more ulterior reasons. Everything was presented in a light according to which Israel has violated every agreement, whereas the Palestinian Authority was whitewashed from any responsibility – and its ability to function at all under the “brutal occupation” of Israel was questioned.
The above examples show with utmost clarity, that the ultimate purpose of the whole event was to provide yet another platform for dishonest Palestinian propaganda.
Propaganda-events of this calipher serve no constructive purpose. At the event some partcipants noted that, such blatant instigations of hatred towards Israel have no place in a civilized society. The Finnish Lutheran Church and its Archbishop Kari Mäkinen as the chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Church, which appoints the members to the Board of the Church’s Foreign Aid foundation, bear a major responsibility in this calamitous affair.
We wish to point out that contacts were made prior to the event with Mika Pajunen, the theological special assistant to the Archbishop, in the hope that the church would cancel the event in Turku and the whole propaganda tour around the universities in Finland.
In our opinion the Lutheran Church of Finland should be much more concerned about the faith of the Christians in the Middle East and Africa in general and in Syria, Lebanon, Irak, Egypt and the Palestinian Territories in particular. It is our firm belief, that these areas are in much more urgent need of human rights observers than the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Given the above facts one cannot avoid the question, whether the Lutheran Church of Finland and its Archbishop are deliberately or inadvertently condoning a policy, which stigmatizes and singles out the State of Israel and fosters animosity and hatred against Israelis.
Another matter is the fact, that the University of Turku took no measures to check in advance the purpose of the event, gave the venue at the disposal of the organizers and enabled students of the history and political sciences faculties to score academic points from participating in an event, which fell short of all academic standards. A formal complaint has been forwarded on February 12th, 2014 to the Rector of the University, Kalervo Väänänen.
We strongly believe that all right-minded people should react forcefully against such blatant dissemination of vitriolic hate-propaganda against Israel. We further believe that it is in the best interest of the Finnish Lutheran Church to initiate immediate action against the Church’s Foreign Aid foundation in order to stop the spreading of biased and distorted information of Israel and Israelis in Finland.
Turku, February 12th, 2014
Ruth Hasan Pekka Sartola Risto Tähtinen Mikael Zewi
Licenciate of Pastor, Author Reporter Master of Social