Ahmadnejad: Israel an ‘insult to all humanity’


In another sharp verbal attack on the Jewish state, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel’s existence is an “insult to all humanity.”

The charge, reported by the Associated Press, comes amidst open discussion by leading Israeli policy makers as to whether their country should launch a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear installations.

Iran also supports radical anti-Israel groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as Syria’s embattled Assad regime.

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of land, in the future this story will repeat,” Ahmadinejad said of Israel’s existence during a speech in Tehran marking. The talk marked Iran’s Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, and was broadcast on state television, according to the AP.

Demonstrators were seen on Iranian TV holding up Palestinian flags and pictures of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The banners read “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” A group in Tehran was shown burning an Israeli flag, reported Agency France-Presse.

“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land… A new Middle East will definitely be formed,” Ahmadinejad said, AFP reported. “With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists.”


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Rude Israeli Olympic medalist ticks off Chinese, Peres apologizes


BEIJING (JTA)—Israel’s biggest source of pride at the Beijing 2008 Olympics became its biggest blight this past week, after ” title=”interview published September 5th”>interview published September 5th in Israel’s Yediot Aharanot.

That was his answer when the reporter asked him to describe his hosts in one word.

Zubari also said he didn’t feel very comfortable during the month and a half he spent in China, and was happy he wouldn’t have to see any more Chinese people.

“They are difficult,” he said. “They don’t speak the language, their rituals are strange and even their pronunciation is weird.”
He added he didn’t like Chinese food and missed his usual food. “I can live off hummus.”

His comments could be especially damaging considering China is about to send its ” title=”Chinese citizen living in Israel”>Chinese citizen living in Israel who takes issue with comments by Israeli telecasters during the Games.

Since Zubari’s story broke in the Chinese online press, articles and posts on the web in Mandarin are numerous. They range from outrage to observations that Zubari is just an ignorant youth.

The Shanghaiist in an ” title=”Talkback”>Talkback” section on the Ha’aertz website also has international comments including some Chinese readers.

Zubari clearly offended beyond the online message boards, however, as the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv canceled a reception for Israeli Olympians set to be held last Wednesday.

President Shimon Peres even apologized to the Chinese ambassador on Wednesday, and Ghaleb Majadle, Israeli Minister of Sport, Science and Culture made an ” title=”op-ed”>op-ed suggesting that better PR training for athletes (especially young ones like 22-year-old Zubari) could have prevented the gaffe.

An Insult to Our Soldiers


A German corporation that used slave labor to produce some of the weapons that killed American soldiers is now building a monument in Washington to honor the Americans who fought and died in World War II.

How do I know? I was one of those slave laborers. There were 30,000 of us constructing a factory that was to build jet planes for Hitler’s air force. My father was worked to death there. I was liberated by the U.S. Army at the age of 14.

Our owner was a German corporation, Philipp Holzmann AG. It used its profits from working for the Nazis and using free slave labor to accumulate enough capital to become the largest German construction company in Germany and one of the largest in the world. It also used this money — earned by the lives of Jewish slaves — to buy American companies. One such company, J.A. Jones of Maryland, was bought by Holzmann in 1979 for $75 million.

It was Jones, wholly owned by Holzmann, that was recently awarded the $59-million contract to build a monument to American soldiers who died fighting Holzmann’s employer, Adolph Hitler. And there is more. A few months ago, on April 13, a story in The New York Times revealed that the U.S. government (that is, you and me, my fellow-taxpayers) was cheated of several hundred million dollars by a consortium of European construction firms that submitted phony bids for construction projects in Egypt, paid for by our government.

And Holzmann was one of the major thieves.

It admitted its guilt and was fined $30 million for its part in the bid-rigging scheme. And then, as if in apology, our government awarded the contract to build the monument to the very corporation that cheated it.

I and a few dozen other ex-slaves tried to sue Holzmann for suffering, pain, lost wages. Our government didn’t like that. The courts were advised that these lawsuits were against the foreign-policy interest of the United States of America and should be dropped. They were dismissed. So what happened to the constitutional guarantee that I, as an American, have the right to a fair trial by a jury of my peers?

Why does the government seem to have a love affair with Philipp Holzmann AG? Officials there say they are patriots, good Americans, never used slave labor and have no ties to the Nazis. This is probably true. Still, where did Holzmann get the money to buy these corporations, if not from profits it made from slaves? And wasn’t Lucky Luciano, the infamous gangster, also a patriotic American? He helped the Allies invade Sicily during World War II. But does this make him less of a crook?

And should a memorial to our heroes be built by a company that is owned by a corporation that was responsible for more American deaths than the Mafia ever was? I think not.

But a contract is a contract, and there isn’t much that can be done after it was rushed through the General Services Administration and the American Battle Monuments Commission, right?

Wrong! It can be canceled, but first, there must be pressure.

The United States has recently canceled a contract. It was the contract for the black berets for the new uniform. It so happens that the berets were made in China, and after an uproar, the order was canceled, and the berets were manufactured right here in the United States. Tell your elected representatives that you resent this insult to the memory of the American heroes. Tell them that you want a real American company to build the monument — not an heir of the Nazi murderers. Tell them that you want Congress to stop this outrage.

To contact your senators, find them on the Web at www.congress.org. Drop representatives a line by mail to Representative (name), House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Senators can be contacted at Sen. (name), Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510.