Category: racism

New Zealand Journalist’s Indecent Slur on Indian Chief Minister

Article first published as New Zealand Journalist’s Indecent Slur on Indian Chief Minister on Technorati.

Racism is still standing on strong roots around the world it seems. Several numbers of human rights’ organisations, international anti-racism promoting organisations and equality laws are there in the world, but are not able to curb the inhuman, indecent and vulgar attitudes of the vulgar people, even among the intellectual world.

paul_henry Adding Insult to Injury

Paul Henry, who hosts the Breakfast show on state-owned broadcaster TVNZ, has deliberately mispronounced the name of the Delhi Chief Minister Ms. Sheila Dikshit even after he was told by the lead anchor that it was pronounced like “Dixit.” Adding insult to the injury the racial protagonist Paul Henry went on to say, “her name is so appropriate because she is Indian.”

Adding more insult, the particular clip was promoted on the Video Extras section of TVNZ’s website under the tag “Paul Henry laughs about the name Dikshit.” After receiving at least four complaints about the clip, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on its website a day ago, the clip has been removed now.

Racial Vulgarity

Henry went on to produce his racial vulgarity ridiculing the New Zealand’s Indo-Fijian Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand right in the conversation with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key. Paul Henry asked the Prime Minister whether Anand was a New Zealander or not, and whether the PM was going to pick someone who looked more like a New Zealander next time.

Turkish leader calls on Berlin to sack central bank official over racism

Deutsche Welle | 28.08.2010

Sarrazin Chairman of Germany’s Turkish Federation, Kenan Kolat, called for central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin to be removed from his post after fresh comments criticizing Muslims in Germany. "I am calling upon the government to begin a procedure to remove Thilo Sarrazin from the board of the central bank," Kolat told the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau on Saturday, August 28. In his book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany does away with itself"), Sarrazin claims that members of Germany’s Muslim community pose a danger to German society. Sarrazin, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Berlin’s former finance chief, was reported in June as saying that members of the Turkish and Arab community were making Germany "more stupid." With his book, Kolat said, Sarrazin had overstepped a boundary. "It is the climax of a new intellectual racism and it damages Germany’s reputation abroad," Kolat said.

High birth-rates

In a serialization of the forthcoming book in the German popular daily newspaper Bild, Sarrazin said that Germany’s Muslim community had profited from social welfare payments far more than they contributed, and that higher birth-rates among immigrants could lead to the Muslim population overtaking the "indigenous" one in terms of numbers. Merkel’s chief spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday that many people would find the remarks "offensive" and "defamatory," adding that the chancellor was concerned. Members of the SPD have distanced themselves from Sarrazin’s comments, while Germany’s Green and Left parties have called for his removal from the central bank’s board. A Bundesbank spokesman said that Sarrazin’s latest remarks were personal opinions, unconnected with his role on the board.

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Israeli military chief defends Gaza flotilla raid

The head of Israel’s military has defended its troops’ use of live ammunition during a deadly raid on an aid flotilla sailing to Gaza in May.  But Lt Gen Gabi Ashkenazi told an Israeli inquiry they underestimated the threat and should have used more force to subdue activists before boarding. Nine people were killed on board the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, as it tried to breach an Israeli naval blockade. Meanwhile, there is disagreement over a separate UN inquiry into the incident. Israel has agreed it will co-operate only if its soldiers do not have to give evidence to investigators, who have begun work in New York. However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has denied making such a deal. There was widespread international criticism of Israel’s actions, which severely strained relations with its long-time Muslim ally, Turkey.

‘Conflict was inevitable’

Testifying before the Turkel Commission in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Gen Ashkenazi said he took full responsibility for the army operation and was “proud” of the commandos who took part. He said they had not prepared to meet violent resistance on board the ships, and that live fire was used only after the troops were fired on by pro-Palestinian activists and attacked with knives, clubs and metal rods. But the general said “accurate weapons”, rather than stun grenades, should have been employed to incapacitate people on the deck of the ship before the commandos rappelled onto it. “We should have ensured sterile conditions in order to dispatch the forces in a minimum amount of time,” he said. “It would have lowered the risk to our soldiers but it would not have prevented the tension… Once the decision was made to stop the ship, the conflict was inevitable.”

Those on board the Mavi Marmara, where the activists were killed, say the commandos opened fire as soon as they boarded the vessel, which was in international waters at the time. The BBC’s Paul Wood in Jerusalem says Gen Ashkenazi’s remarks can be seen as part of the internal blame-game

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Oz who attacked Indian cabbie let off with light term

MSN News | 24/05/2010

An Australian youth, who pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury to an Indian student-cum-cabbie two years ago, has escaped with a light punishment despite the court being told that he "hated" Indians and the attack could have been "racially inspired". Murat Kilinc, 22, was awarded three years jail term by County Court judge Joseph Gullaci who, however, said he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the attack was racially motivated or pre-planned.

According to the case, the accused had attacked the 23-year-old Indian after hiring his taxi in Campbellfield in Melbourne’s west on February 16, 2008. The latter suffered a broken nose, jaw, cheekbones and a skull fracture. Judge Gullaci said he was unable to be satisfied whether the attack was preplanned or had happened after Kilinc and another passenger intended to evade the fare, reports ‘The Age’ daily. Last week, Psychologist Rachael Freeland had told the court that Kilinc’s attack might have "subconsciously" been inspired by racial motives and that he hated Indians.  

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Middle East talks: US warning on East Jerusalem

BBC News | Thursday, 13 May 2010 | 09:06 GMT

Indivisible capital The US administration has warned against an Israeli government announcement it could continue to demolish buildings in East Jerusalem. An unnamed Obama administration official told Israeli media the US "calls on both sides to avoid inflammatory actions in Jerusalem". On Wednesday an Israeli minister said the demolition of illegally built homes of Arabs could continue. Last week indirect talks began between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department official was quoted as saying that they hoped the indirect negotiations, known as "proximity talks", would lead to direct negotiations between the parties and steps that would "resolve this issue once and for all".

Postponed

"If either side takes significant actions during the proximity talks that we judge would seriously undermine trust, we will respond and hold them accountable and ensure negotiations will continue," the official said. On Wednesday Interior Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch had told Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, that there was no government order barring the demolition of homes illegally built by Arabs in East Jerusalem. He said that demolitions had been postponed in recent months to avoid harming the attempts by US Senator George Mitchell to reopen indirect talks. "As of right now there is no directive for police not to implement demolition orders," he said.   

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‘Go back’, attackers told Indian student in Australia

IANS | Melbourne | 14/04/2010

An Indian student, who was viciously attacked and robbed in this Australian city, says the assault was racially motivated and the assailant screamed, "Go back to your own country". Neeraj Bhardwaj, 23, was waiting for a tram near Melbourne Aquarium at 4 a.m. Easter Monday when two drunk men approached him, The Age reported Wednesday.

The men, described as white and in their 20s, told Bhardwaj to hand over his wallet. Then one man punched him several times in the face and he lost consciousness. They left only to return 15 minutes later and punched the victim again. One of the attackers shouted: "F*** off, go back to your own country." Bhardwaj suffered a damaged left eye, broken nose and and sore ribs. There have been a string of attacks on Indian students in Australia, triggering an outcry in India. The incidents soured the relationship between New Delhi and Canberra and led to a dip in the number of Indian students opting to study in this country.   

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Teen arrested in Wal-Mart racial announcement incident

CNN | March 20, 2010 | 2:35 pm EDT

Wal-Mart Police in New Jersey arrested a teenager in connection with a public-address-system announcement telling "all blacks" to leave a Wal-Mart store, a police spokesman said. The 16-year-old boy is from Atlantic County, New Jersey, said deputy police chief John Dalesandro of the Washington Township Police Department. The suspect was arrested Friday in Atlantic County on bias intimidation and harassment charges, police said in a statement Saturday. He is in custody of his parents, police said.

Gloucester County prosecutors say that shortly before 5 p.m. on March 14, an unidentified male accessed the public address system at the Turnersville, New Jersey, Wal-Mart Supercenter Store. "All blacks need to leave the store," the voice announced. Store management contacted the Washington Township Police Department, which opened an investigation in conjunction with the county prosecutor’s office, Dalesandro said.    

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US Senate leader in Obama apology

BBC NEWS | 2010/01/10 | 00:54:29 GMT

The US Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has apologised for private comments he made about Barack Obama before the 2008 presidential election. He is quoted in a new book as saying Mr. Obama could win since he was a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect,” unless he wanted one. The Democrat said he now regretted “using such a poor choice of words” and apologised to any Americans offended. President Obama quickly accepted the apology and said “the book is closed.” Correspondents say Mr. Reid, 71, is facing a difficult re-election battle in his home state of Nevada in November’s mid-term elections.

‘Improper comments’

In a new book published about the presidential election campaign by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heileman, Game Change, the senator is described as somebody whose encouragement of Mr. Obama was “unequivocal.” “He was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama – a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately,” the authors wrote. “Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama’s race would      Continue reading

Bosnia’s bar on minorities in parliament ruled illegal

Guardian | Tuesday 22 December 2009 | 18.47 GMT

Bosnia’s refusal to allow Jews and other minority groups to stand for key elected positions was dealt a final blow today when the European court of human rights ruled the country’s constitution violated fundamental human rights. Jakob Finci, a Bosnian Jew who is currently the country’s ambassador to Switzerland, was prevented from standing for parliament and the presidency under the Bosnian constitution. Analysts described the case, brought by Finci and Dervo Sejdi, a Bosnian of Roma origin, as a landmark for ending discrimination across Europe. “The European court has made it clear that race-based exclusion from political office, such as that suffered by Jews and Roma in Bosnia, has no place in Europe,” said Clive Baldwin, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch, who represented Finci for the Minority Rights Group. “The US, EU and the other states who still play a major role in Bosnia, should ensure the ruling is put into immediate effect by backing a change in the constitution.”

The decision, by a grand chamber of 17 judges in the court’s most authoritative panel, found that the applicants’ continued ineligibility to stand for election to parliament violated the rights against discrimination and free elections set out in the European convention on human rights. “I am delighted that the European court has recognised the wrong that was done in the constitution 14 years ago,” Finci said. “The      Continue reading

Jewish school loses appeal in UK

Guardian | Wednesday 16 December 2009 | 11.27 GMT

One of Britain’s most successful faith schools lost its appeal today to overturn a ruling that it had racially discriminated against a 12-year-old boy. In a landmark legal decision, judges at the Supreme Court found the Jewish Free School, a comprehensive in north-west London, had broken the law by refusing to admit the boy, known as M. It had denied the boy, who is a practising Jew, a place because it has twice as many applicants as it can take and prioritises children whose mothers are recognised as Jewish by the chief rabbi. M’s mother converted from Catholicism to Judaism under a non-Orthodox authority, which means she is not recognised as Jewish by the chief rabbi. The chief rabbi only recognises children as Jewish if he recognises their mothers as Jewish.

M’s father took the school to court claiming racial discrimination. In June, the court of appeal ruled in his favour. It said the school’s policy amounted to racial discrimination because it prioritised applications from children with Jewish mothers. But the school appealed and took the case to the Supreme Court. Critics say today’s ruling has meant secular jurists are deciding who is Jewish and who is not. The ruling will      Continue reading

Obama warns Israel on settlements

BBC NEWS | 2009/11/18 | 15:46:44 GMT

US President Barack Obama has said Israel’s approval of 900 extra housing units at a settlement in East Jerusalem could lead to a “dangerous” situation. Mr. Obama told Fox News that additional settlement construction made it harder for Israel to make peace in the region and “embitters the Palestinians.” The settlement of Gilo has been built on land Israel captured in 1967. The Palestinians have refused to attend peace talks until Israel stops building settlements on occupied territory. The Israeli government disputes that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, and therefore refuses to include annexed areas as part of any accommodation of Mr. Obama’s past calls for “restraint” in settlement construction. Nearly 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built on occupied territory. The settlements are illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

In the interview with Fox News, Mr. Obama stressed that Israel’s security was “a vital national interest to the United States,” but warned that its policies were complicating his administration’s efforts to revive the peace process. “I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel’s security, I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbours,” he said. “I think it embitters the     Continue reading

PLO will keep Abbas as Palestinian president

Reuters | Tue Nov 17, 2009 | 8:29pm IST

Mahmoud Abbas’s term as Palestinian president will be extended by the supreme body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) when it meets in December, senior PLO officials said on Tuesday. Abbas, the Western-backed leader committed to negotiating peace with Israel, will stay in office, they said. Though Abbas has said he does not want to run again for the presidency, several members of the PLO Central Council interviewed by Reuters said the body would effectively extend his tenure to avoid a vacuum when it expires on Jan. 25. Following his Nov. 5 announcement that he did not want to stand again for the presidency in elections he had called for Jan. 24, the PLO urged Abbas to stay on. However, the debate over his candidacy was rendered largely irrelevant last week when the independent election commission advised him to postpone the vote. Cancellation of the election is now seen as a mere formality. The commission told Abbas it could not organise presidential and legislative elections, mainly because they had been banned in advance by the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which disputes Abbas’s legitimacy. So his threat not to stand will not arise.        Continue reading

In the shadow of an Israeli settlement

BBC NEWS | 2009/09/25 | 08:37:12 GMT

Givat Ze'ev settlement

Givat Ze'ev settlement is separated from local Palestinians by Israel's West Bank barrier

Extensive diplomatic efforts towards reviving Mid-East peace talks have yielded little. The US has continued to demand Israel freeze settlement activity in the West Bank, while Palestinians refuse to negotiate without a freeze. In the second of a two-part investigation, the BBC’s Martin Asser sees the effect of settlements on the lives of Palestinians. They are called the Seven Villages, situated north-west of Jerusalem where the West Bank hills fall away towards the Mediterranean. Though their inhabitants live within the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem governorate, few get to visit Jerusalem – though the city was “like a mother to us” one man said. While Israelis in nearby Givat Ze’ev settlement bloc zip to Jerusalem by car in minutes, the Palestinian villagers need permission from Israel’s military authorities. If they don’t get permission, apparently the norm, there are roundabout ways past Israel’s defences and into the city, but this risks jail and a stiff fine. Israel says all restrictions are imposed to prevent Palestinian militants wreaking havoc with suicide bombings. But, the Seven Villages is known as a quiet area. Israeli soldiers I spoke to said there was very little militant activity. Palestinian residents insist they are peaceable folk – famers, labourers, some professionals – who just want to live normal, decent lives.       Continue reading

South African Team Visits Israel occupied town of WB ‘Nablus’ – Report

Gideon Levy | Haaretz.com | Sun, November 08, 2009 | Israel Time: 13:18 (EST+7)

Twilight Zone / ‘Worse than apartheid’

I thought they would feel right at home in the alleys of Balata refugee camp, the Casbah and the Hawara checkpoint. But they said there is no comparison: for them the Israeli occupation regime is worse than anything they knew under apartheid. This week, 21 human rights activists from South Africa visited Israel. Among them were members of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress; at least one of them took part in the armed struggle and at least two were jailed. There were two South African Supreme Court judges, a former deputy minister, and members of Parliament, attorneys, writers and journalists. Blacks and whites, about half of them Jews who today are in conflict with attitudes of the conservative Jewish community in their country. Some of them have been here before; for others it was their first visit.

For five days, they paid an unconventional visit to Israel – without Sderot, the IDF and the Foreign Ministry but with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial and a meeting with Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinisch. They spent most of their time in the occupied areas, where hardly any official guests go – places that are also shunned by most Israelis.

On Monday, they visited Nablus, the most imprisoned city in the West Bank. From Hawara to the Casbah, from the Casbah to Balata, from    Continue reading

Israel rejects UN’s endorsement of Gaza war report

IANS | Fri, Nov 6 | 08:24 PM

Tel Aviv Friday deplored a UN resolution backing the Goldstone report that investigated human rights violations during the brief war between Israeli forces and Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip early this year. The UN resolution suggests if either of the two sides fails to launch a credible investigation, then the matter should be submitted to the Security Council, Xinhua reported. Israel has denied any violation of international humanitarian laws. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had appointed a former South African judge Richard Goldstone to investigate any possible human rights violations during the 22-day war in December and January in the Gaza Strip. After a debate, majority of the 192-member UN General Assembly voted in favour of an unbinding resolution that calls upon both Israel and the Palestinians to conduct ‘independent and credible’ investigations into alleged war crimes.

In response, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement ‘Israel rejects the UN resolution which is completely detached from the ground realities it faces.’ The ministry also said it had the right for self-defence and would continue to act to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks. Israel said it launched the offensive in response to eight years of continuous rocket fire from Gaza. At least 1,400 people were killed in the fighting. While defying international pressure for an inquiry based on the Goldstone report, Israel said it has been conducting its own investigation into a number of civilian deaths and other incidents during the Gaza war, including some listed in the report.