29 maggio 2012
Ricordo di David Littman
|A Bat Ye'or, sua moglie, le condoglianze di tutti i collaboratori di Informazione Corretta|
Testata: Informazione Corretta
Autore: Redazione - Raphael Israeli - Wikipedia
Titolo: «Ricordo di David Littman»
E' morto a Losanna il 20 maggio David Littman (1933-2012). Ha dedicato la propria vita a Israele e al popolo ebraico. Il modo migliore per ricordarlo è la sua biografia, che riprendiamo da wikipedia, preceduta dal ricordo di Rahael Israeli. A Bat Ye'or, sua moglie, le condoglianze di tutti i collaboratori di Informazione Corretta.
A destra, David Littman con Bat Ye'or in un'immagine del 2000
JERUSALEM POST - Raphael Israeli : " In memory of David "
Raphael Israeli, David Littman
David Littman, historian, writer, financier, public figure and relentless activist at the UN in Geneva promoting human rights issues as well as supporting Israel and the Jewish People, sadly passed away on May 20, 2012 in his home town of Gland on Lake Geneva.
David was born in London on July 4, 1933. For several years he was main representative at the UN for the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). Since 1997, David was affilliated with the Association of World Citizens (AWC) and the Association for World Education (AWE).
While forging a career in his family's business, David chose to continue his postgraduate studies in London's Institute of Archaeology. Among other sites, he excavated Hazor in the Galilee region of Israel under Professor Yigal Yadin in the summer of 1958.
In September 1959, David married Gisèle Orebi, a Cairo-born, French-speaking fellow student who was known by her nom de plume, Bat Ye’or. As a stateless refugee, David's wife had been forced to flee Egypt in 1957. Soon after the birth of their first child, David volunteered for a delicate humanitarian mission in Morocco. Accompanied by his wife as secretary and their baby daughter Diana, David stayed in Morocco from March 15 until July 24 1961. David managed the Casablanca office of the Geneva-based international NGO for children called OSE, and used his office to smuggle out hundreds of Jewish children to Israel. The initiative, known as Operation Mural, earned David the “Hero of Silence” award, bestowed upon him by a grateful State of Israel in 2009. The venture became the subject of the film "Operation Mural Casablanca 1961" which premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival in 2007.
But perhaps David's greatest claim to fame is his partnership with his wife's ground-breaking research on dhimmitude, Eurabia and the rising Caliphate of fundamentalist Islam that seeks to conquer the West through Jihad. Indefatigably supporting Orebi's work, David was her constant companion in all of her lecture tours, relentlessly defending her against her many detractors.
These are the words I penned in a dedication of one of my books to this remarkable couple:
To Gisele and David Littman,
"What a couple!" it was said of them.
In wonder of the golden half-century of their marriage,
And in recognition of decades of their unflinching friendship,
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments."
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116.)
WIKIPEDIA - David Littman
David Littman was born on July 4, 1933, in London, England. He was educated at Canford School, Dorset, England (1951), and Trinity College, Dublin, where he earned his BA with honors and MA degrees in Modern History and Political Science, followed by post-graduate studies at the Institute of Archaeology,University of London. He married his Egyptian-born wife Gisèle (née Orebi) (later known by her nom de plume Bat Ye'or), in September 1959. They moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, the following year.
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization was founded by his brother, Louis Littman.
Littman volunteered for a clandestine humanitarian mission to evacuate Jewish children from Morocco to Israel, via Switzerland. At the time, Moroccan Jews were prohibited from leaving the country. Littman thought he was working for the Jewish Agency – years later it was revealed it was arranged with the assistance of the Mossad. From March–July 1961, posing with his wife and baby daughter as Christians, the 27-year-old Littman ran theCasablanca office of the Geneva-based international NGO for children Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants de l'Afrique du Nord (OSSEAN). His code namewas "Mural", and the code name for the mission was "Operation Mural". After months of negotiation by Littman, the children left Morocco in five convoys under the guise of a supposed holiday in Switzerland (with Littman accompanying the last convoy), and from Switzerland went to Israel.In all, he assisted in evacuating 530 Jewish children to Israel. The children's families joined them several years later.
The story of Operation Mural was first made public in 1984, in an article inMaariv. That in turn led to public recognition by President Chaim Herzog at an official presidential reception, followed in 1986, on the 25th anniversary of the operation, by a gathering of the children at which Littman was honored with the Mimouna award in recognition of his activities. A documentary film on the operation, filmed by Yehuda Kaveh, screened in 2007.
On June 1, 2008, at a special private commemorative event at the presidential Jerusalem residence – with Littman, his wife, two children, three grandchildren and former key agents from the Mossad, who had worked with Littman –Israeli President Shimon Peres, said:
"Well, it is a belated ceremony, but it doesn’t lose its value, because what you did stands on its own legs and is not affected by time. I think that the saving of 530 children is, I imagine, the most moving experience a man can have. You say in Hebrew: 'The one who saves one life, is like the one that saved the life of the whole world.' But when you save 530 children, it’s really unforgettable. I want to express, on behalf of our people, our nation, our recognition of your courage, your wisdom, of your determination under extremely difficult conditions".
A year later Littman was honored by the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center in a unique ceremony on July 1, 2009, with 200 persons, when the "Hero of Silence" Order was conferred on him, he being the 9th person to receive it since 1985. ("An order of highest esteem and appreciation, awarded to David Gerald Littman: A clandestine warrior, who risked his life and who served a sacred cause of the People and of the State of Israel"). A few months earlier a Casablanca French newspaper, Le Soir Echos, interviewed him through a Swiss colleague, with their own questions; and published the Operation Mural story integrally in four successive issues (March 23–26) with their own positive titles and sub-titles throughout, and no editing. It was the first time that Moroccans learned about the affair.
In 1970, the Littmans helped to found the Centre d'Information et de Documentation sur le Moyen Orient (CID) in Geneva, which published studies on Middle East subjects until the mid-1980s. He supervised its publications until 1974, and then served as an advisor.
Littman has been presenting on human rights issues at the United Nations in Geneva on behalf of various NGOs since 1986. He appears before theUnited Nations Human Rights Council (formerly the United Nations Commission on Human Rights). From 1986–91 he was main representative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). In February 1992, he joined René Wadlow (main representative of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation; (IFOR)), then with the World Federalist Movement (WFM). He has been an accredited representative for the Association of World Citizens (AWC) and for theAssociation for World Education (AWE) since 1997, and an accredited representative and main spokesman for the WUPJ again since 2001. He has made oral and written statements (some jointly) at the UN Commission on Human Rights for the WUPJ, IFOR, WFM, International Committee for European Security and Cooperation (ICESC), Christian Solidarity International (CSI), Simon Wiesenthal Center, International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), AWC, AWC, and other NGOs.
- Release of Russian Jews
In March 1987, Littman caused a walk-out by the entire Soviet delegation when he arranged for Natan Sharansky to speak about refuseniks at the Commission on behalf of WUPJ. That same year, he appeared before the UN Commission on Human Rights, charging the Soviet delegate withantisemitism in an ascerbic diatribe, and in 1988 he appeared before a meeting of the Commission which heard various "experts" discuss glastnost, raising the cases of several Jews in the USSR who were being refused the right to emigrate; he extended his request to Boris Yeltsin in 1991. In August 1989, he appeared before the Commission representing WUPJ.
Since January 1989, Littman has sought to make public at the Commission the fact that Hamas in its ideology calls for the annihilation of Israel, and points to Islamic texts for support of its position.
- Release of Syrian Jewish women
In October 1990, as the WUPJ's representative to the Commission, he petitioned for the release of single Jewish women from Syria; in March 1991 he urged the Commission to name a special representative to inquire into their situation; and in August 1991, he urged it to work for their release.
- Lebanese Jewish hostages
In August 1991, he appeared before the Commission on behalf of the WUPJ, stating that voices were being raised on all sides for the release of Lebanese Jews held as hostages in Lebanon. In December 1991, he wrote a letter on behalf of the WUPJ appealing to UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, asking him to discover the fate of the 11 Lebanese Jews who had been kidnapped in the mid-1980s.
- Israel AIDS libel
In March 1997, Littman responded to a Palestinian Authority charge that Israel had infected Palestinians with AIDS by reminding the Commission, in a speech to it, that this was not the first time such libels were leveled at Israel, inasmuch as in 1983 then-PLO-chairman Yasser Arafat accused Israel of "poisoning Palestinian schoolgirls" in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General, a charge later shown to be false by a team of independent medical experts, according to the Jerusalem Post. The following month, despite Littman's request that Miroslav Somol (President of the Commission, and Czech Ambassador to the UN in Geneva) take action against what Littman called the "mendacious and racist allegations", after meeting with a delegation of Arab ambassadors Somol withdrew his promise to circulate as an official Commission document his letter condemning a Palestinian representative's accusation that Israel spread AIDS among Palestinian babies.
- Perceived Anti-Israel remarks and anti-semitism at the UN
When Israel withdrew from the Durban World Conference Against Racism in 2001, joining the U.S. in protesting perceived anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks,The Hindu reported that in an appeal on behalf of the WUPJ Rabbi Francois Garai and "historian Mr. David Littman, who represent the [WUPJ] at the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva, said the Durban conference was being used to prepare a 'holy war' against Israel and could wreck the world body." The appeal said:
"The U.N. is now undergoing its most shameful metamorphosis since its creation in 1945. Will you allow a U.N. conference intended to combat racism and discrimination to be brazenly hijacked by dictatorial regimes and mass demagogic NGO groups, thereby preparing a 'final solution', 'jihad', against Israel"?
- Christoph Blocher
In December 2003, when Christoph Blocher, who was known in the first instance for his inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric, won a seat in the Swiss Federal Council, Littman defended him from charges of anti-Semitism, saying "I personally do not accept the accusation that he is anti-Semitic and await with interest the new policies he will propose for Switzerland."
- "Creeping Islamism" at the UN
In July 2005, after the London 7/7 bombings, he tried to convince the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights to condemn killings in the name of religion, but was interrupted so many times by delegates from Muslim countries he could not finish his request.
In February 2006, Paul Beliën reported that Littman whom he calls "an expert on the 'creeping Islamism at the UN'", had been testifying before the UN as a representative for the AWE to the UN in Geneva, "but was censored when he quoted moderate Muslims condemning Jihadist bombings. According to the 56 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Countries, even the use of "the prefix ‘Islamic' before ‘terrorism' is sacrilege.”"
- Shariah, violence against women, and anti-semitism
The New York Daily News referred to Littman as a "rare but tenacious [voice] who confront[s] Islamic human rights abuses at the UN at every turn," and cited his complaining to the Council that Iranian law "still allows the marriage of girls at only 9 years old, and justifies the stoning of women for alleged adultery."
When Littman sought to make a three-minute statement before the Council’s eighth session in June 2008 (on behalf of the AWE) with regard to various forms of violence against women (including female genital mutilation) and shariah, he was blocked after 22 seconds from finishing his statement.Representatives from Egypt, Pakistan, and Iran (speaking on behalf of theOrganisation of the Islamic Conference) forced a halt to the proceedings, saying that "Islam will not be crucified in this Council", and arguing that any discussion of Islamic law was an "insult" to the religion. A tense exchange—with 16 points of order—led to a 45-minute recess, after which Council presidentDoru Romulus Costea of Romania said: "The Council is not prepared to discuss religious questions and we don’t have to do so. Declarations must avoid judgments or evaluation about religion." He told Littman to avoid any reference to the word shariah, and any evaluation of a religious matter.By not mentioning those words, Littman was allowed to conclude his statement after an hour and a half. At the Council's ninth session, when he spoke about the antisemitic writings of the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Egyptian delegate objected:
"Here in the Council, we’re here to promote religious freedom. We can discuss religious freedom, but we cannot discuss religion. We cannot discuss the basic tenets of religion. I argue that except for the distinguished representative of the Holy See, nobody in this Council is qualified to discuss theology. . . . Really, we should find something more interesting to do in life—like find a hobby, or grow a moustache or something."
Ordered by new Council President Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi to stop without completing his statement, Littman stepped down, saying, "This is impossible, sir." In March 2009 he was again cut short, this time for being "off topic" when calling for a universal condemnation of defamations of Judaism during a discussion of freedom of expression and hate speech.
Controversy surrounded lectures given by Littman and his wife at Georgetown University in October 2002 on "Ideology of Jihad, Dhimmitude and Human Rights". He presented a version of a talk he had given at the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, first providing a copy to the student organizers. One Jewish student requested that he not deliver his lecture; Littman refused and faced a negative reaction from Muslim students, in particular when he mentioned disapprovingly that Muhammad's favorite wife, Aisha, was a small child when she was married off to the Prophet. A story subsequently appeared in the campus newspaper in which a Georgetown Israel Alliance spokesman said: "The speakers gave us certain ideas about what they would speak about so that they could get in the door, and once they were in, they gave a completely different idea of what we had wanted. It was two-faced and manipulative." Littman said that unless the student organizers retracted their accusations that he and his wife deceived them, he would consider a libelsuit. He and his wife said this demonstrated how the Jews and Christians of Georgetown had embraced a dhimmi mentality, by abasing themselves before the sensibilities of Muslims, whose co-religionists persecute and oppress Jews and Christians abroad, and that political correctness had demanded that Islam be represented as inherently peaceful and tolerant, and no explorations of its history and doctrines that would lead to a contrary view were deemed acceptable.
Early in his career, Littman's writings were published in the Wiener Library Bulletin, a periodical of the Wiener Library. Others were published by the CID, which disseminated its publications by mailing them to prominent people and institutions. He also published historical writings with Les Editions de l'Avenir, which distributed its publications in a similar manner. Since 1971, Littman has published articles on historical and human rights issues in academic journals, including in Jean-Paul Sartre's Les Temps Modernes, in the press, and in three books. He also published a chapter in The Century of Moses Montefiore (1985), published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, under the auspices of the Oxford University Press.
Littman contributed multiple chapters to The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (2005), edited by Robert Spencer, Prometheus Books 2005,ISBN 1-59102-249-5. Reviewing it, Asia Times identified Littman as one of the few people willing to address directly and openly (lest they be called anti-Muslim) the question of what is ailing Islam in the 21st century in terms of: "Is it all simply a matter of interpretation (i.e., abuse for personal or political gain), or does the sustained prevalence of such patterns reveal something inherent about the faith?"
He has translated many articles by Bat Ye’or into English and co-translated three of her major books, the last published in 2005.
Robert Spencer, on the Jihadwatch website, reported that David Littman had died in Switzerland on May 20, 2012.
- Jews and Arabs: myths and realities, David Littman, 1973
- Arab theologians on Jews and Israel: extracts from the proceedings of the fourth conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, D. F. Green (nom de plume of Littman and Yehoshafat Harkabi), Majma? al-Bu?uth al-Islamiyah, Éditions de l'avenir, 3 eds. in English, 2 eds. in French, 1ed. in German (over 70,000 copies of all editions), 1974
- "Jews under Muslim Rule in the late Nineteenth Century," Wiener Library Bulletin 28, n.s. 35/36 (1975)
- "Jews under Muslim Rule, II: Morocco 1903–1912", Wiener Library Bulletin 29, n.s. 37/38 (1976)
- "Protected Peoples under Islam" by David Littman and Bat Ye'or, CID, Geneva, 1976
- "Quelques Aspects de la Condition de Dhimmi: Juifs d'Afrique du Nord avant la Colonisation," in Yod, Revue des Etudes Hébraiques et juives modernes et contemporaines, (Publications Orientalistes de France), 2: 1, October 1976 (+ Geneva, Avenir, May 10, 1997)
- Peuples protégés en terre d'Islam, by David Littman, Centre d'Information et de Documentation sur le Moyen-Orient, 1977
- "Jews under Muslim Rule: The Case of Persia," Wiener Library Bulletin, 32, n.s. 49/50 (1979)
- "Les Juifs en Perse avant les Pahlevi," Les Temps Modernes, 395, pp. 1,910–35, Juin 1979
- The Century of Moses Montefiore, (ed. Sonia and V.D. Lipman), "Mission to Morocco (1863–1864)", pp. 171–229, by David Littman, in Oxford University Press, 1985
- L'histoire du relief de Jérusalem (1864–1985), by David Littman, Centre d'information et de documentation sur le Moyen-Orient, 1986
- Statements made by the representatives of the World Union for Progressive Judaism David Littman and Martin Gilbert forty-third session; UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, [February 2 – March 13] 1987, Union mondiale pour le judaïsme libéral, Martin Gilbert, David Littman, WUPJ, UN. Commission des droits de l'homme, 1987
- "Human Rights and Human Wrongs," N° 1 – 11, 344 pages (verbatim oral and written statements: 1986–91 made by all accredited representatives of the WUPJ to the UNCHR and UN Sub-Commission, Geneva: 84 texts, of which 68 (oral) and 9 (written) by David Littman, WUPJ, Geneva, 1986–91
- "Utopia: A 'United States of Abraham'," Part 5, Chapter 48 (pp. 453–68) (Lecture: Society for Semitic Studies, Lund University, Sweden, November 23, 1994). Part 5, Chapter 48 (pp. 453–68), in The Myth of Islamic Tolerance
- "The U.N. Finds Slavery in the Sudan", Middle East Quarterly (Philadelphia), September 1996
- "Quelques Aspects de la Condition de Dhimmi: Juifs d'Afrique du Nord avant la Colonisation," in Yod, Revue des Etudes Hébraiques et juives modernes et contemporaines (Publications Orientalistes de France), 2: 1, October 1976 (Geneva, Avenir, May 10, 1997)
- "Dangerous Censorship of a U.N. Special Rapporteur," Rene Wadlow and David Littman, Justice (Tel Aviv) No. 14, September 1997
- "UN Special Rapporteur Censured on Islamist and Arab Antisemitism," by Rene Wadlow and David Littman, Midstream, vol. 44, pp. 8–12, February–March 1998
- "Universal Human Rights and 'Human Rights in Islam,'" Midstream (New York) February/March 1999, pp. 2–7
- "Islamism Grows Stronger at the United Nations," Middle East Quarterly, September 1999, vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 59–64
- "Syria's Blood Libel Revival at the UN: 1991–2000," Midstream, February/March 2000
- "Jihad and Jihadist Bombers; What’s in a name?", David G. Littman, National Review, September 9, 2002
- "The Genocidal Hamas Charter; Yasser Arafat & co.", David G. Littman, National Review, September 26, 2002
- "The Truth About the Mideast; Fourteen fundamental facts about Israel and Palestine", by David G. Littman, National Review, October 7, 2002
- "The Forgotten Refugees; An exchange of populations", David G. Littman, National Review, December 3, 2002
- "Human Rights and Human Wrongs; Sharia can’t be an exception to international human-rights norms", by David G. Littman, National Review, January 19, 2003
- "Islamists' Perpetual Jihad," David G. Littman, FrontPageMagazine, August 15, 2003
- "Yasser's Terrorist Jesus," by David G. Littman, FrontPageMagazine, November 15, 2004
- The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, edited by Robert Spencer, "Human Rights and Human Wrongs at the United Nations," Part 5 (pp. 305–472), David G. Littman, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-249-5, contributor of multiple chapters, 2005
- Copts in Egypt: A Christian Minority under Siege; papers presented at the First International Coptic Symposium, Zürich, September 23–25, 2004, Martyn Thomas, Adly A. Youssef, "Need of a State for all Citizens," by David Littman, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 3-85710-040-0, ISBN 978-3-85710-040-6, 2006
- "Human Rights: Universal or Islamic?", David G. Littman, American Thinker, August 25, 2006
- Encyclopedia of the Jewish diaspora: origins, experiences, and culture, Volume 1, M. Avrum Ehrlich, p. 382, "Modern Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries," David G. Littman, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1-85109-873-9, ISBN 978-1-85109-873-6, 2008
- "L'Exil au Maghreb, La condition juive dans l’Islam, 1148-1912", Paul B. Fenton et David G. Littman, November 17, 2010, Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, ISBN 978-2-84050-725-3
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