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Open Letter and U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Support Jews of Croatia, The Heritage Foundation Props-Up Anti-Semitic and Corrupt Regime

Pon, 03/04/2017 - 11:13
Photo credit: US Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy, Croatia. Video image - Heritage Foundation. Clockwise from top left:  March 23, 2017 event at Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC hosted by James Carafano and Nile Gardiner featuring Ivo Stier, representing an anti-Semitic and corruption-ridden HDZ government in Croatia (Mr. Ivo Stier was a youth leader of Nazi Ustasha movement); Ustasha POSTER; Croatian Jew Teodore Grunfeld is forced to take off his ring on his arrival at the Jasenovac concentration death camp by members of the Ustasha; sick and emaciated children suffering at the Jasenovac death camp. The Washington Post in a piece titled “Trump can Cause the ‘Death of Think Tanks as We Know Them’” recently quoted Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, “There are lots of customers for think tanks that are beyond the West Wing and the Oval Office.”  The Heritage Foundation and James Carafano, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, ignored the Open Letter, co-signed by conservative leaders and Evangelical Christian pastors, strongly urging the Washington, DC, think tank, to cancel the event with Croatia’s HDZ politician Ivo Stier, representing an anti-Semitic and corruption-ridden government in the Balkans.
The Heritage Foundation proceeded by providing a platform to Ivo Stier, the grandson of a WWII pro-Nazi Ustasha regime colonel and the right-hand man of the commander of Croatia’s death camp Jasenovac, in which Jews, Serbs, Romas, Croatians and other marginalized groups were murdered.

Eighty percent of Croatia’s Jews were exterminated during WWII.
According to published reports, Mr. Ivo Stier actively advocated for the pro-Nazi Ustasha group while growing up in Argentina.
On March 23, 2017, Heritage’s James Carafano and Nile Gardiner, director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, hosted Ivo Stier, Croatia’s government minister in Washington. On that very same day, Tom Yazdgerdi, the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, met with Croatia’s government officials in Zagreb.
Mr. Yazdgerdi relayed that the main reason of his visit to Croatia was to press for the restitution of property to the Holocaust survivors. Private property owned by Jews was confiscated by Croatia’s Ustasha Nazi regime more than 70 years ago. 
Mr. Yazdgerdi said, “Our main message: we would like the [Croatian] government to speed up the process. Why? Because survivors [of the Holocaust] are dying every day.” According to Croatia’s media agency HINA, Mr. Yazdgerdi also warned about the plaque with pro-Ustasha symbols placed near the concentration camp memorial, which is offensive to holocaust survivors and their family members.
On February 27, 2017, the US Embassy in Zagreb immediately repudiated the neo-Nazi march of far-right nationalists, who waved an American flag, chanting WWII pro-Nazi Croatia‘s Ustasha regime slogans, saluting President Donald Trump and pledging to chase out enemies of Croatia: “The U.S. Embassy rejects, in the strongest terms, neo-Nazi and pro-Ustasha views expressed during the demonstration of a few people in Zagreb on Sunday.  We condemn any attempt to link the United States to this hateful ideology.  Such a suggestion is an affront to the memories of the 186,000 U.S. soldiers who died in Europe fighting Nazi Germany and the many millions of innocent victims killed during World War II.”


Heritage’s senior fellows carried out their agenda to getting Croatia into NATO at any cost. James Dean, manager of international and diplomatic programs at Heritage Foundation, attended the Croatia Summit in Dubrovnik, hosted by Croatia’s government mired in corruption. Dean’s brief biography states that he “was active in numerous international initiatives, including the entry of Croatia and Albania into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” 

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation approved Heritage’s pieces about Croatia’s readiness to join NATO, while independent studies, Croatia’s journalists and even the UK’s foreign office raised concerns about the Balkan nation’s very weak rule of law and blocked judicial reforms. 

Finally, Croatia’s corrupt government officials got away by not fulfilling the main requirements for NATO accession, including the “restitution to rightful owners property confiscated by the Nazis 1933-45, and by the subsequent communist governments.” 


Croatia became an unqualified NATO member in 2009, without establishing the rule of law and fully protecting property rights. Croatia’s illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion amounted to a staggering $35 billion during the period 2004-2013, which was 60% of the 2014 GDP.
Croatia’s taxpayers are still paying pensions to members of “Croatia’s homeland war 1941-1945.” 

As reported by Croatia’s daily Jutarnji List in 2013, according to the state-run Croatia pension institute, there were 13,011 remaining members of various Ustasha units, and part of the Ustasha NDH-government security forces, or their family members, receiving HRK348 million ($58 million) in pensions for 2013. They had been regularly receiving pensions since the early 90s.
The intricacy of Heritage’s clientelism which supersedes morality, goes much further here.
Croatia’s Honorary Consul to Austria, Franz Wohlfahrt, whose supervisor would be Ivo Stier, Croatia’s foreign minister and speaker at Heritage, was a fellow board member with Ed Feulner, Heritage Foundation’s board member and former president, at the Vienna-based think tank F.A. Hayek.   Franz Wohlfart, then-CEO of Austria-based world’s largest gaming and casino company Novomatic, became Croatia’s honorary consul in 2013, while reports of bribery, tax evasion, illegal software manipulation and money laundering by Novomatic’s companies in Croatia had been ignored by Croatia’s authorities. According to published reports, Wohlfart is under a bribery investigation connected to Austria’s former finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser. Bloomberg reported on November 5, 2011, “Casinos in Paraguay, Peru and South Africa, countries where Novomatic operates, were tagged by the U.S. as money-laundering conduits for criminal bosses and drug barons.”

The Washington Post in a piece titled “Trump can Cause the ‘Death of Think Tanks as We Know Them’” quoted Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, “There are lots of customers for think tanks that are beyond the West Wing and the Oval Office.
Apparently, the Jews of Croatia facing threats, survivors of the Holocaust, Croatia’s citizens seeking justice, and the American public are not among The Heritage Foundation’s clients. 

Photo credit: Lighthouse Trails Publishing Jewish girl, Jasenovac concentration camp, Croatia.
 Further reading:















Kategorije: Hrvatska

Elected Leaders, Evangelical Christian Pastors and Independent Organizations Strongly Urge The Heritage Foundation and James Carafano to Cancel Event Propping-Up an Anti-Semitic and Corruption-Ridden Croatian HDZ Government

Sri, 22/03/2017 - 14:49
Pictures from left to right: Pro-Nazi Ustasha soldier at Jasenovac concentration camp, Croatia, among the bodies of those murdered. (Center) Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelic, Croatian dictator who led the Ustasha movement and the NDH government during WWII. (Right) Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha executing people over a mass grave near Jasenovac concentration camp where Ustasha colonel Stier was the right-hand man of Vjekoslav Luburic, commander of Croatia’s death camp. Jewish identifiers were implemented in on June 4, 1941; badges had to be marked ž taken from židov (the Croatian word for Jew). Photo credit: US Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC and Adriatic Institute for Public Policy, CroatiaThe Balkan Route: Reports indicate that Balkan heroin trafficking brings in more than $28 billion in proceeds annually, financing Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and ISIS. Kalashnikovs from the Balkans were used in the Paris and Brussels attacks. Elected Leaders, Evangelical Christian Pastors and Independent Organizations Strongly Urge The Heritage Foundation and James Carafano to Cancel Event Propping-Up an Anti-Semitic and Corruption-Ridden Croatian HDZ Government

We Stand with the Croatian Jewish Community and the Millions of Victims of Croatia’s Corruption and Government Theft of Private Property   March 22, 2017



James Carafano
Vice President
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Ave NE,
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Mr. Carafano,

On behalf of millions of Evangelical Christians in America, Jewish Americans and Croatia’s concerned citizens, we, the co-signers of this letter, urge The Heritage Foundation to cancel the event on March 23, 2017, featuring HDZ politician who represents an anti-Semitic and corruption-ridden government in Croatia.
 
We are disappointed that Heritage Foundation failed to properly research and vet those using the group's conservative platform.

We oppose the continued efforts of HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) politicians in stoking the flames of extremism and fueling the dark spirit of the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime that exterminated 80% of Croatia’s Jews during the years 1941-1945.

We stand with the Croatian Jews, The Coordination of Jewish Communities and The Jewish Center of Zagreb in boycotting the Croatian state’s event at the WWII concentration camp in Jasenovac, Croatia, on April 22, 2017.

The HDZ government has subverted the rule of law and is blocking corruption and organized crime investigations in Croatia. Croatia’s HDZ government has failed to address the Balkan Route, which brings over $28 billion worth of heroin into the West annually. The proceeds from heroin are used to finance terrorist groups which attack cities in the US and Europe, murdering our citizens.

We are reminded of the Hebrew scriptures which relay this powerful message:
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed." - Isaiah 1:17
Our serious concerns:

1.  Dr. Ognjen Kraus, president of The Coordination of Jewish Communities has raised serious concerns last week about the rise of anti-Semitism and extremism in Croatia that places Jews and minority groups at risk.  Dr. Kraus said, “The HDZ government has failed to address the display of fascist symbols. It is lenient towards those sympathetic to the WWII Croatian fascist Ustasha regime.”

2.  The Croatian HDZ government, aiding organized crime networks and the Balkan Route, does not qualify to be a NATO member, nor is it fit to fight ISIS:

Croatian passports have been given to Balkan criminals. In the arrest of several Balkan criminals in Spain in February 2012, each of them possessed official Croatian passport. Further investigations led directly to Croatia’s Ministry of Interior and a record of illegal sale of passports to criminals since 2006.

Croatia lies on the Balkan Route, used by organized crime and terrorists, for arms, drugs, human and organ trafficking, and terrorism financing. Reports indicate that Balkan heroin trafficking brings in more than $28 billion in proceeds annually, financing Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and ISIS. Kalashnikovs from the Balkans were used in the Paris and Brussels attacks.

According to an AP report on January 11, 2015, “...[I]t is relatively easy for terrorists with underworld connections to obtain heavy weapons on the black market, particularly in the Balkan countries of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia.”

3.  On March 11, 2014, when issuing a guilty verdict for corruption and  the theft of taxpayers’ funds, Croatia’s  brave judge called HDZ a criminal enterprise, and recognized then-Prime Minister Ivo Sanader as a ring leader, guilty of bribery and rigging public tenders.

"Those who are guilty are not only these five people. Also responsible are all those who knew about this as well as those who in some way participated in this. Those who bent down their heads, who turned their heads away, those who closed their eyes and those who were silent about this. All of them silently supported such a way of functioning of the system and thus made it sustainable”  - Justice Ivana Calic, Presiding Judge, Zagreb, Croatia

4.  Deutsche Welle exposed Croatia’s HDZ politician who was appealing for votes to the extreme right, “President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, for instance, publicly appears with known right-wing leaders and even accused war criminals, and she occasionally goes off on hate-filled tirades in TV interviews. She only distances herself from extremists when foreign pressure leaves her no other option.”

5. Heritage Foundation’s announced speaker - Ivo Stier, Croatia's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign and European affairs, represents the corruption-ridden HDZ government which continues to stoke the flames of anti-Semitism in Croatia.
According to published reports, Ivo Stier’s grandfather was a WWII pro-Nazi Croatia’s Ustasha regime colonel and the right-hand man of Vjekoslav Luburic, commander of Croatia’s death camp Jasenovac, whereby, Jews, Serbs and other minorities were murdered. After WWII, the Ustasha colonel Stier escaped to Argentina where he continued to nurture a pro-Nazi Ustasha group supported by his family members. 80% of Croatia's Jews were exterminated during 1941-1945. Mr. Ivo Stier actively advocated for the pro-Nazi Germany Ustasha group as a youth leader.

Stier, who was an advisor to then-Prime Minister Sanader - found guilty for corruption and embezzlement by Judge Ivana Calic - has never publicly denounced the HDZ criminal enterprise. Ivo Stier committed not to publicly grandiose Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha group (NDH) regime, however, he has never publicly condemned it.

6. $35 billion of illicit financial outflows left Croatia via crime, corruption and tax evasion during the period 2004-2013. This amounts to 60% of the Balkan nation’s 2014 GDP. Larger amounts of illicit enrichment have been amassed by Croatia’s corrupt politicians and their private partners in crime since 1991.


7. During the plunder of Croatia’s treasury by HDZ politicians, the US sent over $500 million of taxpayer funds to Croatia’s treasury.  US taxpayers ought to call for an investigation into stolen US taxpayer aid sent to Croatia’s treasury.

8. Croatia’s HDZ government has failed to meet its financial commitment to NATO, while hemorrhaging the economy via corruption and illicit financial outflows.

9.  Croatia has failed to address human trafficking. According to The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report:2016 Report - “Croatia is a destination, source, and transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children subjected to forced labor.”

2013 Report - “Women and girls from the United States, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe are subjected to sex trafficking in Croatia.... Children are exploited in prostitution on the Adriatic Coast, particularly during the peak tourist season.”
In closing, we affirm the principled solutions that were presented in Dr. Marvin Olasky’s relevant articles published in World Magazine after his visit to the Balkan region (https://world.wng.org/2014/11/from_betrayal_to_compassion_balkan_challenge_us_opportunity):A. Blow the whistle on government-to-government foreign aid that often abets    corruption. Identify church and civil society organizations. Support their efforts when doing so will not lead to greater danger than benefit. 
B. Challenge Western facilitators and enablers (including banks and law firms). Mount public campaigns against Western governments and businesses that abet corruption.  C. Don’t hold important international meetings in acutely corrupt countries, and don’t engage in publicized, status-enhancing photo ops with kleptocratic    leaders. Avoid inadvertently glorifying corrupt practices through publicized high-level interaction.
The Heritage Foundation should cancel the event on March 23, 2017, featuring the speaker representing HDZ, an anti-Semitic and corruption-ridden political party.

Sincerely,

The Honorable Dave LaRock
Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 33rd district
Commonwealth of Virginia
USA

Bill Etheridge, Member of the European Parliament, United Kingdom

Defense Spokesperson, United Kingdom Independence Party

Rev. Scott Leib, Pastor
Chapel Springs Church
Assemblies of God
USA

Rev. Joseph Anand Samy, Pastor

Asian Indian Ministries, California
Evangelical Free Church of America
USA

Rev. Chris Edmonds, Pastor

Piney Grove Baptist Church, Tennessee
Southern Baptist Convention
USA
The Roddie Edmonds Family - Recipient of the Yad Vashem Award
Israel’s Highest Honor - “Righteous Among the Nations”
Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds saved the lives of 200 Jewish Americans
in a WWII POW Camp in Germany

Natasha Srdoc, Co-Founder

Adriatic Institute for Public Policy, Rijeka, Croatia
International Leaders Summit, Virginia, USA
Jerusalem Leaders Summit

Joel Anand Samy, Co-Founder

International Leaders Summit, Virginia, USA
Jerusalem Leaders Summit 


Further reading with articles from World Magazine, NY Times, The Huffington Post and broadcast news segment from CBN News: 

CBN News - Televsion Broadcast: Key to Reducing Terrorism: Cut Off the Funding 



Croatian Government Urged to Fire Holocaust-Denying Cabinet Minister | Arutz Sheva - Israel National News
 
Freed But Not Free | Dr. Marvin Olasky

Joe Biden: Propping-up Corruption? | Dr. Marvin Olasky

Europe Needs Help in Combating the Mafia | NY Times | Op-Ed by Natasha Srdoc, MBA 

Balkan Betrayal, Again and Again | Dr. Marvin Olasky

The 7th Betrayal | Dr. Marvin Olasky 

Stopping the Betrayals | By Dr. Marvin Olasky 

From betrayal to compassion: Balkan challenge, U.S. opportunity ... | By Dr. Marvin Olasky 
  
Balkan Drama | World News Group | By Dr. Marvin Olasky

Draining the Swamp - Part I | The NATO Swamp | By Natasha Srdoc, MBA

Croatia: 'Criminal Enterprise HDZ' Takes Over Presidency - Organized Crime and The Rise of Nationalism

 


















Kategorije: Hrvatska