Israeli Preemptive Action, Western Reaction: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Aug. 4, 2015 — The Obama administration seems peeved that almost everyone in Israel, left and right, has no use for the present Iranian–American deal to thwart Iran’s efforts to get the bomb.
Obama’s Enemies List: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 6, 2015 — In President Barack Obama’s defense of his nuclear deal with Iran Wednesday, he said there are only two types of people who will oppose his deal – Republican partisans and Israel- firsters – that is, traitors.
Chuck Schumer Opposes Iran Nuclear Deal, Shaking Democratic Firewall: Jennifer Steinhauer & Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, Aug. 6, 2015 — Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
In Search of the Missing Jews of the Rhine: Barry Shaw, CIJR, Aug. 7, 2015 — Sailing the rivers of Moselle and the Rhine is an eye-opening experience.
September 1, 1939: W. H. Auden, New Republic, Oct. 18, 1939— I sit in one of the dives//On Fifty-second Street//Uncertain and afraid//As the clever hopes expire//Of a low dishonest decade…
Abe Foxman’s Retirement: End of an Era: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015
The Iran Nuclear Deal (Video): Dennis Prager, Prager U, 2015
Leading Democrat Donors Haim Saban and Jack Rosen Rally Against Iran Deal: Eliezer Sherman, Algemeiner, Aug. 6, 2015
Condemnation and Condolence by the UN Secretary General — Genuine or Politically Biased?: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Aug. 6, 2015
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review, Aug. 4, 2015
The Obama administration seems peeved that almost everyone in Israel, left and right, has no use for the present Iranian–American deal to thwart Iran’s efforts to get the bomb. Indeed, at times John Kerry has hinted darkly that Israel’s opposition to the pact might incur American wrath should the deal be tabled — even though Kerry knows that the polls show a clear majority of Americans being against the proposed agreement while remaining quite supportive of the Jewish state.
President Obama, from time to time, suggests that his agreement is being sabotaged by nefarious lobbying groups, big-time check writers, and neoconservative supporters of the Iraq war — all shorthand, apparently, for pushy Jewish groups. Obama and his negotiators seem surprised that Israelis take quite seriously Iranian leaders’ taunts over the past 35 years that they would like to liquidate the Jewish state and everyone in it.
The Israelis, for some reason, remember that well before Hitler came to power, he had bragged about the idea of killing Jews en masse in his sloppily composed autobiographical Mein Kampf. Few in Germany or abroad had taken the raving young Hitler too seriously. Even in the late 1930s, when German Jews were being rounded up and haphazardly killed on German streets by state-sanctioned thugs, most observers considered such activities merely periodic excesses or outbursts from non-governmental Black- and Brownshirts.
The Obama administration, with vast oceans between Tehran and the United States, tsk-tsks over Iranian threats as revolutionary hyperbole served up for domestic consumption. The Israelis, with less than a thousand miles between themselves and Tehran, do not — and cannot. Given the 20th century’s history, Israel has good reason not to trust either the United States or Europe to ensure the security of the Jewish state. Israel has learned from the despicable anti-Semitism now prevalent at the U.N. and from the increasing thuggery directed at Jews in Europe that the world at large would shed crocodile tears over the passing of Israel on the day of its destruction, but, the next day, sigh and get right back to business in a “that was then, this is now” style.
In 1981 the Israelis took out the Iraqi nuclear reactor — sold to Saddam Hussein by France. They were ritually blasted as state terrorists and worse by major U.S. newspapers and at the United Nations — though not by Khomeini’s Iran, which earlier had failed in a preemptive bombing strike to do much damage to the Osirak reactor. Today, in retrospect, most nations are privately glad that the Israelis removed the reactor from a country that had hundreds of years’ worth of natural-gas and oil supplies and no need for nuclear power — and that is now under assault from ISIS.
In 2007, when the Israelis preempted once more, and destroyed the al-Kibar nuclear facility that was under construction in Syria, the world, after initial silence, again in Pavlovian fashion became outraged at such preemptive bombing. The global chorus claimed that there was no intelligence confirming that the North Koreans had helped to launch a Syrian uranium-enrichment plant. Yet eight years later, most observers abroad once again privately shrug that Bashar Assad most certainly had hired the Koreans to build a nuclear processing plant — and are quietly satisfied that the Israelis took care of it. Note that the al-Kibar site lies in territory now controlled by ISIS. One can imagine a variety of terrifying contemporary scenarios had the Israelis not preempted. Most of those who condemned Israel’s attack would now be worrying about an ISIS improvised explosive device, packed with dirty uranium, that might go off in a major Western city.
In all these cases, the Israelis assumed that Western intelligence about nuclear proliferation in the Middle East was unreliable. They took for granted that Westerners automatically would blame Israelis for any preemptive attack against an Islamic nuclear site. And they likewise concluded that, privately and belatedly, Westerners would eventually be happy that the Israelis had belled the would-be nuclear cat. But in a larger sense, the Israelis also recall the sad story of the West and the Holocaust less than 75 years ago — a horror central to the birthing of a “never again” Jewish state.
By 1943, the outlines of the Nazis’ Final Solution were well known in both Washington and London; Jews were already being gassed at German death camps in Poland in an effort to kill every Jew from the Atlantic Ocean to the Volga River. It was a matter of record that the major Western democracies — America, Britain, and prewar France — had refused sanctuary to millions of Jewish refugees. It was also a matter of record that the major Western democracies — America, Britain, and prewar France — had refused sanctuary to millions of Jewish refugees who had been stripped of their property by the Third Reich and told to leave Germany and its occupied territories. In some notorious cases, shiploads of Jews were turned away after docking in Western ports and were sent back to Nazi-occupied Europe, where the passengers were disembarked and soon afterward gassed.
Moreover, Israelis understand that Hitler’s Final Solution would have been far more difficult to implement without the active participation of sympathetic anti-Semites in occupied European nations, who volunteered to round up their own Jews and send them on German trains eastward to the death camps. In the case of the United States, anti-Semitic or indifferent officials high up in the State Department and elsewhere within the Roosevelt administration went out of their way to hide data about the plight of Jewish refugees, and circumvented protocol in order to refuse entry into the United States to the vast majority of Jews fleeing the Holocaust. The British were nearly as exclusionary, and also did their best to stop Jewish refugees from fleeing to Palestine to escape the death camps…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Caroline B. Glick
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 6, 2015
In President Barack Obama’s defense of his nuclear deal with Iran Wednesday, he said there are only two types of people who will oppose his deal – Republican partisans and Israel- firsters – that is, traitors. At American University, Obama castigated Republican lawmakers as the moral equivalent of Iranian jihadists saying, “Those [Iranian] hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal… are making common cause with the Republican Caucus.”
He then turned his attention to Israel. Obama explained that whether or not you believe the deal endangers Israel boils down to whom you trust more – him or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And, he explained, he can be trusted to protect Israel better than Netanyahu can because “[I] have been a stalwart friend of Israel throughout my career.” The truth is that it shouldn’t much matter to US lawmakers whether Obama or Netanyahu has it right about Israel. Israel isn’t a party to the deal and isn’t bound by it. If Israel decides it needs to act on its own, it will.
The US, on the other side, will be bound by the deal if Congress fails to kill it next month. So the real question lawmakers need to ask is whether the deal is good for America. Is Obama right or wrong that only partisan zealots and disloyal Zionists could oppose his great diplomatic achievement? To determine the answer to that question, you need to do is ask another one. Does his deal make America safer or less safe? The best way to answer that question is to consider all the ways Iran threatens America today, and ask whether the agreement has no impact on those threats, or whether it mitigates or aggravates them.
Today Iran is harming America directly in multiple ways. The most graphic way Iran is harming America today is by holding four Americans hostage. Iran’s decision not to release them over the course of negotiations indicates that at a minimum, the deal hasn’t helped them. It doesn’t take much consideration to recognize that the hostages in Iran are much worse off today than they were before Obama concluded the deal on July 14. The US had much more leverage to force the Iranians to release the hostages before it signed the deal than it does now. Now, not only do the Iranians have no reason to release the hostages, they have every reason to take more hostages.
Then there is Iranian-sponsored terrorism against the US. In 2011, the FBI foiled an Iranian plot to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the US capital. One of the terrorists set to participate in the attack allegedly penetrated US territory through the Mexican border. The terrorist threat to the US emanating from Iran’s terrorist infrastructure in Latin America will rise steeply as a consequence of the nuclear deal. As The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote last month, the sanctions relief the deal provides to Iran will enable it to massively expand its already formidable operations in the US’s backyard. Over the past two decades, Iran and Hezbollah have built up major presences in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Iran’s presence in Latin America also constitutes a strategic threat to US national security. Today Iran can use its bases of operations in Latin America to launch an electromagnetic pulse attack on the US from a ballistic missile, a satellite or even a merchant ship. The US military is taking active steps to survive such an attack, which would destroy the US’s power grid. Among other things, it is returning the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to its former home in Cheyenne Mountain outside Colorado Springs.
But Obama has ignored the findings of the congressional EMP Commission and has failed to harden the US electronic grid to protect it from such attacks. The economic and human devastation that would be caused by the destruction of the US electric grid is almost inconceivable. And now with the cash infusion that will come Iran’s way from Obama’s nuclear deal, it will be free to expand on its EMP capabilities in profound ways…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Jennifer Steinhauer & Jonathan Weisman
New York Times, Aug. 6, 2015
Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program. “Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”
Mr. Schumer had spent the last several weeks carrying a dog-eared copy of the agreement in his briefcase and meeting with Mr. Obama and officials like Wendy R. Sherman, the deal’s chief negotiator. With his decision, he paves the way for other Democrats on the fence to join Republicans in showing their disapproval. “There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Mr. Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”
As if on cue, Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who was widely expected to oppose the deal, announced his opposition Thursday night. Mr. Schumer said his chief concern was that Iran would still be free after a decade to build a nuclear bomb. His announcement comes as Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, labors to build a firewall in the House in support of the deal, which has been denounced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. At six meetings in recent weeks, Ms. Pelosi has assembled an informal team of Democrats determined to win over the 146 House Democrats needed to uphold a veto.
But Ms. Pelosi’s team had had its eye on Mr. Schumer, conceded Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois and one of Ms. Pelosi’s deputies on the Iran deal. Ms. Schakowsky said that Democratic leaders had never put Mr. Schumer “in the ‘yes’ column,” but that “the calculation still is we’ll have the votes” even without him. So far, 12 Senate Democrats and one Democratic-leaning independent, Senator Angus King of Maine, have announced their support for the deal. Two others, Senator Bernie Sanders, a liberal independent from Vermont, and Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, have all but announced their support…
CIJR, Aug. 7, 2015
Sailing the rivers of Moselle and the Rhine is an eye-opening experience. Ancient stony castles sit on craggy hilltops. Miles and miles of green vineyards precariously grow on impossibly steep inclines to produce the best Riesling wines in the world. Pleasant-looking towns and villages dominated by church spires. The peaceful Moselle gives way to the watery superhighway of the Rhine carrying boats ferrying unusual freight and cargo.
While visiting peaceful and picturesque locations, and learning of their turbulent histories, I began to notice an emptiness that was referred to in places, and ignored in others. The emptiness was the missing Jews of the Rhine. Who were they? What happened to them? And how are they acknowledged by the towns that housed them, and destroyed them?
COLOGNE (KOLN). There were Jews in Cologne (Koln) since the year 321, almost as long as Cologne itself. Over history, the Jewish community suffered persecution, expulsions, massacres and destruction. In the Middle Ages, they were exploited by the rules and the Church and were killed in the name of Christianity, though the real reason was, by killing the Jew, the Archbishops were relieved of having the burden of repaying the debt.
The Nazi era was the last in a long history of Jewish persecution. Jews numbered 19,500 before World War 2. Over 11,000 were killed by the Nazis. There is a Jewish section in the Koln Municipal Museum where the grim story in recounted with evidence of the Nazi crime. Jewish artefacts are on display on the first floor in this museum. When I was there, German schoolchildren were being guided through the permanent exhibition. The Gestapo headquarters were located at 23/25 Appellhofstrasse. This building today houses the National Socialist Documentation Center where 18,000 wall inscriptions tell of persecution, torture and murder under the Nazi regime. The Jews of Cologne were deported to Thereisenstadt between 28 July and 5th September 1942.
In many German towns Stumbling Stones have been laid into the sidewalks outside what were the homes of Jewish residents who were marched to their fate by the Nazis. In Cologne, I saw the stones reminding us of Dr. Max Goldberg and his wife, Olga, who in 1942 were deported to Thereisenstadt. Later, I stood at the stones recalling Theo Hannes who was deported to Drancy and then to Auschwitz where he died in 1942. The Synagogue was destroyed on 9th November 1938. A new synagogue was built in 1959 on Roonstrasse. Today, Cologne’s Jewish community number about 4,500, mainly Jews from Russia.
KOBLENZ. Koblenz is pivotally located at the junction of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Like most German towns, strategically placed along the Rhine, it was bombed by the Allies during the war. Most of the buildings, which contained architecturally picturesque buildings dating back to the 17th century, were reconstructed after the war in the same style making them a delight to wander along the alleyways, small streets and squares.
However, it was in this town that I had an unpleasant experience. I was in a group and our local guide, Werner, spoke excellent English and explained things with a sense of humor and in detail. He was extremely knowledgeable about the development of Koblenz from the Roman and Germanic times through the ages until today. What began to annoy me was his precision in describing the Allied bombing. He recounted the number of planes, the tonnage of bombs that feel on this town, the number of houses that were destroyed, and the number of people killed. In a sympathetic voice he told us that “they” evacuated the women and children to safety in advance of the expected bombing.
Something was missing in his detailed explanation of the history of Koblenz – the Jews. When I asked him how many Jews were in Koblenz prior to the war, he didn’t know. When I asked him if there had been a synagogue in the town he told me that it had been located in a building he had pointed out to us in a square more than half an hour before. His silence on these issues was troubling to me. We arrived in another square where he pointed out a building with steps leading up to the entrance and an archway leading into a cellar section. He told us that it had been the town hall up to the war but the present town hall is located in a newer building in another part of the town. As we continued walking I asked him if the building he had shown us had been the Gestapo headquarters. He hesitantly answered its use was something like that.
I began to be emotional and angry. Out of a pent-up rage I asked him if this was the square where the town’s Jews were assembled before they were marched to the train station. He hesitated and mumbled something oblique in a failed answer to my questioning. I pressed my point and asked him where the train station was located and, indeed, it was not far away from that square. To Werner, there were no missing Jews. There was no admission they existed at all in his town. Shaking with fury I told my wife I was leaving this tour group, explaining to her my anger at his failure to acknowledge this part of his town’s history. It was a sheer coincidence that no sooner had we left our group that we heard voices in Hebrew. It was an Israeli group being led by their Israeli guide. Later, we came across stumbling stones listing the Daniel family – Otto, Juliane, and Flora – who were deported to Sobibor on 22 March 1942 where they all died.
Koblenz had a population of 80,000 and, in 1929, the Jews numbered barely 800. By May 1939, there were only 308. Many had fled in advance of the rise of the Nazi regime. The synagogue was burned down in November 1938 as part of the infamous ‘Kristallnacht’ – the Night of Broken Glass. Only 22 Koblenz Jews survived the Holocaust…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
W. H. Auden
New Republic, Oct. 18, 1939, 1940
The 18th c. Neapolitan philosophe Giambattista Vico saId that history was not progressive and linear, but cyclical and repetitive. a spiral rather than straight line in which there were ricorsi, "returns" to earlier moments. Writing in 1939, Auden foresaw the horrors of World War II–did he also, prophetically, foresee out current moment? [F. Krantz, Editor]
I sit in one of the dives//On Fifty-second Street//Uncertain and afraid//As the clever hopes expire//Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear//Circulate over the bright//And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death//Offends the September night…
[To Read the Full Poem Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Abe Foxman’s Retirement: End of an Era: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015—I received a call recently from Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in which he castigated me for not consulting him in advance of publishing strong criticism of his remarks.
The Iran Nuclear Deal (Video): Dennis Prager, Prager U, 2015—Is the nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran a good or bad deal? Would it be harder or easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Would it make Iran and its terror proxies stronger or weaker? Should the U.S. Congress support or defeat the deal? Dennis Prager answers these questions and more.
Leading Democrat Donors Haim Saban and Jack Rosen Rally Against Iran Deal: Eliezer Sherman, Algemeiner, Aug. 6, 2015—Top donors to the Democratic party rallied in opposition on Thursday to the Iran nuclear deal pursued by the Obama administration.
Condemnation and Condolence by the UN Secretary General — Genuine or Politically Biased?: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Aug. 6, 2015 —The recent tragic act of terrorism and hatred that caused the murder of a Palestinian child Ali Dawabsha in the West Bank and the serious wounding of the child’s family, cannot, and should not, in any way be minimized.