Jewish storefronts in prewar Krakow: the mandatory name-sign decree was hardly innocuous.
Poland made history on Monday morning, April 19, 1937. It taught the world how to implement a boycott without actually admitting that it’s doing anything of the sort.
Headliners of today’s European Union have learned the lesson well, even if few of the EU’s sanctimonious sermonizers can likely cite the source and inspiration for their very unoriginal charade.
The Polish non-boycott was no mean feat on the eve of WWII, when dark clouds of impending doom already gathered over the heads of European Jewry. Given the bestial goings-on and the brutish anti-Jewish boycotts next-door in the Third Reich, Poland appeared positively refined by comparison – the soul of sophistication.
The Poles never sank as low as the crude and vulgar Germans. They didn’t adopt the practice of daubing storefronts with giant Jude inscriptions, smashing windows or sending out storm troopers to form scary picket lines, carry offensive signs in the formidable Teutonic tradition and warn off the super-race away from subhuman Jewish shopkeepers.
Instead, Poland’s Minister of Industry and Commence Antoni Roman issued an edict that looked impeccably non-discriminatory. It ordered that all business signs boldly display the proprietor’s name, directly above any other incidental scrap information such as what was sold at the premises. Precise rules were stipulated regarding the size of the letters required.
What could possibly be wrong with that? Continue reading
Edvard Benes: “his known addiction to compromise became serious weakness”
Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally culpable for the atrocious deal which US President Barack Obama and his multinational cohort contracted with Iran? Exuding extraordinary opportunism, MK Ya’ir Lapid screams just that into every available microphone.
Opportunism according to the dictionary definition is “the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles or consequences. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives.”
Lapid’s fortunes had flopped spectacularly in the March elections. His political bankruptcy would have been all the more crushing had Labor posed a more credible alternative. As was, Lapid avoided utter ruin only because his list afforded a midway shelter for those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either large party.
This leaves Lapid with the pressing need to keep his name in the headlines and make political hay of whatever transpires – like the signing of the Vienna deal on the ayatollahs’ nukes. Continue reading
THE SHIRELLES in 1962 when they sang “you say hop and I’ll hop.”
In all fairness, even politicians sometimes deserve a break. To whit it behooves us to admit that:
- Barack Obama didn’t always lie about his Iranian fixation.
- Binyamin Netanyahu couldn’t have ever stopped Obama.
- Hillary Clinton is the only one who can stop Obama (despite her knee-jerk endorsement for his grand betrayal).
Let’s start at the top. Obama may have willfully led all and sundry astray as he pursued his courtship of the Iranian ayatollahs. He did fib prodigiously while allowing himself to be outmaneuvered by them at every turn. He couldn’t have been more disingenuous than when he denied his capitulation on every point and when extolled a deal that is far more laughable than the travesty which Bill Clinton concluded in 1994.
Like a dilettante neophyte at a Tehran bazaar, Obama haggled with the Iranians without ever threatening them, while openly evincing a rush to meet artificial deadlines of his own making and oozing eagerness to strike the bargain at any price. He blundered spectacularly. Continue reading
A self-satisfied Dror Feiler on board the Marianne: he is a classic red-diaper baby.
Israeli expat Dror Feiler, domiciled in comfortable and smug Sweden, has helped organize many of the “humanitarian flotillas” to Gaza, including the 2010 Mavi Marmara provocation, the 2012 Estelle follow-up and the latest foiled Mariannemisadventure. He is a classic red-diaper baby.
In his pro-Hamas fervor, Feiler never mentions that Israel regularly (and quite dementedly) supplies Gaza with goods, electricity, fuel and water, whereas Gaza uses its resources to subjugate its masses and stockpile weapons of indiscriminate destruction.
Feiler either justifies or omits from discourse Gaza’s many and flagrant sins. He grotesquely exaggerates Israeli responses and willfully twists them out of all context. Feiler delights in painting Israel as intrinsically and irredeemably evil. Don’t look for Jewish empathy or a soft spot for the old homeland in Dror. That would contradict his red-diaper upbringing. That’s not where he comes from.
He’s a trusty unquestioning chip off the old block – his mother, Pnina, who spent a lifetime crusading for Palestinian causes and defaming Israel with relish. She hails from Yad Hanna, Israel’s sole Communist kibbutz. It was named in 1950 after heroic WWII paratrooper Hanna Szenes, whose memory and legacy have of late been targeted by artsy leftwing iconoclasts. Self-sacrifice for a Jewish cause and Zionist dedication have become unbearable in their enlightened milieu. Continue reading
Expelled Jews are shoved out of Zion Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem after it was conquered by the Arab Legion in contravention of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution
The bottom-line truth is that the decision of the US Supreme Court to uphold official Washington’s pig-headed disconnect between Jerusalem and Israel doesn’t mean diddly-squat. It signifies zilch, zippo, nada, gurnisht, bubkes.
This is quite apart from of the fact that the court technically only dealt with American constitutional hairsplitting on who’s empowered to recognize what abroad. Such pedantry may perturb American jurists but for us Israelis it absolutely doesn’t change a thing.
We simply shouldn’t care if they say we aren’t who we know we are.
What any American higher-up in whatever bureaucracy in whichever branch of government finds it expedient to opine cannot factually alter our identity. It’s as straightforward as that and is in essence what 12-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky understood.
His battle against federal obduracy reached all the way to the highest US court but Menachem lost his appeal to have his American passport register his birth as having occurred in Israel rather than in an undefined Jerusalem.
The fussy legalistic quibbling that led to his defeat cannot obviate the fact that, irrespective of what shenanigans the justices subscribe to, Menachem did come into the world in sovereign Israel. The boy isn’t confused: “I am an Israeli and I want people to know that I am glad that I am an Israeli.” Continue reading
Mahmoud Abbas (right) to King Abdullah- We are one nation in two states
Abraham Lincoln once famously said that “no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
Honest Abe of course never encountered Palestinian Authority figurehead Mahmoud Abbas, who’s certainly a hugely successful liar. Nonetheless, Abbas, like most liars, does find it exceedingly hard to keep track of all the whoppers that incessantly escape his lips.
The more he fibs, the harder it becomes to bear in mind at each and every moment what version of which pretense he had used on each occasion and with whom. Eventually, even a consummate liar like Abbas is sure to slip up.
That’s what happened to him during his recent stopover in Amman, on the way back from Doha where he married off his grandson in sumptuous style. But Abbas, alas, found himself in a bit of hot water as soon as his visit began.
The Hashemite Kingdom’s loyalists didn’t take kindly to reports that Jibril Rajoub – Abbas’s fellow Fatah honcho and chairman of the Palestinian Football Association – had failed to vote for Prince Ali Ibn al-Hussein to head FIFA. Ali is King Abdullah’s own brother who, owing to the monarchy’s non-too-regulated nepotistic inclinations, is also president of the Jordan Football Association. Rajoub’s attempts to kick Israel out of soccer’s international federation didn’t mitigate the royal umbrage.
Seeking to sooth the offended Hashemites, Abbas assured them that “the relationship between Jordan and Palestine is the relationship of one nation living in two states.” Continue reading
Golda Meir: Beware the allure of “lies wrapped up in sweet words.” [Jerusalem Post Archives]
Golda Meir rarely passed up an opportunity to warn about the allure of “lies wrapped up in sweet words.” She knew that shallowness offers smug refuge from the intractable and that syrupy slogans are a convenient copout for the intellectually indolent.
US President Barack Obama probably knows the same which is perhaps why he laid the blarney on so thick in his recent interview with The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, who himself couldn’t have been more cloying.
It’s undeniably in Obama’s interest to sweet-talk American Jews – whom he must perceive mostly as sycophant dilettantes – into trusting that some of his best friends are Jews.
Nevertheless, here in Israel, Obama’s latest heaping ration of sweet words was weighed up with utmost gravity. Left-leaning opinion-molders were quick to extract the bitter pill – Obama’s caution that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s misbehavior “will have consequences.”
Obviously we may all expect unkind comeuppance for having insubordinately reelected the PM Obama hates. Let’s not forget: Obama did his darndest to defeat Netanyahu, thereby impudently and imperiously interfering in the domestic politics of a fellow democracy. Continue reading
Liege, Belgium- “Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Jews under any circumstances!”
Last summer a café in a suburb of the Belgian city of Liege exposed the current face of anti-Semitism in one compact store-front display.
The window was festooned with the Palestinian flag, decorated with Fatah keffiahs and featured an Israeli flag crossed-out with a big red “X.” But if just-landed Martians failed to get the message, there was written bilingual elucidation as well. The French version, for the benefit of the natives, boldly announced:
“Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Zionists under any circumstances!”
Nonetheless, politically correct constraints in French clearly don’t cramp Turkish styles. Lest any perplexed Turk encounter difficulties in determining who’s a Zionist, the Turkish sign spelled things out explicitly – without synthetic attempts at European niceties. It let the proverbial cat out of the bag for dog-lovers and haters-of-Zion alike.
“Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Jews under any circumstances!” Continue reading
Pope Paul VI at Meggido in 1964: He made sure the name Israel would never escape his lips. President Zalman Shazar stands to his right.
The Vatican’s recognition of a Palestinian state (which despite its popularity abroad does not in fact exist) shows that the Holy See can be awfully speedy when it so suits it – even headlong and precipitate.
This is quite a departure from our Jewish experience with the Catholic hierarchy. With isolated exceptions, Jews have consistently encountered an entrenched severity, even hardheartedness – and that’s putting it very mildly.
With impetuous haste the Vatican rushed to recognize a state that so far consists of only radical Muslim bands distinguished only by their brands of zealotry. This is in stark contrast to the excruciating tardiness, indeed the unconcealed reluctance by the same church to recognize Israel.
The Vatican’s ill-will lasted decades after the Jewish state was born, after it survived genocidal attacks by seven Arab armies only three years post-Holocaust, after it successfully absorbed millions of Jewish refugees and after it created a functioning democracy second to none, along with all the institutions of civil society.
Despite Israel’s exemplary attributes of sovereignty, the Vatican remained sour, begrudging and glacially aloof – and that again is resorting to understatement.
So whereas a Palestinian state is recognized prematurely – before actual self-determination – it took the Vatican a whopping 45-and-a-half years after the fact to bring itself to officially recognize Jewish self-determination. Egypt – Israel’s bitter foe for decades – beat the Vatican by 14 years. Continue reading
Ayelet Shaked: Scathing scorn was heaped on her – whether in the Paritzky or Rozin idiom
Another Mideastern spring is in full swing (as distinct from the sadistically ongoing Arab Spring, not long ago confidently proclaimed by the never-erring enlightened ones as the hope of all democracies everywhere).
Springtime in our setting is notoriously unstable and in the lowly Coastal Plain some steamy nights already cause us to toss and turn when we ought to be chilling. In particularly wearisome instances our restlessness is aggravated by agitated replays of the day’s news when we ought to escape to cozy dreamland.
Thus on a recent nocturnal occasion, while my insomnia imperceptibly morphed into nightmare, new Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked rudely disturbed my peace by jumping off a pinup calendar in a dingy auto repair shop someplace in darkest Israel.
The garage featured the expected cast of unsavory characters – sweaty workaday letches who drooled, whooped and whistled as Ayelet nimbly and tauntingly rushed out of their macho milieu to join a chorus line of Third Reich beauties. With these fetching Fräuleins, Daughter of Israel Ayelet – a founding member of the Jewish Home faction – ecstatically raised her arm in the obligatory Nazi salute.
I bolted upright in dread. Who planted did these sleazy images in my subconscious? Continue reading