Shamelessly Raring to Go

German early bird Sigmar Gabriel catching worms in Tehran.

German early bird Sigmar Gabriel catching worms in Tehran.

In business, the early bird really does catch the worm and, mindful of that, European firms are rushing with headlong alacrity to do deals with Iran – even though pro-forma the sanctions against the ayatollah regime hadn’t yet been lifted.

Speediest and most impatient of all are the Germans, who cannot contain their zeal to profit. They dispatched a high-level 60-member delegation topped by Angela Merkel’s second-in-command along with representatives from such industrial giants as Linde, Siemens, Mercedes-Daimler, Volkswagen, et al.

To be sure, while the Germans are keenest to rake in the benefits of dealing with the genocidal enemies of the Jewish state, they have special incentives to appear righteous. Continue reading

“Tiny gnome, Jewish caricature”

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko

Even before it was officially announced that Russian-born Kirill Petrenko was appointed to take over in 2018 from Sir Simon Rattle as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko’s Jewishness became a hot issue in Germany.

His very candidacy sufficed to bring to the fore supposedly extinct Judeophobic maliciousness. It most likely lurked all along behind the veneered semblance of impeccable decorum.

In her commentary for Northern German Radio [NDR], Sabine Lange described Petrenko in the Wagnerian idiom as “the tiny gnome, the Jewish caricature.” Continue reading

Predatory Wolves on the Prowl

Cops at Damascus Gate soon after the recent stabbing

Cops at Damascus Gate soon after the recent stabbing

Presumably all Israelis are expected to take heart from officialdom’s line that the recent spate of terror attacks comprises nothing but unforeseeable products of “personal initiative.” Presumably the accumulation of deadly and near-deadly terror outrages is nothing but an apparently incidental buildup without a guiding hand pulling strings behind the scenes.

Presumably such learned opinions – both from the top brass and self-appointed experts – are supposed to calm our anxieties.

But those with longer memories will quickly note that such was also the soothing conventional wisdom when the first intifada was at its height and when the second erupted. Indeed, it is always individuals who carry out attacks, except in the case of bombings – suicide or otherwise – where clearly group collusion is required. Continue reading

Better off without UNRWA

DryBonesStaging another of its surreal spectacles, the UN last week marked the 65th birthday of one of its most deformed misbegotten offspring – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to cater exclusively to those deemed to be Palestinian refugees. All other refugees, regardless of degree of plight and objective hardship, are looked after by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), while the privileged Palestinian category is singularly aided by UNRWA.

The defect was already implanted in UNRWA’s genome. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted that UNRWA was never meant to live this long but he contended that “it exists because of political failure.” Doubtless, as per the UN’s dishonorable tradition, Israel is blamed for this failure. The Jewish State is habitually painted as the villain of any piece and its bogus villainy is exasperatingly accepted as an axiomatic premise.  Continue reading

Pause to Fear

The teetering Bashar Assad- Not the dependable despot the West once assumed him to be.

The teetering Bashar Assad- Not the dependable despot the West once assumed him to be.

The imminent fall of Bashar Assad’s regime had been predicted many times over the past few years – since the advent of the misnamed “Arab Spring” in Syria. So far, however, all announcements of Assad’s demise have proven premature.

This, though, doesn’t mean that he’s holding on. We are merely witnessing a plodding process of disintegration whose direction, nonetheless, is unmistakable. Assad already doesn’t rule his county, except for a few undersized beleaguered enclaves whose survival prospects steadily diminish. Continue reading

The New Judeophobic Zeitgeist

Israeli doctors treating a Nepalese boy injured in the recent earthquake

Israeli doctors treating a Nepalese boy injured in the recent earthquake.

Little attention was paid in Israel to the latest UN anti-Israel extravaganza. Presumably we’ve grown inured to the hate spouted at us.

While the Arab Spring’s carnage boggles the civilized mind, the World Health Organization, the UN’s public health agency, has identified the true transgressor – Israel.

WHO’s annual assembly last week condemned Israel for “violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan.” This is a travesty in every conceivable aspect. Continue reading

The Company Obama keeps

The Emir at the White House - there was no shadow of a hint of displeasure

The Emir at the White House – there was no shadow of a hint of displeasure

Show me who your friends are, goes the timeless adage, and I’ll show you who you are. Indeed, judging US president Barak Obama by the company he prefers to keep is very enlightening.

Obama refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week and all the president’s men and women outdid each other in heaping scorn on the unwanted guest from Jerusalem. But just a few days earlier the red carpet was rolled out enthusiastically for Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

It appeared as if not enough praise could be heaped on the emir as he visited the White House for the first time since taking over from his father in 2013. Continue reading

America’s Acute Myopia

unnamedAt this point in time we don’t know what sort of nuclear reactor Vladimir Putin had promised his Egyptian host Abdel-Fattah a-Sisi during the Russian president’s visit to Cairo last week. No actual construction is about to start in the immediate future and thus the nature of the project is moot.

Moreover, it’s not the only new reactor planned. Turkey is getting one as is our next door neighbor Jordan. The Saudis too are shopping for nuclear power.

In all instances, including that of oil-glutted Saudi Arabia, the pretext is the need for an energy source. This too is the pro forma excuse of Iran, another major oil-producer. Also cited is scientific research – hardly the forte or focus of any of the aforementioned countries.

Unlike Iran, however, none of the above had vowed to wipe Israel off the map which can theoretically somewhat ease our angst. Continue reading

Respect please!

David Ben-Gurion signs the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. Moshe Sharett is on the right

David Ben-Gurion signs the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. Moshe Sharett is on the right

Some democracies – certainly not all – were bequeathed formative documents formulated by prescient founding fathers who deliberately devoted utmost care to address every conceivable future interpretation. The least such seminal documents deserve is special deference from the nations fortunate enough to have inherited them.

They most certainly don’t deserve to be expediently turned into the proverbial rope in a political tug-of-war. Sadly, our Declaration of Independence – doubtless Israel’s most basic and vital text – is being misused in precisely this manner.

It all has to do with the “democratic and Jewish” catchphrase that has gained broad but unsubstantiated acceptance as the Declaration’s bipolar blueprint for the state’s character. Continue reading