The very fact that 110 members of Jordan’s parliament (out of a total of 150) signed a petition for the release of the murderer from Naharayim speaks volumes about what parades as morality and coexistence next door to us.
Jordan, it needs to be stressed, is formally at peace with Israel.
Hence the implicit message from Amman is disconcerting in the extreme. Purported representatives of public opinion showed us where their hearts are, regardless of whether the massacre-perpetrator stays behind bars or not. Continue reading
Journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh served only one day of the year-long sentence imposed on him for “insulting” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.
Fearing a backlash and denying personal involvement in the case, Abbas decided to magnanimously “pardon” Hamamreh. But Abbas needn’t have feared. He is the darling of free world opinion – regardless of the incitement he promotes and the freedoms he stifles. His excesses never resonate in overseas media.
His term of office expired years ago, but he is still widely regarded as a democratically elected leader. Nonetheless, in Abbas’s pseudo-democracy all that it took to convict Hamamreh for “spreading seeds of hate” and “publishing false information” was an image shared on Facebook that likened Abbas to a Syrian TV villain. Continue reading
Forty-two percent of Austrians believe that “not everything was bad under Hitler,” according to a poll conducted by the Viennese newspaper Der Standard. That’s very telling, especially this week when Austria marks the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss – its merger with Nazi Germany.
In the postwar years, Vienna sought to shirk all responsibility for the Holocaust by pretending that it was merely another conquered and victimized European country, whose citizenry was forced against its will to endure German occupation. But not all truth can be conveniently rewritten. Continue reading
How many in Israel realize that this country was recently declared the second-best educated in the world (after Canada)? How many know that a recent survey declared Israel the first in the world in hi-tech Research and Development intensity?
Odds are that very few do. In our society, bad news is given resonance and the good is relegated to the margins. When Israeli fifth-graders do badly in international math evaluations, the entire country seethes. This feeds political recriminations that generate more headlines for days to follow. Our successes rarely, if ever, receive notice. Continue reading
The latest North Korean nuke test undoubtedly constituted a major morale-booster for Iran. It could not imagine a more uplifting object lesson.
The parallels between Tehran and Pyongyang are obvious – two rogue states that covet nuclear weaponry, defy the rest of the world, are fired by extremist and expansionist ideologies, conduct spurious negotiations and appear inured to international sanctions.
North Korea has been subjected to sanctions longer than any other country. Yet the citizenry’s near-starvation is hardly the highest priority for Pyongyang’s tyrants. Tehran’s ayatollahs aren’t more caring. Neither regime is likely to back down out of compassion for its suffering masses. Continue reading
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has urged the European Union to at long belated last “draw the necessary conclusions” and place Hezbollah on its terrorist list. He voiced his appeal after exhaustive Bulgarian investigations had firmly traced the bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas last July to Hezbollah.
Similar entreaties were sounded by new US Secretary of State John Kerry, who exhorted the international community, and particularly European states, to take immediate action against Hezbollah. “We need to send an unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in despicable actions with impunity,” he said. Continue reading
Singled out routinely as the UN Human Rights Council’s all-time favorite scapegoat, Israel has finally had enough and has refused to show up for its Universal Periodic Review last Tuesday. To dodge a confrontation, the council postponed Israel’s UPR to November.
This review is conducted to evaluate human rights conditions in each of the 193 UN member-states. In Israel’s case, however, any UNHRC hearing is likely to descend into a kangaroo court, where some of the worst repressive regimes pass judgment on a sterling democracy and where the damning verdict had been composed long before any proceedings had begun. Continue reading
London Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was quick to deny anti-Semitic undertones in his recent depiction of a monstrous Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cementing the security barrier with the blood of victimized Palestinians, whose arms flail in agony and whose tortured faces are seen screaming among the red-streaked bricks. This cartoon was published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – of all days.
Here it must be interjected that most anti-Semites nowadays are remarkably practiced in accompanying their invective with such instant disclaimers – by now an expected part of the pattern.
It is politically incorrect to even hint at their thinly disguised anti-Semitism. That immediately turns them into the muzzled good guys and the protesters into loathsome Jews seeking to silence yet more righteous critics of Israel with their doomsday weapon – charges of anti-Semitism. Continue reading
Israeli definitions for the political Left and Right are idiosyncratic in the extreme. The world resorts to our characterizations without quite understanding what we mean by them, erroneously dubbing our Right conservative and our Left liberal.
Yet these epithets bear scant connection to the Israeli lexicon. Our peculiar classifications hinge around attitudes to the historic Land of Israel, settlement, territorial concessions and the creation of a Palestinian state.
Going by the local designation, the moderate Right had emerged victorious yet again – especially if we do not count Yair Lapid’s neophyte party, Yesh Atid, as knee-jerk Left-of-center, something that political analysts tend to do without sufficient foundation. Continue reading
It happens in our midst during every electoral bout. Without exception, a new, hip, cool and trendy political star flickers brightly in our parliamentary firmament.
It began in 1977 with the Democratic Movement for Change, continued through a bewildering array of factions from Tzomet to Shinui and most bizarrely, Gil, the pensioners’ list of two campaigns ago, which was the outright craze among adolescent first-time voters. Continue reading