More about the Middle East – outsourcing to Martin Amis and Martha Gellhorn – as well as a bit about Suzanne Somers. (Yeah, Suzanne Somers.)
This is terrific – a speech on the legality of Israel’s fight against Hamas, with some wise words about proportionality. From the House of Lords, October 24th, 2023. Lord Guglielmo Verdirame does not seem to need the notes he is holding and appears to be wonderfully nerdy and brilliant.
We need a Ritchie Torres in Canada. He is a Democratic congressman who is decidedly not silly and is a shining star on the issue of Israel and antisemitism. Part of his recent op-ed (yesterday):
Something is rotten in the state of America. When the institutional leaders in our country cannot condemn the cold-blooded murder of Israeli children and civilians with moral clarity, one must ask: what kind of society are we becoming?
What does the silence and indifference and cowardice — from these so-called leaders — tell us about the depth of anti-Semitism in America and the reckoning required?
The time has come to confront not only the symptoms but the disease: a Democratic Socialist industrial complex that indoctrinates young Americans with an anti-Israel hatred so virulent that it renders them indifferent to the deadliest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
Anti-Israel extremism, which has been given a veneer of mainstream respectability in law schools and legislatures, is aided and abetted by the sheer spinelessness of so-called “leaders”— from public officials to the presidents of colleges and universities.
Days of silence were often followed by words of cowardice, if there were any words at all.
Northwestern University, for example, said it had no plans to “put out a statement officially stating a University position.” Imagine that: a university that cannot be bothered to take a position on a pogrom against Jews. Have we learned nothing from the long and ugly history of Anti-Semitism?
There is nothing accidental about the disregard for Israeli life that revealed itself in the wake of Oct. 7. The dehumanization of Israeli victims follows inevitably from the hyperbolic and systematic demonization of Israel itself.
And the same rot exists in Canada. Read the whole column.
So it’s hard to write or think about anything other than the ongoing nightmare unfolding in Israel. My heart aches. The Israelis are in for a necessary fight and I hope we can not be stupid about it and start whining about “proportionality” in the coming weeks…months. Many more Israelis and Palestinian civilians will die. Simply awful. It can’t be ignored that the Biden administration recently gave $6 billion to Tehran on the condition that the regime only use it for humanitarian purposes. Yeah, that’s working out. (No, I am NOT blaming Biden. The only people to blame for this are those in the regime in Tehran and the barbarians in Hamas.) Yes, Tehran/Hamas is trying to scuttle the anticipated Saudi-Israel peace deal, hoping to provoke Israel to react so harshly that MBS will cower. I really hope he won’t.
We are already hearing the “both sides” nonsense and the moral equivalence crowd and the “this is a nuanced conflict” morons. This claptrap sickens me. I wrote about an unfortunate conversation with my priest over on my Substack (please subscribe and pay, if you can) – unfortunate, but he showed me who he was, and it wasn’t pretty. This situation has left me feeling immensely disillusioned. I recall the same feeling after Charlie Hebdo when a relative suggested there were “nuances” in the slaughter of cartoonists who had drawn things to which the slaughterers objected. Seriously?
Am Yisrael Chai.
My once-upon-a-time colleague — at the Ottawa Citizen — John Robson, sums it all up so well.
Of course, criticism of Israeli government actions is not inherently anti-Semitic. If it were, Israel would be full of Jewish anti-Semites. But it’s one thing to note mistakes and condemn individual acts of brutality and quite another to equate a democracy where Arab Muslims have full rights with a blood-soaked tyranny where Arab Muslims have no rights.
Space precludes discussion of the unequalled persistence and virulence of anti-Semitism. But you’d think its extraordinary history, including the Holocaust, would make decent people everywhere very wary of this mental and moral poison. Instead, the New York Times observed on Sunday: “Divisions within the (Democratic) party have burst into public view, with the party’s ascendant left viewing the Mideast conflict as a searing racial justice issue that carries echoes of U.S. politics.”
This comparison to American slavery is nothing short of demented. And nobody would expect any other nation on Earth, even a tyranny, to tolerate endless bombs and rockets, stabbings and car attacks, rhetoric of annihilation and periodic invasion attempts. So what’s the deal with Israel?
To coin a phrase, j’accuse.
This weekend marks the 102nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There is so much ignorance about it, so much unwarranted hostility and duplicity. Therefore I was delighted to find this piece from two years ago – outstanding historical research and interpretation.
Here’s some real courage (as opposed to the faux courage of, say, a Greta Thunberg): a former Miss Iraq telling some truths to those who don’t want to hear it. She is likely to lose her Iraqi citizenship (this already may have happened), and possibly her life, over these kinds of comments. She has also engaged in a fruitless attempt to get famed Jew-hater Ilhan Omar to listen to facts.