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The Monitor will return to the subject of Joe Lieberman (or Senator Twister, as we’ve renamed him) next week; after all – and here we’re paraphrasing the Sage of Saddle River, the late and lamented Dick Nixon – we will have Joe to kick around for the foreseeable future.
Nelson Mandela, on the other hand, deserves prompt attention. Mandela, who upon his release from a South African prison more than a decade ago was transformed by the media from a Marxist terrorist into a living saint, has loosed a verbal attack on President Bush and the United States so vicious in its tone and content that it stunned even many of his usually oblivious admirers.
A popular figure among American liberals (Jewish liberals in particular used to speak of him in tones approaching rapture, never more so than when in the company of African-Americans they were trying to impress), Mandela will never feel the wrath of the intelligentsia for anything he says or does; his pigmentation and his politics are all the protective armor he needs.
That Mandela is an unrepentant leftist with a soft spot for Third World dictators and Middle East despots is hardly news. In Mandela’s fossilized mind, the future of mankind is to be divined by sitting at the feet of the philosopher kings ensconced in Havana and Ramallah and Tripoli. Constitutional democracy? Liberty? Free market economics? Who needs them when you’ve got the Communist Manifesto and the collected works of Noam Chomsky?
But even given the old commie’s longtime delusions, it was still a jarring experience to read what came out of his mouth last week. Not surprising, but jarring. Following are some of the highlights from his speech to the International Women’s Forum.
On Bush: “One power with a president who has no fore sight and cannot think properly is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. Why is the U.S. behaving so arrogantly? All that [Bush] wants is Iraqi oil.”
On Tony Blair: “He is the foreign minister of the United States. He is no longer prime minister of Britain.”
On the U.S.: “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.”
Mandela reiterated his views in an interview with Newsweek in which he accused President Bush of wanting a war with Iraq “to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America.”
Mandela told Newsweek that no evidence had been produced to support the claim that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, but mentioned his concern about another country’s war-making capabilities.
“But what we know,” he said, “is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody mentions that.”
One of the more perceptive takes on Mandela appeared this week on the American Prowler website (Americanprowler.org), written by George Neumayr. “The media” wrote Neumayr, “have conveniently forgotten that Mandela was a hard-core Communist. He drank deeply at the well of anti-American Communist theory, and it has never left his system.
“Those astonished at his apologetics for Saddam Hussein – “Israel has weapons of mass destruction” but Hussein doesn’t, according to Mandela – should remember that he has played defense for madmen and thugs before. His ramshackle South African government maintained ties with Fidel Castro and Muammar Qaddafi. And long before that, he was responsible for a pamphlet called “How To Be A Good Communist” in which he praised the genius of Marx, Lenin and Stalin.
“America was one of the capitalist countries Mandela wanted the Soviets to trample. “The cause of Communism is the greatest and most arduous cause in the history of mankind,” the pamphlet stated.”
No wonder that with the Soviet Union gone and the United States still standing as the world’s lone superpower, Mandela sounds like a bitter old man staring senility in the face.
“Thankfully,” wrote Neumayr, “Bush isn’t taking him seriously. It is too bad that the world still does.”
Jason Maoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.
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Obama went to begin the Arab Spring in Egypt which is still his target; Israel is just the lever.
Qatar’s wealth and Turkey’s size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy.
New Delhi would do well to remain aware of the predicament of Israel today.
his Tisha B’Av, and this Tu B’Av, remember: Hashem will protect us if we unite and rally around Him
Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.
The Gazan octopus arm is a test case, as the rest of the arms are closely watching it.
Obama has chosen shaky ally on the way out over strong ally solidly in the American orbit.
World War I had sown chaos throughout the centuries-old Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.
The IDF pounding continued and it again seemed only a matter of time before Hamas would be forced to accept the Egyptian proposal.
Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare.
These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.
What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.
With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.
As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.
George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.
Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.
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