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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘National Review Online’

Will New Oil Sanctions Be the Game-Changer in Iran?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

On Monday, in a move that would have been unimaginable only weeks ago, the European Union outlawed Iranian oil imports. The 27 states of the European Union together import 660,000 barrels of crude from Iran each day, making them collectively the second largest importer of the Islamic Republic’s oil, after oil-starved China.

Whether or not the sanctions persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium or developing a nuclear weapon, they’re certainly having an effect. In the past two weeks, the Iranian rial has fallen to an all-time low against the dollar.

In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Western suspicions that Tehran’s atomic program contains a military dimension. Since then, President Obama has barred U.S. companies from doing certain business with foreign entities that conduct transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The U.S. has long prohibited the purchase of Iranian gas and oil, but the CBI processes most of Iran’s vital energy revenue for countries that still buy it.

Though the EU’s chief’s diplomats agreed to respect ongoing deals to purchase Iranian oil and gas products until July 1, at that point all residual European business must end. No new oil deal can be struck during the interim period.

The one-two punch of U.S. and European punitive measures is taking a huge financial toll on Iran’s already wobbly financial system. Former Iranian intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, a member of the country’s powerful and opaque Assembly of Experts, called Monday for Iran’s regime to close the Strait of Hormuz. The narrow shipping corridor permits a third of the global energy supply to pass through its lanes.

While the U.S. and the EU do not advocate regime change in Iran, sanctions could breathe life into Iran’s struggling pro-democracy movement. Contrary to popular belief, robust economic sanctions have not unified the population against the West. Since Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rigged the elections of June 2009, the Iranian government has been increasingly unpopular, and the people widely blame it for the country’s worsening economic situation.

The millions who took to the streets of Tehran in the aftermath of that election arguably constituted the first full-blown Middle Eastern reform movement. Since that time, despotic regimes have fallen in Tunisia and Egypt, and others — like Bashar Assad’s dictatorship in Syria — are on the ropes, but the Iranians have had no such luck. The unprecedented U.S. and European sanctions will not work overnight. By early summer, it will be clearer whether or not they’re changing Iran’s behavior.

Given Chinese and Russian resistance to a seventh round of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, the U.S. and its allies will likely have to continue working outside the U.N. The U.N. Charter provides for a comprehensive embargo against a country that violates U.N. resolutions, so the Security Council could issue a “complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.” But the Russians and the Chinese will surely prevent the U.N. from doing anything of the kind.

It is a vexing predicament for the U.S. and the EU. Apart from Israel, the U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands are the only three countries that have declared their refusal to live with a nuclear Iran. If these latest sanctions, crushing as they are, prove ineffective, this fall will bring hard decisions.

This article first appeared in National Review Online.

Turning Holocaust Remembrance Into Israel Bashing

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The German Holocaust foundation Remembrance, Responsibility, Future – EVZ – is in a state of denial concerning misuse of public funds meant to largely compensate the victims of the Shoah but used instead to finance anti-Semitic student exchange programs in Israel and Germany.

The bombshell revelations first surfaced in late September and new disclosures are still unfolding. EVZ provided 21,590 euros to a dubious 2010-2011 student exchange program between an East German high school (Gerhart Hauptmann) and an Israeli Arab school in Nazareth (Masar Institute for Education) to produce a 31-page brochure delegitimizing Israel.

One German student formulated a crude drawing of Orthodox Jewish students with yarmulkes and sidelocks seated in a well-kept classroom with a sign over a world map stating “Jewish School.” Next to that is a dilapidated, overcrowded schoolroom with depressed Palestinian pupils seated below a giant cobweb and a beat-up map lacking countries. A collapsing sign above the students reads “Palestine School.”

Raimund Fastenbauer, the general secretary of Austria’s small Jewish community, told me that “When Germans or Austrians use such stereotypes in excessive criticisms of Israel, this is based, from a psychological perspective, in a secret wish to finally catch Jews in misdeeds so as to exonerate the generation of their own fathers and grandfathers.”

A second student cartoon apparently shows a light-skinned Israeli asking a dark-skinned Palestinian if he wants to be friends. An imposing tank is positioned behind both students, suggesting the Israeli student is compelling the Palestinian student to shake his hand. Advertisement

Compounding the anti-Israel cartoons depicting Israel as a violent state that discriminates against Israeli Arabs are texts that equate Israel with the now-defunct Stalinst East German state.

Arab-Israeli student Majdi Darawshi writes that “I found the histories of Palestine and Germany to be very similar, as people in both countries felt the need to fight for their rights for a better life…”

The oft-repeated likening, in German discourse, of Israel’s security fence and the Berlin Wall is one more manifestation of anti-Israel sentiment. The security barrier has prevented the murders of Israelis by Palestinian terrorists. Invoking parallels between Israel and the former German Democratic Republic is similar to equating Israel with Apartheid South Africa.

The EVZ was founded in 2000 with a contribution of 5.2 billion euros by the Federal German government and German industry to compensate former slave and forced laborers during the Nazi period. A segment – 358 million euros – of the EVZ funds are designed to finance educational projects to combat anti-Semitism and carry forward the memory of Holocaust victims.

When I asked EVZ chairman Dr. Martin Salm about the anti-Israel school literature, he termed it an “ambiguous project publication” and said the illustrations and booklet were “not motivated by anti-Semitism.”

It is, of course, a distinction without a difference.

Tackling contemporary anti-Semitism remains a touchy subject in Germany. Salm, who sits on the Interior Ministry’s commission to combat anti-Semitism, stayed largely mum back in 2009 when questioned about fellow member Dr. Juliane Wetzel’s attacks on Jewish critics as representing “lobby groups” in Germany (the term “lobby” is frequently used as an anti-Semitic code word for supporters of Israel). A third board member, Elke Gryglewski, said Holocaust survivors are “not objective and too emotional” as experts.

The Jerusalem-based watchdog organization NGO Monitor just issued an eye-popping report about a second EVZ-backed school program in which funding was ostensibly misappropriated to finance elements of Holocaust denial and loathing of Israel.

According to the report, between March and July of this year, EVZ contributed funds to a partner agency for a program, “Human Rights – Rights of Occupation,” with German (Anne Frank School in Gütersloh) and Palestinian (School of Hope in Ramallah) students.

The NGO Monitor investigation notes that “while Palestinian participants questioned ‘whether the Holocaust had really happened to that extent,’ the main focus was devoted to alleging Israeli violations and immorality, not on Holocaust education. In July 2011, the Anne Frank School hosted Hajo Meyer, a Holocaust survivor and anti-Israel activist.

“In his presentation, Meyer referred to the ‘criminal state of Israel.’ He also ‘wanted to express that many Jews today feel that no one else suffered like them during the Holocaust which makes them blind for the suffering of the Palestinians under the occupation.’ “

What Drives Celebrity Anti-Semitism?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

In a span of several weeks, a motley group of celebrities ranging from the composer of “Zorba the Greek” to a British fashion designer to an American television actor – as well as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks – have all manifested Judeophobia.

What is this global celebrity outburst targeting Jews all about?

There is a refreshing honesty about what animates the anti-Semitism of Mikis Theodorakis, best known for composing the musical score to the academy-award winning film “Zorba the Greek.” He recently declared on Greek television that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.”

The 86-year-old member of the Greek Communist party also said, “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists.” Another comment was “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.”

Theodorakis blasted Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.”

While most Europeans and North Americans who loathe the Jewish state disguise their hatred through the cottage industry of boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel, Theodorakis simply came out of the anti-Semitic closet. European politicians like the former Social Democratic German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and former Christian Democratic Union party German president Richard von Weizsäcker – both of whom signed a petition last year to sanction Israel – would, of course, never own up to being contaminated by the “A” word.

That helps explain why former Christian Dior fashion designer John Galliano, actor Charlie Sheen, and WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange scrambled to distance themselves from allegations of anti-Semitism, which still spells opprobrium and has the potential to ruin careers.

Helen Thomas is now yesterday’s woman because of her anti-Semitic tirades. But her anti-Israel bilge is the long established departure point for a solid majority of European journalists and entertainers.

Galliano’s diatribes in a Paris bar involved calling a patron “a dirty Jew” and declaring “I love Hitler.” He also told a guest at the bar, whom he believed to be Jewish, that “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be [expletive] gassed.”

Dior dismissed its chief designer, and he promptly boarded a plane to enroll in a Arizona-based addiction treatment center know for helping celebrities.

The reactions to Galliano’s comments were revealing. While Natalie Portman, the American-Israeli actress and Dior perfume model, said, to her credit, that she was “shocked and disgusted” and “would not be associated with Mr. Galliano,” the German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was more troubled that his colleague created a “horrible image” of the fashion industry.

Charlie Sheen, erstwhile star of the television show “Two and a Half Men,” singled out his Jewish producer Chuck Lorre by his Hebrew first name and original surname – Haim Levine – and raged against him as a “contaminated little maggot” that “can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth.” Sheen went on to “wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels, especially if they wind up in my octagon.”

Ridiculing the names of Jews was a favorite pastime of German anti-Semites and the use of biological language to dehumanize Jews was ubiquitous among Nazis. In sharp contrast to Hollywood’s kid-glove approach to director and actor Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic diatribes, Warner Bros. sacked Sheen and justified the swift contractual discharge because his “comments poison[ed] key working relationships.” (A curious footnote to Sheen’s meltdown is that he told a radio interviewer he’s a “huge fan” of Gibson and praised him as a “beautiful man.”

The Pavlovian reflex to blame the Jews found its way into WikiLeaks founder Assange’s explanation for the widespread criticism of his whistleblower organization. Assange allegedly told the British magazine Private Eye that the Guardian newspaper was “part of a conspiracy” directed by “Jewish” writers to discredit him and WikiLeaks. Private Eye had queried Assange about his work with a writer accused of being a Holocaust denier. Realizing he’d been caught with his hand deep in the anti-Semitic cookie jar, Assange told Private Eye journalist Ian Hislop, “Forget the Jewish thing.”

As can be seen from these celebrity diatribes, anti-Semitism takes many forms. Some celebrity outbursts (like Assange’s) are animated by classical anti-Jewish conspiracy theories; others (as in the Sheen and Galliano cases) by a reflexive tendency to project one’s own pathologies onto the Jews.

Web Choices 2007/Revised Edition

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

It’s been several months since the Monitor’s last listing of worthwhile websites and blogs, so here’s an updated version. Some of the sites that appeared on previous lists have been removed (either they went defunct, lapsed into relative inactivity, or simply failed to hold the Monitor’s interest) and a number of new ones have been added.

As always, there is no particular order to the list, and views expressed on the various sites don’t necessarily reflect the Monitor’s.

Jewish Current Issues (jpundit.typepad.com/jci)
Neo-Neocon (neo-neocon.com)
Real Clear Politics (realclearpolitics.com)
Alastair’s Heart Monitor (almax.wordpress.com)
News From Israel (isrinfo.demon.co.uk)
The Politico (politico.com)
Sultan Knish (sultanknish.blogspot.com)
Captain’s Quarters (captainsquartersblog.com)
Arts & Letters Daily (aldaily.com)
The Oxford Medievalist (oxfordmedievalist.blogspot.com)
Contentions (commentarymagazine.com/contentions)
Front Page Magazine (frontpagemag.com)
Hirhurim/Musings (hirhurim.blogspot.com)
The American Thinker (americanthinker.com)
Seraphic Secret (seraphicpress.com)
Emes Ve-Emunah (haemtza.blogspot.com)
The Trail (blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail)
InstaPundit (instapundit.com)
National Review Online (nationalreview.com)
Jewish World Review (jewishworldreview.com)
Times Watch (timeswatch.org)
Jules Crittenden (julescrittenden.com)
Cross-Currents (cross-currents.com)
Rootless Cosmopolitan (tonykaron.com)
Melanie Phillips’s Diary (melaniephillips.com/diary)
The Jewish Press Blog (thejewishpress.blogspot.com)
Lazer Beams (lazerbrody.typepad.com)
The American Spectator (spectator.org)
Marc Ambinder (marcambinder.theatlantic.com)
The Daily Howler (dailyhowler.com)
Snarksmith (snarksmith.com)
IsraPundit (israpundit.com)
Press Think (journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink)
The New Republic (tnr.com)
Regret The Error (regrettheerror.com)
Orthomom (orthomom.blogspot.com)
Political Mavens (politicalmavens.com)
Brain Terminal (brain-terminal.com)
The Belmont Club (fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com)
The Zionist Conspiracy (jschick.blogspot.com)
Boker Tov, Boulder! (bokertov.typepad.com/btb)
Media Matters (mediamatters.org)
Power Line (powerlineblog.com)
AJ History (ajhistory.blogspot.com – site inactive but archives are accessible)
News Busters (newsbusters.org)
American History (americanheritage.com)
Jewess (jewess.canonist.com)
Deadline Hollywood Daily (deadlinehollywooddaily.com)
Pajamas Media (pajamasmedia.com)
World Net Daily (worldnetdaily.com)
Smooth Stone (smoothstone.blogspot.com)
Think-Israel (think-israel.org)
James Wolcott (jameswolcott.com)
Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog)
OxBlog (oxblog.blogspot.com)
LILEKS (lileks.com)
A Simple Jew (asimplejew.blogspot.com)
Decision’08 (decision08.net)
Altweeklies (altweeklies.com)
Yeshiva World (theyeshivaworld.com)
Marvin Schick (mschick.blogspot.com)
PoliPundit (polipundit.com)
Jewish Legends (jewishlegends.com)
Free Republic (freerepublic.com/home.htm)
Nextbook (nextbook.org)
Haaretz (haaretz.com)
Libertas (libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas)
AtlanticBlog (atlanticblog.com)
Ynetnews (ynetnews.com)
This Modern World (thismodernworld.com)
Roger L. Simon (rogerlsimon.com)
Israel Insider (israelinsider.com)
The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com)
The American Prospect (prospect.org)
CAMERA (camera.org)
Soccer Dad (soccerdad.baltiblogs.com)
Jewcy (jewcy.com)
Right Wing News (rightwingnews.com)
The Politicker (observer.com/thepoliticker)
Media Research Center (mrc.org)
Faith and Fear in Flushing (faithandfear.blogharbor.com)
Baseball Crank (baseballcrank.com)
Mets Fan Blog (danabrand.com)

Web Choices 2007

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

It’s been a year since the Monitor’s last listing of worthwhile websites and blogs, so here’s an updated version. Some of the sites that appeared on previous lists have been removed (either they went defunct or simply failed to hold the Monitor’s interest) and several new ones have been added.

As always, there is no particular order to the list, and views expressed on the various sites don’t necessarily reflect the Monitor’s.

Jewish Current Issues (jpundit.typepad.com/jci)
Neo-Neocon (neo-neocon.com)
Real Clear Politics (realclearpolitics.com)
News From Israel (http://www.isrinfo.demon.co.uk)
The Politico (capitolleader.com)
Captain’s Quarters (captainsquartersblog.com/mt)
Arts & Letters Daily (aldaily.com)
Front Page Magazine (frontpagemag.com)
Hirhurim/Musings (hirhurim.blogspot.com)
The American Thinker (americanthinker.com)
Seraphic Secret (seraphicpress.com)
Mediacrity (mediacrity.blogspot.com)
InstaPundit (instapundit.com)
National Review Online (nationalreview.com)
Jewish World Review (jewishworldreview.com)
Times Watch (timeswatch.org)
Emes Ve-Emunah (haemtza.blogspot.com)
Melanie Phillips’s Diary (melaniephillips.com/diary)
Lazer Beams (lazerbrody.typepad.com)
The American Spectator (spectator.org)
The Daily Howler (dailyhowler.com)
IsraPundit (israpundit.com)
Press Think (journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink)
Sultan Knish (sultanknish.blogspot.com)
Brain Terminal (brain-terminal.com)
The New Republic (tnr.com)
The Canonist (canonist.com)
Regret The Error (regrettheerror.com)
Democracy For the Middle East (dfme.org)
Orthomom (orthomom.blogspot.com)
Political Mavens (politicalmavens.com)
Cross-Currents (cross-currents.com)
The Belmont Club (fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com)
The Zionist Conspiracy (jschick.blogspot.com)
Boker Tov, Boulder! (bokertov.typepad.com/btb)
Media Matters (mediamatters.org)
Power Line (powerlineblog.com)
AJ History (ajhistory.blogspot.com – site inactive but archives are accessible.)
News Busters (newsbusters.org)
Jewess (jewess.canonist.com)
Pajamas Media (pajamasmedia.com)
Smooth Stone (smoothstone.blogspot.com)
Think-Israel (think-israel.org)
James Wolcott (jameswolcott.com)
Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog)
OxBlog (oxblog.blogspot.com)
LILEKS (lileks.com)
A Simple Jew (asimplejew.blogspot.com)
Decision’08 (decision08.net)
CampusJ (campusj.com)
Altweeklies (altweeklies.com)
Yeshiva World (theyeshivaworld.com)
Marvin Schick (mschick.blogspot.com)
PoliPundit (polipundit.com)
Free Republic (freerepublic.com/home.htm)
Nextbook (nextbook.org)
Haaretz (haaretz.com)
Libertas (libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas)
AtlanticBlog (atlanticblog.com)
Ynetnews (ynetnews.com)
This Modern World (thismodernworld.com)
Roger L. Simon (rogerlsimon.com)
Israel Insider (israelinsider.com)
The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com)
The American Prospect (prospect.org)
CAMERA (camera.org)
Soccer Dad (soccerdad.baltiblogs.com)
Right Wing News (rightwingnews.com)
The Politicker (observer.com/thepoliticker)
Media Research Center (mrc.org)
Faith and Fear in Flushing (faithandfear.blogharbor.com)
Baseball Crank (baseballcrank.com)

Web Favorites, Expanded & Updated

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

It’s time again for the Monitor’s latest listing of worthwhile websites and blogs. (As always, there is no particular order to the list; names appearing toward the top are not necessarily more valuable than those closer to the bottom.)

Jewish Current Issues (jpundit.typepad.com/jci)
Democracy For the Middle East (dfme.org)
The Zionist Conspiracy (jschick.blogspot.com)
Neo-Neocon (neo-neocon.blogspot.com)
News From Israel (http://www.isrinfo.demon.co.uk)
Boker Tov, Boulder! (bokertov.typepad.com/btb)
Jewish World Review (jewishworldreview.com)
Captain’s Quarters (captainsquartersblog.com/mt)
Arts & Letters Daily (aldaily.com)
Front Page Magazine (frontpagemag.com)
Hirhurim/Musings (hirhurim.blogspot.com)
The American Thinker (americanthinker.com)
The National Debate (thenationaldebate.com/blog)
Global Yeshiva (globalyeshiva.com)
Mediacrity (mediacrity.blogspot.com)
InstaPundit (instapundit.com)
Marvin Schick (mschick.blogspot.com)
National Review Online (nationalreview.com)
Times Watch (timeswatch.org)
Melanie Phillips’s Diary (melaniephillips.com/diary)
The American Spectator (spectator.org)
The Daily Howler (dailyhowler.com)
IsraPundit (israpundit.com)
Press Think (journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink)
Sultan Knish (sultanknish.blogspot.com)
Brain Terminal (brain-terminal.com)
Regret The Error (regrettheerror.com)
The Belmont Club (fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com)
Real Clear Politics (realclearpolitics.com)
Seraphic Secret (seraphicpress.com)
Power Line (powerlineblog.com)
AJ History (ajhistory.blogspot.com)
News Busters (newsbusters.org)
Pajamas Media (pajamasmedia.com)
Think-Israel (think-israel.org)
Ranting Profs (rantingprofs.typepead.com)
Moving On (glenh.blogspot.com)
James Wolcott (jameswolcott.com)
Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog)
The Belgravia Dispatch (belgraviadispatch.com)
OxBlog (oxblog.blogspot.com)
LILEKS (lileks.com)
A Simple Jew (asimplejew.blogspot.com)
Lance Mannion (lancemannion.typepead.com)
Decision’08 (decision08.net)
CampusJ (campusj.com)
Chron Watch (chronwatch.com)
Bull Moose (bullmooseblogger.blogspot.com)
Cross-Currents (cross-currents.com)
Altweeklies (altweeklies.com)
PoliPundit (polipundit.com)
Free Republic (freerepublic.com/home.htm)
Nextbook (nextbook.org)
Haaretz (haaretzdaily.com)
AtlanticBlog (atlanticblog.com)
YNetNews (ynetnews.com)
The Canonist (canonist.com)
This Modern World (thismodernworld.com)
Roger L. Simon (rogerlsimon.com)
Israel Insider (israelinsider.com)
The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com)
Media Bistro (mediabistro.com)
The American Prospect (prospect.org)
CAMERA (camera.org)
Right Wing News (rightwingnews.com)
Oh, That Liberal Media! (thatliberalmedia.com)
The Politicker (observer.com/thepoliticker)
Media Research Center (mrc.org)
Faith and Fear in Flushing (faithandfear.blogharbor.com/blog)
Baseball Crank (baseballcrank.com)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/web-favorites-expanded-updated/2006/02/08/

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