From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

 

Kafka at State

The State Department has announced that it has decided to return Jewish archives to Iraq. They had been rescued in 2003 by U.S. forces from a flooded basement in Iraqi secret services headquarters in Baghdad and restored by the National Archives in Washington.  As Caroline Glick points out, this collection of tens of thousands of documents, from sacred texts to 16th century school records, is property looted from the Jewish community by successive Iraqi regimes.  As recently as 1948 Jews were the largest minority in Baghdad, a third of the population of Basra.  In 1948, 900 Jews were murdered in a week long pogrom known as the “Farhud” and over the next three years 130,000 Jews were forced out of the country, most obtaining refuge in Israel.  The remaining community was relentlessly persecuted until, by the time Saddam’s regime was overthrown in 2003, barely a dozen Jews remained.

It’s not that those with a legitimate claim to the documents, namely members of the former Jewish community and their descendants, have not made it.  But as Glick reports, as far as the State Department is concerned, they have no claim to what the Iraqi government seized from them—this despite the fact that the Iraqi government’s claim to ownership is no stronger than the German government’s claim to ownership of Jewish property looted by the Nazis would be.  Asked how the U.S. could be sure the archive would be properly cared for by Iraq, State Department spokesman Pablo Rodriquez said “the State Department will urge the Iraqi government to take the proper steps necessary to preserve the archive, and make it available to members of the public to enjoy.” Only trouble, as Glick observes, is that the “members of the public” who wish to “enjoy” the archive are all out of the country, most of them in Israel, and would visit Iraq at peril of their lives.

This writer has a suggestion: why not send to Iraq our unwanted Confederate statues, with maybe a few of Columbus thrown in, to decorate the squares from which the statues of Saddam have been removed? It makes as much sense as sending the Jewish archive to a country without Jews that hates Jews.

 

Terrorists Can Run for German Parliament

Bruce Bawer reports that in a remarkable decision taken in August, Germany’s Interior Ministry declined to bar the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) from campaigning as a political party in the September 24 elections to the Bundestag—this despite the fact that the PFLP is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, the European Union and Australia.  The PFLP, after Fatah the largest faction in the PLO, is a hybrid of the world’s worst ideas, calling both for Israel’s destruction and international communist revolution (which is why it is running jointly with Germany’s Marxist-Leninist party).

The PFLP’s hijacking of an El Al plane in 1968 marked the beginning of modern international Islamic terrorism.  On a single day in September 1970 its members hijacked three passenger flights headed from Europe to New York.  From hijacking airplanes the PFLP went on to mass murder, its most high profile acts the killing of 28 people in the Lod Airport Massacre of 1972 and assassinating Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.  More recently it has been murdering Israelis in Jerusalem and firing rockets on Israel from the Gaza Strip.  Its most famous operative is Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal, now serving a life sentence in France.

No, it didn’t win any seats.

But if the PFLP can run for the Bundestag why not Al Qaeda?

 

Israeli Hits and Misses

A hit: The Israeli air force struck a missile and chemical weapons facility near Damascus being transferred to Hezbollah—and did so from Lebanon so as not to be blocked by Russian defense systems that would have endangered her planes if they came in a different way.  It was a welcome sign that Netanyahu’s announced red line on such shipments would be upheld.

A miss: At the start of his meeting with President Trump in New York City on September 18, Prime Minister Netanyahu said “We will discuss the way we can seize the opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab world.” That same day Fatah and Hamas announced they are moving ahead toward “reconciliation” based on non-recognition of Israel and support for the use of terror against her.  Netanyahu may think he’s smart to tell Trump what he wants to hear, but he plays a very dangerous game.  A major miss.

 

 

Welcome Refugees—Or Else

The European Court of Justice has ruled that EU members have no right to reject orders by the European Commission to take in their “fair share” of asylum seekers (many, if not most of them, young able-bodied economic migrants).  As Soeren Kern writes, the dispute dates back to September 2015, the height of Europe’s migration crisis, when two thirds of EU member states voted to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to other members of the bloc (plus 40,000 the bloc had voted to distribute two months earlier).

Even those that voted for the agreement have been dragging their feet on implementation.  Only Latvia and Malta have taken in their full quotas, a combined total of 469 migrants.  Overall, only around 25,000 of the 160,000 have been relocated.  And given a chance, the refugees/migrants themselves vote with their feet, hundreds fleeing to Germany from low benefit Eastern European countries to which they have been sent.

Armed with the new legal ruling, the European Commission is free to impose massive financial penalties on those countries, notably Poland, Hungary and Slovakia that refuse to accept any migrants.  Hungary’s Victor Orban has been by far the most forthright in articulating objections to the EU plan.  “Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture…Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian?” He warns: “The Islamization of Europe is real.”  Ironically, Hungary has offered entry to someone whose claim was turned down by asylum-mecca Sweden.  She’s an Iranian actress who had converted to Christianity and argued her life was in danger if she was forcibly returned to Iran where apostasy is a capital offense.  “Taking in persecuted Christians is our moral and constitutional duty all at once” said Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister.  Of course, as far as EU gatekeepers are concerned, this is heresy to multicultural orthodoxy.

It has doubtless also crossed the minds of balky East European countries that the EU’s Counterterrorism Coordinator recently estimated that 50,000 jihadis are now living in Europe and even if their proportionate share of that number would be small, those jihadis can wreck vastly disproportionate damage on the societies which take them in.

 

Hijacking Jewish Culture

The Center for Jewish History (umbrella to what it calls five “partner organizations” including the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, YIVO and the Yeshiva University Museum) has selected as its new head David M.  Myers, a man of whom Daniel Greenfield aptly says: “There is hardly an organization in the anti-Israel network where Myers hasn’t left his fingerprints.”

Greenfield assembles a list.  Myers is listed on the Academic Advisory Board of Jewish Voices for Peace (a misnomer if ever there was one), which to cite just one examples of its “pro-peace” activities, has sponsored talks by Alison Weir, who had claimed Jews drank Christian blood and engaged in ritual murder of Christian children in the Middle Ages.  Naturally, JVP’s campus chapters vigorously promote the BDS movement.  Myers is also on the advisory council of J Street, listed on the Academic Council of Open Hillel (open to BDS voices, that is) and is on the board of the New Israel Fund which provides money to BDS promoting outfits.  Bizarrely, given that it would be easy to confuse ADL for an advocacy group for the Democratic Party rather than an organization devoted to Jewish interests, Myers signed a letter claiming the ADL was a “well-known rightwing group.”

And while Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis, in announcing the appointment praised the “breadth” of Myers’ “scholarly work,” Greenfield notes that “anti-Zionism is the crux of Myers’ scholarship.”  Sarna declares that Myers is “the very embodiment of what the Center should be.”  According to whom?  And there’s the rub, underlining why demonstrations in the works, by AFSI, JCC Watch and others, are not likely to have much effect.   Myers was appointed because of his views, not in spite of them.  Key figures at the Center for Jewish History (CJH) and American Jewish Historical Society are anti-Israel activists. Writes Greenfield: “CJH and some of its associated organizations have been hollowed out by a left-wing network.  Some of its members openly support BDS. Others covertly aid BDS activists and supporters. Its members sign the same petitions and support each other because they share a common agenda. That is how David N. Myers, an anti-Israel activist unfit for any role in the Jewish community, ended up heading the Center for Jewish History.  Myers is the tip of the iceberg. The radical activists appropriating and hijacking Jewish culture, thought and history to pursue an anti-Israel agenda are the iceberg.”

Exactly 40 years ago, in 1977, AFSI published its first pamphlet, Breira: Counsel for Judaism documenting the anti-Israel credentials of many of Breira’s leading figures. Breira called for an “alternative” (breira is the Hebrew for alternative) to what it described as the rubber stamp approach of Jewish leadership to Israel’s government in favor of “vigorous independent criticism.”  Breira itself did not survive long, in part because of the broad based antagonism it encountered in mainstream Jewish organizations.  Those organizations are now enfeebled, in good part because of the success of Breira’s descendants in infiltrating and shaping them.

 

Jews Over the Top on AfD

Given the vituperative Jewish reaction to the third place showing of Alternative for Germany you’d never guess that it’s the most pro-Israel party in Germany,  and that includes its membership, not just its leaders.

World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder calls AfD “a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany’s past and should be outlawed” while Charlotte Knobloch, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany calls it “a nightmare come true”, accusing the Afd of aggression, contempt for humanity, conspiracy theories, volkisch nationalism, neo-Nazism, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, racism, violating the Constitution (and that’s only a few items on her long list of the party’s evils).

The AfD’s stance against Muslim immigration especially worries Germany’s Jews who claim that whoever targets Muslims will soon come after Jews.  Only Jews could be so blind as to fail to see that the chief threat to their survival in Germany (and in the rest of Europe) comes from precisely the Muslim immigrants  whose cause they champion.

Admittedly, there is much to cause anxiety about the AfD, including its desire to downplay the Holocaust and to refurbish the image of German soldiers in World War II. There can be little doubt that  neo-Nazis lurking in today’s Germany voted for AfD.  But rather than going ballistic, Jews should view the party at this point as a mixed bag. Raphael Ahren in the Times of Israel brings this home, noting that a wide-ranging poll commissioned by a group promoting German-Israeli relations found most AfD politicians professing to care deeply about Israel’s security  The poll also found that members of no other party were as strongly opposed to the BDS movement. Seventy-seven percent of AfD members polled agreed anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism, 88% said Israel’s coming 70th birthday was a reason for Germans to celebrate and 86% supported German arms exports to Israel.  AfD members scored considerably higher than members of other parties on these and similar Israel-related issues.

To the AfD Israel is a bulwark against Islam, which the party (thanks to Angela Merkel’s throwing open German borders to more than a million Muslims) views as a threat to German identity. It’s hard to disagree with either proposition.

Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

Outpost is distributed free to
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