A Flash of Lightning |
... For two generations, our [Israeli] foreign policy used the Holocaust as its main instrument. The bad conscience of the world
determined its attitude towards Israel. The (justified) guilt feelings - either for atrocities committed or for looking the other
way - caused Europe and America to treat Israel differently than any other nation - from nuclear armaments to the settlements. All
criticism of our governments' actions was branded automatically as anti-Semitism and silenced. But time does its work. New
tragedies have blunted the world's senses. For a new generation, the Holocaust is a thing of the remote past, a chapter of
history. The sense of guilt has disappeared in all countries, except Germany.
In Canada, Falling Support For Israel
Thomas Walkom -- The Star (Canada)
... But my sense is that while politicians and media remain fearful of criticizing Israel the public is starting to move on ... My
sense is that within the public the residual goodwill for Israel is wearing thin. Holocaust guilt, which in the past has been
skillfully used to mute criticisms of Israel, no longer has the same effect. Nor do ritual charges of anti-Semitism. The
politicians tiptoe around Israel. The public is coming to understand that it is just another country.
How Relevant is Holocaust
Mark Weber (Jan. 2009)
... Although "Holocaust remembrance" remains well entrenched in our society, its impact seems to have diminished in recent years.
In part this is because the men and women of the World War II generation are nearly all gone ... The Holocaust imagery of the 1940s
is less potent because it's less relevant. Criticism of Israel and its policies has become much more common in recent years, even
in the United States. Among thoughtful men and women, and especially among the young, sympathy for Israel has fallen noticeably,
while skepticism about the role of the Holocaust in society has grown.
The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau
Robert Clive -- Institute for Historical Review
... That atrocities were committed by the Allies against Germans and non-combatant civilians on both the Eastern and Western fronts
is not often acknowledged. In large measure this reflects the fact that "victors write the history." ... POWs, whether Germans or
Axis allies, were often shot out of hand, or shortly after they had been questioned. At Feodosiya, on the Black Sea, wounded
soldiers were drenched with water and then left on the beaches to freeze to death ... When the Red Army invaded German territory in
late 1944, civilians who had been unable to flee before their advance were condemned to undergo a regime of ferocious brutality.
At such towns as Goldap, Gumbinnen, and Nemmersdorf, even children were raped before being murdered by Russian soldiers.
Turkey Bars Israeli Flight
Bound for Auschwitz
The Turkish government confirmed today that an Israeli military cargo plane taking soldiers to visit the former Nazi death camp of
Auschwitz in Poland was banned from entering Turkish airspace. The move comes as Turkey has promised to reduce ties with Israel to
a minimum after nine Turkish citizens were killed late last month when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish
vessel attempting to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Military flights from Israel will from now on be allowed to enter
Turkish airspace only on a case-by-case basis.
Delegation Rejects German Invitation to Visit Former-Nazi Camp
An Iranian delegation upset its German hosts by refusing to tour a concentration-camp memorial, the city council of Weimar in
eastern Germany said Thursday. The Buchenwald concentration camp, where Nazis killed tens of thousands of political prisoners and
people from minorities through disease, exhausting work and executions, is located near the city. Visitors usually pay their
respects to the dead at the memorial and visit the museum. But the group from Shiraz, Iran - a twin city to Germany's Weimar -
refused to make the scheduled trip on Wednesday, civic officials said.
In Norway, 40 Percent Support
Ban on Israeli Products
More than 40% of Norwegians are already boycotting Israeli products or are in favor of doing so, according to a poll published
Wednesday, two days after Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. The survey, conducted on Tuesday by the InFact
institute and published Wednesday in the Verdens Gang tabloid, showed that 9.5% of the Norwegians questioned were already
boycotting Israeli products, while 33.5% said they would like to. Only 29.4% of the 1,028 people polled said they were opposed to
such a boycott, while 27.6% said they had no opinion on the issue.
The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
Jews for Justice in the Middle East
As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational "terrorists" who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance ... This paper outlines the history of Palestine to show how this process occurred and what a moral solution to the region's problems should consist of. If you care about the people of the Middle East, Jewish and Arab, you owe it to yourself to read this account of the other side of the historical record.
... Hitlerization is the price one inevitably pays for criticizing Israel or opposing its policies. Whenever Israel discovers that yet another foreign nation has turned Nazi and is intent on recreating the Holocaust, the American lap dog soon picks up the scent ... But now it [Turkey] must be punished because it has crossed the line by opposing the kleptocracy Israel. And it will be punished, first pilloried in the US media, a process which is underway right now, and then by the US Congress and White House, which will together find some subtle and not-so-subtle ways to bring Ankara to heel. And the loser in all of this will be the American people, who will alienate a good and staunch friend in the Middle East and make another unnecessary enemy.
New Documents Describe Hitler's Time in Prison
Der Spiegel (Germany)
New historical documents show that Adolf Hitler wanted for nothing during his short incarceration at Landsberg Prison in 1924. He was able to hold court and maintain his political contacts -- all with the consent of the prison management. A personnel manager couldn't have been more well-meaning in his description. "He was always reasonable, frugal, modest and polite to everyone, especially the officials at the facility," prison warden Otto Leybold wrote about the inmate on Sept. 18, 1924. The prisoner, he added, didn't smoke or drink and "submitted willingly to all restrictions."
America's Becoming a Babylon Tower
Patrick J. Buchanan -- Russia Today
America is breaking down into ethnic, religious, political and even racial enclaves and risks the same thing that happened to the Soviet Union in 1991, according to political commentator and author Pat Buchanan. "Native born Americans of European descent are the ones who are really angriest at the enormous numbers of illegal aliens marching into the country, many if not most of them from the third world, changing the character and composition of their country and eventually voting them out of power," states Buchanan ... Today he says that America is "developing a society of a war of all against all".
In California, Whites Now `Below The Replacement' Level
San Francisco Chronicle
California's white population has declined since 2000 at an unprecedented rate, hastening the day when Hispanics will be the state's largest population group, according to newly released state figures. There were half a million fewer whites in California in 2008 than in 2000, a period when the state's overall population grew by 4 million to 38.1 million, according to a study released Thursday by the state Department of Finance. By 2008, whites made up 40 percent of Californians, down from 47 percent at the turn of the century. In 2000, Hispanics comprised 32 percent of the population; that number grew to 37 percent in 2008.
Was Supreme Court Nominee Kagan a Youthful Socialist?
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's undergraduate thesis submitted at Princeton University in 1981, was a detailed history of the rise and fall of New York's Socialist Party in the early 20th Century. It's an impressive work for a young person -- and it is sparking questions about the extent to which the young Kagan had embraced left-wing views ... Kagan's critics will focus on her conclusion, however -- which can be read as a personal statement in support of the socialist dream. "The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism's decline, still wish to change America," she wrote. "American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope."
United Kingdom Faces Worst Budget Cuts Since World War II
The United Kingdom faces the "longest, deepest, sustained period of cuts to public services spending at least since World War II", said an economic think tank. It is the first time that six years of consecutive spending cuts will have been endured, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said. Some government departments may see budgets slashed by a third, it added.
Churchill and U.S. Entry Into World War II
... If I'm known for anything as a historian, apart from being a pain in the neck, it's because I uncover things. And uncovering things does not necessarily mean you go into the archives and see something and say: "Look at this, this is something quite extraordinary." If you go into the archives long enough, ten or twenty years, you become what I would call a "gap-ologist" I can spot gaps in archives and they're much more difficult to spot, because they've been papered over, and the files have been closed. ... Now what a scandalous statement that is! Here's the one country, Germany, trying to prevent a war and the other country -- Roosevelt, neutral -- trying to fan the flames of anti-German feeling to fuel the war. Yet it is the Germans who are called the criminals, and the Americans who do the prosecuting.
Churchill `Agonized' Over His `Finest Hour' Speech, Papers Reveal
The Telegraph (Britain)
The address he made to the British nation as it stood alone against the Nazi war machine is one of the most celebrated speeches in history. Full of passion and Shakespearesque language, his appeal for fortitude and courage was credited with re-galvanising the country in its darkest hour. But a new examination of his papers shows how he agonised over every famous phrase - even adding one at the last minute - and how his private secretary was secretly unimpressed by his efforts.
The Real Churchill
... The truth about Winston Churchill is that he was a menace to liberty, and a disaster for Britain, for Europe, for the United States of America, and for Western Civilization itself ... With his lack of principles and scruples, Churchill was involved in one way or another in nearly every disaster that befell the 20th century. He helped destroy laissez-faire liberalism, he played a role in the Crash of 1929, he helped start World War I, and by bringing in America to help, prolonged the war and created the conditions for the rise of Nazism, prolonged World War II, laid the groundwork for Soviet domination, helped involve America in a cold war with Russia, and pioneered in the development of total war and undermining western civilized standards.
Photos Document WWII Allied `War Against Art'
Der Spiegel (Germany)
... The Nazis decided to send German art historians to Italy to fulfill an article of the conventions which called for invading powers to ensure that cultural treasures in occupied territory be protected. The "art preservation unit," as it was named, was funded out of the military budget ... Before long, says Peters, the unit once responsible for protecting Italy's cultural heritage began delivering emotional images depicting devastated palaces, churches reduced to heaps of rubble and shattered sculptures. ... He had hundreds of pictures taken and wrote contributions for brochures on "the war against art" in which he spoke of the "enemy terror attacks."
Secret Mussolini Diaries Closed Until 2025
Daily Mail (Britain)
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hid a set of secret diaries in an Italian hillside and ordered them not to be opened until 2025, the son of the man who buried them has revealed. Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1922 until he was executed by partisans in 1945, has long been rumoured to have kept diaries which could detail the extent of his relationship with wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Mad Dog of the Planet: Another Disaster for Israel's Propaganda Machine
.. The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis. Pro-Palestinian activists often lament the fluency and mendacity of Israeli spokesmen on the airwaves and the pervasive influence of Israel's supporters abroad. But, in reality, these PR campaigns are Israel's greatest weakness, because they distort Israelis' sense of reality. Defeats and failures are portrayed as victories and successes. The slaughter of civilians is justified as a military necessity or somehow the fault of the other side. Opponents are demonized as bloodthirsty terrorists. Comforted by such benign accounts of their activities, Israeli leaders are consumed by arrogance because they come to believe they have never made a mistake.
International Law and Israel's War on Gaza
Francis A. Boyle
... Israel has violated its conditions for admission to U.N. membership and thus must be suspended on a de facto basis from any participation throughout the entire United Nations System ... Third, we must abandon the fiction and the fraud that the United States government is an "honest broker." The United States government has never been an honest broker from well before the very outset of these negotiations in 1991. Rather, the United States has invariably sided with Israel against the Palestinians.
Literary Reading in US in Sharp Decline
National Endowment for the Arts (2004)
Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) survey ... Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups. The study also documents an overall decline of 10 percentage points in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing a loss of 20 million potential readers. The rate of decline is increasing and, according to the survey, has nearly tripled in the last decade.
Chosen, But Not Special
Michael Chabon -- The New York Times
... As a Jewish child I was regularly instructed, both subtly and openly, that Jews, the people of Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk and Meyer Lansky, were on the whole smarter, cleverer, more brilliant, more astute than other people ... The man who praises you for your history of accomplishment may someday seek therein the grounds for your destruction. This is, of course, the foundational ambiguity of Judaism and Jewish identity: the idea of chosenness, of exceptionalism, of the treasure that is a curse, the blessing that is a burden, of the setting apart that may presage redemption or extermination. To be chosen has been, all too often in our history, to be culled.
Is Benjamin Netanyahu Rational?
... The neoconservatives frequently complain that Islam is not a "religion of peace," but the Old Testament is also a bloody book, including as it does many accounts of the Israelites massacring their enemies with God's blessing. There are also elements of the Jewish religion that are dark and lend themselves to a mindset that accepts one standard for Jews and another for gentiles ... Based on recent evidence, lying to the gentiles certainly appears to be the hallmark of the Israeli government response to the Gaza flotilla massacre. The Israelis have fabricated information and even two videos, contrived a manifestly false narrative, and lied at every step along the way
More College Grads Are Returning Home to Live
... A survey of last year's college graduation class showed that 80 percent moved back home after getting their diplomas, up significantly from the 63 percent in 2006. The CollegeGrad.com survey of 2,000 young people showed that seven in ten said they would live at home until they found a job ... The 14.7 percent unemployment rate for those ages 20 to 24 remains double what it was in 2007, recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show, and is 50 percent higher than that of the overall population.
Obama Pushes Diversity in the Federal Courts
President Barack Obama is appointing women and minorities to federal judgeships at an unprecedented rate, and nowhere is the evidence more clear than in the Golden State ... Obama has already done more to diversify the Supreme Court than any other president by choosing two women for the high court. His first choice, Sonia Sotomayor, is the first person of Latino heritage to serve on the Supreme Court. ... Of Obama's nominees, 43 percent are women and minorities, a much higher rate than any of his predecessors, according to an analysis by Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group.
Multiracial US Becoming Even More Diverse
The Associated Press
The nation's minority population is steadily rising and now makes up 35 percent of the United States, advancing an unmistakable trend that could make minorities the new American majority by midcentury. As white baby boomers age past their childbearing years, younger Hispanic parents are having children -- and driving U.S. population growth ... Currently four states -- Hawaii, New Mexico, California and Texas -- as well as the District of Columbia have minority populations that exceed 50 percent.
The Lobby's Blend of Paranoia and Belligerence
Mike Carlton -- Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
It is a ferocious beast, the Jewish lobby. Write just one sentence even mildly critical of Israel and it lunges from its lair, fangs bared ... It's standard operating procedure for the lobby to hurl accusations of anti-Semitism with that peculiar Israeli blend of paranoia and belligerence ... None of this is accidental. The Israel lobby, worldwide, is orchestrated in Jerusalem by a department in the Prime Minister's office with the rather Orwellian name of the Ministry for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Less than 24 hours after the attack on the Mavi Marmara, the ministry hit the internet with "important talking points" for Jews around the world, the first of which was - surprisingly - that "the Palestinian people are not under blockade".
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
Peter Beinart -- The New York Review of Books
... Morally, American Zionism is in a downward spiral. If the leaders of groups like AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations do not change course, they will wake up one day to find a younger, Orthodox-dominated, Zionist leadership whose naked hostility to Arabs and Palestinians scares even them, and a mass of secular American Jews who range from apathetic to appalled. ... In the world of AIPAC, the Holocaust analogies never stop, and their message is always the same: Jews are licensed by their victimhood to worry only about themselves. ... This obsession with victimhood lies at the heart of why Zionism is dying among America's secular Jewish young.
Israel's Cult of Victimhood
... The Holocaust's lesson for most Israelis is not a universal one that might inspire them to oppose racism, or fanatical dictators or the bullying herd mentality that can all too quickly grip nations, or even state-sponsored genocide. Instead, Israelis have been taught to see in the Holocaust a different message: that the world is plagued by a unique and ineradicable hatred of Jews, and that the only safety for the Jewish people is to be found in the creation of a super-power Jewish state that answers to no one. Put bluntly, Israel's motto is: only Jewish power can prevent Jewish victimhood ... The lesson the rest of us need to draw from the deadly commando raid is that the world can no longer afford to indulge these delusions.
What Price Afghanistan?
Patrick J. Buchanan
... Eight years ago, the Taliban seemed finished. Since then, we have poured in scores of thousands of troops, spent $300 billion, lost 1,000 soldiers and seen thousands more wounded. Yet, the Taliban have never been stronger or operated more broadly ... To succeed in creating in Afghanistan a country where the Taliban have been driven permanently from power and there is no chance of al-Qaida's returns, we need a government in Kabul and an Afghan army and police that can follow up U.S. military gains by taking control, protecting the population and providing social reforms. We don't have that government. We have, instead, a regime that has no confidence we will stay the course and is thus dealing behind our backs with the enemy who is killing our troops.
Helen Thomas: An Appreciation
Paul Craig Roberts
... Any other government that murdered thousands of civilians in other countries, as Israel does routinely in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, would have its entire government and military on trial before the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. Israelis have no worst enemy than their own government. Every time the rest of the world tries to hold the Israeli government accountable for its crimes, the US vetoes the UN resolution. America has become the enabler of the zionist-hijacked Israeli government. And the Israeli government knows it.
Grim Outlook for the Global Economy
... The United States, 25 percent of the global economy, can't rein in its spending or cut debt. President George Bush inherited a surplus and went on to create the biggest deficit in US history (excepting WWII). Now, President Barack Obama is making matters worse by piling on more unsustainable debt ... Most alarmingly for resource exporters like Canada and Australia, Roubini warns China has massively overspent on infrastructure, exporting its excess capacity. Beijing has "front-loaded 15 years of capital spending," says Roubini.
Who Are We Defending?: Cut Military Spending
B. Friedman and C. Preble - Los Angeles Times
... The truth is that the U.S. no longer has a "defense" budget. The adjective is wrong. Our military forces' size long ago ceased to have any meaningful attachment to the requirements of protecting Americans ... Our military spending is nearly equal to half the world's, and our allies spend most of the other half. Russia, China, North Korea, Syria and Iran collectively spend about a fourth of what we do on defense ... Our deficit problem is an opportunity to surrender the pretension that we are the world's indispensable nation, preventing instability, shaping the international system and guiding history. We should be content to settle for being the big kid on the block that looks out for itself and occasionally helps friends in a bad spot.
Stop 'Thriving Holocaust Industry,' Says German Legislator
Ynet News (Israel)
"Stop cooperation with the state of Jewish scoundrels", "Don't give in to the thriving Holocaust industry." These statements were not said in the Tehran parliament, but in the German city of Dresden, during a parliament meeting in the state of Saxony. Leader of the extreme right National Democratic Party (NPD) Holger Apfel stirred up a storm in the parliament on Thursday when he carried a speech titled "no to cooperation with scoundrel countries - and end cooperation between Saxony and Israel."
In Ireland, a Call For End of `Cynical Holocaust Exploitation' by Israel
The Irish Times (Ireland)
David Norris (Ind.) [member of the Seanad or Senate of the Irish Republic] called on the Israeli authorities to end their "cynical, heartless and contemptible exploitation of the Holocaust for their own political purposes. This lets us all down, including those tragic victims of Auschwitz and all the other terrible camps." Mr Norris said he utterly condemned the recent murderous assault on the Gaza-bound peace flotilla, "where, in what was the equivalent of Bloody Sunday for the Israelis, a group almost equal in numbers of innocent, peaceful protesters against an outrage against humanity in Gaza were slaughtered by Israeli commandos."
Arizona Lawmaker Takes Aim at Automatic US Citizenship
The Associated Press
Emboldened by passage of the nation's toughest law against illegal immigration, the Arizona politician who sponsored the measure now wants to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in this country to undocumented parents. Legal scholars laugh out loud at Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce's proposal and warn that it would be blatantly unconstitutional, since the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. But Pearce brushes aside such concerns ... The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868 in the aftermath of the Civil War, reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."
New York Hotel Pioneers Birth Tourism
Breaking Travel News (Britain)
A New York hotel is staking its claim to have invented a new hospitality niche ? birth tourism. The Marmara Manhattan offers "an exclusive package for new mothers that wish to give birth in the USA", with the additional bonus of the newborn child gaining US citizenship. The hotel, which is part of the Turkish hospitality chain, exploits the 14th amendment to the US constitution, which states that all children born on American soil "are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside".
Joe Biden: In Israel's Service
... Like scores of other US politicians who have traded their political souls for access to the seemingly bottomless checking accounts of Israel's American supporters, Biden has become a poster boy for "dual loyalty." Given that he has done this as a member of Congress and continues to do so while now a heartbeat from the White House should probably qualify him for a treason trial and a cell next to Jonathan Pollard ... Biden stated, "When I was a young senator, I used to say, 'If I were a Jew I'd be a Zionist.' I am a Zionist," he said. "You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."