I first visited Budapest, Hungary, in June of 2013. The occasion was a conference for young leaders from Central and Eastern Europe working to create more open societies that would foster respect for minorities. As I walked around the city, I was drawn to the Danube River, which flows through it.
Along the banks of the Danube is a memorial sculpture honoring the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes and were then shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies would fall into the river and be carried away.… Seguir leyendo »
Can Iran be trusted? The next opportunity to gauge the regime’s nuclear intentions will come on Oct. 15, when representatives of the P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) will meet with Iranian diplomats in Geneva.
What happens there should give some indication of whether Iranian President Rouhani’s conciliatory speech at the U.N. General Assembly augers a sincere willingness to negotiate an end to his country’s push for nuclear weaponry, or whether — as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cautioned — it is a ruse to lull the world while Tehran continues its pursuit of nuclear capability.… Seguir leyendo »
Amid the extensive Western media coverage of bloody battles between Egypt’s military regime and the Muslim Brotherhood supporters of ousted President Morsi, a significant story has been virtually ignored.
The ancient Christian community of Egypt is under siege. Last week, Priest Selwanes Lotfy of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram monastery in Degla told the Egyptian Independent that Aug. 18 marked the first Sunday in 1,600 years that “we did not hold prayers in the monastery” because people feared for their lives. Human-rights groups report that 42 churches as well as numerous schools and other Christian-owned buildings have been destroyed or damaged by fire.… Seguir leyendo »
Last July, a bomb went off in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver, and wounding dozens more. After a six-month investigation, Bulgaria has confirmed what many suspected : the atrocity was carried out and financed by the Lebanese-based Muslim group Hezbollah, whose anti-Semitic and anti-Western ideology is well known. The thorough and professional investigation, which did not shy away from pinpointing the villain, reflects great credit on Bulgaria.
Until now, the European Union has refused to designate Hezbollah, founded by Iran in 1982, as a terrorist organization. Two of its member states —the United Kingdom and the Netherlands — do so designate it, as do the U.S., Canada, and Australia.… Seguir leyendo »
World War II and the destruction of European Jewry taught us that anti-Semitism not only kills Jews, but also poisons and ultimately destroys the society that harbors it. People of good will said, “Never again,” instituted courses on the Holocaust, and countered the image of the defenseless Jew by supporting the sovereign and democratic state of Israel.
Yet today, seven decades after the Nazi death camps became operational, that lesson seems to be already forgotten in much of Europe, where small and defenseless Jewish communities face a renewed surge of anti-Semitism. This Jew-hatred expresses itself in xenophobic politics; physical attacks and intimidation; and interference with basic elements of Jewish religious practice.… Seguir leyendo »
While no conclusive proof has yet emerged, evidence continues to mount that Hezbollah — a pioneer of Islamist suicide bombings — was responsible for the July 18 terror attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and a local bus driver.
The likely Hezbollah connection naturally raises the question of why the 27-nation European Union continues to refuse to place the organization on its terrorist list, a move that would facilitate cooperation across national borders to investigate and stop recruitment and fundraising, and enable authorities to freeze the terror organization’s bank accounts.
Some EU leaders argue that Hezbollah is also a political party and a network providing social services.… Seguir leyendo »
The next episode in the long-running international attempt to curb Iran’s drive for nuclear-weapons capacity comes next week, when representatives of the so-called P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France, plus Germany) meet with Iranian officials in Moscow. Two previous meetings, one in Istanbul and the other in Baghdad, accomplished little, as the Iranians bobbed and weaved, prevaricated and stalled while their nuclear program proceeded apace, as yet undeterred by increasingly punishing economic sanctions imposed to stop them
Optimists believe the Moscow talks may turn out better since Tehran faces the prospect of a European Union embargo on Iranian oil, to go fully into effect July 1.… Seguir leyendo »