Perhaps the most shocking aspect to the wave of grave desecrations and bomb scares now rampant in the United States is the very fact that they are taking place in the United States.
Whenever I speak about the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, where I live (2016 saw both the largest rise and the largest number of incidents since records began), I am always careful to say that context is key, and that it has never been safer to be a Jew in Britain than right now.
That obviously goes for the United States, too. Indeed, most of my fellow British Jews look to the US as a beacon of safety -- traditionally, the one place on Earth where we know we will always be safe.… Seguir leyendo »
There has been no clearer example of the capacity of politicians for wilful self-deception than the recent rapprochement with Iran. Last August, Philip Hammond, then the foreign secretary, defended the West’s willingness to ditch sanctions and embrace the world’s largest sponsor of terror: “Iran is too large a player, too important a player in this region, to simply leave in isolation.”
The logic of that position is that no large nation, however grotesque its behaviour, should ever be ostracised. And when it comes to grotesque behaviour, Iran is a world leader.
This week it emerged that a 19-year-old secondary school pupil, Hassan Afshar, was hanged on July 18.… Seguir leyendo »
Related: My daughter's death shows the cruelty of an America that won't protect its own.
For months, anti-Israel activists have been planning a second flotilla to Gaza, after last year's epochal events when nine of their colleagues were killed by Israeli troops on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara.
They have been trumpeting the latest flotilla's size, making claims about what it will achieve and taunting Israelis with what they intend to do. And yet their actions have instead strengthened Israel's hand.
Take what's happened with the IHH, the proudly Hamas-affiliated Turkish group behind last year's flotilla. Three weeks ago it announced that because of "technical problems" it would not participate this year.… Seguir leyendo »
Even when it was first announced last December, Pope Benedict’s visit to Israel looked misguided. Today, as he steps on to Israeli soil, it seems likely to worsen, rather than improve, damaged relations between the Catholic Church and Jews.
Take the earliest public act of Pope Benedict XVI. As a young man, Joseph Ratzinger was in the Hitler Youth and enlisted with the Wehrmacht. Yes, he had the excuse that this was standard practice for young German men at the time. But it is hardly the most propitious CV entry for popularity with Jews.
What was certainly not standard practice was his decision in 2004, when representing John Paul II at the 60th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, to visit La Cambe cemetery.… Seguir leyendo »