by Victor Davis Hanson:
The German Stereotype
There were lots of stories that left a lot unsaid. The Germany/EU debt imbroglio was one of them. The more Germany’s 80 million people were looked upon to bail out the 120 million of Mediterranean Europe—if not still more in France and Eastern Europe—the more in our politically-correct age we never quite were told how this could be possible.
Did Germans not sleep? Did they each have eight arms? Was Germany itself sitting on secret oil reserves? Did it have tons of stolen war gold horded in its vaults (as some Greeks alleged)? Had it harnessed a new type of energy? How strange to be told that Germany was the new heart of Europe but never to be to told how and why?
So how, in fact, did a humiliated Germany of 1919, a Germany after the ashes of 1945, and a Germany stung by a $2 trillion bite in absorbing a ruined East Germany in 1989, find itself—as Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand once feared in 1989—once more adjudicating the history of Europe? Were we terrified of stereotypes that were cruel to Germany (goose-stepping automatons were back again?) or that were cruel to southern Europeans (the Danes and Dutch were likewise solvent in comparison to the siesta-napping, and perennially shouting sunny Mediterraneans)?
by Joel B. Pollak:
Accusations of antisemitism are building against the Center for American Progress (CAP), the left-wing umbrella organization that serves as a “brain trust” for Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the Obama administration.
The latest to weigh in are the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, two leading American Jewish organizations, which have joined the Simon Wiesenthal Center in criticizing CAP and its offshoot, Media Matters for America, for attacks on Israel that go beyond legitimate criticism and may cross the line into antisemitism.
Calgary mayor thinks religious tolerance is a one-way street, a point he made again brutally at Christmas
By Ezra Levant:
Calgary’s Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has been held up as a symbol of the city’s tolerance. Which is ironic, given his own anti-Christian bigotry in return.
Last week, Nenshi ordered city police, backed up with a ridiculously large contingent of private security, to arrest a Christian pastor and five of his congregants who had the temerity to lead a Christmas service in the public atrium of Calgary’s City Hall.
Artur Pawlowski, lead pastor of Calgary’s Street Church, had foolishly taken the mayor at his word when he described city hall as the city’s “living room,” open to all.
What Pawlowski didn’t understand is that Nenshi didn’t mean Christians. Nenshi meant his own co-religionists — no, not Muslims, but the leftist activists who had comprised the Occupy Calgary protests for two months with Nenshi’s blessing.
Nenshi permitted that two-month trespass in a public park, claiming the “Charter” prevented him from evicting the socialists, communists, anarchists and petty criminals who inhabited downtown Calgary’s Olympic Plaza.
By Jonathan F. Keiler:
American pundits have spilled a veritable ocean of ink since Newt Gingrich’s comment on the bogus nature of Palestinian nationalism — Gingrich called the Palestinians an “invented people.” But interestingly, Gingrich’s American critics, on both the left and the right, are largely in agreement that Gingrich’s error was not in denying Palestine’s historic national existence, but instead his use of the term “invented people.” All nationalisms are invented to some extent, they claim, and the Palestinians have simply invented theirs like everybody else. Perhaps they even borrowed from Zionism, like the Americans from the English, or the French from the Americans. That, goes the argument, does not make their claim inauthentic. And Palestinian nationalism may be a net good, a useful fiction, by tamping down pan-Arabism.
By Michael Curtis:
On October 6, 2011 Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister and leader of the Kadima party, met in London with British foreign secretary William Hague. Her previous attempt to attend a conference in Britain in December 2009 was prevented because an intended arrest warrant was issued by the Westminster magistrates’ court. She was to be arrested for her alleged involvement as Israel’s foreign minister in Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli response to the incessant shelling from Gaza, between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009. The issuing of the warrant was based on the principle of universal jurisdiction which allows the prosecution of war criminals in any country even if the criminal act took place elsewhere.
Although she finally did visit London in October 2011, Livni was almost prevented from entering the UK for a second time. She should have been allowed to enter the UK last October on the basis of a change in British universal jurisdiction law a month earlier. The change requires submission of the warrant to the Director of Public Prosecutions for approval. The Director can deny any request that seems to be political rather than substantive. But even with the alteration in law, a number of lawyers hostile to Israel tried to prevent Livni from making her October visit 2011 visit to the UK. Despite the new law, they still attempted to issue an arrest warrant, arguing that the change in law did not provide protection against arrest and prosecution of an Israeli official. British foreign minister, William Hague, was forced to issue a certificate declaring that she was on a “special mission.” The designation of “special mission meant that the visit included diplomatic functions, thus providing immunity from legal action since the courts cannot challenge a diplomatic classification. Hague’s action is commendable and Livni attended the conference but the as can be seen from her experience the problem of harassment of Israeli officials and animosity against Israel remains despite the change in the law.
by Claudia Rosett:
So volatile are these times that friends keep adding caveats to the wishes for a Happy New Year. My variation on this has become, Happy New Year, whatever it may bring!
But amid the uncertainties, there are a few things of which we can be sure. Some are so obvious that only among experts and politicians do they really need spelling out. Nonetheless, given the abundance of experts and politicians currently jockeying for the cockpits of the planet, I offer below a small selection of axioms for 2012: