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Jewish Organizations Talk about Human Rights, but Are Silent When a Jew Is Murdered by a Tyrannical Regime

Unknown to most, Otto Warmbier—the U.S. citizen imprisoned by North Korea who returned in a coma and died shortly thereafter—was a Jew who participated in Birthright and was active in his campus Hillel House. Warmbier’s family kept this information secret at the advice of hostage negotiators who believed it would unnecessarily embarrass Pyongyang, which was officially claiming he was a Methodist secret agent. But why, asks Liel Leibovitz, has official American Jewry remained indifferent to his fate?

You’d think that the cluster of handsomely funded Jewish organizations that fly the banner of promoting and protecting Jewish life in America and abroad would notice and acknowledge Warmbier’s murder. So far, though, American Jewish officialdom has been deafeningly silent.

The odious Anne Frank Center, whose disingenuous mission statement blathers on about a kinder and fairer world where Jewish children are safe from the death camps of tyrannical regimes, didn’t bother taking a break from bashing Donald Trump to lament a young Jew put to death by the world’s worst offender of human rights. Nor did the Anti-Defamation League, an organization quick to stand up with Linda Sarsour as she denied Jews their right to self-determination but not so swift when the victim was a young Jewish man. . . .

What you do hear are the howls of the social-justice brigades, for whom Warmbier, being white and a man, is mostly to blame for his own murder. When the young college student was arrested last year, the regressive left’s flagships . . . gleefully mocked Warmbier, arguing that white privilege was the real reason for his predicament and suggesting that when it came to oppression, there was really no difference between Portland and Pyongyang. . . .

This sort of bigoted nonsense is toxic to all Americans, but it’s particularly hazardous to Jews, whose suffering is too often explained away these days as an acceptable byproduct of excessive power and influence. It’s precisely the kind of anti-Semitic bile that Jewish organizations were founded to combat.

Read more at Tablet

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Human Rights, Jewish World, North Korea

Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC