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Europe Still Prefers Its Jews Dead and Quaint

Aug. 16 2017

Recent articles in Jewish and Israeli publications have noted the new fad of mock-Jewish weddings. Annika Hernroth-Rothstein comments:

Apparently, some villages in Poland are holding Jewish weddings without any Jews. These include a ḥuppah, people dressed up in “Jewish garb,” and a fiddler-on-the-roof-style atmosphere, and the participants mimic Jewish life in almost every aspect, apart from the pork-heavy menu. After reading up on this phenomenon, I learned that such events are taking place all over Europe, from Krakow to Seville, and that they are most common in countries that once had vibrant Jewish populations.

Having traveled some, of course I have encountered the vaguely anti-Semitic knickknacks sold on the streets of Poland, Hungary, and other East European countries, but I never knew of this intricate playacting. . . .

Living Jews, [meanwhile], are being turned away, persecuted, and driven out of Europe once again, and very little is being done to prevent this. In 50 or 100 years, the descendants of the people now holding the pitchforks will probably hold parties in our honor. They will wear clothes they know from pictures, perform rituals they learned from movies and songs, and desecrate the celebrations with foods we do not allow. They will call this a tribute, but I see it as absurd. . . .

The worst part of it all, the thing that really gets me, is that I think they prefer us that way. It seems they can only love and accept us when we are a memory, rather than a living people. After we are gone, they adopt our customs with teary-eyed nostalgia, and celebrate us. It is only after our death that they can embrace our traditions, because it is only then that they can do so on their terms.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Jewish World, Polish Jewry

 

How Lebanon—and Hizballah—Conned and Humiliated Rex Tillerson

Feb. 21 2018

Last Thursday, the American secretary of state arrived in Beirut to express Washington’s continued support for the country’s government, which is now entirely aligned with Hizballah. His visit came shortly after Israel’s showdown with Hizballah’s Iranian protectors in Syria and amid repeated warnings from Jerusalem about the terrorist organization’s growing threat to Israeli security. To Tony Badran, Tillerson’s pronouncements regarding Lebanon have demonstrated the incoherence of the Trump administration’s policy:

[In Beirut], Tillerson was made to sit alone in a room with no American flag in sight and wait—as photographers took pictures and video—before Hizballah’s chief allies in Lebanon’s government, President Michel Aoun and his son-in-law the foreign minister, finally came out to greet him. Images of the U.S. secretary of state fidgeting in front of an empty chair were then broadcast across the Middle East to symbolize American impotence at a fateful moment for the region. . . .

Prior to heading to Beirut, Tillerson gave an interview to the American Arabic-language station al-Hurra, in which he emphasized that Hizballah was a terrorist organization, and that the United States expected cooperation from the “Lebanon government to deal very clearly and firmly with those activities undertaken by Lebanese Hizballah that are unacceptable to the rest of the world.” . . . But then, while in Jordan, Tillerson undermined any potential hints of firmness by reading from an entirely different script—one that encapsulates the confused nonsense that is U.S. Lebanon policy. Hizballah is “influenced by Iran,” Tillerson said. But, he added, “We also have to acknowledge the reality that they also are part of the political process in Lebanon”—which apparently makes being “influenced by Iran” and being a terrorist group OK. . . .

The reality on the ground in Lebanon, [however], is [that] Hizballah is not only a part of the Lebanese government, it controls it—along with all of the country’s illustrious “institutions,” including the Lebanese Armed Forces. . . .

[Meanwhile], Israel’s tactical Syria-focused approach to the growing threat on its borders has kept the peace so far, but it has come at a cost. For one thing, it does not address the broader strategic factor of Iran’s growing position in Syria, and it leaves Iran’s other regional headquarters in Lebanon untouched. Also, it sets a pace that is more suitable to Iran’s interests. The Iranians can absorb tactical strikes so long as they are able to consolidate their strategic position in Syria and Lebanon. Not only have the Iranians been able to fly a drone into Israel but also their allies and assets have made gains on the ground near the northern Golan and in Mount Hermon. As Iran’s position strengthens, and as Israel’s military and political hand weakens, the Israelis will soon be left with little choice other than to launch a devastating war.

To avoid that outcome, the United States needs to adjust its policy—and fast. Rather than leaving Israel to navigate around the Russians and go after Iran’s assets in Syria and Lebanon on its own, it should endorse Israel’s red lines regarding Iran in Syria, and amplify its campaign against Iranian assets. In addition, it should revise its Lebanon policy and end its investment in the Hizballah-controlled order there.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, U.S. Foreign policy