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A Palestinian Terrorist Organization Is Participating in German Parliamentary Elections

Sept. 5 2017

When reports emerged that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—a leftist organization with a bloodstained history—had teamed up with the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany to field candidates in upcoming elections, some Israeli and German parliamentarians petitioned the interior minister to ban the group. But the official, Thomas de Maizière, has declined to do so. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

[I]f the PFLP and those who support it do not qualify as terrorists deserving of restrictions on their political activity, we don’t know who does. First led by George Habash, the PFLP has gone from airplane hijackings and attacks on air terminals and buses in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to shootings and suicide bombings in the 2000s. Its most recent large attack took place in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, on November 8, 2014. Four worshipers and a policeman were killed with axes, knives, and a gun, and seven were wounded.

Anyone actively affiliated with the PFLP should be outed for going beyond the pale of legitimate political activism and not allowed to run for a seat in the German legislature.

We don’t know what explains the very different reactions on the part of the German government to True Religion [an organization that served as a front for fundraising for jihadist groups], which was banned, and the PFLP, which was not. Could it be that de Maizière and others in the German government view violence directed against Israelis through a different lens from similar threats directed at Germans? We hope not.

Even if de Maizière and others in the German government do not have much sympathy for Israelis and contextualize terrorism directed against them within the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they should know that terrorists tend not to sweat such distinctions. PFLP terrorists have no qualms murdering Germans, or anyone else for that matter, to further their goals. Is this the sort of ideology that should be given legitimacy in the Bundestag?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Germany, Israeli-German relations, Palestinian terror, PFLP, Politics & Current Affairs

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