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In Munich, a Callous Memorial to Slain Israeli Athletes

Sept. 11 2017

Last week, on the 45th anniversary of the massacre in Munich of eleven Israeli Olympians by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, the German president, together with his Israeli counterpart, unveiled a monument to the Israeli athletes. A nice gesture, writes Liel Leibovitz, but one that is rendered “meaningless and offensive” by the lack of acknowledgment of Germany’s own behavior at the time:

Nowhere on the new memorial does it say that the Germans were tipped off about the pending attack three weeks before it happened by a credible source in Beirut, but failed to do anything.

Nowhere is it recorded that, as Der Spiegel uncovered five years ago, German officials met with Black September’s Abu Youssef, the attack’s mastermind, just months after the massacre in order to “create a new basis of trust,” agreed to upgrade the group’s status from terrorist organization to resistance group, and allowed the PLO to send a colleague of the Munich murderers as its emissary to Bonn. . . .

Nowhere does it indicate that, as we’ve learned from the testimony of Tzvi Zamir, the head of the Mossad at the time of the attack, the German authorities made no effort whatsoever to save the lives not only of the Israelis but of their own police officers as well. . . .

These are not minor gripes. They indicate a systemic pattern of neglect before, during, and after the attacks, putting innocents at risk and appeasing the perpetrators. It’s a pattern that ought to trouble anyone, but should resonate particularly in Germany. If the Germans want to pay meaningful tributes to those Jews slaughtered, yet again, under the watchful eye of their government, let them begin by acknowledging these failures, and by taking concrete steps to assure they never happen again. Anything less is just a meaningless pile of rocks.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Munich Olympics, Palestinian terror

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