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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

 

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy