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September 11 and Seeing the Writing on the Wall

Sept. 11 2017

Reflecting on this dark anniversary in American history, Clifford May thinks back to a conversation he had in early September 2001 with the late Congressman Jack Kemp and the late diplomat and political scientist Jeane Kirkpatrick.:

[Kemp and Kirkpatrick] told me they were concerned that, with the cold war concluded, the United States had taken a holiday from history and a premature peace dividend. [For] who attacked us in Beirut in 1983, in New York City in 1993, at Khobar Towers in 1996? Who bombed two of our embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000?

The answers, respectively: Hizballah, a group connected to al-Qaeda, Hizballah again, and al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Israel was being hit by waves of suicide bombers and too many people seemed to be saying, “Well, you know, the Palestinians have grievances.” When did grievances become a license for murdering other people’s children? And those who harbor grievances against America—will we excuse the violence they inflict on us, too?

They asked me to do a bit of research, to determine whether any serious attempts were being made to understand what was happening and to devise policies to defend America and other democratic societies effectively from terrorists, their masters, and their financiers. . . .

As became all too clear a few days later, too few attempts had been made. May concludes:

Sixteen Septembers ago, enemies emerged out of a clear, blue, late summer sky. In truth, of course, the storm had been gathering for decades.

Read more at Washington Times

More about: 9/11, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Palestinian terror, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, War on 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