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The Latest Palestinian Incitement against the U.S.

Since the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the public burning of the American flag along with pictures or effigies of President Trump have become commonplace in the West Bank and Gaza. After his recent visit to Jerusalem, Vice-President Pence has been subjected to the same symbolic treatment. Bassam Tawil explains that these demonstrations do not take place without official imprimatur:

Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders and officials set the tone, while ordinary Palestinians take to the streets to express their hatred of the U.S. . . . [Recently], activists in a refugee camp near Bethlehem held a mock trial for Trump and Pence. . . . The “court” found [the two] guilty . . . and they were sentenced to death by hanging. The court also ruled that the bodies of Trump and Pence would be burned after their “execution.” . . .

Strikingly, this event took place inside a refugee camp that is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), just outside a school run by UNRWA. . . . More interesting still is that members of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction participated in the mock trial. . . Such a display of hatred and encouragement of violence against American leaders could never have taken place without the approval of Abbas. . . .

Once again, Palestinians are being taught by their “leaders” that, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive annually from the U.S., they are meant to disgorge murderous venom at America. In fact, the mock trial and execution of Trump and Pence gives a green light to Palestinians physically to target Americans. . . .

The U.S. and other Western countries would do well to take the Palestinian campaign of threats and incitement extremely seriously—and to counter these threats. Submission to this intimidation will simply result in even more intimidation, more violence, and more threats.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, UNRWA

Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and the Jews

Feb. 23 2018

In 1963—a year after Adolf Eichmann’s sentencing by an Israeli court—reports on the trial by the German-born Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt appeared in the New Yorker and were soon published as a book. This “report on the banality of evil,” as the book was subtitled, outraged many Jews, including many of her erstwhile friends and admirers, on account of her manifest contempt for the entire preceding, her disgust for the state of Israel, her accusation that a wide array of European Jewish leaders (if not the majority of the victims) were complicit in their own murder, and her bizarre insistence that Eichmann was “not a monster,” or even an anti-Semite, but a mindless, faceless bureaucrat. While extensive evidence has been brought to light that Arendt was wrong both in her claims of Jewish passivity and her evaluation of Eichmann as the head of the SS’s Jewish section, her book remains widely read and admired. Ruth Wisse comments on its enduring legacy:

When Arendt volunteered to report on the Eichmann trial, it was presumed that she was doing so in her role as a Jew. . . . But Arendt actually traveled to Jerusalem for a deeper purpose—to reclaim Eichmann for German philosophy. She did not exonerate Nazism and in fact excoriated the postwar Adenauer government for not doing enough to punish known Nazi killers, but she rehabilitated the German mind and demonstrated how that could be done by going—not beyond, but around, good and evil. She came to erase Judaism philosophically, to complicate its search for moral clarity, and to unseat a conviction [that, in Saul Bellow’s words], “everybody . . . knows what murder is.”

Arendt was to remain the heroine of postmodernists, deconstructionists, feminists, relativists, and internationalist ideologues who deny the stability of Truth. Not coincidentally, many of them have also disputed the rights of the sovereign Jewish people to its national homeland. Indeed, as anti-Zionism cemented the coalition of leftists, Arabs, and dissident minorities, Arendt herself was conscripted, sometimes unfairly and in ways she might have protested, as an ally in their destabilizing cause. They were enchanted by her “perversity” and were undeterred in their enthusiasm by subsequent revelations, like those of the historian Bernard Wasserstein, who documented Arendt’s scholarly reliance on anti-Semitic sources in her study of totalitarianism, or of revelations about her resumed friendship with Martin Heidegger despite his Nazi associations.

At the same time, however, the Arendt report on the Eichmann trial became one of the catalysts for something no one could have predicted—an intellectual movement that came to be known as neoconservatism. A cohort of writers and thinkers, many of them Jews from immigrant families who had turned to leftism as naturally as calves to their mother’s teats, but who had slowly moved away from the Marxism of their youth during the Stalin years and World War II, now spotted corruption and dishonesty and something antithetical to them in some of their very models of the intellectual life.

They and their Gentile colleagues had constituted the only European-style intelligentsia to flourish in America. Most of them were only one generation removed from Europe, after all, so what could be more natural than for them to serve as the conduit of European intelligence to America? Arendt’s ingenious twist of the Eichmann trial showed them how Jewish and American they actually were—and how morally clear they aspired to be.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Neoconservatism, New York Intellectuals