Qatar, North Korea, and the Dangers of American Gullibility

March 12 2018

Americans leaders and statesmen, argues Yigal Carmon, have long suffered from a “syndrome” that presumes the trustworthiness of their foreign counterparts even in the absence of evidence. Reviewing numerous instances of such naïveté—from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the present—Carmon focuses on current dealings with North Korea and Qatar: two countries that have proved themselves to be anything but trustworthy:

This syndrome, which stubbornly denies reality, compounds other cultural differences between democracies and dictatorships and renders the West almost unable to contend with evil. Only a few days ago, when the North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un invited the United States to “a heartfelt dialogue,” the Western media swallowed it whole and celebrated it with great fanfare. . . . When the American syndrome meets Arab, Muslim, and other authoritarian regimes, the American side stands no chance, despite the disparity of power. . . .

Qatar is an unelected, family-run authoritarian regime that stamps out domestic freedom of expression. For years, it has been the unapologetic breeding ground of anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel incitement, as well as a major promoter of Islamic extremism and terrorism. . . . [I]t has promoted al-Qaeda and its various offshoots, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches, especially Hamas. For decades, it has sheltered the notorious spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates a second Holocaust “at the hands of the believers, God willing.” . . .

Qatar is allied militarily with Turkey’s extreme Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan [and] has also come out of the closet as a staunch ally of Iran. . . . Like other authoritarian regimes, it has weaponized its totally state-controlled media, [Al Jazeera], to fight its enemies and to support its allies. Qatar rebuilt southern Lebanon on Hizballah’s behalf after the 2006 war, and did the same for Hamas in Gaza after its wars with Israel. . . . [Furthermore], virulent incitement against America and its allies continues to dominate Al Jazeera’s broadcasts to the entire Arabic-speaking world. . . .

[Most recently, taking its inspiration from the claims about hidden Jewish influence found in] the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, [Qatar] extended invitations to the leader of the Zionist Organization of America, Orthodox rabbis, and the vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations to come visit. However, . . . it prepared a standby: a documentary by Al Jazeera TV targeting Jewish organizations in America that can be broadcast if and when necessary. As an Arabic saying regarding Americans goes: screw them, collaborate with them, and double-cross them all at once.

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More about: American Jewry, Muslim Brotherhood, North Korea, Politics & Current Affairs, Qatar, U.S. Foreign policy

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror