Germany’s Sordid Iran Policy

June 12 2018

As the U.S. is re-imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic and trying to curb the dangerous reach of its proxies, Germany has come to Tehran’s defense. Yigal Carmon comments:

If any country in the world could be expected to be extremely cautious about aligning with anyone calling for Israel’s annihilation, it would be Germany, regardless of any extenuating circumstances—economic, political or otherwise. The Bundesrepublik should have distanced itself from any substantial tie with the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose murderous regime is threatening to annihilate Israel.

Germany was the first country that should have told . . . Barack Obama that totalitarian regimes, like Germany’s own Nazi regime, are beyond the pale, and should be denied any legitimacy, particularly when it comes to a nuclear deal with them. Germany’s past should have enjoined it to take the moral lead, publicly, in promoting regime change when dealing with a totalitarian regime such as Iran. The reality is tragically the opposite. . . . Germany . . . has shut its eyes to the notorious human-rights violations in Iran, and to Iran’s terrorizing and murder of its own citizens. Iran, of course, is a major partner, along with Russia, in the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century: the Assad regime’s slaughter and displacement of millions of Syrians.

The reversal of the Obama-foisted Iran policy by the Trump administration provided Germany with a golden opportunity to reclaim its professed values. But the reverse happened: Germany is legitimizing Iran, even championing it. . . .

Regardless of Germany’s motivations, this is the moment for Germany to demonstrate national leadership and responsibility that rises above petty considerations . . . and builds a policy on its moral values. If it rises to the moment, Germany could isolate the Iran issue from other issues, and serve as a true global beacon of moral policy. There are other ways to resolve its [other] problems with the U.S., and even to take an assertive stand against Donald Trump on economic matters. Unfortunately, Germany’s grand government coalition and the opposition parties are united in defense of Iran and against the U.S.

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More about: Germany, Iran, Iran sanctions, Israeli-German relations, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

 

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times