John le Carré’s Political Cowardice

April 18 2016

Surveying the work of the spy novelist, Nick Cohen notes the corrosive politics found in both his work and his public statements. The latter, writes Cohen, reflect all of the worst tendencies of Britain’s old right and new left—including their “Jew obsession”:

Connoisseurs of [le Carré’s] public statements can tick every space on the bingo card. Le Carré believes that corporations brainwash the bovine masses (check) on behalf of the imperial American hegemon (check), which is itself controlled by a conspiracy of right-wingers (check), who are pulling our puppet strings at the behest of—guess who?—the Jews (full house!). Or as le Carré explained, the [Jewish] neoconservatives are “appointing the state of Israel as the purpose of all Middle Eastern and practically all global policy.”

Then there is the self-pity, that most deplorable affectation of Western intellectuals who have never once faced the smallest threat of persecution or punishment for their writing. At one point during the last decade, le Carré compared himself with the German-Jewish diarist Victor Klemperer, who miraculously survived life under the Nazis. Liberals of a certain age remember that when the Ayatollah Khomeini’s assassins imitated the Nazis and threatened Salman Rushdie’s life, the Klemperer-of-our-time opined that Rushdie had brought death on himself by insulting the great religion of Islam.

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Read more at Standpoint

More about: anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Arts & Culture, Ayatollah Khomeini, Victor Klemperer

 

What Israel Can Offer Africa

Last week, the Israeli analyst Yechiel Leiter addressed a group of scholars and diplomats gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss security issues facing the Horn of Africa. Herewith, some excerpts from his speech:

Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. . . . For decades, [however], the notion that the absence of peace in the Middle East was due the absence of Palestinian statehood prevented a full and strategic partnership with African countries. . . . The visits to Africa by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—in 2016 to East Africa and in 2017 to West Africa—reenergized the natural partnership that was initiated by Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.

There is much we share, many places where our interests converge. And I don’t mean another military base in Djibouti. . . . One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us. . . . But the one critical area of cooperation I’d like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security, or rather food insecurity.

Imagine Ethiopia’s cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the two or three that they produce today. Imagine an exponential rise in (organic) meat exports to Middle Eastern and even European countries, the result of increased processing, storage, and transportation possibilities. Cows today can have a microscopic chip behind their ears that sends messages to the farmer’s computer or mobile phone that tracks what the cow ate, what its temperature is, and what care it might need. Imagine a dramatic expansion of the wheat yield that can make Ethiopia a net exporter of wheat—to Egypt, perhaps in the context of negotiations over the waters of the Nile.

Israel has proven technology in all of these agricultural areas and we’re here; we’re neighbors. We are linked to Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, in so many ways.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Africa, Ethiopia, Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology