Why Are German Textbooks Teaching Children to Hate Israel?

July 14 2015

Recent polls have found disturbingly high levels of anti-Israel sentiment in Germany. Evelyn Gordon assigns part of the blame to the depiction of Israel in German textbooks—which in turn reflect the ideology of the German elite:

In the dogma of modern liberal elites, the nation-state is passé. The fact that most of the world still consists of nation-states in no way challenges this dogma; after all, you can’t expect benighted regimes to have reached this level of enlightenment yet. Israel, however, is a potent challenge to the dogma: it’s a modern, Western, democratic, human-rights-respecting country that nevertheless proudly proclaims itself the nation-state of the Jewish people.

And there’s only one way for liberal elites to resolve the cognitive dissonance this causes without sacrificing their cherished dogma: by sacrificing Israel. Or, in other words, by painting it as a racist, warmongering, benighted country no different from all the other unenlightened nation-states.

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Education, Germany, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, Nationalism

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy