There’s Only One Country Whose Existence Celebrities Can Lament with Impunity

July 30 2020

On Tuesday, the Canadian Jewish comic actor Seth Rogen, appearing on the comedian Marc Maron’s popular podcast, opined that the existence of a Jewish state “makes no sense,” and launched into a series of complaints about Israel and his own Jewish education. David Harsanyi observes:

Israel is the only country about which politicians, intellectuals, journalists, and even actors feel the need to give an opinion on whether it should exist or not. You will never hear a guest on a comedian’s podcast inform the audience that he objects to the existence of, say, Pakistan, a nation formed one year before Israel. You won’t even hear an actor grouse about how Pakistanis engaged in the systematic genocidal murder and rape of hundreds of thousands of Bengalis who were “already there,” [as Rogen said of Palestinian Arabs], or how the Islamic dictatorship that runs the country now maltreats its minorities and women.

Among contemporary progressives, this kind of opprobrium is almost exclusively reserved for the tiny liberal Jewish state.

For Rogen, some unkind words are the worst kind of Jew-hatred he’ll ever encounter. Not everyone has been so lucky. Israel was the haven not only for those who escaped [pogroms in Eastern Europe] or the Holocaust, but for African Jews who were rescued from the Communist-generated famines of Ethiopia; for hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern Jews who, after centuries, were forced to flee the Islamic world after 1948; and for largely secular Soviet Jews in the 1970s and 1980s, who had often been imprisoned for speaking their minds. At one time or another, Jews had been abandoned and denied basic rights of citizenship by virtually every nation that ruled over them.

[But] Rogen and Maron spend the entire podcast discussing Jewish culture in North America as if everyone can enjoy this luxury.

To the fate of the 7 million Jews living in Israel, Rogen is indifferent.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Anti-Zionism, Celebrity, Pakistan

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism