In the Face of Anti-Semitism, Angela Merkel Says Much and Does Little

Oct. 16 2019

Commenting on the attack at a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Yom Kippur, which left two dead, the retired British officer Richard Kemp observed that Chancellor Angela Merkel responded, “as always, [with] words only, when action is needed.” Benjamin Weinthal, elaborating on Kemp’s remark, notes that the attack comes alongside a pattern of German official tolerance toward anti-Semitism:

It is worth noting that the neo-Nazi [who carried out the Halle attack] was wedded to an anti-Semitic world view that included the theory [that Germany was under the thumb of a] “Zionist-occupied government.” The crucible where anti-Semites from the extreme right wing, left wing, and Islamism meet is a burning desire to smash the state of Israel.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has urged Merkel to outlaw the lethal anti-Semitic terrorist entity Hizballah. Merkel and her foreign ministry . . . have vehemently refused to ban Hizballah and its 1,050 members and supporters in Germany, who spread their lethal anti-Semitic ideology. [Likewise], Merkel’s government declined to label as anti-Semitic the [Iranian] general Hossein Salami’s call to “wipe Israel off the map.” Merkel and her foreign ministry insist on designating Salami’s talk mere “anti-Israel rhetoric.”

All of this helps to explain why the goalposts in Germany have moved in a direction that permits greater tolerance for lethal anti-Semitic activities and language. There is simply no real counterterrorism policy targeting anti-Semitism in Germany. . . . [When Merkel] declines to say that the Iranian regime’s call to exterminate more than six million Israeli Jews is not anti-Semitic, [how] can her pledge via [a] spokesman that “We must oppose any form of anti-Semitism” be grounded in reality?

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Angela Merkel, Anti-Semitism, German Jewry, Hizballah

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism