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

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?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

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

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy