Mahmoud Abbas’s Outburst in Berlin Highlights a German Problem

Aug. 23 2022

Few who have followed the career of the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas were surprised that, while visiting Berlin last week, he not only refused to apologize for a Palestinian terrorist group’s massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich 50 years ago, but ranted about the “50 Holocausts” perpetrated by the Jewish state against Arabs. More telling, writes Ben Cohen, was the reaction of the German chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year propping up the PA:

As many German media outlets observed, Scholz did not contradict Abbas at the podium and even shook hands with him at the close of the press conference. At the same time, Scholz looked visibly angry with Abbas, and later on reportedly berated his staff for ending the press conference before he’d had an opportunity to respond. One day later, smarting from the media criticism, he labeled Abbas’s comments “disgusting” and apologized during a phone call with the Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid.

But sniping at Abbas after giving him a pass in front of the world’s press is not what a principled leader should do. . . . If Scholz wants to repair the reputational damage wrought by Abbas, he needs to make the fight against anti-Semitism a personal priority. Simply put, anti-Semitism is rife these days in Germany. In 2021, more than 3,000 anti-Semitic hate crimes were recorded—likely just the tip of the iceberg even though the [Jewish] community numbers fewer than 120,000 souls to begin with.

Germany cannot claim to be the guardian of the integrity of the Holocaust and then allow diplomatic protocol to shield a Holocaust denier like Abbas. In the same vein, German politicians can no longer be allowed to present yet more Holocaust memorials or emotional speeches embracing Jews as a substitute for grappling with a major social problem. What is needed are actions. Germany should condition funding to the Palestinians upon a commitment—from Abbas downwards—to refrain from Holocaust abuse and to end anti-Semitic incitement. . . .

If that can’t happen, then at least save us from the empathy-drenched speeches that sound more and more hollow at every instance.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Germany, Holocaust denial, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority

 

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