Posts

Wrong: Muslim Migrants are not like Jewish Holocaust Survivors

Dr. Michael Welner has spoken out against the complicit calumny of American Rabbis and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one the voluntary agencies that stands to gain from the influx of Syrian Refugees, who compare the their plight with those Jews who survived the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah.

Dr michael welner

Dr. Michael Welner, Chairman of The Forensic Panel.

His Algemeiner article, We Cannot Allow Comparisons of Mideast Refugees to Holocaust Survivors is a veritable Jeremiad  from this renowned Forensic Psychiatrist, Founder of the Manhattan – based The Forensic Panel,  expert witness at many high profile cases of mass shootings and developer of an evidence based standard for measuring depravity and evil.  He is also the son of Holocaust survivors. We have written about his remarkable mother Barbara who has a deep, abiding reality based assessment of the heinous barbaric treatment of Jews from her own experience during the Shoah and those evident in the extremism of radical Islam.

See our April 2015 Iconoclast post, “On the Eve of Yom Ha Shoah a Courageous Survivor Speaks of the Islamist Threat Facing Israel and Jews”. Dr.  Welner makes several valid points about why the comparison of the Jewish Holocaust survivors’ experiences versus those of the Syrian and other Muslim refugees is at best myopic.  Among these are:

  1. Jewish refugees were not warring with anyone, and were no threat to anyone. Refugees attributed to Syria are fleeing a war within their own land in which they are on one side or another.
  2. Jewish refugees were hunted down to be killed wherever they were. This is not happening to all (or most) Muslims of Syria and neighboring countries who seek emigration.
  3. Jewish refugees were literally fleeing for their lives with nowhere in their countries to go. Syrian refugees are fleeing a country with degraded infrastructure for a safer and more normal existence. They also have the option of traveling to neighboring Arab countries — something Jews of the Holocaust did not have.
  4. Jewish refugees had no conflict or grievance with the West. The Arab world is in the midst of an open conflict with the West. The United States has been sponsoring some of the fighters operating in Syria. There is no way of knowing whether refugees have allegiance to one faction or another.
  5. Jewish refugees were not accompanied by any terrorist problem in America. Islamist terrorism has already expressed itself through those who have immigrated here legally and illegally.
  6. Jewish refugee traffic was never exploited to embed people who were simply taking advantage of chaos to slip across borders with criminal or terrorist motivation. That has already been demonstratively the case with the Syrian-Turkish Muslim migration.
  7. Jewish refugees had no Jewish homeland to go to. They were stateless people who were unsafe everywhere. The “Syrian” refugee problem overlooks that there are areas all over the Muslim world which could accommodate them culturally, but many of those countries have refused them.

Welner takes particular scorn of a HIAS letter signed by 139 Rabbis endeavoring to comparison the plight of the 900 Jewish souls on board the SS St. Louis who were denied sanctuary by anti-Semitic elements in the FDR State Department in  the late 1930’s, only to have one third ultimately perish in Nazi concentration and death camps during the Shoah. He writes:

This letter overlooks is that the very source of the current American controversy is that, by admission of even trusted intelligence persons in the Obama administration, the United States indeed cannot tell the difference between the enemy and the victims of the enemy. That is the source of our current national security problem. To compare this real dilemma to a climate of 1939 that was nothing more than just visceral hatred for Jews for nothing more than their religion is obscene. That many rabbis are willing to abet such misunderstanding demonstrates, once again, a deep failure of those rabbis to take responsibility for teaching and protecting the fidelity of Jewish history. The horrors of the Holocaust remain unthinkable, even as memories fade with the dying off of elderly survivors. So why is it that rabbis, so designated as leaders of Jewish thought, could display such derelict idiocy in making comparisons of Holocaust refugees to migrants from the Arab world?

He cites the twisting pathology of Taken Olam that is behind Jewish compassion towards Muslim refugees that defiles the memories of Shoah survivors:

In my professional opinion, these behaviors actually reflect on the sickening pathology among Jews of even the most highly educated pedigrees to feel the need, even by resorting to the grotesque, to display their non-denominational compassion. Tikkun Olam, to many, reflects upon the Jewish imperative to help the world beyond those who are Jewish. Others interpret that phrase differently. But it cannot be disputed by anyone that Jewish non-discriminatory philanthropy and with no strings attached is unmatched among religions. We need not prove that we are kind. And for those who feel that Jews need to do a better job of demonstrating this to the Muslim world, consider how much Jewish charity has been offered to Iran and Turkey after natural disasters, only to be refused in order to preserve narratives that demonize Jews. Jews are pilloried not for lack of charity, but because Muslim Arab intolerance is extreme, implacable, and emanates from countries that control their media and can control their peoples by creating fictions of Jewish bogeymen. The purveyors and consumers of said fictions couldn’t care less about the bill boarding of Jewish advocacy for Muslims.

How is it then, that the signatory rabbis degrade the special history of their own people? Because flaunting public perception of their sensitivity to others enables them to make personal political statements, massage their vanities for being part of letters published in full page ads, and announce their own bona fides. But while those public personas are their own, no rabbi owns Jewish history such that they have the right to reinvent it.

It would be far more responsible for such rabbis and other prominent Jews to feed their self-interests without resorting to defiling the Holocaust by diluting it or by distorting any of its searing lessons. How pathetic it is that in this day and age, we truly have many Christians who have a greater sensitivity for the legacy of baseless hatred towards Jews than certain rabbis themselves. President Obama can hardly be blamed for insulting the legacy of the Holocaust when so many rabbis utterly fail to respect their own Shoah.

Welner concludes:

If Holocaust denial bothers you, this crass misuse is not something to overlook without strong response. Like the BDS movement, silence only enables greater latitude. Assertions by Jews that dilute and therefore desecrate the Holocaust must stop. Holocaust trivializing should be limited to Iran and the other visceral haters, rather than daily parlance of the educated in America. The teaching of accurate Jewish history must remain, across all denominations, a litmus test for suitability to minister to others as would be expected from any religion.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. troops with giving water to a Holocaust survivor.

J Street Launches Ad Campaign Promoting Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal [+Video]

You probably have seen our panel discussion on the J street Challenge and comments about the pro-Iranian lobby group NIAC board members, “J Street Challenge documentary and Informed Panel Discussion in Pensacola.“ We noted:

Former deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Lenny Ben David, revealed forensic analysis of the IRS tax filings of J Street. He noted the questionable funding by known enemies of Israeli both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Jeremy Ben Ami is exposed by Ben David apologizing for why he hid major funding for J Street from George Soros, who is fervently anti-Israel. A J Street board member, Genevieve Lynch, also sits on the board of Iran’s chief lobbying arm in Washington, the National Iranian American Council. Ben David also raised the question of why a Filipino woman living in Hong Kong underwrites almost a third of J Street’s budget.

In an earlier Iconoclast post we referenced a Breitbart News report on a former NIAC employee, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was now an NSC staffer in the Obama White House:

Breitbart News in a March 31st, 2015 dossier article on Ms. Nowrouzzadeh reported:

Found that a person with the same name has previously written several publications on behalf of NIAC. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn account, Nowrouzzadeh became an analyst for the Department of Defense in 2005 before moving her way up to the National Security Council in 2014.

A NIAC profile from 2007 reveals that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh appears to be the same person as the one who is currently the NSC Director for Iran. The profiles indicate that she had the same double major and attended the same university (George Washington).

Critics have alleged that NIAC is a lobby for the current Iranian dictatorship under Ayatollah Khamenei. A dissident journalist revealed recently that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has maintained a years-long relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

NIAC was established in 1999, when founder Trita Parsi attended a conference in Cyprus that was held under the auspices of the Iranian regime. During the conference, Parsi reportedly laid out his plan to introduce a pro-regime lobbying group to allegedly counteract the influence of America’s pro-Israel and anti-Tehran regime advocacy groups.

NIAC has been investing heavily in attempts to influence the talks in favor of an agreement with the state sponsor of terror. In recent days, its director, Trita Parsi, has been spotted having amiable conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s brother.

With the announcement of P5+1 nuclear agreement by President  Obama on Monday, July 14th, like night follows day, J Street is launching a multi-million dollar video campaign supporting the deal.  All while all  Israelis , many members of Congress and Americans support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s view that the pact is a dangerous  “historic mistake.” They have been joined by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates castigating the deal with Iran posing an existential threat in the Middle East and some suggest here in the US, as well.

The Algemeiner reported on this latest example of J Street revealing its promotion of the President’s outreach to a nuclear Iran:

The left-wing Jewish lobby J Street said Wednesday that it is building support for the Iran nuclear deal through a “multimillion dollar national campaign.”

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” J Street said in its announcement of a campaign “to make the case to lawmakers that the agreement reached yesterday advances both US and Israeli security interests.”

The campaign, according to J Street, “will launch with a 30-second advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement.

Algemeiner noted the comments of Lori Lowenthal Marcus, national correspondent for The Jewish Press and  Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic, a frequent interviewer of President Obama.

Marcus said:

While every other Jewish group which praised the negotiators who reached the agreement “did so for their (the negotiators’) efforts,” only J Street praised the actual content of the deal. On Tuesday, J Street called the deal “a major step forward that will make the world appreciably safer.”

Goldberg tweeted:

“If Israel’s elected leader, and the head of the opposition, oppose the Iran deal, can J Street support it and still call itself pro-Israel?”

Maybe that’s why MK Isaac  Herzog Israeli opposition leader of the Leftist  Zionist Union (Labor) Party said he would work with Prime Minister  Netanyahu’s coalition  to stop the Iran deal.  We wonder which Iranian  conduit funneled the money to underwrite the launch of the J Street video ad with the Orwellian title: “Good for America/Good for Israel”.

Watch the J Street ad on this You Tube video:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama Cabinet Secretary is Booed and Jeered by American Jewish Activists

It is not often that Obama Cabinet secretaries get booed and jeered by American Jewish activists in public for presenting the Administration’s case for a possible P5+1 deal with Iran’s nuclear program.  Former Israeli Security officials were publicly accused of undermining military action ordered by Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet in 2010 against Iran’s nuclear facilities. But that is exactly what occurred at the Marquis Marriott in Midtown Manhattan Sunday June 7, 2015 at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference. Former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, who also spoke on the Iran nuclear agreement issue at the Conference, told  the audience,  “You would have to be stupid not to be worried by a nuclear Iran,” run by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Further he suggested that Iran’s nuclear program was a more important security issue than the Islamic State.

Obama Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew endeavored to give the audience the Administration’s position on the possible P5+1 agreement with Iran that may emerge for Congressional review in 22 days. His speech was frequently disrupted by boos and jeers jarring him, despite requests by Jerusalem Post editor in chief Steve Linde to respect Lew and let him speak.   The Jerusalem Post reported Lew telling the crowd, “I would only ask that you listen to me as we listen to you.” A colleague, Professor Jay Bergman, Professor of Russian History at Central Connecticut State University, who attending the conference and witnessed the uproar reported,

I turned my chair and faced the rear while Lew was speaking — the way NYC cops did to de Blasio last winter.

I’d say about 1/3 of the audience booed Lew and jeered him repeatedly for the duration of his speech.

You can read the text of Lew’s speech here.

The Algemeiner reported:

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew faced a booing and jeering crowd on Sunday at the annual Jerusalem Post conference in New York.

As the Treasury secretary discussed the Obama administration’s commitment to Israeli security, the audience erupted into boos, with some laughing.

As Lew broached the topic of the current framework for a deal with Iran to contain its nuclear program, somebody called out “Chamberlain,” referring to the British prime minister who pursued a policy of appeasement with the Nazi regime in the years leading up to World War II.

At one point, The Jerusalem Post’s Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde took to the microphone urging audience members to quiet down, and calling the heckling “disrespectful.”

“I only ask that you listen to me as we’ve listened to you,” said a slightly flustered Lew, following his hostile reception from an audience about two-thirds full, at the Marriott Marquis events hall.

Lew went on to rebuff a recent report by the New York Times stating that Iran’s nuclear fuel stockpiles had gone up since signing an interim agreement in 2013, supposedly freezing its fuel production. Lew said the fluctuations were normal and expected.

He said Russia and China would not have veto power at the U.N. over the automatic “snap back” of sanctions should Iran be found to be cheating on the comprehensive nuclear deal, which faces a June 30 deadline.

Russia had previously said it would reject any “automaticity” in reimposing sanctions should inspectors discover Iran’s cheating on a nuclear deal, and many critics of the emerging agreement have insisted an international sanctions regime would be near-impossible to re-enforce once the current sanctions are lifted.

Additionally, the secretary of the treasury said the U.S. would continue to go after individuals and interests from Iran supporting terrorist activities in the Middle East.

Following Lew’s address, Israeli Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz attempted to simmer tensions by thanking Lew for his efforts to secure a spot for Israel in the elite Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development when he was Deputy Secretary of State.

Steinitz remarked, however, that under the current framework agreement, the details of which were announced in Lausanne, Switzerland in April, Iran might be able to reduce its breakout time for a nuclear weapon from 12 months to six months.

Watch this JPostTv YouTube video of Treasury Secretary Lew speech at the Jerusalem Post Annual Post conference amidst boos and jeers by audience members:

If that wasn’t enough pushback, there was the confrontation by Jerusalem Post columnist Carolyn Glick of former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and IDF chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi over the alleged refusal to honor an order by the security cabinet of Israeli Pm Netanyahu in 2010, because as Dagan contested, “it was an illegal order”.  Israel Matsav commented on his blog:

The exchange was:

“In 2010, according to a report from 2012 on the Israeli news program Uvda, we learned that two of the men on this panel were given an order to prepare a strike against Iran’s military installations and they refused,” Glick said.

“Because it was an illegal order,” Dagan interjected.

“You were ordered by the security cabinet,” Glick said.

“You don’t know what happened there,” Dagan answered.

It is not in your expert legal opinion to determine whether or not the prime minister of Israel and defense minister of Israel have a right to order Israel to take action in its national defense. We would not be where we are today. We would not now be faced with a situation where no international coalition will be built, where now we are seeing the United States moving forward at the end of the month to conclude a nuclear agreement with Tehran that will enable them to acquire the bomb. We would be in a different position,” Glick charged.

Ashkenazi said that what Glick was saying was “stupid,” later apologizing and saying he meant “insulting.” He rejected the idea that the military echelon could prevent the political echelon from attacking Iran.

Watch the JPostTV YouTube video of the Glick-Dagan-Ashkenazi exchange:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

White House Officials meet with Anti-IDF Israeli Leftists

Why did  Obama National Security  and State Department officials meet  with Israeli leftist NGO Breaking the Silence to provide maligned ‘testimonies’ of IDF reservists about allegations of “revenge firing” on Palestinians during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge?  Especially, since testimonies of fellow serving IDF reservists who appeared on IsraelChannel 2 in early May 2015 said the ‘testimonies” were a pack of lies.  Earlier this week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called out the Swiss Foreign Ministry for funding a photographic exhibit mounted by Breaking the Silence.  This is not the first time for an Israeli objection to foreign programs funding  programs of  the leftist group.  A prior episode occurred following  the 2009 Operation Cast Lead when groups in The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK launching similar disinformation efforts maligning IDF self-defense operations against the rocket wars in Gaza perpetrated by Hamas.

Breaking the Silence was formed in 2004 during the Second Intifada.  NGO Monitor reported the following sources of the group’s funds:

2013/4 donors include the European UnionMisereor (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), NorwayAECID (Spain), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), ICCO (Netherlands), CCFD (France), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), SIVMO (Netherlands), Rockefeller Brothers FundOpen Society InstituteNew Israel Fund, and others

Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received 992,901 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2014 and 1,271,368 NIS in 2013 (accessed March 15, 2014).

In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $560,428 to Breaking the Silence (200820092010201120122013).

Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015).

Matt Duss, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, known for its agitation against Israeli settlement policies in the disputed territories, escorted the Breaking the Silence representatives to both Obama NSC and State Department Human Rights meetings.  This is another instance of Israeli leftists being given entre by the Obama Administration seeking to delegitimize the conduct of IDF front line soldiers during combat in Gaza against the rocket and terror tunnel wars of Hamas.  This has infuriated Ministry of Defense and IDF commanders from the platoon level on up to the Chief of Staff.

Here are excerpts from a Ha’aretz report about yesterday’s Breaking the Silence meetings in Washington:

Senior White House officials met this week with members of the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence. The meeting, the first of its kind, dealt with testimonies that the organization had collected on alleged human-rights violations by the Israel Defense Forces during last summer’s war in Gaza. The meetings were held a few days after Israel’s Foreign Ministry tried to get a Breaking the Silence exhibition to be held in Switzerland canceled.

Matt Duss, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, organized the meeting between Breaking the Silence representatives and members of the White House National Security Council.

The meeting did not take place at the White House but at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.

A Breaking the Silence representative also held a separate meeting at the State Department with senior officials in its human rights bureau.

Duss told Ha’aretz that during the meetings, Breaking the Silence presented its recent report last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Obama administration officials reacted with a great deal of interest, Duss said, asking “many questions about the vetting process of the witnesses, the testimonies and the fact-checking.”

According to Duss, the fact that both White House staff and the State Department held meetings with Breaking the Silence shows that the organization has an open door to the administration.

“It is in line with what Obama said recently. These are the shared values between Israel and the United States – wanting to improve our society,” said Duss. This is Washington recognizing “they are young Israeli patriots who are trying to improve their society,” he added.

An Obama Administration official said: “U.S. Government officials met with Breaking the Silence, as we routinely meet with a range of actors from official and non-official international groups, including from civil society.”

The State Department also responded, “Officers from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor met with a representative from the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. The State Department regularly meets with a broad array of political and civil society organizations from various countries worldwide.”

[…]

Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, lodged a protest with the Swiss Foreign Ministry over it, and asked that donations and support for a group that deals with the “defamation of Israel” be halted.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who this week called for action against the Breaking the Silence exhibition, said the organization “is working against Israel from within,” adding, “We will not ignore it when an organization whose whole purpose is to defame IDF soldiers works in the international arena to seriously damage Israel’s image.”

In early May 2015 several soldiers and officers who served in a tank unit appeared on Israeli Channel 2.  The Algemeiner reported their contrasting comments disputing testimonies acquired by Breaking the Silence.  The soldiers spoke on Israel’s Channel 2 to give their side of the story to counter the testimonies compiled by Breaking the Silence.

One soldier called the report “a wicked story” and a “stab in the back.”

Another soldier, Lt. Oren (a pseudonym), was a platoon commander in the 7th Brigade during the previous Operation Cast Lead, which began in late 2008. The Breaking the Silence report claimed that one of the tank commanders in Oren’s platoon carried out a “revenge attack” by targeting civilian houses in Gaza.

Oren refuted the claim, saying “this nonsense about ‘fire on the house that you want for revenge’ is simply a total lie.”

He said “it is very hard for me to believe that one of ours said something like that, definitely not someone who was there.”

Oren, who was personally involved in the operation, told a different story.

He said that any “revenge” incident might have occurred after Armored Core Capt. Dmitri Levitas (26) was killed in battle, but that the Breaking the Silence testimony “simply is not true.”

He said despite the fact that he and his fellow soldiers were severely affected by the death of Levitas, “we maintained combat ethics.”

“While it’s true there was heavy [IDF] fire, this fire was directed at positions from which we were being fired upon, or suspicious locations,” he recalled.

IDF tanks only fired “in accordance with procedure, and after a very strict identification process,” he said.

Oren emphasized that despite “losing a great commander and friend … we still abided by shooting procedure.”

A decade ago I attended a presentation at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut by an IDF Sgt, a refusenik reservist. Anti-Israel and BDS leftist group Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) sponsored the event at Wesleyan. The IDF reservist had served a term in a military jail for refusing to serve with his unit in the disputed territories during the Second Intifada.  The packed amphitheater lecture hall was filled with attentive students and some faculty listening to the reservist rationale about why he refused to serve because of alleged human rights problems occasioned by Israeli occupation.  When it came time for Q&A I raised my hand, was recognized by the moderator.  I asked the refuseniks IDF Sgt. if he knew anything about the group he was marching with at his next stop in San Francisco. He said, “no”.  I told both he and the audience that ANSWER, the sponsoring group was rabidly anti-Semitic.  I explained that the ADL considered A.N.S.W.E.R one of the leading anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic groups in the US.  A.N.S.W.E.R stands for Act Now to Stop War and Racism.  The ADL also considered  the JVP on the leading anti-Zionist groups in the U.S. The refusenik sheepishly smiled and scurried off in a clutch of admiring students and faculty for refreshments shepherded by his JVP minders.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Brandeis University Roiled by anti-Police and anti-Zionist Radicals

At 10:03 PM Saturday, December 27, 2014  Americans for Peace and Tolerance (AP&T) sent an email containing a petition requesting the President of Brandeis University, Frederick Lawrence and the 29 university trustees,  to protect the free speech rights and person of intrepid student, Daniel Mael.  So far it has garnered 2,337 signatures. This writer was among the earliest to sign it. More should, as the circumstances warrant it.

Mael had published an expose in on-line publication Ben Shapiro’s Truth Reports   about scurrilous anti- police tweets sent by Khadijah Lynch, a junior and African and African American studies department major at the Waltham, Massachusetts elite campus. Lynch’s provocative tweets were hateful to police in general, specifically suggesting how pleased she was about the assassination on December 20th of two NYPD officers, Felix Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were shot from behind by convicted felon, Ismaaliya Brinsley, without warning while seated in their patrol car at the troubled Tomkins House in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley subsequently took his life with the murder weapon at a nearby subway platform after a chase by responding officers. The irony was these downed NYPD officers were protecting minorities from the depredations by the likes of Brinsley and drug gang bangers at the Tompkins Houses.

Earlier on Saturday,  a literal ”sea of blue” composed of  25,000 uniformed police from across the U.S. and Canada attended the funeral services  for  downed NYPD officer Ramos at Christ Tabernacle in the Glendale section of Queens New York. Eulogies were given by Vice President Biden, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. When controversial New York Mayor William DiBlasio turn came to eulogize Officer Ramos, NYPD officers in the multitude outside the church turned their back on the large video screen in a demonstration of contempt. They were expressing their anger  regarding his promotion of protests against  grand jury actions upholding police conduct in the shooting death in July 2014 in Ferguson , Missouri of Michael Brown and the August 2014 Staten Island death of former convicted felon Eric Garner under NYPD physical restraint in Staten Island, New York.  They were called to the scene by African American shop owners in the vicinity regarding Garner’s continual violation of the law.

A  Gatestone Institute article by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was posted at 1:30 AM EST, Sunday morning, “A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen — and Her Critic Is Attacked.”  Dershowitz drew attention to Lynch’s hate-filled tweets:

As I watched, with tears in my eyes, the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos who was ambushed along with fellow officer, Wenjian Liu, in revenge for the deaths of two black young men who were killed by policemen, I could not help thinking of the following horrible words tweeted by a bigoted young woman named Khadijah Lynch, on the day the police officers were murdered in cold blood, and the day after:

“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” (December 20, 2014)

“lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f…ing country.”(December 21, 2014).

Nor was this her first bigoted tweet. She has apparently described her college as “a social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f…ing fanny dooly.” And she cannot understand why “black people have not burned this country down….” She describes herself as “in riot mode. F… this f…ing country.” She has apparently said that she would like to get a gun and has called for an intifada: “Amerikkka needs an intifada. Enough is enough. ” “What the f… even IS ‘non-violence’. “

Ms. Lynch is certainly entitled to express such despicable views, just as Nazis, Klansmen and other bigots are entitled to express theirs. But when another Brandeis student, named Daniel Mael, decided to post her public tweets on a website, Lynch threatened to sue him for “slander”. Republishing someone’s own published words could not possibly constitute slander, libel or any other form of defamation, because you can’t be slandered by your own words. You can, of course, be embarrassed, condemned, ostracized or “unfriended” due your own words

Brandeis, you should  recall was founded under Jewish auspices as a living memorial to revered  US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a vigorous defender of free speech rights, something that Mael was exercising. Lynch’s comments, while inflammatory and hateful, as Dershowitz  had referenced, would be regarded as ‘protected speech’  under Supreme Court rulings , such as the  landmark 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio  decision in a matter involving a Klu Klux Klan leader.

Dershowitz went further to point out Mael’s rights under the law:

Mael had the right — and was right — to expose Lynch’s words for public assessment and criticism. Now hard left students at Brandeis are calling for Mael’s head — or at least his expulsion — for exercising his freedom of expression. He has been accused of “stalking”, “cyberbullying” and “inciting racial hatred and oppression” for merely republishing what Lynch published.

Dershowitz also pointed to the irony that  Lynch comments   was  supported by the Brandeis Asian American in view of downed NYPD officer Liu, who was Asian.

The Algemeiner revealed more about Mael’s earlier efforts to expose Lynch’s support for the violent Students for Justice in Palestine eviction notice campaign posted on Jewish student dorm doors across the country that involved  the attacks by SJP against Jewish  university students, Brandeis Radical Who Insulted Murdered NY Cops is Backed by Students for Justice in PalestineThe Algemeiner reported:

When Lynch ran for student office in 2013, she gushed that she “fell absolutely in love with Brandeis”… The two organizations that endorsed her manifesto, which included a commitment “to make Brandeis a safer, more tolerant, and friendly environment,” were the Brandeis Black Student Organization and the Brandeis chapter of SJP.

“An apathetic attitude toward the murder of innocents and calls for violence are entirely in-line with the actions of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters across the country,” Mael told The Algemeiner. “Unfortunately the vicious rhetoric of Ms. Lynch is echoed by many other student activists across the country. This language helps fuel a disturbing atmosphere of hatred and fear.”

Mael’s own expose of SJP, published last October in The Tower magazine, detailed a number of violent attacks on pro-Israel students by members of that organization.

Since Mael’s article about Lynch appeared, both he and members of his family have been targeted for abuse. Lynch herself tweeted “i need to get my gun license asap” after Mael contacted her for comment regarding her tweets.

Meanwhile, Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence weighed into the controversy today, releasing a statement in which he confirmed, “We have no greater concern than the safety of our students at Brandeis.” Lawrence did not, however, specifically address the threats made against Mael and his family, nor the involvement of hate groups like SJP in the verbal attacks and threats made against him.

 APT’s petition campaign to Brandeis  President Lawrence  may have forced  him to act. Unfortunately , this was what we have come to expect under his leadership at Brandeis.  Witness, his acceding to demands  from  Muslim Brotherhood front groups CAIR and the Brandeis Muslim Students Association  and Near Eastern and Judaic  Studies faculty members  to withdraw  the honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali  that was to be awarded her at  commencement this past  June. We noted in an April 9, 2014  Iconoclast post  the circumstances under which  Brandeis President Lawrence withdrew her honor:

Tuesday evening [April 8, 2014]  Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

[…]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

 The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Sic ignominia transit Brandeis.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Featured image courtesy of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Kristallnacht 76th Commemoration Marred by Antisemitism in Europe

Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” that erupted across Nazi Germany and Austria on November 9, 1938 was commemorated across the West and in Israel. There with ecumenical prayer gatherings, concerts of liturgical Jewish music, testimonials by Holocaust survivors, and candles lit in memoriam.  In a commemoration on the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht we chronicled the horrors that befell Jews that night:

Kristallnacht -“the night of broken glass” that occurred throughout Germany and Austria. Kristallnacht was Nazi retribution for the assassination an anti-Nazi German diplomat Ernest Vom Rath in the Paris by a young Polish Jew, Herschel Grynzspan on November 7th, 1938. That event was seized upon by Herr Hitler and his Nazi SA and SS thugs to unleash a torrent of ‘spontaneous’ violence. That violence was graphically set against the lurid flames of more than 1,000 synagogues torched, several hundred of them destroyed, thousands of Jewish businesses and homes broken into, destroyed and vandalized.  91 Jewish men were killed, thousands beaten and more than 30,000 dragged off to concentration camps. Many of the later would never to return to their frightened families, many of whom were to disappear in the Holocaust. Kristallnacht was the prelude to the Final Solution that murdered six million European Jewish men, women and children.

Kristallnacht NYT 11-10-38

New York Times November 10, 1938.

This year Kristallnacht coincided with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumph of freedom over totalitarianism. Tens of thousands gathered  before Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.  Eight thousand balloons were released. German Chancellor Andrea Merkel speaking to the multitude at the celebration noted the ‘twinning” of these historic event:

That was the opening note for the murder of millions; I feel not just joy, but the responsibility that German history burdens us with.

Over at the Alexanderplatz, German Police were separating violent rival protests by left wing groups opposing the commemoration of the fall of  the Berlin Wall, while  so-called nationalist groups who  were commemorating the Nazi attacks on Jews during Kristallnacht. On the West Bank, Palestinians celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall by symbolically breaking through Israel’s security barrier. In Norway, “Nye SOS Rasisme” , a so-called anti-racist group, demanded  that a Bergen community event bar Jews from attending a Kristallnacht commemoration.  The group held their own procession featuring banners that said “Zionism is Racism”.

The successor to the Communist party in Germany’s Bundestag, Die Linke, was caught in a moral quandary.  That  was the inclusion of the self-hating anti-Israel American Jew, Max Blumenthal, son of Hillary Clinton adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, in a Middle East panel at an avant garde theater in the former East Berlin. The Algemeiner noted:

In a letter to Frank Castorf and Thomas Walter – the directors of the famed Volksbühne Theater, the leading German center for avant-garde and experimental performances – Volker Beck of the Green Party and Petra Pau of Die Linke (“The Left”) pointed to Blumenthal’s frequent “anti-Semitic” comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel.

The letter, also signed by Reinhold Robbe, a prominent pro-Israel advocate in Germany, explicitly linked the commemoration of the Holocaust with contemporary anti-Semitism, observing that the date of the meeting scheduled for this Sunday, November 9, will mark the 76th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Nazi Germany. The letter asserted that the meeting would allow Blumenthal and his cohort David Sheen, an anti-Zionist activist, “to promote anti-Semitic prejudice by comparing the terror of the Nazis with Israeli policies.” They would do so on the anniversary of an episode “that is recognized as the beginning of the persecution, the deportation, and the killing of over six million European Jews.” The letter introduced itself with a quotation from famed Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw: “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

Gregor Gysi, the leader of Die Linke canceled a discussion with Blumenthal at the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, scheduled for Monday. Gysi reached his decision after Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin-based journalist and political analyst, presented him with evidence of Blumenthal’s anti-Semitic activities and writings.

Blumenthal visited with some of those Norwegian ‘anti-racists’ in September 2014. Perhaps they were among those who sought to bar Jews attending the Bergen Kristallnacht commemoration. He and his anti-Semite hate colleagues equate Israel with ISIS.

 Our colleague, Nidra Poller chronicled  in a graphic series  of  “Gaza –Israel Dateline Paris Dispatches” posted on the Iconoclast this summer  the ‘lethal narratives’ of “death to the Jews” .   Protests reached the center of Paris  erupting in  fire-bombing attacks  on synagogues, and attacks on  Jews and Jewish owned businesses  in Parisian  suburbs.  All perpetrated  by  rampaging Palestinian supporters, French  Muslim citizens  and  allied leftist groups. They were   demonstrating against ‘genocide’ committed against civilians in Gaza under the draconian control of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate in Palestine, the terrorist group Hamas.

There were the  killings at the Brussels Municipal Jewish Museum of an Israeli couple, and non Jewish workers by a returning French citizen and veteran of ISIS jihad in Syria.   Retired  Professor Raphael Israeil of Hebrew University would call the perpetrator, Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national of Algerian origin an Islamikaze, because he was motivated by Salafist doctrine to kill Jews.

Manfred Gerstenfeld, former Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,  in our interview with him  spotlighted what is driving European  Antisemitism, “Anti-Israelism is Anti-Semitism.”  We noted:

Gerstenfled  developed an estimate based on several studies and polls that approximately “150 million Europeans have extreme negative views about Jews and the State of Israel.” In an email exchange, Bat Ye’or suggests that Palestianism is the root of “humanitarian racism.” Note how Bat Ye’or defined Palestinism in our interview with her:

Palestinism is a world policy initiated and imposed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its Western allies that aims to transfer to Palestinian Muslims the history, the cultural and religious heritage of the Jewish people. . . . Palestinism encompasses all Western-Muslim relationships.

What occurred in Europe today, the triumph of the fall of the Berlin Wall was marred by extremist riots reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. There were bizarre attempts in Norway to exclude Jews from participating in commemorations because they were “racists”.  The conceit of these anti-Semites, whether nativist or Islamic is moral inversion. Call it anti-Israelism or Palestinism, it depicts  IDF soldiers defending the sovereignty the Jewish nation  as the equivalent of  Nazi storm troopers.

The Nazis  murdered  of Six Million European Jewish , Men , Women and Children in  the Shoah, Hitler’s Final Solution. A final solution whose prelude was Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany 76 years ago today.

RELATED ARTICLE:

France: Muslims firebomb kosher restaurant after calling diners “dirty Jews”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Americans Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli Among the IDF fallen in Gaza

This weekend the IDF released the names of 13 members of the elite Golani Brigade who fell while engaged in heavy fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.  While supporters of Israel grieve for all of the IDF fallen and  those that were downed in mortal combat against the Jihadis of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, two were dual Israeli-American citizens.

Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli, z”l

Max Steinberg, 24, of Woodlands Hills, California was killed when the APC that he and several others were riding in was hit by an IED. The second was Sean Carmeli 21, who was born of Israeli parents and raised in South Padre Island, Texas before returning to spend his high school years in Ra’anana Israeli. Carmeli was killed like Steinberg during the intense fighting in Shejaiya, what Israel PM Netanyahu called a “terrorist bastion” laden with rocket launching sites.

We learned yesterday of the injuries sustained by another dual Israeli American Golani Brigade member Jordan Low of Pikesville, Maryland who was injured in a fire while clearing buildings in Gaza.  Like Steinberg and Carmeli, this young American –Israeli left for Israel after high school to enter military training with the IDF. He has been removed for treatment at a hospital in Tel Aviv and his family will be flying to Israel to visit him.

These young Israeli American Jews are indicative of the commitment of many young diaspora Jews who make aliyah to Israel to undergo training in elite and regular IDF combat units.

According to the Lone Soldier Center  in Memory of Michael Levin, more than 5,700 Jewish men and women of different nationalities volunteer for service in the IDF, Israel’s armed forces, who have no biological relatives in the Jewish state.  Two sons of my former rabbi at a synagogue in Fairfield, Connecticut volunteered to serve in elite combat units of the IDF.  During Operation Cast lead in 2009, we wrote about the experience of  Givati Brigade member Zachary Rowen –Taylor, another Californian ,  who, like fallen Golani Brigade member Steinberg,  was a Sgt. Commander and sniper.  Rowen-Taylor, we understand has been recalled to active duty  as a reservist to serve, once again, in Gaza.

Steinberg’s family in California was interviewed by the Jewish Journal, “A Fallen Soldier, found his purpose in Israel”.  His story is similar to that of these other soldiers who decide to make aliyah and become Israeli citizens.   Here are some excerpts from the Jewish Journal article:

Just over two years ago, two brothers and a sister – Max, Jake and Paige Steinberg – returned to Los Angeles from a whirlwind tour of Israel.

The trip, which was sponsored by Taglit-Birthright, impacted all three. But none more than Max, who was 22 at the time, and the trio’s oldest. Then a student at Pierce College, Steinberg wasn’t finding what he wanted in school and was unsure of his path. But he was sure of at least one thing—Israel was where he was meant to be.

So, only three months after returning to California in July 2012, Steinberg went back to Israel in September, but this time to become a soldier in the Golani infantry brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), one of the IDF’s most decorated units.

And early Sunday morning, as he and his unit made their way down a Gaza City street in the neighborhood of Shejaiya, a Hamas stronghold, their armored personnel carrier (APC) struck what was likely an improvised explosive device (IED) or a mine. The explosion killed seven soldiers, including Steinberg. A source in Israel’s Los Angeles  consulate said that the attack occurred around 1:30 am,  Israel time .

As to what motivated Max to undergo rigorous Golani training:

At just five feet and three inches, he took on nicknames like “Mighty Max” and “Little Dynamo.”

Prospering in one of the IDF’s most elite units, his mother said, helped him “earn respect for himself.”

Additionally, added his father, he viewed military service as an obligation were he to ever make aliyah to Israel.

“If he ever ultimately decided this was going to be his new home, not serving was just not an option for him,” Stuart said. And if he was going to serve, he wanted to be a Golani infantryman. “Anything less than that would be not as meaningful for him.”

In Sean Carmeli’s case, his family had returned to Israel from South Padre, Texas. The Algemeiner reported the his circumstances in an article, “Small South Texan Jewish Community Mourns Death of IDF Sergeant Sean Carmeli, Killed in Gaza

The Jewish community of a south Texas beach town was in mourning on Sunday after it was informed that one of its sons was among the Israeli troops that fell in a bloody Gaza battle on Saturday night.

“The whole community feels like they lost their own son,” Rabbi Yonatan, the family’s rabbi told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “The family is completely devastated,” Rabbi Asher Hecht, another rabbi/friend said.

Sean was the youngest of three children, and with two older sisters, Gal and Or, was an only son.

The last time Sean’s father spoke to his son was on Wednesday when Sean shared that his army officer had quizzed him over an unrelated minor leg injury. Responding to the officer’s suggestion that he may not be fit for service, Sean had said, “Bruise or no bruise I am coming with you.”

“He was enthusiastic to go in and to fight for the Jewish people, and he gave his life for the Jewish people,” Rabbi Hecht said.

The rabbis said that the local Shoova Israel Synagogue on South Padre Island is dedicated and named in memory of Sean’s grandfather Nissim whom Sean was named after.

As to what you can do to support of IDF soldiers serving in the ground incursion in Gaza, you might consider contacting, the American Friends of LIBI that “provides for the educational, religious, medical and recreational needs of Israeli soldiers.”  Then there is the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. My colleague Lisa Benson, presently on a tour of South Carolina, called with information on the program of No More Jewish Victims of the One Israel Fund that is raising funds for support equipment for IDF soldiers and residents of Judea and Samaria. Also there is Pizza IDF that delivers pizza, ice cream and other food to front-line units.

1000 Pizzas were delivered to an IDF reserve unit on the Israel Gaza frontier with contributions from both Christians and Jews around the world. That was the result of an international campaign by a couple in the community of Eli in Judea and Samaria.

Most importantly, please offer misheberachs (prayers) for those brave IDF service personnel in Israel’s fight to defeat the Jihadis of Hamas backed by Iran, Qatar and Turkey. They are the defenders of the Jewish nation of Israel, America’s only reliable ally facing extremist Islam threatening the West.

Watch this You Tube Video with a Misheberach for Tzahal:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

The Military Option may be the Only Way to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

The other night I attended a Shiva (Memorial Service) for a revered member of the local Jewish community here in Pensacola. During the collation that followed I was approached by two acquaintances, and asked for my views on the US engagement with Iran.  There was a lunch and learn session sponsored by the local Federation the following day on the Iran P5+1 interim agreement to halt its nuclear program. In response to this question from my acquaintances, I said I believed in the reverse of the Reagan doctrine, i.e., “verify then trust’”. I cautioned one of my acquaintances how can you trust a country whose Islamic extremist rulers never miss an opportunity to spout propaganda to wipe the Zionist enterprise off the map of the world.

What I also expressed is that the US and the West has been consistently deceived about the Iranian  nuclear program and intentions. Witness the infamous National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that noted Iran’s temporary stoppage of their nuclear program when the US and Coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003. Or the trumpeting by current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he fooled the West in the period from 2003 to 2005 when he was the Islamic Regime’s  chief nuclear  negotiator.  “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.  Perhaps multiple times given what has been revealed in the wake of the roll back in sanctions, part and parcel of the P5+1 agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

US and EU Sanctions may have worked to bring Iran to the table given estimates that the Iranian economy suffered a 1% drop in GDP, and nearly a halving of its oil revenues.  While the Obama Administration said that sanctions relief for Iran was in the neighborhood of $6 to 7 Billion, according to independent estimates by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) it may exceed $20 billion.  Let’s take one example, the lifting of auto trading sanctions.  Mark Dubowitz and Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of FDD in an Iran Sanctions Analysis noted:

The White House fact sheet on the JPA notes that this relief, plus the easing of “certain sanctions” on gold, other precious metals and petrochemicals, will provide Tehran with “approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.” Of those funds, the White House projects that easing auto industry sanctions will yield only $500 million over the six-month interim period.

Note what Dubowitz and Schanzer reported happened after the lifting of the auto trade sanctions:

Shortly after the signing of the Joint Plan of Action, Iran held an international automotive conference attended by representatives from German, Indian, Japanese and South Korean auto companies. France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault SA have expressed optimism that they will be able to reap significant benefits in the coming months. A spokeswoman for Renault recently said, “Renault is satisfied by the signing of this accord… If the sanctions are lifted, our activity which is currently slowed could return to its normal course.” For Renault, this “normal course” could mean the sale of approximately 100,000 vehicles in Iran, while for Peugeot it could mean more than 450,000 vehicles.

The bottom line FDD estimate of auto trading relief in the six month time frame of the P5+1 is:

Even if Iran’s auto sector contributed only ten percent of the sector’s previous $50 billion annual contribution in GDP to Iran’s overall economy, that would be worth $2.5 billion in additional economic activity over the next six months not included in the White House’s calculations.

By helping to revive the auto industry, the most important economic sector after energy, the Obama administration may end up providing far greater economic benefits to the Iranian government, and to the IRGC, than previously believed.

Yesterday, the National Journal (NJ) drew attention to a new push for strengthened sanctions by US Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), “Iran Sanctions Bill is Coming”. This despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and  Banking Chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) acceding to White House and Secretary of State Kerry requests  to a ‘pause’ in new sanctions  legislation  until we see what eventuates in the P5+1 six month interim discussions with Iran.  The NJ noted:

Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois told reporters on Tuesday that he’s optimistic an Iran sanctions bill will come out soon and that members involved can push it forward.

Kirk said that the timing of a bill rollout and any consideration in the Senate will be up to his top Democratic partner on sanctions, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and of course Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“The timing will be up to Harry and Bob,” he said. “It’s coming up.”

[…]

Kirk sought to debunk perceptions that intense Obama administration lobbying has had a chilling effect on interested members, particularly Democrats.

Morton Klein and Dr. Daniel Mandel of The Zionist Organization of America in an Algemeiner op ed argued  in the opposite direction  that the P5+1  deal  and  a restart with strengthening of sanctions will simply afford time for Iran to reach nuclear breakout, “With Geneva, Military Force Only Remaining Option to Stop Iranian Nukes”.

Their principal argument was:

The Geneva interim agreement permits Iran to retain intact all the essential elements of its nuclear weapons program.

Klein and Mandel cite Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton Bernard Lewis who said, “MAD, mutual assured destruction … will not work with a religious fanatic. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement.”

They concluded:

It will be extremely hard now for President Obama to credibly threaten military action: if he failed to honor his red line and take military action when Syria actually murdered thousands with chemical weapons. Iran is unlikely to take seriously any red line he might lay down now on building nuclear weapons. Yet he should do so without delay. But even if he does, there is now probably no way Iran can be prevented from going nuclear, except through military action.

Even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during a recent meeting in the Gulf Emirates indicated that diplomacy alone would not bring Iran to heel, without the equivalent of a steel fist in a velvet glove approach.

The realities of how rapier like military action can work against rogue nuclear powers is reflected in a Wall Street Journal Letter to the editor  today from the writer,  Bill Bloomfield of Manhattan Beach California,  “What’s Worked for Limiting Nukes?”:

What worked? Limited military action, in the case of Syria and Iraq. While both countries are still a hotbed of violence and political strife, fortunately they don’t have nuclear weapons to make matters much worse. Their reactors were destroyed by Israel. In the case of Ukraine, economic strangulation worked. The arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union, leading to its breakup. The newly independent Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, all former Soviet republics, gave up their nuclear weapons.

What didn’t work? Threats of economic retaliation, in the cases of India and Pakistan, and negotiation, in the case of North Korea. In 1994, the Clinton administration traded aid for a North Korean promise to give up its nuclear activity—a promise it did not keep. If history is our guide, it will take more than diplomacy to keep Iran free of nuclear weapons.

I hope this answers my acquaintances in Pensacola and across America asking why military force coupled with improved sanctions may be the only option that brings the Islamofanatics in Tehran to heel.  Israel demonstrated that in both Iraq (Operation Opera 1981) and Syria (Operation Orchard 2007). Despite initial criticism, the US subsequently showed begrudging respect. That is not lost on the worried Saudis and the Gulf Emirates, critical of US policies in the roiling Middle East.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.