Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis

Significant differences between Trump’s and Obama’s Yom HaShoah messages

April 25, 2017

A MUSICIAN GOES “FROM HELL TO HEAVEN”

* Trump: “Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance.”

“The meaning of that state for so many is captured by the words of a German Jewish musician. Escaping Germany before 1937, he settled in the ancient land of Israel. Sometime later, he received a visit from a British official, who found him living in a hut, with only his piano for company. The official recognized the musician and said: This must be a terrible change for you. The musician looked back at him and replied: It is a change – from hell to heaven.”

***

TRUMP AND OBAMA: YOM HASHOAH MESSAGES COMPARED

[Note by Tom Gross]

Yesterday, Holocaust Remembrance Day (known as Yom HaShoah) was observed in several countries, most notably Israel. (Some other countries have in recent years started observing International Holocaust Day at the end of January, on the date that Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet army.)

I attach the following statement because it may have relevance for President Trump’s evolving foreign policy and how it is likely to differ from that of President Obama.

There has been a lot of attention paid, and criticism made, of Trump when his spokesperson used clumsy words about the Holocaust in the past, or on occasions when Trump himself has not clearly enough condemned anti-Semitic attacks by others (and I have criticized him for this too, in these dispatches, and elsewhere).

Attached below is Trump’s statement yesterday to mark Yom HaShoah. And after that, President Obama’s statements to mark Yom HaShoah made in 2015 and 2016. (Obama made similar statements in 2012, 2013 and 2014.)

This contrast was first noted by the anonymous American blogger EoZ, whose website often highlights important items that others – most notably the mainstream media – fail to.


As he writes:

“President Trump does not have the oratorical skills of President Obama, but his message is a breath of fresh air after the stilted statements from the Obama White House.

Unlike President Trump, President Obama never related the Holocaust to the threats that Israel faces - not in 2016 and not in the previous years either. (See Obama’s Yom HaShoah remarks for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015).

I know that all these statements were drafted by White House speechwriters. But they do reflect the way the President and his administration think.

There is a world of difference between how Obama tried to universalize the Holocaust or would only discuss right-wing anti-Semitism, and how Trump draws a straight line between anti-Semitism and today’s anti-Zionism.

Obama’s White House believed, even if they never said it explicitly, that Israel causes anti-Semitism. Trump’s White House accurately knows that Israel is the antidote to anti-Semitism.”

 

NETANYAHU: ALLIES COULD HAVE SAVED 4 MILLION JEWS IF THEY’D BOMBED DEATH CAMPS IN 1942

On a separate note, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day speech yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bitterly attacked the wartime allies.

The United Nations archives finally released wartime documents last week after post-war governments suppressed them for 75 years, confirming that the US, Britain and other nations knew the full details of the death camps already in 1942, at a time when “only” two million Jews had been murdered.

The allies made a deliberate decision not to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz and other extermination camps, which would have made it much harder for the Nazis and their allies to continue their industrial killing of Europe’s Jews.

See for example, here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/world-history/holocaust-allied-forces-knew-before-concentration-camp-discovery-us-uk-soviets-secret-documents-a7688036.html

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1942/dec/17/united-nations-declaration

Over 1.5 Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust.

(As I’ve noted in past dispatches, it seems that the decision not to try and prevent the Holocaust continuing was at least partly driven by anti-Semitism. Even at a time when reports of the death camps were coming out in 1942, 1943 and 1944, certain U.S. State Department and British Foreign Office officials continued to make blatantly anti-Semitic remarks.)

Netanyahu said yesterday: “If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps – and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps – had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people.”

“The powers knew, and they did not act,” he told the audience at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

“When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces, the powers knew and did not act.”

Netanyahu added that global indifference persisted, citing the examples of Biafra, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan and Syria. But he said the lesson for Israel “is that we have to be able to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat, against any enemy… That is the prime obligation of all Israeli prime ministers.”


Belsen 1945


PRESIDENT TRUMP’S 2017 REMARKS (DELIVERED YESTERDAY)

On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.

The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, we tell the stories of the fathers, mothers and children, whose lives were extinguished and whose love was torn from this earth. We also tell the stories of courage in the face of death, humanity in the face of barbarity, and the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.

Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance. It’s a monument to unyielding strength. We recall the famous words attributed to Theodor Herzl: If you will, it is no dream. If you will it, it is no dream.

Jews across the world have proved the truth of these words day after day. In the memory of those who were lost, we renew our commitment and our determination not to disregard the warnings of our own times.

We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of.

To all of you tonight, who have come from around the world, let it be known, America stands strong with the State of Israel.

The meaning of that state for so many is captured by the words of a German Jewish musician. Escaping Germany before 1937, he settled in the ancient land of Israel. Sometime later, he received a visit from a British official, who found him living in a hut, with only his piano for company. The official recognized the musician and said: This must be a terrible change for you. The musician looked back at him and replied: It is a change - from hell to heaven.

Many of you here today helped fulfill the same dream, the dream of Israel for millions, a dream that burned in the hearts of oppressed and fallen and which now draws the breath of life from a joyous people each and every day.

Thank you for your leadership, for your service, and for your vision of a world that is more free, just and peaceful place for all of God’s people.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 2015 YOM HASHOAH STATEMENT

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/16/statement-president-holocaust-remembrance-day

Today, with heavy hearts, we remember the six million Jews and the millions of other victims of Nazi brutality who were murdered during the Holocaust.

Yom HaShoah is a day to reaffirm our responsibilities to ourselves and future generations. It is incumbent upon us to make real those timeless words, “Never forget. Never again.” Yet, even as we recognize that mankind is capable of unspeakable acts of evil, we also draw strength from the survivors, the liberators, and the righteous among nations who represented humanity at its best.

With their example to guide us, together we must firmly and forcefully condemn the anti-Semitism that is still far too common today. Together we must stand against bigotry and hatred in all their forms. And together, we can leave our children a world that is more just, more free, and more secure for all humankind.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 2016 YOM HASHOAH STATEMENT

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/04/statement-president-holocaust-remembrance-day

Today, on Yom HaShoah, we solemnly remember the six million Jews and the millions of others murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

On this day, we honor the memory of the millions of individuals – the mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, friends and neighbors – who lost their lives during a time of unparalleled depravity and inhumanity. We reaffirm our ongoing responsibility as citizens and as a nation to live out the admonition, “Never forget. Never again.” And we commit ourselves to preserving the memories of those who lived through the horrors of the Shoah, so that their experiences are not forgotten by our generation or by our children or grandchildren.

We also honor those who survived the Holocaust, many of them spared from death because of the righteous individuals who risked their lives to save Jews and other victims from Nazi persecution. The stories of these survivors and their protectors remind us to confront persecution wherever it arises, and that silence can be an accomplice to evil. They remind us of our duty to counter the rising tide of anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred that threaten the values we hold dear—pluralism, diversity, and the freedoms of religion and expression.

Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity with the Jewish community both at home and abroad. We stand with those who are leaving the European cities where they have lived for generations because they no longer feel safe, with the members of institutions that have been attacked because of their Jewish affiliations, and with the college students forced to confront swastikas appearing on their campuses. And we call upon all people of good will to be vigilant and vocal against every form of bigotry.

When we recognize our interconnectedness and the fundamental dignity and equality of every human being, we help to build a world that is more accepting, secure and free. This is the best way to honor the legacy we recognize on Yom HaShoah and to fulfill our responsibilities to repair our world from generation to generation.

 

Among previous dispatches on the Holocaust:

How one film revolutionized Holocaust commemoration

Who remembers Jan Zwartendijk?

Reporting Auschwitz, Then & Now: The lamentable record of The New York Times

The “Iranian Schindler” (& new report shows FDR deliberately let Jews die)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

French Jews nervous by ‘anti-Semitic far-left’ surge (& Can Trump deliver two state solution?)

April 23, 2017

CONTENTS

1. Confirmed: British government to reward murderer of British student
2. French Jews now feel caught between two extremes
3. Video: British PM Theresa May’s decision to call a snap UK election
4. “This is arguably the largest economic disruption in recorded human history. And our politics are not yet up to the challenge.”
5. Video: Trump & the Middle East: On Israel, Palestine, Syria, & Orwell’s “1984”
6. “Can Trump bring about a two state solution? Maybe so, with a real estate background”
7. “Terrorist accused of killing a British student will be paid £800 a month by the Palestinian government which receives £25m-a-year UK foreign aid” (The Mail on Sunday, April 23, 2017)
8. “Why a UK woman's murder in Israel should boil your blood and make you rethink foreign aid, Mrs May” (The Mail on Sunday, April 23, 2017)
9. “French Jews are worried about Le Pen. Now another presidential candidate scares them, too” (JTA, April 20, 2017)
10. “The challenge of our disruptive era” (By Ben Sasse, Wall St Journal, April 22, 2017)

 

CONFIRMED: BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO REWARD MURDERER OF BRITISH STUDENT

[Notes by Tom Gross]

I attach three articles below.

The first is from today’s Mail on Sunday in Britain. (It is the Sunday sister publication of the Daily Mail, whose website is the most widely read news website in the world). As predicted in my dispatch last week – see the third section titled “Hannah Bladon’s killer will now likely be rewarded with British aid money” – the Palestinian terrorist who murdered British student Hannah Bladon will now be paid £800 (over $1000) per month by the Palestinian government which receives £25m-a-year UK foreign aid

(The commissioning editor of this article and the senior editors at The Mail on Sunday are subscribers to this list.)

 

FRENCH JEWS NOW FEEL CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO EXTREMES

The second article below (from the left-leaning JTA) concerns the danger of a strong showing by the communist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon in today’s first round of French presidential elections. (I have already covered the dangers of the extreme right wing candidate in previous dispatches.)

France’s 500,000 Jews are particularly nervous, as Melenchon and those around him have lately been making as many anti-Semitic remarks as Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front party.

“I don’t see any significant difference between Melenchon and the National Front on many issues,” Joann Sfar, a well-known French-Jewish novelist and filmmaker who used to support communist causes, wrote last week. Both are “surrounded by Germanophobes, nationalists and France firsters.” Sfar’s post triggered a torrent of anti-Semitic statements about him on social networks.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, has also equated Melenchon with Le Pen. “They both traffic in hatred, and they are both a danger to democracy,” CRIF President Francis Kalifat said. Bernard-Henri Levy, the left-leaning French Jewish intellectual, also drew parallels between Le Pen and Melenchon, leading to an outburst of anti-Semitic attacks on BHL by Melenchon supporters.

 

VIDEO: BRITISH PM THERESA MAY’S DECISION TO CALL A SNAP UK ELECTION

Both candidates are a threat not only to France, but also to the stability and prosperity of Europe and the democratic west. I rarely use strong adjectives in interviews, but in this interview I gave earlier in the week on the decision by British prime minister Theresa May to call a snap election three years early, I refer to both the far-right and far-left candidates in France as “repellent”.

Video: “She inherited Brexit, but now will get her own mandate to possibly defy the hard right” (Tom Gross)



 

“THIS IS ARGUABLY THE LARGEST ECONOMIC DISRUPTION IN RECORDED HUMAN HISTORY. AND OUR POLITICS ARE NOT YET UP TO THE CHALLENGE”

The third article below, published in the Wall Street Journal, is adapted from a speech by Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska.

He writes: “I am a historian, and that usually means I’m a killjoy. When people say we’re at a unique moment in history, the historian’s job is to put things in perspective by pointing out that there is more continuity than discontinuity, that we are not special, that we think our moment is unique because we are narcissists and we’re at this moment. But what we are going through now – the past 20 or 30 years, and the next 20 or 30 years – really is historically unique. It is arguably the largest economic disruption in recorded human history. And our politics are not yet up to the challenge.”

He adds: “For one thing, we don’t have a national-security strategy for the age of cyberwarfare and jihad. Since the 1640s and the Treaty of Westphalia, we’ve had a view of geopolitics and national security that is about state actors. There are lots of state-actor problems out there, including Russia and China. But of the 200 or so countries in the world, only about two-thirds really control all their territory.”

 

VIDEO: TRUMP & THE MIDDLE EAST: ON ISRAEL, PALESTINE, SYRIA, & ORWELL’S “1984”

You may also wish to watch this interview with me about Donald Trump’s Middle East policies, which will be broadcast this evening on Hungarian TV. (One topic that I was not asked about was his policies on refugees. I would have been critical of him if I had been asked. As I would about Hungary's policies on refugees.)



 

“CAN TRUMP BRING ABOUT A TWO STATE SOLUTION? MAYBE SO, WITH A REAL ESTATE BACKGROUND”

There is a shorter extract from the interview here, specifically dealing with the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement:

“People in real estate are prepared to walk away from a deal, unlike diplomats like John Kerry who are overly desperate for a Nobel prize, and this may prove advantageous in negotiating a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.”



 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia


ARTICLES

TERRORIST ACCUSED OF KILLING BRITISH STUDENT WILL BE REWARDED

Terrorist accused of killing a British student will be paid £800 a month by the Palestinian government which receives £25m-a-year UK foreign aid
By Nick Craven
The Mail on Sunday
April 23, 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4436526/Terrorist-accused-killing-student-paid-80.html

A terrorist accused of murdering a British student in Jerusalem will be paid a salary of more than £800 a month by the Palestinian government – which receives more than £25 million a year from the UK in foreign aid.

Jamil Tamimi, who has a history of mental health issues, killed theology student Hannah Bladon in a frenzied knife attack on Good Friday after the 21-year-old gave up her seat on a tram to a woman with a baby.

The 57-year-old Palestinian told police that he attacked Hannah, a Birmingham University exchange student attached to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, in the hope that a soldier in the carriage would kill him.

Instead Tamimi was arrested and is almost certain to be lauded as a resistance ‘hero’ by the Palestinian Authority (PA), like hundreds of others before him.

An Israeli court has already ruled, following a psychiatric evaluation, that he is fit to stand trial and should be treated as a terrorist by the justice system.

It means Tamimi or his family qualify for a ‘salary’ from the PA, according to Itamar Marcus, spokesman for the Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch.

‘According to PA law, everyone who is imprisoned for ‘resisting the occupation’ receives a PA salary,’ he said. ‘In PA practice, 100 per cent of the suicide bombers, stabbers, shooters and car rammers have been included in this category and do receive PA salaries.’

Terrorists who have ‘resisted the occupation’ are paid a monthly amount by the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on a sliding scale related to their sentence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, tweeted his outrage, saying: ‘Not only didn’t PA president Abbas condemn Hannah Bladon’s murder, but he’ll reward the Palestinian attacker who did it with a monthly salary.’

Influential commentator Avi Mayer, a former spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces, added: ‘If you’re British and you pay taxes, know that your money is going to fund a body that rewards convicted murderers.’

British taxpayers give the PA £25 million a year from foreign aid for health and education.

The Mail on Sunday has repeatedly highlighted the way in which such funding has been abused, and the news comes as our poll shows a pledge to continue spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid will be a voter loser for the Tories. Last month, we exposed how terrorism was openly promoted to pupils at West Bank schools named after mass murderers and Islamist militants.

Last December, the Department for International Development announced that it would restrict its payments to the PA to health and education with a ‘vetted list’ of public servants. But critics point out that when British taxpayers’ cash goes to education and health, it frees up money in other budgets controlled by the PA.

DFID said: ‘UK financial support is only used to provide essential health and education services to Palestinians, as part of our efforts to help deliver peace and the two-state solution. We have extensive precautions in place to ensure that UK money does not support terror groups or organisations.’

***

See also from today’s Mail on Sunday: “Why a UK woman's murder in Israel should boil your blood and make you rethink foreign aid, Mrs May”

 

FRENCH JEWS ARE WORRIED ABOUT LE PEN. NOW ANOTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SCARES THEM, TOO

French Jews are worried about Le Pen. Now another presidential candidate scares them, too.
By Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA
April 20, 2017

http://www.jta.org/2017/04/20/ news-opinion/world/french- jews-are-worried-about-le-pen- now-another-presidential- candidate-scares-them-too

Even before the communist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon emerged as a serious contender for the presidency in France, the elections were shaping up to be a fateful moment for the country’s 500,000 Jews.

Many of them are deeply worried about the rise in the polls of Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front party, with its xenophobic policies and anti-Semitic roots. Some French Jews vowed to leave France should Le Pen win – she was leading the polls for weeks ahead of the first round of the elections on April 23 and the final one on May 7.

With the meteoric rise of Melenchon, an anti-Israel lawmaker with a record of statements deemed anti-Semitic, French Jews now feel caught in a vice between two extremes. Melenchon climbed to third place in the polls, with approximately 20 percent of the vote this month, from fifth with 9 percent in February.

“I don’t see any significant difference between Melenchon and the National Front on many issues,” Joann Sfar, a well-known French-Jewish novelist and filmmaker who used to support communist causes, wrote last week on Facebook. Both are “surrounded by Germanophobes, nationalists and France firsters.”

Sfar’s post triggered a torrent of anti-Semitic statements about him on social networks.

Le Pen, whose father, Jean-Marie – a Holocaust denier and inciter of racial hate against Jews who founded the party his daughter now leads – recently said France “was not responsible” for the murder of Jews whom French police helped round up for the Nazis. She has also vowed to ban kippahs and the right of French citizens to have an Israeli passport – prohibitions she said were necessary to enforce similar limitations on Muslims.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, has also equated Melenchon with Le Pen.

“They both traffic in hatred, and they are both a danger to democracy,” CRIF President Francis Kalifat told JTA last month, adding that his group shuns all contact with both politicians.

Melenchon, 65, a former Socialist deputy minister, was born to Spanish parents in what today is Morocco. He supports a blanket boycott of Israel. True to his populist oratory style, has said that allowing Israel to keep even some West Bank settlements “is like letting bank robbers keep the money.”

His fiery rhetoric in speeches and quick comebacks in recent television debates have helped the surge in Melenchon’s numbers following the establishment of his Unsubmissive France movement in February. So has his opposition to the increasingly unpopular European Union and to budget cuts designed to jump-start France’s stagnant economy. He is appealing to the poor with promises to increase welfare, promising the money will come from new markets that he seeks to open by improving relations with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and oil-rich socialist countries in South America.

These policies and his remarks have alienated many Jews, as did Melenchon’s assertion in 2013 that a Jewish Socialist politician, Pierre Moscovici, “thinks in international finances, not in French” – a statement critics said was anti-Semitic. (Melenchon denied the charge.) But it was only after a speech that Melenchon delivered in August 2014 that leaders of French Jewry flagged him as a public enemy.

Speaking in Grenoble less than a month after nine synagogues were attacked amid a wave of violent and unauthorized protests against Israel over its war with Hamas in Gaza that summer, Melenchon praised the protesters. He also condemned French Jews for expressing solidarity with Israel in a support rally in front of its embassy.

“I want to congratulate the youth of my country who mobilized in defense of the miserable victims of war crimes in Gaza,” Melenchon said in the speech at a general assembly of his Left Party. “They did so with model discipline when they were pushed to extremes on all sides. They knew how to remain dignified and embodied better than anyone the founding values of the French republic.”

Melenchon did not mention the synagogue attacks and the wave of anti-Semitic assaults that followed the protests. But he did go on to criticize thousands of French Jews over their support for Israel.

“If we have anything to condemn, then it is the actions of citizens who decided to rally in front of the embassy of a foreign country or serve its flag, weapon in hand,” he said.

Melenchon also said: “We do not believe that any people is superior to another” – a statement some of his critics took as an allusion to the Torah’s designation of Jews as the “chosen people.”

He also accused CRIF of attempting to label him an anti-Semite in order to discredit his criticism of Israel.

“We’ve had enough of CRIF,” Melenchon said, shouting. “France is the opposite of aggressive communities that lecture to the rest of country.”

Recalling these and other remarks, François Heilbronn, a well-known scholar of political science, recently wrote in an op-ed that he will vote neither for Le Pen, whom he called a successor of those who collaborated with the Nazis, “nor for those who encouraged the pogromists and anti-Semites” in 2014, referring to Melenchon. “Vote to keep out of power those two candidates of hatred for democrats, modernity and liberty.”

Bernard-Henri Levy, a left-leaning French Jewish intellectual, also drew parallels between Le Pen and Melenchon, whom Levy said “unfortunately often [has the same] anti-democratic radicalism, anti-Zionist, pro-Assad and pro-Putin attitudes” as Le Pen, he wrote Sunday on Twitter.

Levy has endorsed Emmanuel Macron, a centrist candidate and former banker at the prestigious Rothschild investment house. Macron is leading in the polls ahead of the first round with approximately 23 percent of the vote, slightly ahead of Le Pen. The Republican candidate Francois Fillon, whose campaign has suffered because of his recent indictment on corruption charges, and Melenchon are each drawing 18-20 percent in the polls.

Whoever wins the first round Sunday will run against the second-place candidate in the final round.

Surprisingly, it’s not just the Jews who are finding equivalence between Melenchon and Le Pen. The comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement against Jews, thinks the far-right and far-left politicians are both standing up against Jewish and outside influence.

“Some say it’s a faceoff between the real right and the real left,” Dieudonne said about Le Pen and Melenchon in a video he posted Tuesday and which has been viewed more than 160,000 times. “I say it’s the real France that will fight the France of Rothschild and of Qatar that finances terrorism and war in the world.”

Le Pen and Melenchon, he said, “are the candidates of peace.”

 

IT IS ARGUABLY THE LARGEST ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION IN RECORDED HISTORY. CAN OUR POLITICS ADAPT?

The Challenge of Our Disruptive Era
It is arguably the largest economic transformation in recorded history. Can our politics adapt?
By Ben Sasse
Wall Street Journal
April 22, 2017

I am a historian, and that usually means I’m a killjoy. When people say we’re at a unique moment in history, the historian’s job is to put things in perspective by pointing out that there is more continuity than discontinuity, that we are not special, that we think our moment is unique because we are narcissists and we’re at this moment. But what we are going through now – the past 20 or 30 years, and the next 20 or 30 years – really is historically unique. It is arguably the largest economic disruption in recorded human history. And our politics are not yet up to the challenge.

There have been four kinds of economies: hunter-gatherers, agriculture (settled agrarian farmers in their villages), industry (mass urbanization and immigration), and whatever we’re entering now. Sometimes we call it the information-technology economy, the knowledge economy, the service economy, the digital economy. Sociologists call it the “postindustrial” economy, which is another way of saying “we don’t have anything to call it.”

What it really means is that jobs are no longer permanent. It used to be that you did whatever your parents and grandparents had done. Hunter-gatherers and farmers never even thought about it. There was no such thing as job choice, only becoming 7 and 10 and 12 years old and taking on more responsibilities to earn your keep.

Industrialization brought a massive disruption. At the end of the Civil War, 86% of Americans still worked on the farm. By the end of World War II, 80 years later, 60% of Americans lived in cities. One of the most disruptive times in American history was the Progressive Era. And what was Progressivism? Not much more than the response of trying to remake society in an era of mass immigration, industrialization and rising cities. But it turned out not to be as disruptive as people feared, because once you got to the city, you got a new job, which you’d probably have until death or retirement. And the social capital that used to be in the village tended to be replicated in urban ethnic neighborhoods.

What’s happening now is wholly different. The rise of suburbia and exurbia, and the hollowing out of mediating institutions, is an echo of the changing nature of work. In the 1970s, it was common for a primary breadwinner to spend his career at one company, but now workers switch jobs and industries at a more rapid pace. We are entering an era in which we’re going to have to create a society of lifelong learners. We’re going to have to create a culture in which people in their 40s and 50s, who see their industry disintermediated and their jobs evaporate, get retrained and have the will and the chutzpah and the tools and the social network to get another job. Right now that doesn’t happen enough.

Think about qualitative survey data – polls that ask, “What are the top three or four things you’re worried about?” Ten years ago, nowhere on the top 10 of that list was anything about prescription drugs. Today opioids are a major concern. People are scared about drug abuse in largely middle-aged populations. That’s a symptom of the economic disruption.

I don’t mean to be exceedingly pessimistic. There are plenty of wonderful opportunities for American families and innovators in this new economy. For one thing, there are fewer middlemen complicating transactions instead of adding value. So we’re going to get a lot more visibility and transparency into product offerings, and consumers are going to get higher-quality and lower-cost stuff.

In other industries, we don’t know how to price for things that turn out to matter quite a lot. Think of the news media. We are going from a world in which we had too much central control by a few large organizations, to one in which everybody, everywhere can deluge us with information. What is likely to happen next is not a lot more higher-quality journalism. We’re going to have higher-volume journalism, and some of it will be good. A free, thriving, and independent press is critical to self-government, so this is a big challenge.

But people are also able to silo themselves into an echo chamber, where they hear only things that they already agree with. More conspiracy theories come to flower than ever before. You can see it on our college campuses, where students don’t want to encounter any new idea without a trigger warning. If you’re never going to encounter ideas that you didn’t already know and affirm, I don’t know why your parents are paying tuition, because education is all about wrestling with new ideas.

The political result is not just polarization, which is a big problem, but political disengagement. If you think that the biggest problem in America is the other political party and that your party has all the answers, if only you could vanquish the other team from the field, I’ve got a lot of people I’d like to introduce you to – because Washington doesn’t have very good answers right now.

With the magnitude of the challenges we face in this moment of disruption, it isn’t the case that one side is right and the other side is standing in the way, or that one side is enlightened and the other side is retrograde. It’s that we don’t have any of the right policy conversations. Most of the really big challenges of this moment are not easily reducible to core Republican or Democratic platform positions.

For one thing, we don’t have a national-security strategy for the age of cyberwarfare and jihad. Since the 1640s and the Treaty of Westphalia, we’ve had a view of geopolitics and national security that is about state actors. There are lots of state-actor problems out there, including Russia and China. But of the 200 or so countries in the world, only about two-thirds really control all their territory.

The rest are more like Afghanistan, Syria or Libya. There may be some entity that has more power than anyone else – think of the Taliban on the eve of 9/11. But we weren’t attacked by the Taliban; we were attacked by al Qaeda, which exploited the vacuums of ungoverned spaces in the territorial borders of Afghanistan. A lot of the dangers and the threats we face are from jihadi-motivated people who are going to self-radicalize in place and create their own terror networks.

We also lack seriousness about tackling the entitlement crisis. The Republican Party appears almost as indifferent as the Democrats to telling the truth about entitlements. People talk about the national debt, which is approaching $20 trillion. But that’s just the total of intergovernmental transfers and publicly held bond debt. The number that matters is the unfunded obligations of the U.S. government, including future Social Security and Medicare payments. It’s more like $65 trillion to $75 trillion.

And what about the policy implications of the economic disruption? The cultural, societal, familial and social-network responses to a world of lifelong learning and job disruption are far more important. But there are many potential policy responses in education and job retraining. Are any of these conversations on our national agenda right now?

What will the American idea look like when we get to this new, disrupted world of the digital economy? What will entrepreneurship look like? What will cultural pluralism and a robust defense of the First Amendment look like? What will it mean to be able to say that the meaning of America is still centered in institutions that look like the Rotary Club – where people actually live, where they know and love their neighbors, and where they actually want to do good, not just wear tribal labels about some distant fight in Washington that isn’t anywhere near up to the task of the moment we face?

That’s the challenge before us, and here’s the good news: Throughout our history Americans have been optimists, ready to seize the day. Let’s get to work.

(Mr. Sasse, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Nebraska. This is adapted form a speech he delivered to Colorado’s Steamboat Institute.)

Rare respect in the UK for the victim of a Palestinian terror attack

April 18, 2017

There is another dispatch today which you can read here:

The “activist” who organized a seafood restaurant attack and the murder of girls at a bat mitzvah; and Israel slams the New York Times for carrying out a “journalistic terror attack”.

 

 

RARE RESPECT IN THE UK FOR THE VICTIM OF A PALESTINIAN TERROR ATTACK

[Note by Tom Gross]

Players for the English lower league soccer club Derby County bow their heads (above) during a minute’s silence before the start of yesterday evening’s game against Huddersfield Town, in memory of Hannah Bladon, who was murdered in the Jerusalem terror attack on Good Friday.

Bladon, 20, was a keen Derby County supporter who was studying for a semester at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Thousands of fans from both Derby and Huddersfield (photo below) stood in respect, while players from each team bowed their heads and linked their arms.

Such expressions of sympathy for the victim of an act of Palestinian terrorism are rare in Europe, and many English soccer fans are notorious for their anti-Semitic chants about sending Jews to gas chambers. (Bladon was not Jewish.)

 

 

“EXCEPT WHERE JEWS ARE THE INTENDED VICTIMS”

The BBC, although freely using the term “terrorism” to describe other terror attacks last week, for example, on the St Petersburg metro, on a Stockholm street, and in a Cairo church, refused to use the term “terrorism” in relation to Friday’s Palestinian attack on Jerusalem’s light railway, in which a pregnant Israeli woman was among the injured.

It is now standard practice for the BBC to use the term terrorism when terror attacks are committed around the world except when Jews are the intended victims. (I have written about this previously. See for example The BBC discovers ‘terrorism,’ briefly. Suicide bombing seems different when closer to home .

 

 

HANNAH BLADON’S KILLER WILL NOW LIKELY BE REWARDED WITH BRITISH AID MONEY

Bladon (above), from the town of Burton-on-Trent in Derbyshire, was stabbed to death by a Jerusalem resident and fellow railway passenger Jamil Tamimi, who comes from a well-known family of Palestinian extremists, other members of whom have in the past also carried out terror attacks on Israeli civilians.

Israeli media reported that Bladon was standing near the terrorist on the train because she had given up her seat to enable a woman who was holding a baby to sit down.

In a statement Bladon’s parents said she “was the most caring, sensitive and compassionate daughter you could ever wish for.”

The BBC has made much of the fact that the terrorist was psychologically disturbed, as if many other terrorists aren’t and that in some way excuses the politically-motivated context for his act – that in an atmosphere of near daily incitement in the official Palestinian media calling on persons to carry out acts of terror against Jews, he travelled across town to a Jewish neighborhood in order to kill people there.

Ironically, Bladon’s killer may now be rewarded courtesy of the British taxpayer. Palestinian terrorists and their families receive hefty rewards for their acts of terror from the Palestinian Authority -- using siphoned off British aid money.

At least Hananh’s death was covered in the British media. When I interviewed the mother of Rachel Thaler, a British Jewish girl aged 16 who was murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber in an Israeli shopping mall, three and a half years after her murder her mother Ginette Thaler told me “Not a single British journalist has ever interviewed me or mentioned Rachel’s death.”

I wrote about Rachel Thaler in the article The Forgotten Rachels , for the weekly magazine The Spectator in 2005, but since then she has still not been mentioned in any other mainstream British publication. (The Spectator also published the piece online under their heading “Dead Jews aren’t news -- even if they are British”.)

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

The “activist” who organized a restaurant attack and the murder of girls at a bat mitzvah

There is another dispatch today which you can read here:

Rare respect in the UK for the victim of a Palestinian terror attack; and Hannah Bladon’s killer will now likely be rewarded with British aid money.

 

 

ISRAEL SLAMS THE NY TIMES FOR CARRYING OUT A “JOURNALISTIC TERROR ATTACK”

[Note by Tom Gross]

Following outrage across the Israeli political spectrum, the New York Times has been forced to add the caption (image above) to its widely promoted op-ed on Sunday by convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.

Although Barghouti was convicted on just three counts -- of the murder of three Israeli civilians (and wounding of 31 others) in an attack on a Tel Aviv seafood restaurant, of the murder of one Israeli civilian in a terrorist attack on a gas station, and of the murder of a Greek orthodox monk (who was shot dead after being mistaken for an orthodox Jew) -- he was (as I know from my time reporting on Barghouti’s terrorism while I was a Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News) also responsible for orchestrating the murder of dozens of other civilians, in a series of acts from which he has expressed no remorse. Not that you would know this from the New York Times’ coverage.

Among his other terrorism, Barghouti also ordered the January 17, 2002 shooting attack of a bat mitzvah celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera, in which six Israelis were killed and 26 injured, including many children. And the shooting spree the following week on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, in which two Israelis were killed, and 37 wounded.

 

THE “ACTIVIST” WHO ORGANIZED A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT ATTACK

Meanwhile, in its headline today, The Times of London describes convicted terrorist Barghouti as an “activist” while downplaying his terrorist activities.

In an article for the Times of Israel, Israeli center-left opposition leader Yair Lapid said of the New York Times:

“Barghouti doesn’t only believe in violence, he also believes that it’s permissible to lie. He believes in the approach, which typifies terror organizations, that the West is weak and naïve and so our media and good intentions should be cynically abused to attack us from within.

“The attempt by the New York Times ‘to be balanced’ amuses Barghouti. He understands that this sacred attempt at balance creates equal standing between murderer and murdered, terrorist and victim, lie and truth…

“The reality is that a convicted terrorist is inventing stories about those who imprison him, as prisoners do all over the world, including in the United States.

“Instead of saying to him – as a responsible newspaper should – that if he doesn’t have a shred of evidence to support his stories then they can’t be published, the New York Times published them in its opinion pages and didn’t even bother to explain to its readers that the author is a convicted murderer of the worst kind.”

 

“EXCITED TO READ UPCOMING OP-EDS BY FAMED DOCTORS ASSAD AND ZAWAHIRI”

“Shame on NYT for printing libelous op-ed by convicted killer Barghouti, the Palestinian Dylann Roof,” added former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

Oren called the New York Times piece a “journalistic terror attack.” He said that Israel should consider action against the New York Times for publishing something “full of lies,” especially if it turns out the paper helped Barghouti smuggle his article out of prison.

Israeli government spokesperson David Keyes tweeted:

NYT omits “convicted mass murderer” from Barghouti byline. Excited to read upcoming op-eds by famed doctors Assad and Zawahiri.

 

DECADES OF MISLEADING READERS

The New York Times has for decades frequently been dishonest in its reporting of Israel presumably with the aim of denigrating the Jewish state and excusing the murder of its citizens, just as the paper did in the 1940s when it ignored the Holocaust while other less prominent papers reported on it.

-- Tom Gross

 

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Enforcing Obama’s red line (& The media has long covered up for Assad)

April 07, 2017

The Kerrys and the Assads dining in happier times. Kerry’s staffers described “their collective cringe when, after a motorcycle ride with Assad, he returned to Washington referring to Bashar as ‘my dear friend.’”

 

* “So when Bashar Assad undemocratically took power, North Korean-style, after his father died, I was forced by my editor (against my protests, because I saw no evidence of this) to give the impression that Assad would likely be a reformer. Assad was described in the Telegraph as “mild-mannered,” a “modernizer” and so on.

* Today there is much discussion about the concept of “fake news.” But fake news is usually easy to spot and is taken seriously only on the fringes of the Internet. It is distorted news by respectable and supposedly reliable media that is of more concern, and that has led to much bad policy-making by officials over the years.

 

“SOMEONE HAD TO ENFORCE OBAMA’S RED LINE”

I attach a piece of mine below. I also gave a short interview this morning, which you can see here:



 

THE MEDIA HAS LONG COVERED UP FOR ASSAD

The Media Has Long Covered Up for Assad
He was called a “modernizer” and “reformer” even as his people were tortured and disappeared.

By Tom Gross
The Weekly Standard
April 7, 2017

http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-media-has-long-covered-up-for-assad/article/2007582

With President Donald Trump having ordered pinpoint attacks on President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons infrastructure overnight, finally someone is enforcing President Obama’s 2013 red line and possibly reversing the course of decades of Western appeasement of the regime of Bashar Assad — and before him of his father Hafez Assad. Neither Assad has ever shown any signs of moderation. But that’s not the impression one might have formed from listening to many Western media and politicians.

When Bashar Assad assumed power in June 2000, I was the Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph, one of Britain’s biggest papers. The Telegraph, being a fair-minded paper, wasn’t in the habit of praising Third World dictators while relentlessly bashing Israel, as did some left-leaning media in the U.K. (and elsewhere), such as the Guardian and BBC — more so than they do today. (They have been less enamored of Arab despots since the 2011 Arab spring.)

Nevertheless, I found that even at the Telegraph, the force of fashion, and the eagerness by some (though by no means all) staff to try and impress left-wing colleagues at other papers (perhaps fearing that they may at any moment have to look for a job elsewhere, given the fast changes in the media that the internet had wrought), was such that they often followed the prevailing group think, however one-sided it might be.

So when Bashar Assad undemocratically took power, North Korean-style, after his father died, I was forced by my editor (against my protests, because I saw no evidence of this) to give the impression that Assad would likely be a reformer. Assad was described in the Telegraph as “mild-mannered,” a “modernizer” and so on.

I was also sometimes asked to describe the equally murderous Yasser Arafat as “moderate.” On one occasion, when I questioned my editor about inaccuracies that had been introduced by him into one of my published articles, he told me that “The Guardian, Independent and Times [of London] were saying Arafat wasn’t responsible.” In fact, the evidence showed both at the time and by the admission of Arafat’s own wife Suha later, that these other papers had got it wrong.

Unfortunately, Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on children in Syria this week came as no surprise. Nor did the Syrian air force’s further bombing with chemical weapons of the hospital to which survivors of the initial attack were evacuated. Nor did his use of chemical agents in a suburb of Damascus in 2013 that killed 1,400 of his own citizens, a majority of them women and children. Nor did Assad’s continued smaller-scale use of nerve agents on multiple occasions before and after 2013, which have been reported only as a footnote by many mainstream media.

Even Tuesday morning’s larger scale gas attack was completely ignored on Wednesday in the globally circulated International edition of the New York Times, while it was thoroughly covered many hours earlier in other major newspapers with global editions. A day after news broke of the attack, BBC World Service Radio was still referring to the “alleged” use of gases or chemicals even though AP, AFP, and other media had already provided incontrovertible photo and video footage 18 hours earlier.

In truth, Bashar Assad has never shown any signs of moderation.

Take for example, a 2009 State Department report written two years before the present Syrian war began. It describes the methods of torture inflicted on the inmates of Syria’s prisons (many of them democracy activists): “electrical shocks; pulling out fingernails; burning genitalia; forcing objects into the rectum; beating, sometimes while the victim was suspended from the ceiling; other times on the soles of the feet.”

The report speaks of “arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life” and “enforced disappearances” and the vanishing of “an estimated 17,000 persons.”

And yet in April 2011, a day after at least another 10 Syrian civilians were killed by plainclothes snipers perched on rooftops and other Syrian civilians were beaten to death by regime security forces in two mosques, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again described Assad as a “reformer.”

Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, was even worse. It is no accident that Kerry, who along with Barack Obama bears partial responsibility for the mess that is Syria, was known during his tenure as senator (and at the time he was 2004 Democratic Party presidential candidate), as “Assad’s man in Washington.”

Between 2009 and 2011, Kerry traveled to Syria repeatedly and met with Assad five times. In March 2011, even after the first secular Syrian students had been shot as they called for free elections, Kerry said Assad was “a man of his word” who was “very generous.”

The former U.S. government official Michael Rubin, writing in Commentary magazine in 2012, said that Kerry’s staffers described “their collective cringe when, after a motorcycle ride with Bashar al-Assad, he returned to Washington referring to Bashar as ‘my dear friend.’ ”

Assad was welcomed to London where he met Tony Blair and the queen. And I recall a large luncheon in 2008 where the keynote speaker was William Hague, soon to be British foreign secretary. “The good news,” gushed Hague “is that I have just returned from a trip to Damascus and had very fruitful discussions with President Assad who graciously showed me around.”

“Did he show you his nuclear sites?” murmured British writer Douglas Murray, whom I was sitting next to, in response to Hague’s gush. (Israel had destroyed Assad’s clandestine nuclear weapons program a few months earlier, much to the anger of many in the West.)

Even after the present war started, and Assad was slaughtering thousands of his own citizens, he continued to receive positive pieces, such as this puff piece about him and his wife titled “A Rose in the Desert” published by Vogue in 2012 for the benefit of the magazine’s 11.7 million readers.

“Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic--the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” Vogue informed us, adding (without a hint of irony), that her husband, was elected president in 2000 with 97 percent of the vote.

There has never been any indication that Bashar Assad would be anything other than the merciless dictator that he is now. Just as there has never been any indication that Assad’s principle backer and the funder of his war crimes, Iran’s president Rouhani, is a “moderate” despite repeatedly being described as such by the BBC, New York Times, and other media. (The number of executions in Iran has increased under Rouhani, and there is no sign that the regime has given up its nuclear weapons ambitions any more than Assad gave up his chemical weapons.)

Today there is much discussion about the concept of “fake news.” But fake news is usually easy to spot and is taken seriously only on the fringes of the Internet. It is distorted news by respectable and supposedly reliable media that is of more concern, and that has led to much bad policy-making by officials over the years.

(Tom Gross is a journalist and international affairs commentator specializing in the Middle East)

 

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Incitement to murder Israelis displayed with Booking.com and supermarket bakery ads

April 02, 2017

Below, I attach two images, exclusive to this website. There is also another dispatch today which can be read here.

-- Tom Gross

 

“YOUR AD CAN APPEAR HERE”

*

The orange box in the upper right corner advertises the possibilities of a Google Ad, with the words (to add insult to injury, in Hebrew): “Your ad can appear here”, while the box superimposed on the stabbing of a Zionist (Jew) image carries the phrase “The best ideas occur outside the office.”


 

SUPERMARKET BAKERY

*

Booking.com in the upper right corner finds itself advertising trips to Brussels next to a demonstration of how to kill an Israeli. The super-imposed box is an ad (again in Hebrew) for a company called Foodalicious, which offers to “prepare the perfect dessert for you”: a nut tart available in the bakery section at Israel’s Super Sol supermarket chain.

 

FINALLY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DISCUSSES TERROR ADS ON FACEBOOK

[Note by Tom Gross]

I have written several times over the years on the role of social media and Google in colluding with terrorists. Recently the wider media has begun writing about this, for example in Ireland and Australia.

On March 17, the Times of London reported that a taxpayer-funded British government agency was unwittingly funding extremists through advertising on a video platform.

Its investigation revealed rape apologists, anti-Semites and banned hate preachers were getting money from the ads through the YouTube revenue sharing model.

According to the Times of London, a YouTube poster typically receives $7.60 for every 1,000 views of an advert displayed with one of their videos.

AT&T, Lyft, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline, Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford and others have pulled their ads from YouTube as a result, knocking 4% off the company’s value in a single week.

 

TWITTER PROMOTES A TERRORIST WITH SELFIE IMAGE

On Saturday afternoon (April 1) a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist stabbed and injured three Israeli Jews (aged 18, 20, and in his early 20s) in the old city of Jerusalem before being shot dead by Israeli police as he attempted to kill more Israeli civilians. It was the second such attack in a week, egged on by almost nonstop incitement in the media of the Palestinian Authority, which is western-funded.

Before Saturday’s attack, the terrorist (from Nablus) posed for selfies (above) at the Dome of the Rock and shared them on twitter, encouraging others to kill infidels on behalf of Allah.

Twitter still has that photo up here. (Update: the text has now been changed on the twitter account.)

 

FATAH CALLS FOR MORE MURDER

The Palestinian Authority’s Fatah’s student movement has announced in official Palestinian media that April 17 will be a day of terror for Israelis both within the pre- and post-1967 borders.

The Fatah announcement reads: “Let us turn April 17, 2017 into a fire that will burn the occupiers and burn the land like an inferno… Remember the Wadi Al-Haramiya operation [i.e. the terror attack in March 2002 which ten persons were murdered], the Ein Arik operation [the terror attack in February 2002 in which six people were murdered], and the hundreds of heroic operations that were carried out by Fatah members and the fighters of our people.”

This statement appeared on the official Fatah Facebook page on March 29, 2017, and remains up as I write.

 

THE EUROPEAN ROLE

After last month’s terror attack near the House of Commons in London, in which 4 people were killed, Amber Rudd, the British Home Secretary (interior minister), said:

“Each attack confirms again the role that the Internet is playing in serving as a conduit, inciting and inspiring violence, and spreading extremist ideologue of all kinds.”

And yet the British (as well as other western governments) continue to help pay for exactly this kind of incitement on the web pages of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

Several British MPs, including senior members of the cabinet, subscribe to this list, as well as various American, Canadian and European politicians and diplomats, and I would again suggest that they might wish to review their policy.

 

There is also another dispatch today, which can be read here:

Yet more incitement to kill Jews at a “moderate” American-partnered university

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia

Yet more calls to kill Jews at a “moderate” American-partnered university

There is also another dispatch today, which can be read here:

Incitement to murder Israelis displayed with Booking.com and supermarket bakery ads

 

 

 

YET ANOTHER MILITANT RALLY AT A “MODERATE” AMERICAN-PARTNERED UNIVERSITY

[Note by Tom Gross]

As part of my series of (English-language) exclusive photos from Al-Quds University, here are photos of a new “martyrs rally” held (with permission of the university authorities during class time) by the student faction of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) last week, on the morning of March 29.

The rally was held just steps from Bard College building on the Al-Quds campus. The joint al-Quds/Bard program receives a generous grant from George Soros.

Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem, founded in 1984, has been much touted for its supposed “moderation” by the New York Times and other liberal media.

Following previous photos on this list of fascistic style student rallies (some organized by Fatah, others by Hamas and Islamic Jihad), Brandeis University (which also shared a joint program with Al-Quds) suspended its program with Al-Quds. The then president of Brandeis is a subscriber to this email list, as are two of the university trustees.

 

Among previous dispatches and photos on Al-Quds, please see:

* Postscript: Murder (October 4, 2015)

See the note in this dispatch: Students honor a murderer / An email to Bard (October 10, 2015)

 

* Scenes yesterday afternoon from a “moderate” Palestinian university

* Al-Quds: Fascist-style rally by our students last Tuesday was “totally unacceptable”

* Update: Al-Quds photos receive attention from Netanyahu through to Al Jazeera

* Brandeis suspends partnership with Al-Quds after (they appear to defend) Fascist-style rally

* Finally, the New York Times covers official Palestinian Authority praise for Hitler

 

There is also another dispatch today, which can be read here:

Incitement to murder Israelis displayed with Booking.com and supermarket bakery ads

 

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“We call it diplomacy, minister” (and what would Churchill and Thatcher think?)

April 01, 2017

Above, Margaret Thatcher campaigning for Britain to join the European Union.

 

This is another dispatch on Brexit (one of an occasional series of dispatches not concerning the Middle East).

 

A VISIT TO THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

[Note by Tom Gross]

On Wednesday Britain invoked Article 50 and formally started the process to leave the European Union. I was in Washington DC for a conference at which I debated Michael Gove, the former British Education and Justice minister and a lead proponent of Brexit, about the future of Europe.

***

Afterwards I took time off to visit the Holocaust museum – a reminder of what happened before Europe was united.

The photos below are on display at the museum: they are of U.S. generals Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, and Eddy standing over the burned bodies of prisoners at the Ohrdruf death camp (a subcamp of Buchenwald), after its liberation by U.S. troops on April 12, 1945.



***

Three days later Eisenhower issued a statement: “The things I saw beggar description… The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were overpowering… I made the visit deliberately in order to give first-hand of evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda’.”

I am not suggesting that Brexit may set in motion a train of events that might lead to war. But I am concerned that it will weaken European unity and help the rise of nationalist and extreme-right wing parties, which would in turn likely lead to an unstable future for Europe and the West (which is why Russia’s President Putin has been cheering Brexit and promoting the French National Front ahead of next month’s French elections).

It is also worth recalling that Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, the conservative Winston Churchill, was the first British prime minister to suggest the idea of the EU in the first place.

In his famous Zurich speech of 1946, Churchill said, “We must build a kind of United States of Europe. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important… If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can.”

He repeated these ideas many times. For example, at London’s Albert Hall, in May 1947, Churchill spoke as Chairman and Founder of he United Europe Movement to “present the idea of a United Europe in which our country will play a decisive part.”

 

PUNISHING BRITAIN?

Here is a short TV interview with me a few minutes after Article 50 was invoked:


 

This is among the TV interviews I gave on Brexit a few days before the vote last year (June 16, 2016):



 

COMEDY: “WE CALL IT DIPLOMACY MINISTER”

Some would say that this three decade-old clip, lasting under 2 minutes, from the classic BBC comedy show “Yes, Minister,” tells us all we need to know about Brexit.



***


 

SPANISH POLITICIAN: “SELFISH BREXIT”

Spanish politician Esteban González Pons has passionate words on the future of Europe: “Brexit is one of the most selfish decisions ever made.”

Video here.

 

HESELTINE: “THE BIGGEST SACRIFICE OF BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY THAT I CAN REMEMBER”

Here are two more interviews by one of Margaret Thatcher’s former senior ministers, Lord Michael Heseltine, speaking out against Brexit.

On Channel 4. (Or here.)

On BBC 2

 

BRITAIN’S “LUNATIC REFERENDUM FORMULA ISN’T DEMOCRACY”

Among previous dispatches on Brexit:

* “After Brexit, Britain suddenly becomes European”

* Harvard Professor: Britain’s “lunatic referendum formula isn’t democracy”

 


 

A MOVING AND IMPRESSIVE MUSEUM

Incidentally, I also visited Washington DC’s newly opened National Museum of African-American History and Culture. The museum spans three stories underground (starting with the story of slavery at the hands of the Portuguese, Spanish, British, French and Dutch, through to the civil rights movement), to four stories overground, charting the considerable achievements of African-Americans today.

The church, merchants, families and individuals all benefitted from the slave trade. Only a small minority of slaves were taken to the U.S. – most went to south and central America, and one only hopes that those countries, as well as the European nations responsible for this crime, will one day institute museums as moving and impressive as this one in America.

 

* You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia