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Europe Still Prefers Its Jews Dead and Quaint

Aug. 16 2017

Recent articles in Jewish and Israeli publications have noted the new fad of mock-Jewish weddings. Annika Hernroth-Rothstein comments:

Apparently, some villages in Poland are holding Jewish weddings without any Jews. These include a ḥuppah, people dressed up in “Jewish garb,” and a fiddler-on-the-roof-style atmosphere, and the participants mimic Jewish life in almost every aspect, apart from the pork-heavy menu. After reading up on this phenomenon, I learned that such events are taking place all over Europe, from Krakow to Seville, and that they are most common in countries that once had vibrant Jewish populations.

Having traveled some, of course I have encountered the vaguely anti-Semitic knickknacks sold on the streets of Poland, Hungary, and other East European countries, but I never knew of this intricate playacting. . . .

Living Jews, [meanwhile], are being turned away, persecuted, and driven out of Europe once again, and very little is being done to prevent this. In 50 or 100 years, the descendants of the people now holding the pitchforks will probably hold parties in our honor. They will wear clothes they know from pictures, perform rituals they learned from movies and songs, and desecrate the celebrations with foods we do not allow. They will call this a tribute, but I see it as absurd. . . .

The worst part of it all, the thing that really gets me, is that I think they prefer us that way. It seems they can only love and accept us when we are a memory, rather than a living people. After we are gone, they adopt our customs with teary-eyed nostalgia, and celebrate us. It is only after our death that they can embrace our traditions, because it is only then that they can do so on their terms.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Jewish World, Polish Jewry

The Trump Administration Has Said the Right Things about Syria, but Words Are Not Enough

Jan. 30 2018

While praising the White House for recognizing that Iran poses a major threat to American interests in Syria, Jennifer Cafarella argues that Washington still needs a strategy for countering the Islamic Republic and its allies:

The Trump White House identifies Iran as a primary threat. It has verbally committed to the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad. It claims to prioritize repairing relations with Turkey, seeks to destroy al-Qaeda, and wants to refocus the U.S. on Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe. These are the correct goals toward which American policy should strive. . . . The problem is that the strategy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined [in a January 17 speech] will not accomplish these goals. . . .

American policy in Syria, regardless of any tough administration statements, is to accept Assad and his regime de-facto. . . . The “de-escalation” agreement that President Trump signed in November 2017 with Russia is a surrender not only to Russia, but also to Iran. It heavily favors Assad. In that deal, Russia promised to compel Iran to withdraw its forces from southern Syria. It never happened. Pro-regime forces violate the de-escalation zone with impunity. . . .

Tillerson uses vague terms like “deny their dreams” to describe our strategy against Iran in Syria. He identifies no clear goal against which the U.S. can measure success. He states that the U.S. must deliver an “enduring defeat” to al-Qaeda—and we certainly must. Yet the U.S. Defense Department has offered no vision of how to do that. The strategy Tillerson outlines—and that the U.S. is pursuing—amounts to outsourcing the problem to Turkey, which is actually working with al-Qaeda in Syria. . . .

Two administrations have sought to substitute rhetoric for action and to outsource American interests to local partners. The U.S. must abandon this approach and recognize Syria’s importance to American security.

Read more at Fox News

More about: Al Qaeda, Donald Trump, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy