One wishes Barack Obama and John Kerry more luck in Ukraine and the Middle East than Neville Chamberlain had in Munich.

If it’s true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, then maybe we’re in luck. Many people in this unhappy year are reading histories of World War I, such as Margaret MacMillan’s “The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.” That long-ago catastrophe began 100 years ago this week. The revisiting of this dark history may be why so many people today are asking if our own world—tense or aflame in so many places—resembles 1914, or 1938.

Whatever the answer, it is the remembering of past mistakes that matters, if the point is to avoid the high price of re-making those mistakes. A less hopeful view, in an era whose history comes and goes like pixels, would be that Santayana understated the problem. Even remembering the past may not be enough to protect a world poorly led. To understate: Leading from behind has never ended well.

In a recent essay for the Journal, Margaret MacMillan summarized the after-effects of World War I. Two resonate now. Political extremism gained traction, because so many people lost confidence in the existing political order or in the abilities of its leadership. That bred the isolationism of the 1920s and ’30s. Isolationism was a refusal to see the whole world clearly. Self-interest, then and now, has its limits.

Which brings our new readings into the learning curves of history up to 1938. But not quite. First a revealing stop in the years just before Munich, when in 1935 Benito Mussolini’s Italy invaded Ethiopia.


Mute Them!

There is no “other side” and who is this Peter Beinart all of a sudden? I’ve heard his name mentioned as a meshimut, a Jew who hates his own flesh, and only when I saw him on CNN did I realize the extent of the illness. Sick boy. People like that are not merely perverse. They glory in their perversity.

He grew louder and more obnoxious as he kept rubbing it in against Israel. He even drowned out Alan Dershowitz.

Why is Dersh even on the same panel? Dersh is a supporter of Israel. He also supports a “two-state solution.” How’s that workin’ out for ya?

As I’ve said, Gaza IS the two-state solution and Hamas terror is the result. Remind me not to pick horses with you, Mr. Harvard professor.

Why am I even watching this? Well I am, but I am not listening.

Years ago I realized that the mute button is the greatest invention known to man. So I have muted every commercial since. I don’t know what’s buying or what’s selling….and these days everybody is selling Hamas. These are also commercials with the usual deceptions, only more so, because in selling cars or soap there is always some truth to the message.

For Hamas the fabrications are 100 percent. But the networks are buying. They insist on listening to the mumbo jumbo. Both sides, y’know.

I wonder if the same networks rushed to Berlin to hear what Joseph Goebbels had to say. Yes, give him equal time to illustrate the rightness of his kamph.


The reason John Kerry’s cease-fire proposal was so soundly rejected is because it did two very dangerous things. The first was that it would have tied Israel’s hands with regard to destroying the Hamas tunnels, the existence of which has had a deep psychological effect on Israeli society. (A good example comes from Israel’s Yediot Achronot newspaper, via Yaacov Lozowick, here: a front-page photo of a tunnel exit opening up into a child’s bedroom, with the tagline “Monsters do Exist.”) But the second is important as well.

Kerry had signaled that he was prepared to replace traditional interlocutors in the region–chiefly Egypt, though Cairo tends to speak for others who prefer to stay behind the scenes–with Qatar. This would be a monumental strategic error, one of the worst (of the many) the Obama administration has committed so far. The strange aspect of this indefensible mistake is that Qatar–a prime supporter of terrorists and of the region’s bad actors who subvert American interests at every chance–has nobody fooled except the Obama administration and its Democratic congressional allies.

Making the rounds the last couple of days has been this clip of Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said the following about Qatar and Hamas:

“[T]his has to be something where we try to have the two-state solution, that we have to support…(Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud) Abbas and his role as a leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians and what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization, maybe they could use their influence to–”

Crowley interrupted her to ask: “The U.S. thinks they’re a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?”

Pelosi responded: “Mmm hmm.”

Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again By Adam LeBor

The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014.

Thousands had gathered to demonstrate against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. But the protest soon turned violent – and against Jews in general. One of those trapped told Israeli television that the streets outside were “like an intifada”, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

Some of the trapped Jews fought their way out as the riot police dispersed the crowd. Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister, condemned the attack in “the strongest possible terms”, while Joel Mergei, a community leader, said he was “profoundly shocked and revolted”. The words had no effect. Two weeks later, 400 protesters attacked a synagogue and Jewish-owned businesses in Sarcelles, in the north of Paris, shouting “Death to the Jews”. Posters had even advertised the raid in advance, like the pogroms of Tsarist Russia.

France has suffered the worst violence, but anti-Semitism is spiking across Europe, fuelled by the war in Gaza. In Britain, the Community Security Trust (CST) says there were around 100 anti-Semitic incidents in July, double the usual number. The CST has issued a security alert for Jewish institutions. In Berlin a crowd of anti-Israel protesters had to be prevented from attacking a synagogue. In Liege, Belgium, a café owner put up a sign saying dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed.

Yet for many French and European Jews, the violence comes as no surprise. Seventy years after the Holocaust, from Amiens to Athens, the world’s oldest hatred flourishes anew. For some, opposition to Israeli policies is now a justification for open hatred of Jews – even though many Jews are strongly opposed to Israel’s rightward lurch, and support the establishment of a Palestinian state.

As Stephen Pollard, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, argues: “These people were not attacked because they were showing their support for the Israeli government. They were attacked because they were Jews, going about their daily business.”

One weekend in May seemed to epitomise the darkness. On May 24th a gunman pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and opened fire, killing four people. The next day the results of the elections to the European parliament showed a surge in support for extreme-right ­parties in France, Greece, Hungary and Germany. The National Front in France won the election, which many fear could be a precursor to eventually taking power in a national election.

Iran and Germany: A 100-Year Old Love Affair by Amir Taheri

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as “war criminals” because of Hitler.

Die Deutschen und der Iran. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer verhängnisvollen Freundschaft
(The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship)
By Matthias Küntzel
WJS Verlag. 352 pages, Hardcover.

As the 5+1 group ends another round of negotiations with Iran, commentators assume that the four Western powers involved — the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany — are united in their determination to curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions. However, in this fascinating book, German scholar Matthias Küntzel argues that Germany’s position on this issue may be closer to that of Russia rather than the United States — with Germany acting as “a shield for Iran against America,” as Germany’s former Foreign Minister Joshcka Fischer described his country.

Matthias Küntzel and his book, The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship.

The reason, according to Küntzel, is the “special relationship” that Iran and Germany have built since 1871, when Germany emerged as a nation-state. Two years after Germany was put on the map as a new country, Nassereddin Shah of Iran arrived in Berlin for a state visit of unprecedented pomp.

It is not hard to see why the two sides warmed up to each other. For over a century Iran had looked for a European power capable of counter-balancing the Russian and British empires that had nibbled at the edges of Iranian territory in pursuit of their colonial ambitions. In 1871, Germany looked like a good ally. As for Germans, they saw Iran as their sole potential ally in a Middle East dominated by Britain and Russia. The friendship was put to the test in the First World War, when Iran refused to join the anti-German axis and suffered as a consequence. With the advent of the Nazi regime, Küntzel shows, a new dimension was added to the Irano-German relationship: the myth of shared Aryan ancestry. In World War II Iran again declared its neutrality, but was invaded by Britain and Russia after refusing to sever relations with Germany.

Anti-Semitism is Rising Again in Britain – These Are The Words That Could Stop It Melanie Phillips

The mask has been torn away. Supposedly anti-Israel protests over the Gaza war have convulsed Europe in the worst scenes of open Jew-hatred since the 1930s. In Paris, predominantly Muslim mobs screaming ‘death to the Jews’ have repeatedly tried to storm synagogues, torched cars and burnt Jewish-owned shops to the ground. In Berlin, demonstrators shouted ‘Gas the Jews’ while an imam beseeched Allah to ‘count and kill Zionist Jews to the very last one’.

In Britain, physical and verbal attacks on Jews have doubled. One woman was assaulted by a group of 50 protestors who heard her discussing Gaza on her mobile phone. Shouting ‘get her’ they surrounded and pushed her, calling her a Jew, Zionist, murderer and thief.

People are aghast. Yet this lynch-mob mentality has been building for years. Every time Israel takes military action to prevent further Palestinian attacks, it is falsely presented as the aggressive persecutor of the innocent.

Unless British Jews join this demonisation, they are deemed complicit with Israel’s ‘war crimes’. As a result, attacks on British Jews always spike during Israel’s wars. So much for the supposed distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Robert Spencer on “The Unasked Question About Islam” — on The Glazov Gang

Robert Spencer on “The Unasked Question About Islam” — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of thirteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.

Robert joined the show to discuss The Unasked Question About Islam, analyzing the threat of Islamic Jihad and the West’s denial about it. He shed light on ISIS’s Islamic Inspirations, How Jihad Denial Enables Jihad, Why Jihadists are Welcome in the UK But Not Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, and much, much more.

Don’t miss it!



Recent events have propelled Christians United for Israel (CUFI) to the front row of pro-Israel organizations.

The group advertised last week’s Washington D.C. Summit, held July 21, as a more compact two-day program. Last year’s conclave offered a three-day affair. But if anyone thought the faith-based pro-Israel organization was becoming less relevant, they would think otherwise after attending the latest confab.

At the very moment when the Jewish State was under a crushing vise of global criticism for its involvement in Operation Protective Edge, CUFI (pronounced koo-PHI and not koo-FEE) roused its American heartland membership in loud, rollicking support of Israel. It did so in the pivotal capitol of Washington D.C. at a pivotal time.

Led by firebrand evangelist Pastor John Hagee, some 4,800 foot stomping, shofar-blowing Christian delegates traveled from across the nation and some from overseas to attend the non-stop cavalcade of podium grandiloquence, towering video effects, mesmerizing Israeli music, and special informational sessions. Part tent revival and part political salvo, CUFI’s Washington Summit is patterned after the mega-gatherings staged by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in the same hall. CUFI speakers brought clarity and context to its attendees in the midst of the latest fog of the latest Arab-Israeli war.

Indeed, at the very hour CUFI’s convention gaveled open, the Jewish State was fiercely fighting moment-to-moment terrorist threats scampering over the Gaza border fence, paddling in from the sea, streaking in from the sky, and tunneling beneath the ground. Moreover, Jerusalem was contending with a well-financed highly-politicized adverse humanitarian political machine supported by American tax-deductible 501(c)(3) donations. So every round of CUFI applause and utterance of support was considered a precious gesture to beleaguered Israelis who right now need a friend.

CUFI’s long A-List roster of speakers included media personalities deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens from The Wall Street Journal, Bill Kristol from The Weekly Standard, and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer from PBS. No fewer than five members of Congress attended.

Particularly on fire were two speakers: Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of President of Major Jewish Organizations and investigative reporter Erick Stakelbeck from Christian Broadcast Network. Both wowed the crowd with history, insight, and reason as Israel tried to justify its right to exist–free from terrorism robustly financed by Qatari money and others.


While Israelis are fighting and dying, families huddling in bomb shelters and soldiers going off to face death, the men and women in suits and power suits moving through the great halls of diplomacy are using them as pawns in a larger game.

During the Cold War, Israel was a pawn in a larger struggle between the US and the USSR. Now it is back to being a counter in a larger game.

Israel’s function within the great halls of diplomacy was always as a lever on the Arab states. It was not an end, but a means of moving them one way or another. When the Arab states drifted into the Soviet orbit, the “Special Relationship” was born. The relationship accomplished its goal once Egypt was pried out of the Soviet orbit. It has lingered on because of the emotional and cultural ties of Israel and the US.

Now Obama is using Israel as a lever to push Egypt back into the Islamist camp. Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood broke the Arab Spring. Political Islam, which seemed to be on the ascendance, is back to being a freak show represented by terrorists and Turkey’s mad mustachioed dictator.

Egypt was where Obama went to begin the Arab Spring. Egypt is still his target. Israel is just the lever.

The reason Israel was never allowed to truly win any wars was because it was being used as a lever. By being a “good lever” during the Cold War, it could damage Egypt enough that the latter would come to the negotiating table overseen by the US and move back into the Western sphere of influence.

Israel couldn’t be allowed to win a big enough victory because then there would nothing to negotiate. Likewise, Israel wouldn’t be allowed to keep what it won because then there would be no reason for Egypt to come to the negotiating table. Sometimes Israel would even be expected to lose, as in the Yom Kippur War, to force it to come to the negotiating table.

Swap Egypt for the PLO and that’s how the disastrous peace process happened. Then swap the PLO for Hamas and that is where we are now.

Obama’s initial support for Israel’s war on Hamas was only to the extent necessary to bring the terrorist group to the negotiating table. And then once Hamas comes to the negotiating table, the White House will back its demands against Israel in exchange for getting the Brotherhood on board with its agenda.



A Washington, DC conference exposes the desires by Muslims and non-Muslims alike for a Middle East with freedom of speech and religion that many would only describe as a fantasy

(Washington, DC) Millions of Muslims “are looking for a way out of their misery,” Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR) President Executive Director Ali Alyami stated at a July 17 Washington, DC, panel. Yet the Saudi dissent Alyami’s discussion with his fellow panelists of the modern Middle East only emphasized how difficult an escape from this misery for Muslims and non-Muslims alike would be.

“I am not an expert in any religion,” Alyami confessed during an event held ideologically incongruously at the leftwing Institute for Policy Studies. (IPS Fellow Phyllis Bennis, a supporter of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions or BDS against Israel, appeared in the adjacent kitchen during the panel.) But “Islam is not a faith; it is a way of life,” Alyami distinguished from other faiths, however comprehensive Christianity, for example, might have been in the past. “It is all God’s” in Islam in contrast to Jesus’ oft-cited separation between God and government (Caesar), Alyami elaborated.

“I like to think for myself,” Alyami stated in explaining how he personally drifted away from Islam’s encompassing embrace. Obedient to Islam’s daily schedule of five prayers beginning with a pre-dawn devotion, Alyami’s parents awakened him regularly at four a.m. Yet Alyami’s parents offered no good answer when asked why he could not pray to God according to a personal plan, an incident that led to lifelong questioning. Saudi Arabian religious authorities, he has condemned in a previous interview, “set themselves up as superior humans who must not only be worshiped, but fed by poverty-stricken people in the form of religious extortion: The Zakat system.”

Modern Muslims are emulating Alyami in unprecedented numbers, he argued, either calling for Islam’s enlightened reform or abandoning the faith altogether. Young Saudis, for example, spend more time viewing internet pornography than attending mosques. Accordingly, Alyami seeks dialogue with, not damnation of, violence-prone Muslims, even as he sometimes receives telephoned death threats. “You are being used as a tool,” he says to them, often prompting intellectual engagement. Although Muslim societies face a “bloody, long” revolution for freedom, Alyami remains optimistic of ultimate success. “The future will be bright for the Arabs” and others.

While discussing a decades-old “Saudi menace” supporting Islamic supremacism worldwide, though, Religious Freedom Coalition Chairman William J. Murray indicated significant barriers blocking a benign understanding of Islam. “No matter what good is done in the name of Islam, we always have the words of Muhammad to go back to,” words of Islam’s prophet whose import is often far from innocent. Evil done in Christianity’s name, by contrast, contradicts Jesus loving message. A moderate Muslim once claimed to Murray in Turkey that Islam has never had a reformer like Christianity’s Martin Luther. “Yes, you have had many,” Murray countered; “you have killed them all.” Muslims “almost need a Jesus Christ” who could fundamentally change Islam’s canons, rather than a reforming Luther, Murray argued.