January 27, 2015

Auschwitz - to visit is to defy the evil

As I watch scenes from Auschwitz on this 70th anniversary of its liberation, I remember my own visit 11 years ago for the memorable IAF flypast. 

It coincided with a bitter time in Israel when the Cafe Hillel bombing took the life of a young bride and her father the night before her wedding in Jerusalem. 

This is the memoir I wrote at the time for the American Jewish Press ....

FLIGHT OUT OF DENIAL



January 20, 2015

The Iconic Message to Liberal Appeasers of Evil

As America goes into yet another round of appeasement talks with Teheran, and its nuclear centrifuges spin inexorably towards the Islamic apocalypse, this message by an outstanding US president is as fresh today as it was 50 years ago when it was delivered.

 

"We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender. 

Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children ofIsrael to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits—not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. "







January 15, 2015

Hey YouGov: Why Am I Not Surprised ?


This week’s hot topic is the YouGov poll which found 45% of UK adults believing at least one anti-Semitic view presented to them was "definitely or probably true".

Why am I not surprised ?

London is after all the world headquarters of the Boycott-Israel movement, home to the Isra-phobic BBC and the place where academics and trade unionists love to indulge their ugly prejudices under the guise of caring for Palestinians more than any other genuinely oppressed group in the world’s darkest trouble spots.
As a British Jew who has lived and worked in the country for over 60 years, I’d like to respond to the half of the train carriage, bus queue or movie audience that quietly harbors such feelings about me and my people.

To the 25% who think we ‘chase money more than others’ I say that we also give away a heck of a lot more than those others. It’s well known that Jews have been consistently more charitable than any other ethnic group. Just take a drive through Manhattan and see how many scores of hospitals, colleges and institutions of science and the arts bear the names of their Jewish endowers. In Britain our Jewish benefactors prefer a lower profile with the majority of endowments not well known. But when HRH Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to her second child, it will be in the same hospital as her first; endowed by the Jewish philanthropist Charles Lindo.

To the 17% of my fellow citizens who think we have ‘too much power in the media’ I ask: Are you serious? When the Jewish state is consistently maligned by TV news reporters and pilloried in nearly every publication and when editors routinely throw our letters in the bin … that’s power we don’t need.
To the 11% who say we’re ‘not as honest as others’ in business, I guess a lot of that’s about Bernie Madoff. But then again every ethnic group has its rogues and derelicts.  We may have spawned history’s biggest Ponzi schemer but I know of no Jewish ax-murderers, child killers, bank robbers or serial rapists serving time in Britain’s prisons.

To the 13% who say we use the Holocaust to ‘get sympathy’ I say – sympathy for what? To get promotion somewhere? Or a better job? Did you ever see someone putting ‘Holocaust Survivor’ on their CV?
We want from the Holocaust just three things.


  • For people to respect our 6 million dead by not denying the meticulously documented facts and crimes whose perpetrators and abettors have long since acknowledged and admitted their guilt.
  • For the world to understand that this horrendous crime was carried out by  the most cultured and well-educated nation of that era, which the evil of  anti-Semitism was powerful enough to turn into the most vile beasts.
  • To remind all of you that we are the canary in the coalmine of civilization, so that what starts with the Jews ultimately brings the whole civilised world down with it.


To the 10% of you who would ‘be unhappy if a relative married a Jew’ I can only say, my rabbi will be delighted to hear that.

And finally, to the 20% who think that our support for Israel makes us less loyal to the UK, I can only speak for myself. I am the son of an Auschwitz survivor who was fortunate enough to come to Britain as a refugee. I have enduring gratitude to Britain for that and for the privilege of bringing up my own family in this peaceful and tolerant country. 

We the Jewish people bless Her Majesty the Queen and her royal family in our synagogues every Shabbat even though, after 6 decades of state visits to every sheikdom and tinpot dictatorship, the tiny democracy of Israel remains off the royal itinerary.

But, when I hear that nearly half of this country harbors such prejudices against my people and that the same survey found 54% of Jews seeing no future in the UK, I have no choice but to support Israel as a lifeline that never existed for the Jews of the Holocaust era.

So, as I see history inexorably set to repeat itself in Europe, I very much hope Britain will once again be able to stand firm and be in the forefront of repelling this ugly resurgence.



January 11, 2015

No - you are NOT Charlie !


Today’s mass rally in Paris is a spectacular event for the French people and guaranteed to leave them aglow and refreshed after a most traumatic week.

It’s also a useful PR boost for Francois Hollande who has probably been the most inept and farcical figure ever to have occupied the Elysee Palace. As for the other visiting dignitaries, the photo-ops won’t do Netanyahu any harm in his upcoming election and, as for the King and Queen of Jordan, Paris shopping will be a welcome distraction from ISIS forces knocking on their door back home.

Mahmoud Abbas is also making an appearance – doubtless in gratitude for Hollande’s support of his UN bid for PLO statehood. Welcoming such a man to this celebration of tolerance and harmony is like inviting the grim reaper to a shiva.

But beyond all these ulterior motives and the feelgood factor for the citizens of France, this will not change anything where it counts. The crowds will drift away and life will go on, down the slippery slope to dhimmitude.

As Paris gets back to its daily routine, some may realise that a great opportunity was missed. That France passed up the chance to send the best possible answer to those who seek to destroy the free Republic. A simple and collective act of courage we might reasonably have expected from journalists in the mainstream print media.

That each and every one of them should have printed the offending cartoon somewhere in their newspaper or magazine.

I am not talking front pages here. I am talking about announcing in advance that these would appear inside every Sunday newspaper so that French Muslims who felt they might be offended needn’t buy it.
Every non-assimilating citizen would clearly get the message that the host country reserves the right to such freedom of ex‎pression and that if this does not suit them, they may freely emigrate to the nearest Sharia state.

This would have sent the clearest message of solidarity with the slain journalists and entitled the French media to genuinely claim: “Je Suis Charlie”.  As things stand, they are far from being Charlie. In fact I’d bet Charlie’s departed souls would be grossly disappointed with what they have seen from their peers. Sheer collective cowardice.

It’s the same cowardice that infects the BBC and other news media who still can’t utter the term Islamist terrorist no matter how monstrous is the massacre or how barbaric is the beheading.

Had the French media demonstrated this purest of all solidarity with Charlie, they would have almost certainly been supported with print runs across the continent. Instead of being the first in line for dhimmitude France would have been the standard-bearer leading Europe back from this dark abyss.

So, L’ExpressLe Figaro and Le Monde you are most certainly not Charlie.

And tonight as you print lovely pictures of flag-waving citizens, know that you have let most of them down very badly.


January 08, 2015

Waving pencils in Paris

Stuck in a traffic jam the day after France’s 9-11, I listened to the LBC radio host trading arguments for over an hour with callers on the subject of free speech and the equivalence of Mohammed cartoons as against Holocaust denial and burning Remembrance Day poppies.

Why is it that every time a heinous crime is committed, we get into this hand-wringing analysis of what motivated the perpetrators and how we must be responsible for provoking such acts? This reflexive inquest into our own failings and culpability distracts us from the simple truth that gross evil has been done.

Wednesday’s slaughter in Paris was, deep down, no more about a Mohammed cartoon than the US embassy massacre in Benghazi was about a Mohammed video. In both cases the killers were incited by the same Islamist preachers of hate as inspired 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Mumbai and Bali.

The twin towers weren’t brought down because someone insulted a prophet. They were brought down as a symbol of Western culture that Islamists abhor and want to subdue and totally destroy. Cartoons and videos, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are just convenient excuses by which we are expected to blame ourselves.

The proper debate on talk shows should be about the stark choice such murderous events present to us. The simple and eternal choice between good and evil.

The chants of ordinary people in France and other world cities saying ‘We are all Charlie Hebdo’ will not carry much weight if they are the same people as were ‘All Hamas Now’ just a few months ago.

You have to be blind, deaf or a hopeless anti-Semite to deny that Hamas and Hezbullah are part of the same Jihadist death cult as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and whichever group incited this week’s massacre in Paris.

Instead of waving symbolic placards and cartoonist’s pencils, the good citizens of Europe should be calling on their leaders to take bold steps to seriously confront and subdue the Islamist enemy within.

Before it's too late.

Which it probably is anyway.



Add to Technorati Favorites Tweets by @ZalmiU