The bad news for both countries is overwhelming and it might be easier to just look the other way, but that kind of head-in-the-sand approach can only portend greater calamities down the line. We know from history that we must respond or be swept away by the gathering storm.
The year 5770 demonstrated just how resilient anti-Semitism is. If we took only a small sampling of the events from the closing days of this past year we would see events in every nook and cranny of the world that remind us of the environment of the 1930s.
For example, the European Union’s trade chief and former Belgian foreign minister Karel De Gucht spoke disparagingly about the influence of Jewish power in the United States and about the inability to have a rational discussion on the Middle East situation even with the most “moderate Jew.”
Dr. De Gucht’s unfortunate comments followed quickly on the heels of comments made by a board member of the German central bank about “Jewish genes” - an echo from pre-Hitler Germany.
And who would expect the rapid growth of neo Nazis admirers of Hitler in, of all places, Mongolia. What a strange and unexpected picture to see black shirted, swastika wearing Mongolians with outstretched arms yelling “sieg heil” in the streets of Ulan Bator.
And stranger still is the bombing of the synagogue during Rosh Hashana in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Did anyone even imagine there were still Jews there?
And back home in the US, we witnessed raw anti-Semitism on the front pages of Time magazine where a recent cover featured a Jewish star composed of daisies with a headline that read “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”
Iran crosses nuclear Rubicon
America and the free world suffered setbacks in Turkey with the final straw being the referendum to change the Turkish constitution. This put the last nail in the coffin of any legitimate opposition to the current Islamic regime. And, sadly, it was carried out to the misguided applause of the Obama Administration.
We leave Iraq in turmoil. At the end of the day we will see that all our efforts and all the innocent lives lost were for naught. We will not have a government in Iraq that is any friendlier to the US than the one we overthrew.
The war in Afghanistan is all but lost with Hamid Karzai desperately looking for an avenue of rapprochement with the Taliban as we declare our intention to leave winning nothing.
In Pakistan, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man who was initially vilified and arrested for selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya, is now lionized and has spoken openly and credibly about running for prime minister.
Both Somalia and Yemen are about to fall probably into the hands of pro al-Qaeda forces.
Iran has crossed the nuclear Rubicon with implications for not just the region but the whole world. And the US proposes sanctions that will be toothless as long as the Russians and the Chinese stand ready to fill in the financial vacuum.
And, as 5770 comes to a close, the Obama Administration is expected to seek Congressional approval for the largest arms sale ever, $60 billion to Saudi Arabia. It is just another example of this Administration’s trending away from the special relationship between Israel and the US.
As the year ends, the media frenzy builds around the mosque at Ground Zero. The charge is that the reason behind the objection to the building of the mosque is “Islamophobia,” as though there were no legitimate objections to the building of the mosque.
However, the very same media remains completely mute on one of the most important stories of the day. The story is that the retiring US Air Force chief intelligence officer who warned that the US has lost its air power superiority and is ill prepared to stop the Russians and the Chinese from closing the gap. A very serious problem from the man who should know and yet not an ounce of ink was expended on that report.
The storm is gathering and as things are unfolding we will be ill equipped to deal with it.
Tom Neumann, Executive Director, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
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