• Germany,  Israel,  The Right

    Vincent Harris, AfD and Netanyahu

    Would it surprise anyone that Vincent Harris, a Texas-based political consultant who helped the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) achieve 12 percent of the vote and 94 seats in the Bundestag in the recent German election, has also consulted for the campaigns of US Senator Ted Cruz, (briefly) Donald Trump– and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in Israel. It really shouldn’t. Christopher Hooks writes at The Texas Observer: Like a lot of the new right movements, the AfD is sometimes able to present a face of respectability, and it maintains a certain level of plausible deniability regarding its connection to neo-Nazi groups and their ilk in Germany. The party’s main…

  • antisemitism,  Germany

    Torching synagogue is ‘criticism of Israel’ not antisemitism

    This extraordinary verdict is receiving little mainstream (anglophone) news coverage outside Israel.  The earlier decision that a 2014 arson attack against a synagogue in Germany should not be deemed antisemitic was upheld by a regional court in Wuppertal. The local Wuppertal court panel said in its 2015 decision that the three men wanted to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel. The court deemed the attack not to be motivated by antisemitism. It is stated in the report that: Several days before the fire, a person sprayed “Free Palestine” on a wall of the synagogue. This shouldn’t be complicated.  It’s quite possible for an attack on a synagogue both…

  • Book Review,  Germany,  Israel

    Review: Undeclared Wars with Israel

    Guest post by Karl Pfeifer What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. There is a thing of which [someone] will say, “See this, it is new.” It has already been for ages, which were before us. [Nevertheless] there is no remembrance of former [generations], neither will the later ones that will be have any remembrance among those that will be afterwards. –Kohelet 1/9-11 Nothing new under the sun, King Solomon said about three thousand years ago. Those who fight for BDS, who make the apartheid analogy with Zionism, who accuse the Zionists…

  • Cuba,  Germany

    Germany’s past is Cuba’s present

    The dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, in Berlin, tells of her visits to the Jewish Museum and the Stasi Museum. Of the latter she writes: I enter their cells, the interrogation rooms. I come from the perspective of a Cuban who was detained in the same place, where a window looking outward becomes an unattainable dream. One cell was lined with rubber, the scratch marks of the prisoners can still be seen on its walls. But more sinister seeming to me are the offices where they ripped — or fabricated — a confession from the detainees. I know them, I’ve seen them. They are a copy of their counterpart in…