It’s 1932 again…

This week I am visiting Rome with my 7 year old daughter. Tonight at Giolitti’s I watched her giggle with delight as she scoured the menu and finally chose the challenge of a “Coupe Mondialle” ….an incredible edible ice-creamic concoction. A moment of pure delight…childhood memories made and snapped for posterity. Click.And in that moment, my mind flirted with images of another time, another Europe…and all the photographs that litter museums from Auschwitz to Yad Vashem. We have seen them. We have visited Dachau, wandered into Theresienstadt, watched Shoah, Life is Beautiful, Schindler’s List: they are deep-woven strands of our collective fabric.

And that’s when it hit me. It is 1932 again.

As was then, this is now. As they did before us, we carry on living, touched sometimes faintly other times more keenly by events near and far away. Old arguments, futile in hindsight, re-emerge:

Yes..they are fringe lunatics, they say terrible things, but that could never happen here. We are too civilised for that; this is 2014 for goodness sake.

Yet all around us the menace grows: the Nazis have returned.

Growing up, I suspect each of us thought about where we might have stood had we lived through Hitler’s Europe. Would have had the visceral courage of the Lochemai Hagetaot; would we stand and fight…or would we turn and say, keep your mouth shut, don’t rock the boat, you will only make trouble for everyone? Not that I judge anyone..the choices were intolerable.

We thought these choices were past. We thought we had reached a golden age of Judaism where our biggest issue was intermarriage. We were wrong. We are being propelled inexorably towards a conflict of messianic proportions.

As Islamic Militants compete in a murderous black Satanic Olympiad …endlessly striving to set ever more gruesome personal worsts; our global leaders do nothing but criticise Israel.

The failure of free governments to deal with Militant Islamic threats now, means the costs of addressing them tomorrow will be ever greater.

I am left feeling how utterly dumb we have been in disturbing well crafted power balances. Gadaffi and Hussein were undoubtedly evil. But maybe they were the price we paid to keep more horrific forces at bay? Better a vicious autocrat ruling through domestic fear, than a populist Jihadist terrorising theocracy willing and financing ambitions of a global caliphate.

There is a big space between democracy and liberal democracy….and Mill’s warnings of tyrannical majorities seems nowhere more relevant than the UN today. As dark clouds gather, we stand alone again. The evil genie of AntiSemitism released from the bottle once more.

I look daughter now grinning with unashamed pride: she has demolished her Ice cream. “Are we finished?” she asks me. It is a rather pertinent question. Now it’s our time to choose.

11 hrs · Magliana, Italy · Public

How legitimate is ‘Palestine’?? The answers to these questions reveal the Truth

The Japanese have some questions for ‘Palestine Supporters’…AND OH ARE THEY AWESOME

An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates By Yashiko Sagamori

If you are so sure that ” Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

  1. When was it founded and by whom?
  2. What were its borders?
  3. What was its capital?
  4. What were its major cities?
  5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
  6. What was its form of government?
  7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
  8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
  9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
  10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
  11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
  12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over — or thrown out of — the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.