Jun 9, 2013 0
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at AIPAC
Mar 8, 2013 1
Getting Rich by Fighting for the Poor from the blog of Daniel Greenfield – Sultan Knish, 3//7/13
Chavez died with an estimated net worth of 2 billion dollars making him the 4th richest man in Venezuela and the 49th richest man in Latin America. For a while, Chavez weathered attacks from the media empire of Gustavo A. Cisneros, the richest man in Venezuela. Then before the 2004 election, their mutual friend Jimmy Carter brokered an agreement between them. Cisneros’ media stopped criticizing Chavez and both men bent to the task of getting even richer.
While the Bolivarian Spartacus lined his pockets with oil money, Venezuela’s middle-class was struggling to get by in a country where the private sector had imploded. Income increased on paper, but decreased in reality as inflation increases ate the difference. Around the same time that Comrade Hugo was launching the third phase of his Bolivarian Revolution, inflation had decreased household income 8.8 percent while consumer goods prices increased 27 percent.
On his deathbed, Hugo Chavez devalued his country’s currency for the fifth time by 32 percent, after tripling the deficit during his previous term when the national debt had increased by 90 percent. From 2008 to 2011, Chavez’s oil-rich government increased the debt by nearly 50 billion in a country of less than 30 million. That same year, The Economist speculated that Venezuela might go bankrupt.
Chavez had swollen the ranks of Venezuela’s public employees to 2.5 million in a country where the 15-64 population numbered only 18 million. With 1 public employee to every 7 working adults, the entire mess was subsidized by oil exports and debt. When the price of oil fell, only debt was left.
Those public employees became Chavez’s campaign staff with no choice but to vote for him or see their positions wiped out to keep the economy from crashing. And they won him one last election.
The dead tyrant leaves behind the lowest GDP growth rate and highest inflation rate in Latin America. He leaves behind an economy where more than half the population depends on government benefits or government jobs. He leaves behind a giant pile of debt for the people and 2 billion dollars in misappropriated oil money for his heirs.
A true liberal would never glorify a tyrant that pocketed billions while his people suffered. Yet tyrants like Chavez and Arafat were glorified by the very same people who would never have tolerated it had these greedy bastards been a US ally. Apparently it is OK to glorify a tyrant as long as they strongly express hatred for either the US or Israel.
Mar 6, 2013 0
NYT Letter to the editor from Michael Salberg of the ADL – Anti-Semitism in Hungary:
While a number of far-right parties in Europe run on xenophobic platforms, Jobbik is the only parliamentary party of a European Union member state that campaigns with openly anti-Semitic materials. Its elected officials have made anti-Semitic remarks in Parliament, including a blood libel just this month. The party’s presidential candidate, Krisztina Morvai, has referred to Israeli Jews as “lice-infested, dirty murderers.”
Jobbik’s rise in popularity over the last few years — with 17 percent of the population voting for Jobbik in 2010, up from 2 percent in 2006 — parallels a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population. An ADL opinion poll in February found that 63 percent of Hungarians agreed with three out of four anti-Semitic statements about Jews and money, Jewish disloyalty to the state, and Jews and the Holocaust.
Of the 10 European countries we polled for anti-Semitic sentiments, Hungary was by far the worst. By comparison, on the same scale measuring the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes, the Netherlands scored just 10 percent and France, 24 percent.
Opposition to Jobbik’s anti-Semitism and racism is perhaps the single issue on which the ruling Fidesz party and the opposition Socialist party agree. Mainstream political and civil society leaders must continue to speak out consistently and take action to encourage their fellow citizens to reject Jobbik’s bigotry.
Jobbik leader Marton Gyongyosi proposed to create a registry of Jewish Hungarian lawmakers and Cabinet members. He was soundly denounced by the Prime Minister and by thousands who protested the Jobbik proposal. While still a minority, at 17% of the vote the Jobbiks are a real threat and they still create a level of acceptance of anti-semitic rhetoric. It has become serious enough to create a wave of Jews that are leaving Hungary.
Mar 3, 2013 0
by Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe, 3/3/13
So what can explain the European reluctance to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and shut down its fundraising and logistical operations? As in Churchill’s day, cowardice and dishonor might have something to do with it.
“There’s the overall fear if we’re too noisy about this, Hezbollah might strike again,” Sylke Tempel, editor-in-chief of the German foreign affairs magazine Internationale Politik, said last month as the Bulgarian government was preparing its report on the Burgas bus bombing. “And it might not be Israeli tourists this time.”
The moral stench of that rationalization is almost as repellent as its stupidity. Yes, Hezbollah’s foremost targets are Jews and the Jewish state – it has always proclaimed the destruction of Israel as its goal – but have Europeans still not figured out that while Nazis and the Nazi-like start by killing Jews, they rarely end with them? After 30 years of Hezbollah butchery around the world, can Europe still imagine that pretending Hezbollah is mostly “benign” will keep them safe? That if they feed the crocodile enough, it won’t eat them just yet?
“The storm will not pass,” Churchill warned Europe’s appeasers. “It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely.” Trying to appease the unappeasable is always folly. Europeans were supposed to have learned that lesson from the Nazis. Must they learn it again from Hezbollah?