NEWS AND COMMENT

Tom Engelhardt

... By many measures the U.S. may remain the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the planet, but in recent years its ability to accomplish anything, no less achieve national or imperial success, has shrunk drastically. The power centers remain, but in some still-hard-to-grasp way, the power to accomplish anything seems to be draining from a country that was once the great can-do nation on the planet. On this, the record is both dismal and clear ... In all of this, in the rise of poverty and a minimum-wage economy, in a loss -- particularly for minorities ... What can be seen is the untracked rise of a Third World country inside a First World one, a powerless America inside the putative global superpower ...

Claudia Wallis - The New York Times

America loves to dream an impossible dream when it comes to education. We see our public schools as the bedrock of the equal-opportunity society we wish to be, the land where a poor boy in a log cabin — or a bungalow in Honolulu — can grow up to be president. And teachers are the angel-magicians who make it all happen. But throughout the history of American public education, this dream has bumped up against some harsh realities. Teachers are, by and large, poorly trained and ill equipped to flatten social, racial and ­economic barriers ... Almost every idea for reforming education over the past 25 years has been tried before — and failed to make a meaningful difference.

Jacob G. Hornberger

What better confirmation of the manifest failure of the philosophy of foreign interventionism than the renewed U.S. bombing of Iraq? Just think: All those hundreds of thousands of dead, maimed, detained, and tortured Iraqis, along with those who lost their homes, businesses, and savings. They were all bombed and shot by U.S. troops for nothing. All those Iraqis suffered and died for nothing. The same holds true, of course, for U.S. soldiers who died or came back maimed or all screwed up in the head. The ones who lost their lives died for nothing ... How can anyone still be an interventionist after what has happened in Iraq? ... How can an unlawful and unconstitutional war of aggression, a type of war condemned as a war crime at Nuremberg not be considered evil?

Patrick J. Buchanan

Sen. Rand Paul raises an interesting question: When has Hillary Clinton ever been right on foreign policy? ... Consider the rest of Hillary's record. Her most crucial decision as Senator came in 2002 when she voted to invade Iraq. She now concedes it was the greatest mistake of her Senate career. She voted against the surge in 2006, but confided to Defense Secretary Bob Gates that she did so to maintain her political viability for 2008. This is statesmanship? Not voting your convictions about what is best for your country at war, so as not to antagonize the liberals in the Iowa caucuses? ... Where, then, has Hillary exhibited the acumen to suggest she would be a wise and savvy steward of U.S. foreign policy in a disintegrating world?

John J. Mearsheimer

... But power is rarely static. The real question that is often overlooked is what happens in a future world in which the balance of power has shifted sharply against Taiwan and the United States, in which China controls much more relative power than it does today, and in which China is in roughly the same economic and military league as the United States. In essence: a world in which China is much less constrained than it is today ... An increasingly powerful China is also likely to attempt to push the United States out of Asia, much the way the United States pushed the European great powers out of the Western Hemisphere in the nineteenth century. We should expect China to come up with its own version of the Monroe Doctrine, as Japan did in the 1930s.

Reuters – Video

The wondrous way that flocks of starlings continually change and re-form themselves while in flight has entranced people for ages. But just how the birds so fluidly shift while in the air has long puzzled ornithologists. Now, as Jim Drury reports here, a team of researchers with the University of Warwick in England has come up with an explanation -- one that they say could have major implications in the field of drone robotics.

Amb. Chas W. Freeman

... It’s hard to think of any American project in the Middle East that is not now at or near a dead end. This includes our policies toward Israel and Palestine, democracy promotion, Egypt, Islamist terrorism, stability in the Fertile Crescent and the Levant, Iran, and the Gulf ... Our counterterrorism programs are everywhere nurturing a passion for revenge against the United States. We gave a big boost to the spread of Islamist terrorism when we invaded Iraq ... It’s time to recognize that the United States can’t solve the Israel-Palestine issue, can no longer protect Israel from the international legal and political consequences of its morally deviant behavior, and has nothing to gain and a great deal to lose by continuing to be identified with that behavior.

Samuel Francis (Sept. 2001)

… In all the buckets of media gabble about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, not once have I heard any journalist ask any expert the simple question, "Why did the terrorists attack us?" … The blunt and quite ugly truth is that the United States has been at war for years — that it started the war in the name of "spreading democracy," "building nations," "waging peace," "stopping aggression," "enforcing human rights," and all the other pious lies that warmongers always invoke to mask the truth, and that it continued the war simply to save a crook from political ruin. What is new is merely that this week, for the first time, the war we started came home — and all of a sudden, Americans don't seem to care for it so much.

The Local (France)

The last Nazi commander in charge of Paris famously claimed he saved the City of Light from an insane Hitler who wanted it flattened. A French historian, however, told The Local that version of events is pure fantasy from the self-aggrandizing former general ... The city was largely spared due to its early surrender and the lesser strategic importance it was accorded by Allied commanders, but General Dietrich von Choltitz, the Nazi general in charge of Paris when it was retaken, also fostered his own explanation ... On the eve of the capital's liberation, Hitler, so the story goes, was still demanding to know: "Is Paris burning?" ... For many who know the story of the uprising well, this account is absolute self-serving fantasy.

Alon Pinkas – Ynet (Israel)

... Apart from Israel's ability to defend itself, there never was – and probably will never be – a more important strategic asset to the country than its relationship with the United States ... The United States has not only vetoed more than 50 anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nation's Security Council, it has also provided military aid totaling more than $140 billion, as well as access to American weapon systems and advanced ammunition. But the US has also garnered a reputation as an almost-automatic defender of Israel – its layer of protection from international isolation ... The strategic asset in this equation is the US for Israel, not the other way around.

Gilad Atzmon

... If Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, we should accept its own definition ... America is not the first or second super power to be brought down by Jewish power. It is just the latest in a long line ... I think that a ‘goyim defense league’ is a necessary development. I have come to believe that resistance to Jewish politics and power is the only thing that can save world peace as well as the Jews. The suppression of anti-Jewish feelings by means of ‘political correctness’ has led, on the one hand, to Jewish impunity, and, on the other, to explosive and violent resentment toward Jews. The natural opposition toward Jewish politics and supremacist attitudes should never have been suppressed.

BBC News

... Trotsky and Stalin were just two of a number of men who lived in central Vienna in 1913 and whose lives were destined to mould, indeed to shatter, much of the 20th century. It was a disparate group. The two revolutionaries, Stalin and Trotsky, were on the run. Sigmund Freud was already well established ... The young Josip Broz, later to find fame as Yugoslavia's leader Marshal Tito, worked at the Daimler automobile factory in Wiener Neustadt, a town south of Vienna ... Then there was the 24-year-old from the north-west of Austria whose dreams of studying painting at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts had been twice dashed and who now lodged in a doss-house in Meldemannstrasse near the Danube, one Adolf Hitler.

LiveScience

Quick, make a guess: Are Liam's parents Obama voters, or did they pull for John McCain? How about Kurt's mom and dad? If your gut suggested that Kurt's parents might swing conservative while Liam's are liberal, congratulations. A new study of baby names does, indeed, show that parents in liberal neighborhoods are more likely to choose softer, more feminine sounds, such as "L," for their babies' names, while conservative parents go for macho-sounding K's, B's and D's. The same research finds that liberal, well-educated parents are more likely to pick obscure names for their children, while conservative, well-educated parents take a more conventional naming path.

AFP

Their exit from San Juan La Laguna, on the banks of Lake Atitlan and 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the capital Guatemala City, follows a meeting Wednesday in which Jewish and indigenous representatives failed to reach an agreement ... Most members of the small Jewish community are from the United States, Israel, Britain and Russia, and around 40 are Guatemalan ... Since October, the local indigenous population has accused the Orthodox Jews of discriminating against them and of violating Mayan customs ... “We act in self-defense and to respect our rights as indigenous people. The (Guatemalan) constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture," council spokesman Miguel Vasquez told AFP.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Lebanon’s army, Syria’s army, Hezbollah and Iran have been fighting ISIS with Russian assistance. Vladimir Putin himself warned us of the absurdity of our attacking Assad last year, arguing that we would be allying ourselves with the same terrorists who brought down the twin towers. Was Putin not right? ... George H. W. Bush made an ally of Hafez al-Assad in Desert Storm. Why not make an ally of his son against ISIS? We should next tell the Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis that any more aid to ISIS and they are on their own.

Paul R. Pillar - The National Interest

... The extent of any terrorist threat to the United States does not depend on killing any one organization. It will depend partly on those political processes in countries such as Iraq and Syria. It also will depend on how well the United States, in going after any one monster, does not create other ones. In that regard we cannot remind ourselves often enough — especially because this fact seems to have been forgotten amid the current discussion of ISIS — that ISIS itself was born as a direct result of the United States going after a different monster in Iraq.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Polish and Ukrainian scientists have unearthed a mass grave containing up to 1,000 victims of Stalinist terror in a castle once used as a secret police prison. Among the victims in the grave were Polish soldiers. The Polish press has already called the find a “new Katyn” in reference to a massacre of thousands of Poles by Stalin in 1940, which still clouds Polish-Russian relations. The grave was found in the grounds of the Kazimierz the Great castle in the town of Volodymyr-Volynsky in western Ukraine, close to the Polish border ... Following the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland in 1939, Stalin instigated a reign of terror, murdering thousands of Poles considered a threat to Moscow’s rule ..

The New York Times

A billionaire Wall Street commodities investor has been drawn into a court fight against one of the nation’s most influential anti-Iran advocacy groups, a case in which the Obama administration has introduced a sense of intrigue by its recent claim that, somehow, the group possesses important government secrets ... The lawsuit has taken on larger importance as it threatens to reveal government secrets. It also could make public the inner workings of United Against Nuclear Iran, which is run by former United States government officials, has lobbied for tough sanctions against Iran and has helped write legislation on Capitol Hill.

Philip Giraldi

There is a group of Jewish American billionaires who are apparently doing their best to make sure than negotiations with Iran go nowhere in the mistaken belief that they are doing what is best for Israel. And they would also appear to be assisted in their efforts by the White House, which is at the same time claiming that it wants the talks to be successful. The odd relationship is currently playing out in a Manhattan courtroom where the Justice Department is seeking to squash a lawsuit that it fears might expose the extent to which the government has hypocritically played fast and loose with classified information while simultaneously sending journalists and whistleblowers to jail over allegations that they have done the same.

The Financial Times (Britain)

In 1982, when a Japanese man claiming to be a former wartime labour administrator admitted he had helped kidnap hundreds of Korean women during the Second World War, forcing them into military brothels, the Asahi newspaper leapt on the story. The liberal daily offered its more than seven million readers the earliest and most credulous accounts of the man, Seiji Yoshida, and the sadistic mission he would later detail in a memoir ... But now the Asahi is causing another stir, by acknowledging for the first time what researchers have believed for years: that Yoshida’s story was almost certainly made up.

BBC News

Mohammed is now the most common name for men in Norway's capital city Oslo, it appears. "It is very exciting," Jorgen Ouren of Statistics Norway tells The Local news website. A recent count of the city's population showed more than 4,800 men and boys in the city are called Mohammed, beating out other popular names like Jan and Per. Although Mohammed - with various spellings - has been the favourite name for baby boys in Oslo for the past four years, this is the first time it has also topped the men's list. And it's not only in Norway that the name is gaining ground. The UK's Office for National Statistics says Mohammed was the most common name parents gave to baby boys in England and Wales in 2013.

Eric Margolis

... We westerners have a charming and quaint belief that killing people from the air by using bombs, rockets, shells, napalm and cluster munitions – or even nuclear weapons – is somehow not really as bad as ramming a bayonet into an enemy, blowing him to pieces with heavy artillery, or slashing his throat the way sheep are killed. Air warfare is clean ... On the same day Foley was allegedly being decapitated, 19 people in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, were publicly beheaded for various crimes. One of the men was executed for witchcraft. There was no outcry at all over this medieval horror ... Look at the horrifying pictures of victims from Gaza: babies with heads blow open and bodies torn into pieces by heavy 155mm shells. What’s the difference between this and a decapitation?

John J. Mearsheimer - Foreign Affairs

According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression ... But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West ... Elites in the United States and Europe have been blindsided by events only because they subscribe to a flawed view of international politics. They tend to believe that the logic of realism holds little relevance in the twenty-first century, and that Europe can be kept whole and free on the basis of such liberal principles as the rule of law, economic interdependence, and democracy.

Michael S. Rozeff

... At the deepest level, the U.S. government wants global dominance. It wants its system and institutions to be replicated throughout the world ... The U.S. leadership is by and large imbued with a set of beliefs, perceptions and drives that were born and nurtured over a long historical period in which the nation expanded geographically and then began to have pretensions of worldwide leadership. The associated ideas are now deeply entrenched in the minds of American leaders, and this is reflected in the resulting policies ... As part of this ambition, the U.S. wants other countries to be clones of itself. America’s leaders want other nations to adopt domestic policies like its own.

James Holmes - The National Interest

... Japanese commanders could have husbanded resources, narrowing the force mismatch between the warring sides. They could have made the conflict more costly, painful, and prolonged for America, undercutting its resolve. Or, alternatively, they could have avoided rousing American fury to wage total war in the first place. By foregoing a strike at Hawaii, they could have enfeebled the opponent's resolve or, perhaps, sidelined the opponent entirely. Bottom line, no likely masterstroke -- no single stratagem or killing blow -- would have defeated the United States. Rather, Japanese commanders should have thought and acted less tactically and more strategically. In so doing they would have improved Japan's chances.

Peter Frost

The anthropologist Franz Boas is remembered for moving the social sciences away from genetic determinism and toward environmental determinism. In reality, he felt that genes do contribute substantially to mental and behavioral differences … and not just between individuals / ... Something critical seems to have happened in the late 1930s ... As a Jewish American seeing the rise of Nazi Germany, he may have felt that the fight against anti-Semitism would require a united front against all forms of “racism” — a word just starting to enter common use and initially a synonym for Nazism ... Boasian anthropology was conscripted to fight not only the Axis but also racism in any form. Today, three-quarters of a century later, we’re still fighting that war.

Peter Frost

... This is one reason why the war on racism did not end in 1945. Other reasons included a fear that extreme nationalism would lead to a second Hitler and a Third World War ... The West thus redefined itself in universal terms and became just as committed as the Eastern bloc to converting the world to its way of life. Finally, the rhetoric of postwar reconstruction reached into all areas of life, even in countries like the U.S. that had emerged unscathed from the conflict. This cultural reconstruction was a logical outcome of the Second World War, which had discredited not just Nazism but also nationalism in general, thereby leaving only right-wing globalism or left-wing globalism.

Sam Francis

Two of the major superstitions of our time are the notion that man is merely a blank slate whose behavior is merely the product of the social environment and its sister, that race doesn’t exist. Yet one by one, the pseudo-scientific sources of these myths are being discredited by serious scientists, and last week, one of the biggest sources of all took a nose dive. Franz Boas, often called the grandfather of modern anthropology and a pioneer pusher of the idea that race is not a very meaningful concept, merely a “social construct” not found in nature, probably ranks with Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud as one of the most influential thinkers of the modern age.

Charles Hugh Smith

If you want to know why the Status Quo is unsustainable, just look at interest and debt ... Debt is skyrocketing while real growth is stagnant. Put another way -- we have to create a ton of debt to get a pound of growth ... The Status Quo has only survived this crushing expansion of debt by dropping interest rates to historic lows ... Dropping the interest rates has enabled a broad-based expansion of debt across the entire economy ... Now that rates are at historic lows, there is no more room to lower rates further to enable more debt. That gambit has run its course ... Even if the economy were growing at a faster pace, it wouldn't come close to offsetting the interest payments on our ever-expanding debt.

Stephen M. Walt - Foreign Policy

Are you a liberal imperialist? Liberal imperialists are like kinder, gentler neoconservatives: Like neocons, they believe it's America's responsibility to right political and humanitarian wrongs around the world, and they're comfortable with the idea of the United States deciding who will run countries such as Libya, Syria, or Afghanistan. Unlike neocons, liberal imperialists embrace and support international institutions (like the United Nations), and they are driven more by concern for human rights than they are by blind nationalism or protecting the U.S.-Israel special relationship. Still, like the neocons, liberal imperialists are eager proponents for using American hard power, even in situations where it might easily do more harm than good.

Eric Margolis

Armed humanitarianism 2.0. That’s our new western version of old-fashioned 19th century imperialism, now feminized by President Barack Obama’s lady advisors, painted pink and accompanied by the kind of soft piano music you hear in ads for women’s products ... Now, the biggest dolts in the US Republican Party like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and my hometown’s own Peter King, claim the US homeland is threatened by pipsqueak ISIS while they try to provoke a real war with Russia over Ukraine ... US elections are on the horizon and Hillary Clinton is out there blasting Obama for having left Iraq in the first place. Hillary has just fully aligned herself with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu ...

The New York Times

The fighting is barely over in the latest Gaza war, with a five-day cease-fire taking hold on Thursday, but attention has already shifted to the legal battlefield as Israel gears up to defend itself against international allegations of possible war crimes in the month-long conflict. Israel has excoriated the United Nations Human Rights Council over the appointment of Prof. William Schabas, a Canadian expert in international law, to head the council’s commission of inquiry for Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip. The broader struggle will be over what some experts describe as Israel’s “creative” interpretation of international law for dealing with asymmetric warfare in an urban environment.

The Guardian (Britain)

The international criminal court has persistently avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza as a result of US and other western pressure, former court officials and lawyers claim. In recent days, a potential ICC investigation into the actions of both the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield ... An ICC investigation could have a far-reaching impact. It would not just examine alleged war crimes by the Israeli military, Hamas and other Islamist militants in the course of recent fighting in Gaza ... It could also address the issue of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, for which the Israeli leadership would be responsible.

Arutz Sheva/ Israel National News (Israel)

... America and other Western countries are pressuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) not to carry out its threat of suing Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for "war crimes." PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki last Saturday threatened "we will go to the ICC, and put our signature on it. Very soon we will be a (sovereign) state. That is enough for the court to start an investigation." However, citing inside sources in the ICC and among the PA's lawyers, The Guardian reports strong US and Israeli pressure on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to take such actions, or else risk cutting his own purse-strings.

César Chelala - CounterPunch

The 1998 Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court’s founding charter, states that one of the critical ICC’s tasks is that “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished.” However, under pressure from the US and the European Community, the ICC has avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza. By doing so, the ICC is not living up to its mandate. ... It is conceivable that Israel, to a certain extent Hamas and even the US could be tried under the Rome Statute. In the case of Israel, because it carried out actions that amount to war crimes, and in the case of the United States by lending Israel financial and military support.

The Guardian (Britain) - 2009

The Guardian has compiled detailed evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year [2009], involving the use of Palestinian children as human shields and the targeting of medics and hospitals. A month-long investigation also obtained evidence of civilians being hit by fire from unmanned drone aircraft said to be so accurate that their operators can tell the colour of the clothes worn by a target. The testimonies form the basis of three Guardian films which add weight to calls this week for a full inquiry ...

Gareth Porter – IPS

United Nations officials and human rights organisations have characterised Israeli attacks on civilian targets during the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] war on Gaza as violations of the laws of war ... But the Barack Obama administration’s public posture during the war signaled to Israel that it would not be held accountable for such violations. A review of the transcripts of daily press briefings by the State Department during the Israeli attack shows that the Obama administration refused to condemn Israeli attacks on civilian targets in the first three weeks of the war. U.S. officials were well aware of Israel’s history of rejecting any distinction between military and civilian targets in previous wars in Lebanon and Gaza.

Mark Weber

America's image today of Benito Mussolini and his Italian Fascist regime is, to a considerable extent, a product of Second World War propaganda. The wartime image of the Duce (leader) as a clownish bully remains largely intact to this day. But this was not always so. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Mussolini and Fascist Italy were generally well regarded in the United States.

Lawrence Davidson

... The Zionist movement is, if you will, circling their wagons and no longer finds liberal complaints tolerable, even in private. They want everyone out there saluting the Israeli flag ... In truth the term “liberal Zionist” has never made much sense ... You simply cannot adhere to the principle of universal civil and political rights and, at the same time, support a Zionist state. To do so is to involve oneself in a contradiction. The liberals are being forced to face this fact. And, as this happens, they will have to make a real choice: cease being Zionist or cease adhering to the liberal ideal.

Philip Giraldi - The American Conservative

... The war against Gaza was so lopsided and obviously contrived that even in the United States pro-Israel sentiment began to soften ... That Israel is engaged in perception management on a large scale has more-or-less been admitted by the Israeli government, and some of its mechanisms have been identified ... The American public in particular should be aware of the extraordinary efforts that Israel and its supporters make to present a crafted and coordinated image through the media, particularly by way of the Internet. There are certainly many reasons why the United States uniquely views Israel favorably, but the skillful use of information manipulation and perception management certainly contributes to the process.

Ramzy Baroud

After every bloody episode of violence perpetrated by Israel, media spin doctors are deployed with one grand mission: Absolve Israel of any responsibility in its acts of carnage. These apologists not only demonize Palestinians, but also anyone who dares to take a stand on their behalf. The main staple of this Israeli strategy is blaming the victim. There is nothing new in this tactic - this is how the so-called "Arab-Israeli conflict" has been presented in Western media ... The time for clever words and no action is long gone, and those who remain "soft" on Israel, for whatever reason, have no place in what is becoming a global movement with uncompromising demands ...

Mark Weber – Podcast

A critical look at Zionism as an ideology and as a social-political movement. The IHR director reviews its origins and history, including the little-known story of Zionist collaboration with Third Reich Germany during the 1930s. Citing statements by Jewish and Israeli leaders, Weber notes that the essence of Zionism is its view of Jews as a distinct people or nationality, with interests separate from those of non-Jews. Zionists, he explains, insist that Jews everywhere owe a primary loyalty to Israel and the world Jewish community.

S. Cypel - The New York Times

... France is about to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris ... Of course, French resistance under Vichy never quite fit the morally pure image — a country united in opposition to German occupation — that was superimposed on history after the Liberation by a tacit agreement between Gaullists and Communists, the two main French forces who had fought the Nazis. Indeed, in July 1940 the National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to establish the Vichy government in what would become unoccupied southern France ... The putative heirs to the Resistance, who have run the country for 70 years now whether as socialists or conservatives, have proved unable to halt this disintegration.

Newsreel - Video

Enthusiastic crowds welcome Head of State Pétain during his visit to the city of Nancy on May 26, 1944 – just eleven days before the D-Day landing of British and American troops at Normandy. Newsreel narration in French. Runtime: 3:02 mins. Philippe Petain, who was a revered military commander during the First World War, was named Head of State in 1940 by overwhelming vote of the National Assembly.

André Zucca

Color photos by French photographer André Zucca show daily life in Paris during the years of the World War II German occupation, 1940-1944.
 

Video

Remarkable footage of Parisians venting anger against Allied prisoners of war. Shortly after the Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944, British and American soldiers who had been captured by German forces are marched through Paris, under German guard, apparently for transfer to a railroad station. Large crowds gather to watch. While most look on silently, some women and men jeer, harass, assault and even spit at the prisoners. German soldiers and French police keep Parisians from even more violent abuse of the PoWs. Silent footage. Runtime: 2:18 mins.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

... In a chronicle of the 1911 ratings, the Association of American Universities actually asked the government to devise them. Kendric Charles Babcock, the top higher-education official in the U.S. Bureau of Education, itself a division of the Interior Department, undertook the task ... So how did your college stack up more than a century ago?

John Atcheson

... We’re exceptional, all right, but not in the way we think. Here’s eight ways we’re exceptional – exceptionally bad: Among the Most Expensive, Least Effective Health Care in the Developed World ... We have the most expensive system in the developed world, not the most effective ... ; Highest Income Disparity: The US has the largest gap between rich and poor of any developed nation ... ; Least Mobility Between Generations ... ; Least Vacation Days ... ; Biggest discrepancy between CEO pay and their workers ... ; Biggest Defense Budget: The US spends six times as much on Defense as the next nation, China, and nearly as much as the rest of the world combined. We have troops stationed in over 150 nations around the world ...

Danny Schechter - Telesur

When I was growing up in a Jewish community in New York in the late fifties, there was a predictable collective response to news events that expressed itself in one question: “Is it good for the Jews?” ... So whatever Israel is “winning,” the Jewish People are losing ... The rest of the world is judging us. Jews have to judge as well ... Among the other more immediate crimes against Palestinians, international law and history, Israel gives Jews a bad name.

This photo of a weeping woman giving a “Nazi salute has been widely reproduced, including in many textbooks. She is portrayed as a victim of “Hitlerism” who is crying because she’s been made to pretend to welcome the takeover of her community by German troops. In fact, this photo is routinely presented in a deliberately deceitful and misleading way. This woman is actually weeping tears of joy because she and nearly everyone else in her city of Eger in the Sudetenland region are happily welcoming their liberation from years of alien rule. In the aftermath of the First World War more than three million ethnic Germans in this region were forcibly put under Czech rule, in crass violation of the principle of self-determination that had been so loudly pledged by US President Wilson and other Allied leaders.

BBC News

In 1945, two and a half million ethnic Germans were driven from their homes in Czechoslovakia ... This is a story about Germans as victims of World War II. It has been suppressed for half a century, ever since Czechoslovakia expelled its three million strong German minority - the Sudeten Germans - at the end of the war ... What cannot be disputed is the brutality of the expulsions, especially during the chaotic transition from war to approximate peace.

Video (Czech Republic)

Edvard Benes, President of Czechoslovakia and an important figure of the World War Two Allied coalition, calls on May 16, 1945, for the "liquidation" of Germans and Hungarians in post-war Czechoslovakia. From the Czech documentary "Zabijeni po cesku" or "Killings Czech style," 2010. Runtime: 1:27 mins.

Jobbik (Hungary)

Sudeten Germans deported and slaughtered on the basis of the `Benes Decrees’ in Czechoslovakia were commemorated in the Church of Homecoming on 27 June [2011] ... The millions of Sudeten Germans deported from Czechoslovakia, as well as the exiled victims, were commemorated in a Sunday service in the Church of Homecoming in Budapest. Representatives of the Sudeten German deportees also took part. Retired bishop Lóránt Hegedűs stressed that after World War II many millions of innocent Germans had to leave their homes ... Following the service the congregation laid a wreath at a memorial plaque commemorating the 1944-45 terror against Hungarians, the victims of the 1947 Paris peace-dictate, and Germans deported and exiled from their homeland, 1944-48.

T. Parfitt - The Telegraph (Britain)

... As Ukraine’s armed forces tighten the noose around pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, the western-backed government in Kiev is throwing militia groups – some openly neo-Nazi - into the front of the battle. The Azov battalion has the most chilling reputation of all ... The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner, and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites ... Azov’s extremist profile and slick English–language pages on social media have even attracted foreign fighters. Mr Biletsky says he has men from Ireland, Italy, Greece and Scandinavia.

European Jewish Press

Israeli officials reacted with concern to a decision taken by the European Commission to ban Israeli dairy and poultry products from areas beyond the pre-1967 borders. The Commission announced that because it does not recognise Israel Agriculture Ministry activity beyond the pre-1967 borders (West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem), food from these areas is considered unregulated. From 1 September, the European Commission will ban the entry into the EU of all animal products, including eggs, poultry and dairy, from areas beyond the pre-1967 borders ...

Zaman (Turkey)

The pro-government Milat daily targeted Turkish nationals from the Jewish community who also hold Israeli passports by arguing in its Thursday issue that since Israeli citizens are required to serve in the national army, they have blood on their hands, and are responsible for the killings of civilians in Gaza during an Israeli offensive that has led to over 2,000 deaths since July of this year. Milat, a staunch pro-government paper that uses political Islamist rhetoric, used English in its headline, stating “Go home killer” in reference to Turkish Jews who allegedly serve in the Israeli army.

IHR NEWS AND VIEWS

Several times each week we distribute by e-mail a timely “IHR News and Comment” roundup of news, analysis and commentary items. To subscribe, enter your email below:

Email:  
Institute for Historical Review

A man who made headlines during the 1990s as a controversial Jewish "Holocaust denier" has broken 18 years of silence to speak publicly for the first time about the challenges, achievements and mishaps of that era, and his secretive career since then. David Cole - now 45 years old - was in good form as he addressed a spirited, well-attended IHR meeting ... His lively, articulate presentation was packed with colorful anecdotes, humorous asides and eye-opening insights ... He adopted a new identity ("David Stein") and in 1998 began a career as a filmmaker, Republican Party activist and conservative commentator.

By Mark Weber

We’ve successfully fought back a malicious campaign by an “Israel first” politician that shut down our credit card processing for nearly three months. Earlier this year a New York state legislator with a well-documented record of bigotry and support for Zionist terrorism launched a public campaign to shut down credit card processing by the IHR and several other organizations he calls “hate groups.” MasterCard, a global credit card company, backed this campaign. After considerable effort, we were finally able to restore our credit card processing on Dec. 11, 2013. To everyone whose backing enabled us to carry on during this difficult period, or who sent messages of support, Thank You!

By Harry Elmer Barnes

... Unless and until we can break through the historical blackout, now supported even by public policy, and enable the peoples of the world to know the facts concerning international relations during the last quarter of a century, there can be no real hope for the peace, security and prosperity which the present triumphs of science and technology could make possible. The well-being of the human race, if not its very survival, is very literally dependent on the triumph of revisionism.

By Mark Weber

Over the centuries, hostility against Jews has repeatedly erupted in terrible violence. Again and again, Jews have been driven out of countries where they’d been living. Why does anti-Semitism exist? And why has rage against Jews broken out, again and again, in the most varied nations, eras and cultures? ... Anti-Semitism is not a mysterious “disease.” As Herzl and Weizmann suggested, and as history shows, what is often called anti-Semitism is the natural and understandable attitude of people toward a minority with particularist loyalties that wields greatly disproportionate power for its own interests, rather than for the common good.

By Mark Weber

In recent years prominent American politicians and other influential public figures have spoken repeatedly of the alleged danger of Iran’s nuclear program, and have again and again threatened war against this Middle East nation of 75 million ... How real is this “threat”? How dangerous is Iran? What’s behind the campaign for war? And what does all this mean for Americans? In fact, the so-called Iran “crisis” is artificial ... Often ignored amid the clamor for war are the sober warnings of informed scholars, historians, specialists, analysts, and military leaders, who point out some basic, key facts: Iran is not building nuclear weapons, Iran is not a threat to the US ... War is not the answer. What’s needed instead is a bold new reality-based approach toward Iran.

By Mark Weber

In a remarkable but under-reported address, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged that the “immense” and “outsized” Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes. “Jewish heritage has shaped who we are – all of us - as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that’s a fact," Biden told a gathering of Jewish leaders in Washington, DC.

By Robert John -- Institute for Historical Review

The Balfour Declaration may be the most extraordinary document produced by any government in world history. It took the form of a letter from the government of the largest empire the world has even known to an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild who had been made a peer of the realm … Malcolm's belief in the Balfour Declaration as a means of bringing the United States into the war was confirmed by Samuel Landman, secretary to the Zionist leaders Weizmann and Sokolow, and later secretary of the World Zionist Organization.

By Grace Halsell

American Jews sympathetic to Israel dominate key positions in all areas of our government where decisions are made regarding the Middle East. This being the case, is there any hope of ever changing U.S. policy? ... The answer to achieving an even-handed Middle East policy might lie elsewhere -- among those who support Israel but don't really know why. This group is the vast majority of Americans. They are well-meaning, fair-minded Christians who feel bonded to Israel - and Zionism - often from atavistic feelings, in some cases dating from childhood.

By Mark Weber

... The ever more obvious symptoms of social decay are inevitable in a nation as unhealthy as today’s America. We understand that a nation guided by false principles, wishful thinking and unrealistic notions about society and history cannot and will not survive ... On this anniversary of American independence, it is altogether fitting that we recall the sacrifices and the outlook of the men who acted boldly out of principle, and risked everything in following the dictate of their conscience.

By Mark Weber

Writers, filmmakers and scholars from the US, France, Italy and other countries, together with Iranian cinema specialists, journalists, officials and others, gathered in north Tehran for a four-day “Hollywoodism” conference to critically examine the often harmful social-political impact of the US film industry, and to discuss how to counter it ... During this visit I gained a greater understanding of this ancient but vibrant nation of 75 million, which Israel and its allies in the US have demonized and threatened with military attack.

Institute for Historical Review

At an IHR meeting in southern California, three seasoned speakers provided informed perspective on Iran and Iranian society, the threats of war by Israel and the US, the impact of the US-organized sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic, and the prospects for military conflict. Paul Sheldon Foote, a California professor with years of experience in the Middle East, and Art Olivier, a filmmaker and former mayor in southern California, joined IHR director Mark Weber at the spirited gathering.

Mark Weber

... Even many of those who readily acknowledge the tremendous influence of American film and television seem not to fully comprehend the formidable scope of the power behind Hollywood, or the outlook and agenda of those who wield that power ... Hollywood, together with the rest of the Jewish-Zionist dominated US media, sensationalizes and distorts current events, systematically falsifies history, promotes debased “entertainment” and perverse cultural standards, and makes possible the Jewish-Zionist hold on American political life ...

Institute for Historical Review

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, based in Los Angeles, is one of the most influential Jewish organizations in the world ... Although it claims to promote "tolerance," and makes a pretense of concern for humanity, the Center's real agenda is a narrowly Jewish-Zionist one. The Wiesenthal Center is a staunch supporter of Israel and its Jewish supremacist regime. It fervently defends Israel’s policies of oppression, occupation, dispossession, and institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews.

By Martin Brech

... In Andernach about 50,000 [German] prisoners of all ages were held in an open field surrounded by barbed wire. The women were kept in a separate enclosure that I did not see until later. The men I guarded had no shelter and no blankets. Many had no coats. They slept in the mud, wet and cold, with inadequate slit trenches for excrement ... I encountered a captain on a hill above the Rhine shooting down at a group of German civilian women with his .45 caliber pistol. When I asked, "Why?," he mumbled, "Target practice," and fired until his pistol was empty.

By Paul Findley

Nine-Eleven would not have occurred if the U.S. government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society. Few express this conclusion publicly, but many believe it is the truth. I believe the 9/11 catastrophe could have been prevented if any U.S. president in recent decades had had the courage and wisdom to suspend all U.S. aid until Israel withdrew from the Arab land seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The U.S. lobby for Israel is powerful and intimidating, but any determined president could prevail and win overwhelming public support for the suspension of aid by laying these facts before the American people.

By Robert Morgan

Many Americans think of Abraham Lincoln, above all, as the president who freed the slaves. Immortalized as the "Great Emancipator," he is widely regarded as a champion of black freedom who supported social equality of the races, and who fought the American Civil War to free the slaves. While it is true that Lincoln regarded slavery as an evil and harmful institution, it also true, as this paper will show, that he shared the conviction of most Americans of his time, and of many prominent statesmen before and after him, that blacks could not be assimilated into white society. He rejected the notion of social equality of the races, and held to the view that blacks should be resettled abroad.

Prof. Tony Martin – Institute for Historical Review

... I’m going to try to extract from my experience certain basic sort of tactics that I think the Jewish lobby has used over the years pertaining to my particular situation ... The first and major tactic that I discovered in their attack on me was their reliance on lies -- just straight-up lies. There’s no other way to describe it, just telling lies. Many of the categories that I will enumerate overlap, and many of them could also come under this general rubric of telling lies. But I think that if one had to isolate a single tactic, it was a tactic of telling lies. I think they’ve elevated telling lies to a very high artistic form.

By Karl Otto Braun

... How did America come to war against Germany, the heart of Europe? Could not Roosevelt have acted as a great peacemaker by mediating the Danzig conflict in 1939, instead of instigating the Poles against Germany? ... The American President could very possibly have saved the peace in 1939. Instead, he fed the American people inventions about a hypothetical German plot to take over the United States and the whole world.

By Mark Weber

How accurate is this hallowed portrayal of America's role in World War II? As we shall see, it does not hold up under close examination ... The three Allied leaders accomplished what they accused the Axis leaders of Germany, Italy and Japan of conspiring to achieve: world domination ... Presidential deception to justify war did not start with George W. Bush. Americans who express admiration for the US role in World War II, and for Franklin Roosevelt's presidential leadership, have little moral right to complain when presidents follow his example and lead the country into war by breaking the law, subverting the Constitution, and lying to the people.

By Murray Rothbard

Revisionism as applied to World War II and its origins (as also for previous wars) has the general function of bringing historical truth to an American and a world public that had been drugged by wartime lies and propaganda ... Revisionism brings to the artificial frenzy of daily events and day-to-day propaganda, the cool but in the last analysis glorious light of historical truth. Such truth is almost desperately needed in today's world.

By Robert Clive

… That atrocities were committed by the Allies against Germans and non-combatant civilians on both the Eastern and Western fronts is not often acknowledged. In large measure this reflects the fact that "victors write the history." … POWs, whether Germans or Axis allies, were often shot out of hand, or shortly after they had been questioned ... When the Red Army invaded German territory in late 1944, civilians who had been unable to flee before their advance were condemned to undergo a regime of ferocious brutality. At such towns as Goldap, Gumbinnen, and Nemmersdorf, even children were raped before being murdered by Russian soldiers.

By Mark Weber

Among the highlights of my nine-day visit to Iran was a guest appearance on an influential prime-time public affairs television show, a memorable meeting with the nation’s President, and a well-received lecture of more than two hours on “The Zionist Lobby in America," given to a gathering of several hundred university students.

By James Whisker

... Fascism was touted by Mussolini as a unique combination of thought and action, yet fascism was still seeking an ideology after the Second World War was over. The roots of fascism are many and complex. The fascist leadership, notably Mussolini, admitted the multi-faceted influences of liberalism, marxism, syndicalism, risorgimento, socialism, catholicism and nationalism on their ideology.

By Mark Weber

To deal with the massive unemployment and economic paralysis of the Great Depression, both the US and German governments launched innovative and ambitious programs. Although President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” measures helped only marginally, the Third Reich’s much more focused and comprehensive policies proved remarkably effective. Within three years unemployment was banished and Germany’s economy was flourishing. And while Roosevelt’s record in dealing with the Depression is pretty well known, the remarkable story of how Hitler tackled the crisis is not widely understood or appreciated.

By Mark Weber

... During his lifetime he made a mark not only as a pioneering global aviator, but also as a prize-winning author, environmentalist and anti-war activist. Given the scarcity of truly heroic Americans during the past century, he towers as a man of exemplary accomplishment and courage. He deserves to be remembered today not only as an authentic American hero, but also because much of what he wrote and said is relevant in our own age. Indeed, some of his remarks have proven to be prophetic.

By Mark Weber

... Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The "Jewish lobby" is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict. As long as the "very powerful" Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.

By Yuri Teplyakov

… In August 1941 Hitler permitted a Red Cross delegation to visit the camp for Soviet POWs in Hammerstadt. It is these contacts that resulted in an appeal to the Soviet government, requesting that it should send food parcels for our officers and men. We are prepared to fulfill and comply with the norms of the Geneva convention, Moscow said in its reply, but sending food in the given situation and under fascist control is the same as making presents to the enemy … How great was Stalin's hatred for those who had found themselves behind enemy lines. It made no difference: who, where, how and why? Even the dead were considered to be criminals.

By Mark Weber

"The Sound of Music" is perhaps the most popular American musical picture ever produced. But whatever its merits as entertainment, the film's presentation of history is deceitful. In particular, its portrayal of the 1938 union or Anschluss of Austria with the German Reich is a gross distortion of historical reality.

By Mark Weber

Joseph Goebbels, Third Reich Germany's chief publicist and spokesman, is widely portrayed as a master of lies and deceitful propaganda. But this familiar image, which is particularly entrenched in the United States, is itself a propaganda falsehood.

By Mark Weber

... America today is a society in denial. The country's political, cultural and intellectual leadership -- both liberal and conservative -- denies social reality and ignores the historical record, and therefore inevitably betrays the interests of the people, leading America down a path that means ever greater anxiety and ever more rapid decline ... The crying need in our nation today is candor, courage and truthfulness -- not childish slogans, simplistic nostrums, or wishful thinking about a mythologized past or a utopian future -- presented by media personalities who are little more than entertainers.

By Mark Weber

Fraudulent quotations attributed to Hitler and other Third Reich leaders have been widely circulated for years. Such quotes are often used by polemicists -- of both the left and the right -- to discredit their ideological adversaries by showing that Nazis held similar views. Here's a look at a few of the many remarks falsely attributed to Hitler and other top Nazis.

Websense company, a major US supplier of web content filtering software, says that the Institute for Historical Review promotes "racism and hate," and blocks access to the IHR website, on the basis of an unfair standard that deceives the public and its own customers. In a letter to the IHR, Websense Senior Legal Counsel Eric Proul makes clear that the company has no objective basis for its claim that the IHR promotes "racism and hate."

By Tyler Kent

... In 1940, an obscure cypher clerk at the American Embassy in London came across documents which, in his judgment and that of many reputable historians subsequently, proved conclusively that Roosevelt both directly and through his agents was engaged in activities designed to foment a war and eventually to compel American participation in it. I was that cypher clerk ... The new basic law of nations requires only one clause, very simply: "It pays to be on the winning side."

By Mark Weber

This essay focuses on Roosevelt's secret campaign to provoke war in Europe prior to the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939. It deals particularly with his efforts to pressure Britain, France and Poland into war against Germany in 1938 and 1939. Franklin Roosevelt not only criminally involved America in a war that had already engulfed Europe, he bears a grave responsibility for the outbreak of the most destructive war of all time. This paper relies heavily on a little-known collection of secret Polish documents that fell into German hands when Warsaw was captured in September 1939. These revealing documents also confirm the crucial role of Jewish power and influence on US foreign policy during these years.

By David Irving

... If I'm known for anything as a historian, apart from being a pain in the neck, it's because I uncover things. And uncovering things does not necessarily mean you go into the archives and see something and say: "Look at this, this is something quite extraordinary." If you go into the archives long enough, ten or twenty years, you become what I would call a "gap-ologist" ... Now what a scandalous statement that is! Here's the one country, Germany, trying to prevent anwar and the other country -- Roosevelt, neutral -- trying to fan the flames of anti-German feeling to fuel the war. Yet it is the Germans who are called the criminals, and the Americans who do the prosecuting.

Video based on interview with Mark Weber by Daniel Davis, host of the "Beyond 50" radio show. The United States, says Weber, has changed from a republic focused on its own prosperity and well-being to a globally intrusive military power. This worldwide military presence reflects an entrenched American view that the US is a social-political model for all nations, and therefore has a right, based on perceived moral superiority, to intervene everywhere. He traces the evolution of this outlook from the fateful Spanish-American War of 1898, and the false pretexts and promises used since then to justify wars. Going to war to fight "evil" or "terrorism," says Weber, is a recipe for endless strife and conflict.

By Mark Weber

... We hear a lot about terrible crimes committed by Germans during World War II, but we hear very little about crimes committed against Germans. Germany's defeat in May 1945, and the end of World War II in Europe, did not bring an end to death and suffering for the vanquished German people. Instead the victorious Allies ushered in a horrible new era of destruction, looting, starvation, rape, "ethnic cleansing," and mass killing.

By Friedrich Stieve

Germany's enemies maintain today [1940] that Adolf Hitler is the greatest disturber of peace known to history, that he threatens every nation with sudden attack and oppression, that he has created a terrible war machine in order to bring misery and devastation everywhere. At the same time they intentionally conceal an all-important fact: they themselves drove the leader of the German people finally to draw the sword. They themselves compelled him to seek to obtain at last by the use of force that which he had been striving to gain by persuasion from the beginning: the security of his country ... A quick look at the most important events provides incontrovertible proof of this.

By Joseph Sobran

The news that I would be addressing the Institute of Historical Review came to some people as, well, news. It was mentioned in the Jewish newspaper Forward and on the Zionist Wall Street Journal OnLine. The editors of two conservative magazines called and wrote me to express their concern that I might damage my reputation, such as it is, by speaking to "Holocaust deniers." ... In short, the Holocaust has become a device for exempting Jews from normal human obligations. It has authorized them to bully and blackmail, to extort and oppress. This is all quite irrational, because even if six million Jews were murdered during World War II, the survivors are not entitled to commit the slightest injustice.

By Mark Weber

... A Zionist Jew, by definition, owes his primary loyalty to the Jewish community and to Israel. Zionism is not compatible with patriotism to any country or entity other than Israel and the world Jewish community ... Zionist Jews and their non-Jewish supporters embrace a blatant double standard. Jewish-Zionist organizations, along with their non-Jewish allies, support one social-political ideology for Israel and the world Jewish community, and a completely different one for the United States and other non-Jewish countries. They insist that ethnic nationalism is evil and bad for non-Jews, while at the same time they vigorously support ethnic nationalism -- that is, Zionism -- for Jews.

By Mark Weber

Jews played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years ... With the notable exception of Lenin, most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews ... The US ambassador in Russia warned in a dispatch to Washington: "The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution."

By Mark Weber – Institute for Historical Review

This past year has been one of our most productive and influential ever. It included talks to audiences in Canada, the US and Iran ... My nine-day visit to Iran also included a guest appearance on an influential prime-time public affairs television show, a meeting with the country’s president ... We produced, distributed and posted more than 30 podcasts by me on a range of historical topics and current affairs issues ... In April we launched a re-designed IHR website, with a “cleaner” and more modern look.

By Mark Weber

America's leaders understood Japan's desperate position: the Japanese were willing to end the war on any terms, as long as the Emperor was not molested. If the US leadership had not insisted on unconditional surrender -- that is, if they had made clear a willingness to permit the Emperor to remain in place -- the Japanese very likely would have surrendered immediately, thus saving many thousands of lives ... General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: "The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war."

By Mark Weber

.. By supporting Israel and its policies, the United States betrays not only its own national interests, but the principles it claims to embody and defend. The only country in the world that has a nuclear weapons arsenal, that occupies territory of its neighbors, and which is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions - is Israel. In fact, if the United States were to hold Israel to the same standards that it has applied to Iraq, Serbia, and other countries, American bombers and missiles would be blasting Tel Aviv, and American troops would seize Israel's leaders and punish them for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

By Mark Weber

So if the official reasons given for the war were untrue, why did the United States attack? Whatever the secondary reasons for the Iraq war, the crucial factor in President Bush's decision to attack was to help Israel. With support from Israel and America's Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish "neo-conservatives" holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush -- who was already fervently committed to Israel -- resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel's chief regional enemies.