Thursday, June 30, 2011


By Schmoel Yitzhak

"The truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly preached around us," the philosopher, Goethe, told a friend in 1828. "And not only by isolated individuals but by the majority! In the newspapers and encyclopedias, in the schools and universities, everywhere error is dominant, securely and comfortably ensconced in public opinion which is on its side."

Goethe's words, written almost three centuries ago, could very well have been authored today when it comes to speaking the truth about Israel while the Middle East's only democracy is daily assailed with lies or -- to be nice -- errors.

Then again, I could add some ironies into the fire because some of the most ironic comments uttered this Spring and early Summer fall into the category of error with a capital E.

One of the most ironic statements emanating from Washington, D.C. belongs to her Royal Highness, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

According to Uncle Sam's Secretary of State, Syria's brutal crackdown on protests actually is a sign of weakness.

"They engage in unlawful detention, torture, and the denial of medical care to wounded persons," said Clinton back in May when uprisings began. "There may be some who think that this is a sign of strength. But treating one's own people in this way is in fact a sign of remarkable weakness."

So, here's the irony:

When protests erupted in Egypt last February, President Hosni Mubarak never employed his military to unhesitatingly shoot and kill Egyptian protestors a la Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Yet, Clinton and her boss, Barack Obama, wasted no time knifing Mubarak in the back. With Obama's urging, Mubarak -- an ally of Israel -- was pushed out of office and jailed faster than you can say Alcatraz.

Meanwhile, Assad -- the dictator whose ouster should have been Washington's top priority -- continues to rule like the murderer that he is.

The White House response to that is to counter with sloth-like "speed" which, otherwise, can be equated with Secretary Clinton's fatuous words.

"We are going to hold the Syrian government accountable," Clinton added. "We are looking for ways to increase the pressure."

Notice that almost two months have passed since Hilary harangued Bashar and you'll notice the effect it has had on the Assad regime. None whatsoever.

Wherever possible, Syrian soldiers have wiped out the dictator's opponents in a manner that would have made Soviet dictator Josef Stalin proud.

Accountability? Who's kidding whom?

And that goes for the mess in Cairo as well.

Obama's haste in removing Mubarak is yet another addition to the White House list of blunders because Egypt now in the post-Mubarak months is a nation in tatters.

Leaderless, Egypt now suffers from an abysmally failed economy with street rioting a daily occurrence and the militant-in-waiting Muslim Brotherhood awaiting the propitious moment for a government takeover.

The so-called Arab Spring will no more be an asset to democracy than the Nazi party was to Germany in 1933. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat makes that point in his forthcoming book, 21st Century Global Forces.

"The rise of viloent, jihadist Islamic groups," writes Eizenstat, "depends heavily on the sanctuary of failed or failing states unwilling or unable to control their activities."

You can put Egypt in that category and just about any other country supposedly embracing the "Arab Spring."

One would think that unrest throughout the Arab world would inspire England, France, Italy, Spain, et. al. to offer truly democratic Israel much more fervent support.

That would make sense but we're living in a world where sense is equated with nonsense or naivete while -- as Goethe so aptly pointed out -- "error is constantly being preached around us."

Most important, Israel's leaders, starting with the Prime Minister, must be unflagging in making their case whether it is halting a Gaza-bound flotilla or pointing out that Lebanon's Hezbollah government has been indicted by the United Nations for assassinating one of the country's most distinguished leaders.

I don't know whether Benjamin Netanyahu ever has read Goethe but whether he has or not, Bibi must hammer away at one cogent point:

"The truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly being preached around us!"