Barack Obama’s journey, &c.

Barack Obama delivers the keynote address at the 2004 DNC.


Late last year, I had a column titled “The stench of ‘Occupy,’ &c.” The column contained this item: “I read a headline: ‘Occupy Boston Storms Israeli Consulate.’ I thought, ‘It always comes down to the Jews, doesn’t it? So many grievances, so many extreme movements. It doesn’t take them very long before they get around to the Jews . . .’”

I was reminded of this when reading Damian Thompson, here. He shows a picture of a cartoon published on “a Facebook page set up to support Occupy Wall Street” (his description). The cartoon shows a big, vile Jew about to eat up the U.S. presidential candidates or something. As Thompson says, it is right out of Nazi propaganda, or Arab propaganda.

Yes, it always comes down to the Jews, doesn’t it? Always. No matter what. A sickness that hangs on, century after century . . .

My homegirl, Eliana Johnson, sent me a news story out of Connecticut. The headline: “Four Of Five Speakers Cancel For UNESCO/UConn Conference On Human Rights.” The subhead: “One Speaker Pulled Out Because Shimon Peres Would Be Honored.”

Sure. Of course.

I can’t resist telling a story, one of my favorite stories of all time. I’ve told it in this space before, I know. I heard it from Bernard Lewis, some years ago.

Golda Meir came to his university, Princeton. During a Q&A, someone asked her, “Prime Minister, why is it that the PLO belongs to UNESCO while Israel does not?” (The PLO had some partial membership during this period, I believe. And Israel had been kicked out.) Meir responded, “Well, let’s think about it. ‘UNESCO’ stands for ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.’ Obviously, the Palestinians have more to contribute to education, science, and culture than we do.”

As I’ve commented before, “one of the finest uses of sarcasm I know of.”

This is not so fun: The person who pulled out of the conference because of Peres (probably the outstanding Israeli dove in the history of that country)? A young woman I have hailed in my column before, more than once, I believe: the Bahraini activist Maryam al-Khawaja. What a shame. Perhaps she will, in fact, be ashamed, in later years.

Have I noted this story in Impromptus yet? According to declassified German intelligence files, Fidel Castro recruited old SS men, to train his troops. This was during the Cuban missile crisis. As my colleague Rick Brookhiser commented, “Who needed the SS when you had Che?”

Years ago, Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart told me that Fidel Castro was a fascist: always had been, always would be. Their father, Rafael Lincoln Diaz-Balart, was for a time a close friend of Castro. His roommate. His comrade. Even his brother-in-law. He knew Castro very well.

Here is Diaz-Balart speaking in the Cuban legislature in May 1955: “. . . Fidel Castro is nothing more than a psychopathic fascist, who could choose to align himself with communism only because fascism was defeated in the Second World War.”

For my 2003 piece on the Diaz-Balarts, go here. It contains this material.

A little language? I quite like it when certain native Spanish-speakers, speaking English, put an “es” in front of words beginning with “s” — “es-school,” “es-stove.” The other day, I heard a quite beautiful word: “es-strawberries.” Better than the original! Totally musical.

A little more language? A reader e-mails, “Thought you’d appreciate this. I was in the elevator with my building’s security guard this afternoon. She’s a southern woman. We had a conversation about the weather, as people do. I had never heard the expression she used at the end.”

Here’s a little transcript:

Her (the security guard): “Great weather we’re having.”
Him (our reader): “I know, but I hope it doesn’t snow next week.”
Her: “They’re saying it might.”
Him: “Ugh, I know, but I hope not.”
Her: “Ain’t no tellin’, John told Helen.”

Beautiful. See you!

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.