With rumors of Israeli strike on Iran in 2014 rising, Santorum & Rosenberg write oped for CNN: Could there be a “Second Holocaust”? Lessons from Nazi Germany & modern Iran.

CNN-logo>> Please join me on April 1st for a book tour event with an Orthodox Rabbi at a Synagogue in Manhattan. RSVP today. We’d love to have you join us.

(Netanya, Israel) — Greetings from Israel. I’m here doing media interviews for The Auschwitz Escape, having various meetings, and trying to get a better sense of how Israeli citizens and leaders are viewing the crisis in Ukraine and the rising Iranian nuclear threat.

Rumors are swirling in the media here about a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Iran this year. Israeli officials at the highest level — including the Defense Minister — are reportedly coming to the reluctant belief that they cannot count on President Obama to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian threat before it is too late.

Here are several recent headlines worth noting:

In this context, CNN.com has just published an op-ed that former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and I have written. It examines parallels he and I find sobering between the history of Adolf Hitler and the current regime in Tehran. In the column, we also cite the exclusive new poll showing 80% of Americans fear a “Second Holocaust” if Iran is allowed to build nuclear warheads.

I hope you’ll take a moment to read the full column. Then please post your comments on the “Epicenter Team” page on Facebook, and share this column with friends and get their reaction, as well.

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Lessons of history: Americans fear ‘second Holocaust’ if Iran gets the bomb

By Rick Santorum and Joel C. Rosenberg

(CNN) — Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows this month when she compared Vladimir Putin’s tactics in Ukraine to those of the Nazis.

She was right, but there is an even more ominous similarity between the actions of Iran and those of pre-war Germany.

On May 21, 1935, Adolf Hitler delivered his infamous “peace” speech. In his masterful history of Nazi Germany, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” William L. Shirer quotes the Fuhrer’s remarks at length:

  • “Germany needs peace and desires peace.”
  • “Germany has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers.”
  • “Germany has concluded a non-aggression pact with Poland.”

Shirer, a CBS Radio correspondent, called the address “one of the cleverest and most misleading of his Reichstag orations this writer, who sat through most of them, ever heard him make.” He observed the West seemed beguiled by the speech, noting the Times of London welcomed Hitler’s words “with almost hysterical joy.”

“The speech turns out to be reasonable, straightforward, and comprehensive,” stated the Times editorial. “No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt that the points of policy laid down by Herr Hitler may fairly constitute the basis of a complete settlement with Germany.”

Yet Hitler was lying to buy time. He would not bring peace, but a horrific war, annexing Austria, invading France and Poland, and ordering the extermination of six million Jews.

Indeed, Hitler’s lies were apparent less than a year after the speech. On March 7, 1936, the Nazis marched into the Rhineland, the demilitarized zone between Germany and France, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

If the West had confronted Hitler then, it could have forced him out of the Rhineland with a limited application of military force.

Such history is worth noting in today’s showdown with Iran. Many in the West seem beguiled by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. But are they….

[To read the full column, please click here.]

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Video of my interview “On The Record”: Israeli officials on heightened alert after Malaysian jetliner disappears. “We’re watching a spell-binding international geopolitical thriller.”

greta-Joelinterview2(Washington, D.C.) — “Top Israeli defense officials have hurriedly put in place a confidential list of secret security measures in light of the baffling disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jumbo jet that experts fear could become a weapon of mass destruction if in the wrong hands,” Fox News reported last night.

“With no trace of Beijing-bound flight MH370 after nine days, one of several theories that has emerged is that the plane was hijacked to Iran, where it could be turned into a massive and devastating weapon,” Fox reported. “ Two Iranian passengers are known to have been aboard, travelling on false passports. While Israeli officials did not confirm any suspicions regarding Iran, experts said it is not a stretch to point the finger at Israel’s middle east nemesis.”

Last night, I went “On The Record” with Greta Van Susteren to discuss the Israeli angle to this bizarre and developing story.

“We are watching a spell-binding international geopolitical thriller,” I told Greta. “I’m a novelist — post (working for) Netanyahu. This is playing out moment by moment in a mystery that everyone wants to know what the answer is, and the Israelis have a specific concern. They’re watching a security environment deteriorate all around them. Syria is imploding. You’ve got chemical weapons that were supposed to be removed, now what will the Russians do? So they’re watching this very closely, and they’re probably a target, among others.”

[To watch the video of the interview, please click here.]

Greta asked if the Israelis have specific intelligence indicating they were responding to.

“I can’t answer that question,” I replied. “But here’s what they [Israel] do know — al Qaeda, Iran, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, everyone wants them hit….So you have to take every precaution.”

Iran released a video recently showing an Iranian attack on Tel Aviv. We know two Iranians using stolen passports were on the Malaysian flight. As more evidence emerges, officials are indicating that the flight’s course was deliberately changed from a heading towards China to a direction that could potentially have taken the plane to India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or even on to Iran or in the Middle East.

Worst case scenario: the plane was either hijacked by Radical Islamic terrorists — or the pilots, who are Muslim, were radicalized and part of the plot — and the plane was made to disappear so that it could be used for a 9/11-style attack, or even as a weapon of mass destruction. God forbid.

Greta noted we’re not hearing much from the U.S. government.

“Actually, you’re not hearing from any country except Israel about taking increased security measures. That’s how sensitive the Israelis are to this….They haven’t lost a plane of their own since 1968. Nobody has hijacked an Israeli plane. But once you have a situation in a place where al Qaeda held a conference, in a region where it’s so clearly no-man’s land in the sense of security, that every interview you’ve had describes the Malaysian military doesn’t know [what happened] or even have a protocol for how to keep track of a plane like this, so the threat is real….It’s a thriller we hope gets solved safely and quickly.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

ESCALATION: At least 70 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza. Israeli jets hit 29 targets in Gaza in response.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS>> LATEST UPDATES: Israeli aircraft hit 29 targets in Gaza after rocket attack — Islamic Jihad bases targeted; State Department calls heavy barrage ‘reprehensible,’ says Israel has the right to defend itself

“The Israeli Air Force launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday in retaliation for a massive rocket barrage earlier in the day, the largest of its kind since 2012,” reported the Times of Israel at 5pm eastern. “Israeli planes struck 29 targets in the Strip, the army said in a statement. Palestinians said at least five strategic points were hit in the coastal enclave, primarily in areas around the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.”

As of this hour, Haaretz is reporting at least 70 rockets have been fired from Gaza at southern Israel.

“Israeli communities near southern and northern Gaza have come under heavy rocket attack on Wednesday evening,” reports the Jerusalem Post. As of 1:30pm eastern, “the IDF said at least 30 rockets had been fired in the largest attack since 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense. “

“Israel Radio reported that up to 55 rockets had been fired into Israel in the deluge of projectiles,” the Post noted. ” The Iron Dome rocket defense system shot down three of the rockets, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office.  The IDF fired artillery rounds at two terror infrastructure targets in response.”

The Post added: “Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, according to reports by Palestinian media. On Tuesday, the Israel Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in southern Gaza, minutes after identifying it as being behind a mortar attack on  an IDF unit on the Gaza-Israel border….Islamic Jihad said the Israeli strike killed  three of its operatives. The IDF confirmed the aircraft’s hit on the terrorist  cell, and said that the aircraft had then returned safely to its base. The army added that it would not tolerate any attack on military forces operating along  the border. Islamic Jihad has been behind a trickle of attacks in recent days that have tested the cease-fire in place between Palestinian terrorist  groups in Gaza and Israel.”

Developing….

>> Pre-order The Auschwitz Escape — releasing on March 18th — retailers providing steep discounts for pre-orders of hardcover, e-book and audio formats


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Israeli special forces intercept shipment of Iranian missiles headed to Gaza. “This is the real Iran,” says Netanyahu.

IDF soldiers inspect a missile found on board Klos-C in a commando operation Wednesday morning. The military says the ship was carrying an Iranian arms shipment headed for Gaza (Photo credit: IDF/Times of Israel)

IDF soldiers inspect a missile found on board Klos-C in a commando operation Wednesday morning. The military says the ship was carrying an Iranian arms shipment headed for Gaza (Photo credit: IDF/Times of Israel)

(Washington, D.C.) — “IDF special forces on Wednesday intercepted a ship in the Red Sea carrying an Iranian arms shipment headed for the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military said,” reports the Times of Israel. “Israeli naval commandos from the elite Shayetet 13 unit boarded and took control of the ‘Klos-C’ merchant ship, sailing under the Panama flag, at around 5 a.m. They encountered no resistance and there were no casualties reported on either side.”

“The army said soldiers carried out a preliminary inspection of the ship and found several dozen advanced Syrian M-302 missiles, with a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a payload of up to 170 kilograms (375 pounds),” noted the Times. “The missiles were hidden in shipping containers also carrying sacks of concrete. The incident took place 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from Israel’s coast, in the Red Sea, off the Sudanese-Eritrean border. Israel had been tailing the ship for several days before the operation was launched. The ship had a crew of 17, who were being interrogated by Israeli security forces. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said crew members were apparently unaware of the ship’s secret cargo. The vessel had reportedly set sail from Iran 10 days ago and was set to reach Sudan on Thursday. From there, the weaponry would have been smuggled into Gaza. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz personally oversaw the operation and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was briefed on its progress as he toured the US, the IDF said. Netanyahu commended Gantz and Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo for their efficient work.”

“I would like to congratulate the IDF, Israel’s intelligence apparatuses and of course the commanders and soldiers of the navy who carried out a flawless operation to capture a covert Iranian weapons ship,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “As it conducts talks with [world] powers, as Iran smiles and utters pleasantries, the same Iran is sending lethal weapons to terror organizations…via an intricate network of clandestine global operations…in order to hurt innocent civilians….This is the real Iran and this country must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect Israeli citizens.”

President Shimon Peres said, “This operation exposes the true face of Iran which says one thing but does the opposite. They put on an innocent face and send the most dangerous missiles to a terror organization that kills innocents, in violation of international law. Iran must make up its mind either to tell the truth and respect international law or admit that it is all camouflage and we cannot trust their policy or declaration. The same is true for Hamas.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

70 Israeli Parliament Members will visit Auschwitz in January to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Main entrance to Auschwitz (photo credit: CC BY-SA Tulio Bertorini/Times of Israel.)

Main entrance to Auschwitz (photo credit: CC BY-SA Tulio Bertorini/Times of Israel.)

“The largest delegation of Israeli lawmakers ever to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is set to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Polish site next month,” reports the Times of Israel. “In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly set the International Holocaust Remembrance Day as January 27, the day in 1945 on which Soviet troops liberated the camp….”

“The MKs will be accompanied by other dignitaries, including State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev, scholar Dina Porat and former MKs — and Holocaust survivors — Shevah Weiss and Colette Avital, in addition to some 400 Jewish and other dignitaries from Poland and Russia,” noted the Times, incorporating the report of another Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonoth. “The Israeli delegation itself, including security personnel, is expected to number some 300 people in total. There will also be 30 Holocaust survivors joining the mission. Edelstein reportedly decided to conduct the historic visit in 2014 instead of waiting for the 70th anniversary of the liberation in 2015 due to the fact that with each passing year the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles.”

“The Israeli delegation will only be in Poland for one day, taking off from Israel in two charter planes in the morning and returning at night,” the Times added.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog