Mose Apelblat

I was attracted to Florian Pantazi’s blog on 29.10 by its catching title (see http://florianpantazi.blogactiv.eu/2014/10/where-both-the-us-and-the-hungarian-governments-are-wrong/). However, I was surprised after reading it. It contains “ethnic slurs” which are forbidden according to EurActiv’s blogging guidelines.

In his blog plost, Pantazi makes an issue of the Jewish origin of the American diplomat Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State.

Admittedly, Nuland made a blunder in a leaked phone conversation on EU and Ukraine. According to Washington Post, she was “dismissively referring to slow-moving European efforts” to address the crisis in the country. She has also been critical against the “illiberal democracy” in Hungary. Most people in the EU would probably agree with her.

So what has this to do with her Jewish origin which according to Pantazi was a reason for the American administration not to appoint her? He writes that “some officials of Jewish origin are the children of World War II victims and as such are themselves personally affected by an irrational hate of Europe and especially of Russia”.

Being a child of Holocaust survivors makes you apparently biased against Europe!? Are all European Jews biased?

On the contrary, I would say. Nuland and others with her background are well motivated to contribute to a better Europe which respects human rights and where discrimination, ethnic cleansing, wars and genocide will never happen again.

With Pantazi’s logic, what about the children of the Nazi perpetrators? Should they also be disqualified from engaging in European affairs? What about the children of members of the former communist parties in Eastern Europe? If everyone should be disqualified because he/she belongs to a certain group, no one is left to work for a better Europe. And we are left with discrimination as in the past, before EU was established.

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  1. Mr Apelblat calls into question my professional logic, instead of that of the American administration that appointed mrs Nuland in the first place. Furthermore, he wants us to believe that the background of a person is irrelevant when an important State Department appointment is made. Mrs Nuland’s lack of respect for the EU is an established fact, as is her hate of Putin or Russia (in this order). I would not call this a professional behavior worthy of a US diplomat in charge of EU affairs and results in the field speak for themselves . more than 3,000 victims in Ukraine in the wake of the ” Maidan revolution”, a severely damaged EU-Russia relationship, serious diplomatic tensions in Hungary, etc.

    The job of any US diplomat is not that of supplying fresh doughnuts to demonstrators trying to bring down an elected government, as mrs Nuland did in Kiev. Mr Goodfriend’s active participation in anti-government demonstrations in Budapest is also a breach of diplomatic duties and protocol. Quite frankly, we are sick of anti-semitism in Europe and do not want it rekindled again, courtesy of the American administration . As I said in my post, the guilt belongs to the people that appointed them in the first place.

    1. Whatever Ms Nuland’s faults or blunders may be, they have surely nothing to do with her Jewish origin. The problem with Mr Pantazi’s blog is that he seems to oppose any appointments of officials of Jewish origin dealing with European affairs. There is a word for this. A clarification would be welcome.

  2. I am sorry that you and possibly Mrs.Nuland have a problem with my blog, but I can understand that: I am a qualified professional and the blog is a specialized one. Accordingly the criticism expressed in some of my posts, however justified, hurts.

    The unwise promotion of democracy worldwide by American neoconservatives has created huge problems for the United States and the world (in Iraq, Ukraine and so on). A majority of neocons are of Jewish origin. For me personally this is not important, but the fact is being used by anti-semitic extremist political forces in Europe to incriminate the entire Jewish community, and that is wrong and counterproductive. A considerate Washington administration would therefore think twice before appointing neocons to key positions in the State Department, especially in the light of the Iraq debacle which is about to cost the US its hegemonic position. We do not need a second Iraq on EU’s doorstep.

    Certainly there are diplomats of Jewish origin that Europe has rewarded with the Nobel prize, such as Dr. Kissinger and conceivably others. I myself was in contact with him on some international issues back in 2000, and I am sure that a fine intellectual of his calibre would never be caught pants down in public in Kiev or Budapest…

    Again, the US administration should refrain from providing new spark for anti-semitism in Europe. This is my professional opinion.

    1. If Nuland should be opposed because of her political views (neo-conservatism) and not because of her origin (child of Holocaust survivors), then the issue has been clarified. However, I don’t think that her activity has sparked any anti-Semitism in Europe – it has deeper roots and exists anyway. She might be quite popular in Ukraine.

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