Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 3, 2008 / 26 Adar I 5768

Genocide Olympics

By Nat Hentoff


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Steven Spielberg finally resigned as artistic director to the 2008 Summer Olympic in Beijing, the filmmaker of "Schindler's List," and the founder of an oral history by Holocaust survivors, said: "I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual. My time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur (whose benefactor is China)."


Reporting from Beijing, the Associated Press (Feb. 13) said that Spielberg's compelling act of conscience "could be a major blow to Beijing's promotion of the Aug. 8-24 Olympics as a symbol of China's integration into mainstream global society" after that nation "has invested billions of dollars and its national prestige into what it hopes will be a glorious showcase of China's rapid development from impoverished agrarian nation to rising industrial power."


Last month, during his legacy tour of how his compassionate conservatism has indeed benefited a number of countries in Africa, George W. Bush did not include Sudan, let alone Darfur, in his schedule.


And, in response to Spielberg's refusal to help glorify the amoral nation that buys two-thirds of genocidal Sudan's oil and provides much of its arms that kill thousands of black Africans in Darfur, Bush said firmly:


"I'm going to the Olympics. I view the Olympics as a sporting event." This was the same person who then said in Rwanda that the genocide there "is a reminder that evil in the world must be confronted." He called on all nations to stop the killing in Darfur.


He has been a compassionate conservative in a number of respects. But his current moral blindness in giving his imprimatur by attending the Olympics (an event which, in itself, is part of China's quest for absolution for the massacre of students calling for democracy in Tiananmen Square — and that nation's continuous, ruthless crushing of religious and political dissenters) is a permanent stain on his legacy.


Oh, he's mindful, the president says, of the suffering in Darfur where, in January, the Sudanese army and its militia from hell, the Janjaweed, burned down towns in Darfur, leaving more corpses.


"I must confess," Bush said while in Africa, "I'm a little frustrated by how slow things are moving (to get the full U.N.-African Union force into Darfur)." But he's looking forward to enjoying the grand tourneys of athletic prowess in Beijing.


Listening to his conscience, Prince Philip of England has decided not to attend the Genocide Olympics. But the British Olympics Association, over which the prince has no authority, has commanded all British athletes qualifying for the Summer Olympics to obey a clause in section 4 of the contract they'll have to sign that states: "Athletes are not to comment on any sensitive issues" while they're in Beijing.


The Daily Mail newspaper in London has reported the BOAC confirms that any athlete who refuses to sign that gag rule won't be able to travel to the Communist host of the games. And if a signer then speaks out in Beijing, he or she will be shipped back home on the next plane. Among the competitors covered by this edict are the Queen of England's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, and marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, a world-record-holder in that sport.


Considering that the roots of some of our nation's basic civil liberties of conscience and speech originated during very hard-fought battles throughout British history, it is all the more embarrassing, to say the least, that while a member of the British Royal Family, who is also a supporter of the Dalai Lama, exiled by China, is repelled by the prospect of attending the Summer Olympics, the president of the United States does not want to miss this resplendent sporting pantheon.


During his African trip — Bush, speaking with casual disdain of the kind of people who would use the Olympics to pressure China to get Sudan's inhuman tyrant, Gen. Omar al-Bashir, to stop the mass killing and raping — said (Washington Post, Feb. 15), "I mean, you got the Dalai Lama crowd. You've got global-warming folks. You've got, you know, Darfur," Bush said.


Golly, who would want to be associated with such a "crowd"?


While Belgium and New Zealand are also prohibiting its athletes from expressing offensive political opinions as guests of China, Jouko Purontakanen, secretary general of the Finnish Olympic Committee, will not silence that country's athletes. He told The Daily Mail: "Freedom of expression is a basic right that cannot be limited."


But keep in mind that Section 5 of the International Olympic Committee Charter — which applies to all of the worldwide competitors this August — insists there be "no kind of demonstration, or political, religious or racial propaganda, in the Olympics sites venues or other areas."


I am willing to bet that there are American athletes who, unlike our president, will speak directly and publicly from their conscience during the Beijing Olympics, reminding the world why these are increasingly called The Genocide Olympics.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2006, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles