- By Clare SestanovichClare Sestanovich and Sylvie Stein are researchers at Foreign Policy.
In lieu of his famous and long-winded diatribes (his longest speech clocked in at 7 hours and 10 minutes), Castro — or, more likely, a loyal ghostwriter — now communes with the populace via the blogosphere. Several times a week, a new "Reflection of Fidel" appears on the website of Granma Internacional, Cuba’s leading newspaper. His latest contribution stirred up trouble last week when passages of a post were quoted in a speech by Cuban delegates before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. In the article, Castro alleges:
The state of Israel’s hatred of the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send one and a half million men, women and children from that country to the gas chambers in which millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis… The Führer’s swastika would seem to be Israel’s banner today."
Not surprisingly, his added caveat — that "this opinion is not born of hatred"– did little to appease outraged Israelis, and today the government formally denounced Cuba’s remarks. The comments come on the heels of a similarly incendiary speech by the Syrian envoy before the council last week, raising fresh concerns about anti-Semitism in the global community.