Today marks ten years since jihadist terrorists carried out a ghastly bombing attack on night club spots on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Kuta Beach massacre was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia: 202 people were killed that night. 164 were foreign nationals, 38 were Indonesian citizens. 209 people were injured. Almost immediately after it happened on 12th October 2002, the then editorial team at the Melbourne (Australia) Herald-Sun newspaper contacted Arnold Roth.
Since being sexually attacked in Egypt, journalist Lara Logan now seems to recognizes that the real problems of the Middle East are not caused by the here and now of Palestinian suffering. My reaction to this story is to say to Ms. Logan, “Welcome aboard.” “We could use a few more reporters like you.”
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently warned that, “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.” During Thursday's Vice Presidential debate the statement was read to Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan at the start of segment on Iran. What exactly Gates meant by “catastrophic” I’m not sure (Muslim/Middle East resentment towards the U.S.? Lack of access to oil? Increase in global terrorism?), but during the debate, both Biden and debate moderator Martha Raddatz seemed to argue that it meant going to war with Iran.
Middle East expert Daniel Pipes' thoughts on the Biden-Ryan debate.
Over the Sukkot holiday, 12 Jews were arrested and many more were harassed and denied religious rights on the Temple Mount over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Eight of the arrests were for prayer crimes and three were for peacefully protesting the policies of discrimination and denigration. Here's a day by day report.
We live a short walk from the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem. Over the holidays, the hotel was packed with Diaspora Jews from all over the world, but now that the holidays are over, the lobby is pretty deserted. I can’t understand how a self-respecting Jew can leave the Land of Israel and go back to the Lilliputian Jewish life of Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne, or Brooklyn after being in the Land of our Forefathers.
A former Saudi Naval officer writes that Arab hatred of Israel is costing them severely, arguing that, "Hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted and tens of thousands of innocent lives lost fighting Israel."
A new video explaining the Jewish right to build in Judea and Samaria.
Fans of this blog have often asked why we do not monitor British media institutions other than the Guardian for anti-Israel bias – a query to which we have not had an answer. Until now. Recognizing the importance of the BBC in shaping world-wide opinion, a new site, BBC Watch, has been launched which will monitor BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East.
As the men danced around below us, I had a lot of time to notice the people who were there - many are friends and neighbors of mine; children and grandchildren of people I know. The rabbi that is so loved in this community; a woman who regularly collects food for needy people. This one has a child who is ill; a boy with Down Syndrome who is so loved and cherished. This family has more boys than I can count; this one just had a daughter who got married. She's a grandmother now. Her son just got engaged. That one there is married to her over there. And on and on - a community of people.
Many of you have been shocked by the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because of a blog she wrote and interviews she gave starting in 2009, criticizing the Taliban and calling for the education of women. This lovely, self-possessed girl, who speaks and writes on a level far above her age, and who planned to enter politics (video), may or may not survive. If she does not, it will be an enormous loss for Pakistan and for the world.
Despite some of my early negative observations - it still seemed like there was a tremendous sense of Achdus in many respects. The Shul I davened at was very Charedi and yet a great number of regular attendees there are Dati Leumi - Kipa Seruga, no jacket or hat. Even an occasional Israeli solider in full uniform can be found catching a Minyan there. All are welcome.
Ignore for the moment the rank racism, the poor spelling, the absence of any basis for the wild and irresponsible allegations...
We're now entering the period when we begin to pray for rain. Lack of rain was often an excuse to persecute the Jews, specifically those living in Jerusalem. There are quite a few examples from our history of this rain libel, which was very often linked to the 'sin' of drinking wine.
Browsing through a news website, I noticed that the World Series is just two weeks away. I haven’t followed baseball for 30 years, ever since making aliyah. When I lived in America, and thought I was an American, I loved baseball, like everyone else. But baseball doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t even know what teams are in the running this year. The World Series has absolutely nothing to do with the Redemption of Am Yisrael, so who cares? But maybe we can borrow a few metaphors from baseball to help America Jews understand that Judaism in the Diaspora is the Little Leagues.
Mitt Romney gave a generally fine speech today on the Middle East. Sensibly, he criticized the Obama administration for its Benghazi shenanigans, for the "daylight" with Israel, fecklessness vis-à-vis Tehran, and the cuts in military spending. Very justifiably, he called it "time to change course in the Middle East." But I worry about three specifics.
The US State Department has created an award program for "female Palestinian scientists." Candidates are required to "be a citizen and resident of West Bank, Gaza, or Jerusalem." What does it mean by "citizen"? Is the US State Department creating, again, a Palestinian state, when there is none existing?
An official Guardian editorial on Oct. 1, ‘In praise of the political cartoon,' commended the Egyptian newspaper Al Watan for “publishing… pictures with the message that the...
While events — the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the Second Intifada — have convinced the great majority of Israelis that a practical two-state solution is a fantasy based on wishful thinking, this has generally not penetrated the US media or political establishment. So Mitt’s remarks in May came as a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, it seems as though Romney has now changed his mind.
It doesn’t matter to what segment of Orthodox Jewry one belongs. All segments celebrate this day with the same exuberance. It is truly the Torah which unites us all, right to left.