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25 Nisan 5777 – April 20, 2017

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

17 Heshvan 5773 – November 1, 2012
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Where was God When Hurricane Sandy Struck?

What was G-d thinking when he sent Hurricane Sandy and what could have been its purpose? In truth, I don’t much care, because our role as humans is not to understand G-d’s plan in the face of horror and tragedy, but to challenge God and demand that human life always be protected and preserved. Did I say demand? Yes, humanity has rights before God. We are His children. He commanded us to preserve and promote life always. “Choose life,” Moses orders the Israelite nation in God’s name, on the last day of His life. And the Creator must abide by the same dictates He expects His creatures to.

The Storm that United a Divided Nation

15 Heshvan 5773 – October 31, 2012
Just yesterday I was fully engaged in my campaign for the United States Congress. Winning, elections, and victory were on my mind. Boy, what a difference a day can make. Today, I just want my family and the 50 million people in the storm’s path to be safe.

Which Fatah Won the Palestinian Local Elections?

13 Heshvan 5773 – October 29, 2012
Fatah leaders were quick to declare victory in the October 20 local elections in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -Ed.]. But the results of the vote for 93 municipal and village councils show that the vote was anything but a victory. True, in some cities and villages, Fatah did win a majority of seats. But this is not the same Fatah that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the old guard leadership of the faction had backed.

The Nation of Islam Discovers Scientology

13 Heshvan 5773 – October 28, 2012
The Nation of Islam's historic role as a bridge between American blacks and Islam ended in 1975 when W. Deen Mohammed followed his father, Elijah Muhammad, as leader of the Nation and immediately disavowed his father's folk religion, bringing his followers to normative Islam, the Islam of the Middle East. From then on, despite the theatrics of Louis Farrakhan, the Nation has been in a long downward trajectory. Now comes evidence, thanks to Tony Ortega in the Village Voice and Eliza Gray in The New Republic, of a jaw-dropping turn by Farrakhan, 79, to Scientology; as Gray's subtitle puts it, "America's two weirdest sects join forces."

Qatar Strengthening Hamas in Gaza

10 Heshvan 5773 – October 25, 2012
The U.S. Administration has sought to downplay the significance of this week's visit to the Gaza Strip by the Emir of Qatar, Hamad al-Thani. "We have seen the reports that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa visits Gaza today on a humanitarian mission," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We share Qatar's deep concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people, including those residing in Gaza." Many Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank, do not share the U.S. Administration's position regarding the emir's visit.

Palestinian Statehood, Terror, and the US Election (Pt. 2)

9 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
Whenever an insurgent group resorts to openly unjust means, its actions become incontestably terroristic. Even if the ritualistic Palestinian claim of a hostile Israeli "occupation" were somehow reasonable rather than invented, the corresponding right of entitlement to oppose Israel "by any means necessary" would be false.

Vote Early, Vote Often!

The title of this article is the supposed motto of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, but for Americans living in Israel it means, literally, vote twice. Both Israel and America are holding important elections and, hopefully, most Orthodox Jews will be voting. The United States will be holding its regular four-year elections for president and many other offices, and Israel will be voting for an entire “new” Parliament (Knesset).

Netanyahu Toys With Loyal Voters, Puts Yesha Report On Hold

What is the source of Prime Minister Netanyahu's apparent scorn for the religious, Land of Israel-faithful public in Israel?

Why Palestinians Want Israeli Citizenship

8 Heshvan 5773 – October 23, 2012
The Palestinian Authority says it is worried because of the rise in the number of Palestinians from Jerusalem who are seeking Israeli citizenship. Hatem Abdel Kader, who is in charge of the "Jerusalem Portfolio" in the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank, revealed that more than 10,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem have been granted Israeli citizenship.

Romney Stumbles on Foreign Policy

Barack Obama has a weak record in the Middle East, but one would not learn this from the debate, where Mitt Romney praised Obama's achievements ("It's wonderful that Libya seems to be making some progress"), agreed with Obama more than he disagreed, and rarely pointed out his failings. Presumably, Romney took this mild approach to establish his likability, competence, and suitability to serve as commander-in-chief.

The Alternative

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 18, 2012
“We’ve been living under mortar fire for 18 years. We have to do something,” said the young woman from Sderot on Razi Barkai’s radio show. “What do you want the leaders to do?” asked Barkai. “I don't know, but what they are doing now doesn’t help,” replied the Sderot resident. “Sorry to say this to you, but they also don’t know what to do,” Barkai said. “[It’s] not because they are stupid, but because there is simply no solution.”

A Nation Of Kreplach

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
Hoshana Rabbah is, according to tradition, the day the judgment of Yom Kippur is sealed and finalized. There are some changes in the morning prayers. We circle the bima seven times with our lulav and esrog and then we put them down and take five aravos and beat them on the synagogue floor as if to say, “These are being beaten instead of me.”

Palestinian Statehood, Terror, And The U.S. Presidential Election (First of Two Parts)

President Obama and Governor Romney strongly disagree on many issues but the daylight between them is especially great in the imminent matter of Palestinian statehood. For his part, the president still believes in a two-state solution, and in a corollary willingness of the Palestinian side to negotiate fairly. His opponent is unambiguous in a fully contrary insistence that the Palestinians are not interested in peace.

Reflections on the Second Presidential Debate

Obama got away with saying that he had characterized the attack on the Benghazi consulate as a terrorist incident because the moderator confirmed his point; in fact he misrepresented the facts when he said "The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that … this was an act of terror."

Israel an Exception to the Suffering of Arab Women in the Middle East

Female Muslims are being abducted, raped, shot, tortured and forced into unwanted marriages in a number of Arab and Islamic countries. In Israel, however, Muslim women are not only allowed to drive and run for elections, but can also reach high positions. Not all Arab Israelis are an "enemy from within"; Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.

Jordan: Is King Abdullah Losing Support of the Tribes?

1 Heshvan 5773 – October 16, 2012
Walid Obeidat, Jordan's new ambassador to Israel, a member of one of Jordan's largest and most influential tribes, deserves an award for being one of the most courageous diplomats not only in his country, but in the entire Arab world. His tribe has now "disowned" him because he agreed to serve as ambassador to Israel, which has a peace treaty with Jordan.

Is Netanyahu Again Offering the Golan Heights to Syria?

30 Tishri 5773 – October 15, 2012
Shimon Shiffer reports in Yedioth Ahronoth that in secret talks in 2010 via U.S. government mediator Frederic C. Hof, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed in principle to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the June 4, 1967, lines in return for the "expectation" of Bashar al-Assad cutting ties with Iran, and that the nearly-completed negotiations ended because of the anti-Assad uprising that began in January 2011.

Impressions of the Veep Debate

29 Tishri 5773 – October 14, 2012
Middle East expert Daniel Pipes' thoughts on the Biden-Ryan debate.

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