Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
The New York Times is special to me. Always has been, always will be. Over the years there were times I was critical of Times editorials, and on a few occasions of its news stories. Yet my day would not be complete if I had not read the Times.
So the criticism of the Times that follows is written in sorrow, not joy, and is intended to help, not harass.
When I read the Times editorial page on June 6, I was deeply disappointed. Why? Because on one day, in the same issue, three of the four Times editorials struck me as mean-spirited, lacking balance and just plain dumb.
The first editorial, entitled “Gitmo: A National Disgrace,” berated President Bush for “ramm[ing] the Military Commission Act of 2000 through Congress to lend a pretense of legality to his detention camp at Guantanamo Bay…”
The language “pretense of legality” is outrageous, considering that the U.S. Supreme Court in an earlier decision advised the Congress that it had the right to create military commissions to deal with “unlawful enemy combatants,” those who don’t wear uniforms on the battlefield and carry concealed weapons. “Lawful combatants (who wear uniforms and carry weapons openly) fall under the Geneva Conventions.”
Pray tell, what is wrong with Congress and the president making that distinction when it comes to trials? Further, hasn’t the military commission proved its fairness by the very fact that it dismissed the cases of the first two defendants brought before it, finding they were not “unlawful enemy combatants.”
Instead of assaulting the military tribunal, shouldn’t the Times have praised its fairness? Of course, but the Times is so blinded by its fury on the Iraq war and its hatred of President Bush that its editorial board can’t think straight on these issues. The Times wants the Guantanamo Bay military prison closed. Isn’t that senseless? Wouldn’t a new prison for these alleged terrorists have to be built to hold them pending their trials?
The military commission and conditions at Guantanamo have been in American courts, with appeals going as high as the U.S. Supreme Court. So far as I know, the president has obeyed every court order on the subject. But nothing will satisfy the Times on the war in Iraq or the continued leadership of President Bush, other than the immediate end of the war and the end of the president’s tenure.
How does the Times explain the fact that a Democrat-controlled Congress has not seen fit to end the military tribunals and the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay prison? Are they all wrong and only the Times editorial board right? The Times simply will not accept that we are at war and millions of Islamic fundamentalists believe it is their religious duty to kill every Hindu, Christian, Jew and other Muslims with whom they disagree on aspects of their shared religion.
The second editorial on June 6was titled “Jail Time For Scooter Libby.” Libby testified before the grand jury that he learned of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson – a CIA covert officer – from NBC News’s Tim Russert. That was untrue, and Russert testified to that effect. Whether Libby intentionally lied or was, as he stated in his defense at trial, merely forgetful, a trial jury found him guilty. We also learned that it was not he who revealed Plame’s identity to the press, and that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted he gave that information to Robert Novak, the reporter who published it.
(The Times, I’m fairly certain, did not castigate Rudy Giuliani, who testified before a grand jury inquiring into activities of his former police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, that he could not remember that his DOI commissioner had warned him that Kerik had ties with a business firm which had mob connections, before he recommended Kerik to President Bush to be considered for Secretary of Homeland Security.)
Libby was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined $250,000 for “obstruction of justice, perjury and giving false statements.” The Times is normally careful not to appear shrill in its editorial tone, but it took delight in Libby’s sentence: “The jail sentence and fine imposed on Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, are an appropriate – indeed necessary – punishment for his repeated lies to a grand jury and to FBI agents investigating a possible smear campaign orchestrated by the White House.”
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The Drama Mamas are not an ordinary theater troupe. “When we audition actresses,” says Elisheva, who also serves as the show’s director, “we like to explain to them that the main qualification is that you can honestly say, I have never been on a stage before, but I have always wanted to be an actress!”
Under the plan, a person who was not a citizen of either the Jewish or Arab state was to be appointed governor to administer Jerusalem and to conduct external affairs…
The haredim are not afraid of connecting Israeli nationalism to its faith. Just the opposite. They are afraid to connect the Jewish faith to the Israeli nationalism reawakening in Israel.
I was singing, dancing, jumping and, sweating. Just joy and happiness. One child on my shoulders after another. What happiness! And then, the little boy on my shoulders – he could not have been older than six – began to cry.
Alcohol on Purim is viewed by many as the drinking equivalent of the Autobahn: no limits, no control.
Why not tell us that Purim is to be commemorated with reading the megillah, dispensing mishloach manot, giving gifts to the poor, and partaking in a Purim feast?
At the core of traditional Judaism is the belief that our world has a Creator. This Creator knows all that goes on in our world, and remains actively involved in all of its events – no matter how insignificant some of those events might seem.
Make no mistake: the potential here is enormous. If all of these budget items are approved, they could be a game changer for Jewish day schools and their budgets.
There are those who believe all Israelis must share equally in the military defense of Israel while others say Torah study affords at least as much security as military service. In many respects, The Jewish Press has long reflected this dynamic.
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What do at-risk youth and more than 30,000 square feet of groceries have in common? The answer is Moisha Binik.
The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.
In his April 4th New York Times column, Thomas Friedman endorsed what he designated to be “non-violent resistance by Palestinians” against Israel. He added that Palestinians need to “accompany every boycott, hunger strike or rock they throw at Israel with a detailed map” delineating their territorial demands.
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I read Nicholas D. Kristof’s New York Times column of October 6 with its headline “Is Israel Its Own Worst Enemy?” and concluded on finishing it that it is Kristof who is truly an enemy of Israel.
As I see it, in the current battle for public opinion Sarah Palin has defeated her harsh and unfair critics.
After the January 8 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others in Tucson, Arizona, some television talking heads and members of the blogosphere denounced her and held her in part responsible for creating a climate of hatred that resulted in the mass attacks.
The silence continues to be deafening with no Democrat in Congress to my knowledge crying out against President Obama for continuing to try to diminish America’s closeness to Israel.
I consider the Obama administration’s recent actions against the Israeli government to be outrageous and a breach of trust.
In 2004, I supported George W. Bush for a second term as president because I believed the most important issue facing the United States was the threat posed by Islamic terrorism, a life or death issue.
We are now getting down to the homestretch as we wrap up the Democratic primary and begin the race to the November general election. We will be electing the next president of the United States, and almost everyone expressing an opinion, informed or uninformed, believes the Democratic candidate will be Barack Obama.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/lament-for-a-once-great-newspaper/2007/06/15/
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