In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Ever since a light bulb went off in Yasir Arafat’s head and the idea of a Palestinian people was born, Israel has become known to the world as an “occupier.” The narrative of occupation, despite being a complete fiction, has turned the founding of modern Israel from a miraculous story of Jewish rebirth into a sordid genocidal project.
Language serves as one of the Palestinians’ (I use the term for convenience only) chief weapons in their war against the Jews. The word “occupation” is supposed to conjure images of an arrogant colonial power, hungry to amass land and wealth regardless of who might be trampled upon like scrambling insects. It paints in black and white: one party as perpetrator, the other as victim.
Interesting, then, that the hordes of squatters who have, since September, been camped out in Zuccotti Park at the bottom of Manhattan have chosen to call themselves “occupiers.” The Occupy Wall Street movement portrays itself as representing the victims in this country’s economic downturn, the poor grasshoppers whose rights and interests got squeezed out in the government’s bailout of big financial institutions. (The gripe about the bailout is but one item on their motley list of grievances, and one of the only coherent ones.)
To me it seems clear that the makeup of the OWS crowd is overwhelmingly liberal, lefty, even a smattering socialist. The same elements who are the first to criticize Israel for every move it makes, to demonize the Jewish state and its supporters and swallow every lie that comes out of the Palestinian propaganda mill, are now raging against the American capitalist machine.
Thus, I find it curious that the protesters adopted for their movement the same pejorative terminology used against Israel.
Any connection here? I doubt that Israel or the Palestinians were on the protesters’ minds when they hatched their ragtag operation. Not consciously, anyway.
But I think there’s a notable irony.
This movement is grounded in an entitlement mentality that promotes self-pity above self-sacrifice. The attitude is: We’ll stay as long as we like, we’ll appropriate the space and resources we need, and we’ll conflate activism with proactivity.
There are many things wrong with OWS—a lack of clear goals, a unified voice, a determinable endpoint, a hodgepodge of complaints as loosely related as Obama is to the pope. But what stands out most, and especially rankles me as a resident of lower Manhattan, is the utter disregard for the rights of others whose daily lives, routines, quality of life, and even livelihoods have been upset for nearly two months.
Police barricades, as well as offensive odors, require pedestrians (not to mention motorists, who are already under assault in Bloomberg’s New York) to reroute themselves, or avoid the area altogether. The already strained NYPD and FDNY, which have suffered diminishing ranks as their budgets continue to shrink, have had to allocate their scarce resources toward protecting the protesters and maintaining some semblance of order and safety in the area. And local businesses have suffered severe downturns. The months-old Milk Street Café, a huge, upscale kosher eatery that was drawing both kosher and non-kosher crowds, has already laid off more than 20 employees, and its owner has said he may have to close.
The rapidly growing OWS movement—last I checked, copycat groups had sprung up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Sacramento, Toronto, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Omaha, Oklahoma City, Nashville, Oakland, Montreal, Vancouver, and many more – has spawned violence and vandalism, all in the name of peaceful social protest.
Just last week in Oakland, riot police arrested dozens of demonstrators who had started a fire on a downtown street and threw chunks of concrete and metal pipes – this after the group had managed to shut down the nation’s fifth busiest port. Even right here in New York, over 800 people have been arrested, most on charges of disorderly conduct.
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The growing revelations that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack in order to cleanse them of any mention of al Qaeda and terrorism is a travesty.
We must confront Islamist groups with what Prime Minister David Cameron referred to as “muscular liberalism.”
Al-Qaradawi’s visit and statements also serve as a reminder that the Israeli-Arab conflict is centered, more than ever, around religion.
Everyone who reads newspapers should know at least one thing. Threats to annihilate Israel have always been unremarkable. Almost never, it seems, have Israel’s existential enemies sought any reason for concealment.
Mark Treyger, a candidate for city council in New York City’s 47th council district, met recently with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s Boro Park office.
Israel’s government did not want to liberate Jerusalem. Or to be more specific, the Labor and National Religious Party ministers did not want to liberate Jerusalem. “Who needs that whole Vatican?” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan explained at the time.
Last Friday, the Western Wall underwent an unwelcome transformation from sacred site to media circus as the group known as the Women of the Wall sought to hold a decidedly non-traditional prayer service.
Two recent revelations have raised serious questions about the kind of government President Obama is running.
Readers of my monthly Baseball Insider column may have noticed its absence last week (the column appears in the second issue of every month). The reason for that is I have something more serious and personal to share with you, something that didn’t seem appropriate for a baseball column.
Herbert Romerstein died last week after a long illness. With Herb’s passing, we lose not only a good guy but a vast reservoir of knowledge that is not replaceable.
Freedom House recently released its annual report on press freedom throughout the world at an event sponsored by the Newseum in Washington. But along with the usual and appropriate condemnations of dictatorships and totalitarian states, the group decided to slam the one democracy in the Middle East as well as one of the few states in the region where press freedom actually exists: Israel.
What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:
Now is the time for Ankara to take some corrective domestic and foreign policy measures consistent with what the country has and continues to aspire for but fails to realize.
It is ten o’clock in the morning. I am at a local park with my daughter. A number of children are climbing and sliding, imbibing the fresh air. In their orbit are a smaller number of women, some milling around on foot, others sitting on the benches conversing and minding strollers. Trailing my own child, I play a silent game: Who is a Mommy? Which, if any, of these women (who range from lovingly attentive to disturbingly disengaged) are the children’s mothers, and which are babysitters?
We asked several experienced mechanchim for their insights on how to shepherd children from their first “Modeh Ani” to the understanding that Hashem alone holds the key to every aspect of their existence. Here are the key principles they shared.
When the disproportion of terrorist acts committed by Muslims – and the resulting hordes cheering the carnage on the Arab street – lead clear-minded observers to conclude that jihadism is the dominant strain in the Islamic world, we are accused of painting with an unfairly broad brush, discounting the silent (and invisible) majority of Muslims who oppose violence and crave peace.
Ever since a light bulb went off in Yasir Arafat’s head and the idea of a Palestinian people was born, Israel has become known to the world as an “occupier.”
Anthony Weiner is the latest in a long line of public figures caught by surprise at the unveiling of their own closet misdeeds. Weiner (and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the still-presumed-innocent Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and so many others before them) lived in a bubble of false security, created in part by their own hubris. Perhaps their biggest mistake, however, was believing their personal lives were somehow sacrosanct, impermeable, separate and apart from their public lives.
We just celebrated Purim, which has always stood out in my mind as unique among the Jewish holidays. Unique for the giddy exuberance it brings, the gastronomic indulgence, the focus on unity and community, the retelling of arguably the most dramatic tale of Divine salvation in Jewish history – but most of all for the strong, spirited heroine at its center.
Ever since I got my copy of Quick & Kosher, Jamie Geller’s first cookbook, I’ve been hoping for a sequel. And after meeting this adorable, down-to-earth powerhouse (and interviewing her for the Jewish Press) back in 2007-she was working on new recipes even as she was out promoting that debut volume-I was even more eager to see what else she would have in store. Three years in the making, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes hits stores this month.
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