The honor and dignity, if there can be any, goes to the Israeli athletes and to Israel itself; the shame and disgust goes to the Olympic committee. For 60 seconds, the athletes and audience and around the world, 60 seconds of silence could have been a show of triumph over terror, of honor in brotherhood and peace - instead, they will remain, 40 years late and beyond, an endless mark of shame.
I had the honor of spending an evening with the former Prime Minister. I was enthralled with his stories and life lessons, especially with his core conviction that a leader must truly believe in and be ready to defend his policies. If a leader does so, he told me, there is no need to worry about the criticism that will inevitably follow any brave decision.
Absurd, isn’t it - Israel should take a loan to support an organization that officially considers Jews the offspring of apes and pigs and venerates ‘heroes’ like Samir Kuntar and Dalal Mughrabi whose heroism consisted of murdering Jewish children?
There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances. What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.
A short response to Tzvi Fishman's (“Felafel on Rye”) recent blog posts on America and Jewish identity.
When Free Speech Collides with Hate Speech, Truth is the Remedy.
Had Mark Zuckerberg been told that the Jewish people have a mission to rebuild a Jewish state, and that his creative talents are needed, he may have harnessed his mind in that direction. Had he been offered an opportunity to take part in the most exciting project of the Jewish people in two-thousand years, he probably would have taken it.
Disbelief and denial are two words that can describe the alcohol and drug problem in the Jewish community, and that is a problem in itself.
I have tried to lead a life in which the core values are Ahavas Torah and Ahavas Yisrael. To the extent I have succeeded I did so by taking an unusual route – one I do not generally recommend. I moved into the Torah world and Torah learning after I already had a sophisticated secular education and a clear path to a wide choice of prestigious professional opportunities.
Worried about a nuclear Iran? Do you think such a development would not only threaten Israel's existence but would intimidate the Arab countries of the Gulf, put the radical Islamist regime in position to threaten the West, and lead to unmanageable nuclear proliferation? Have no fear! Kenneth N. Waltz, the highly respected professor of international relations at Columbia University, argues in a recent article of Foreign Affairs magazine that "Iran Should Get the Bomb."
When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the passionately pro-Israel members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “do the opposite” of the things that President Obama has done regarding Israel, the room erupted in applause. They understood exactly what he meant because they know the Obama administration has not strengthened the U.S.-Israel relationship. President Obama has brought that strategic alliance to its lowest point in decades.
Gov. Mitt Romney has made some outrageous comments and taken some extreme positions in this presidential campaign. But few, if any, are more baffling than his latest statement on his plans for the U.S.-Israel relationship. Asked what he would do to strengthen America’s alliance with Israel, he said, “by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.”
Over the last decade, we've seen the convergence and alliance of Islamism with the far Left (and, with time, the not-so-far Left). Today, there seems to be another supposedly "impossible" convergence underway: We are witnessing the beginnings of an alliance between the radical Right (KKK, neo-Nazis, etc.) and the radical black Left (Black Panthers, Farrakhan, etc.)
At the recent President's Conference in Jerusalem - though Shimon Peres and others spoke about the dearth of women in professional life in Israel, few spoke about the amazing lack of women presenters at the conference. I counted only about a hand-full. One was Ayaan Hirsi-Ali.
Prior to the creation of the Kol Tzedek program, only a handful of sexual abuse allegations from the Orthodox community were reported to my office each year. Our information was that victims of sexual assault in the community were afraid to come forward and report to secular authorities due to enormous community disapproval and pressure. In an effort to overcome these obstacles and encourage reporting of these heinous crimes, and to ensure the continued cooperation of the victim with the prosecution, my office launched Project Kol Tzedek.
In February, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled the Tal Law discriminatory and unconstitutional in a vote of six to three. The law, which provides exemptions for young men studying in yeshiva full time, has been the subject of much criticism and controversy.
The world famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith said it best: “There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.”
Since Oslo we have had some Israeli governments emulate Neville Chamberlain’s foolish position. While the current government has not done so, there certainly is vast room for improvement in the presentation of Israel’s case to the world.
How do we rectify the sin of the spies? By doing the exact opposite of what they did. We need to love Israel with all our hearts, and to take every measure that is antithetical to rejecting it. Because the original sin was committed through slanderous speech and scare tactics, we can repair the damage by focusing on positive, empowering speech for Israel.
Notice the amazing historical confluence of the ingathering with the communications revolution: just as the Jewish people were set to start off on the adventure of building a state in the Middle East, so too did the technology to communicate and broadcast globally explode - from the wire, to the radio, to the TV, to the internet, to the iPhone - there are no boundaries to the exchange of information.
On January 31, my family’s world was turned upside down. I received a phone call from my mother early in the morning. “Go to Baltimore, your sister is sick. Daddy and I are flying up today [from Florida]. Her organs are shutting down. It’s bad.”
Tonight I installed an Internet filter. I have always disliked filters as they slow down my computer and have been an annoyance. But the asifa at Citi Field focused my attention and an extra safeguard is worth infinitely more than the discomfort it engenders.
Most discussions of the recent gathering at Citi Field have focused on the logistics of the event and the topic – the dangers of the Internet. With such a focus, however, we may very well be missing something of great importance. What struck my attention was the name of the organization staging the event: Ichud HaKehillos Letohar HaMachaneh, or the Union of the Communities for the Purity of the Camp.
The Bible introduces us to many fascinating and inspiring personalities, righteous men and women whose example of piety continue to guide and uplift us to this very day. There are some, however, to whom we can relate in an especially powerful way and whom we can truly strive to emulate.
The Middle East is becoming quieter. No, the swords are not turning into plowshares, it’s not that kind of quiet. Instead, it is the sound of truth that’s slowly being silenced. And it’s happening not only because the PA grows stronger, but also because the West grows weaker.