A front-page story in The New York Timesof July 10 reported that federal immigration authorities in the Obama administration have adopted a "new strategy" to replace the military-style raids that were conducted in the Bush years to find and arrest illegal aliens.
Volunteer workers picking grapes and pruning vines in Bordeaux would hardly expect the world to take notice. But when 130 volunteers (Christian evangelicals, no less) come to Har Bracha, a settlement in Samaria, to help out in its winery, it became worthy of attention - indeed, extraordinary preoccupation - from The New York Times.
How did we survive? Can you imagine that day? The First Temple: never had there been a more perfect society. An entire people dedicated to the service of God. Dignitaries from the four corners of the world came to witness the glory of the Kingdom of David and the shining Temple on the Hills of Yerushalayim.
An official Iranian delegation from the city of Shiraz recently visited Weimar, its sister city in Germany. Like Weimar, Shiraz has been a capital of high culture for centuries, and appreciating the arts undoubtedly was high on the itinerary of Mayor Mehran E'temadi and his fellow delegates.
Famagusta, Cyprus: The ghost town lies near the very center of the city, just outside the Venetian walls. It is home only to snakes, scorpions, and rats of a hundred varieties. Signs on the fences around the ghost town show armed Turkish soldiers threatening those taking photographs with arrest or worse. The crumbling buildings inside the perimeter are frozen in time in 1974, as if in an episode of "The Twilight Zone."
While Shylock, in Shakespeare's play, might have used the plural as a rhetorical device, his words speak to a greater truth about community and nation. When we look at a country and wonder why it behaves in the way it does - with charity, belligerence, etc. - we are seeing an entity functioning as an individual might, often driven by the same emotions, ethics and sense of justice.
We need to learn from history. Once upon a time (nearly forty years but not so long ago, really) American foreign policy was being stymied, on every issue and continent, by a duplicitous Soviet Union, Confounded by the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon and his foreign policy czar, Henry Kissinger, faced not so much crises that threatened America as murky messes that wouldn't yield to unilateral resolution. Soviet partnership was needed but at best absent.
The early morning air drifting off the port of Haifa passed through the tents housing the sleeping new recruits secretly based at Kibbutz Ein Shofat.
It is now five years since the mass expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. The anniversary falls on Tisha B'Av, when we mourn the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. We also mark the modern-day destruction of Jewish life.
Rabbi David Nesenoff has given Accuracy in Media the most detailed account yet of how his encounter with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas caused him to reevaluate not only his view of the media, but of the White House and President Obama.
Iris Twito, the mother of two sons injured by Kassam rockets in the city of Sderot, granted an exclusive interview with Sderot Media Center following the Gaza aid flotilla fiasco.
As an Israeli psychoanalyst once noted with bitter irony, the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. The corollary to this observation is that Europeans will never forgive the Israelis and the Jews for Auschwitz.
The ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico has been declared the worst oil spill in American history. It occurred when an offshore drilling rig exploded on April 20, killing eleven crew members and causing an oil pipe, 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface, to rupture. BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, is the fourth largest company, of any type, in the world. Shockingly, BP's efforts, backed by America, have not stopped the flow.
The unusually severe sentence of 27 years in prison for Sholom Rubashkin is a victory for a prosecution that from the outset pursued a win-at-all-costs strategy. But the success comes at a price, and not just to the 51-year-old man now facing a virtual life sentence, his wife and 10 children. The government's handling of this case has sullied our justice system.
Anti-Semitism is the planet's oldest hatred. Yet it is a prejudice I had thought the world was moving past. Clearly, however, as demonstrated by the endless vitriol directed at Israel, it is alive and well.
The issue in the girl's school controversy in Emmanuel is not about ethnic discrimination but about differences between religious groups. The school's educational policies are based on the level of observance, not ethnic background.
Hurricane Katrina. Hostage crisis. Tet Offensive. Is Barack Obama's presidency at a similar tipping point? The relevance of the question exemplifies the gravity of Obama's crisis. Obama is learning the lesson of presidents before him.
It's remarkable that with all the strife and conflict emanating from every corner of the globe, Israel is the country that perpetually dominates the headlines. With Iran thumbing its nose at the international community with the threat of nuclear proliferation, North Korea launching a torpedo attack and sinking a ship from South Korea, and car bombs killing countless civilians in Baghdad on an ongoing basis, why is it that Israel is the hot topic of conversation - and condemnation - throughout the world?
We begin the Three Weeks. Is it an accident that the world seems to be engulfed by one crisis after another? The oil bubbling up from the ocean floor is a perfect symbol of the continuously unfolding tide of disasters. The world teeters, increasingly out of control. And Israel stands alone. As Balaam says in this week's parshah, "Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9).
The headlines in Israel are filled with the mass arrest and imprisonment of a group of haredi parents for disobeying a court order commanding them to send their children to one school and not to another. The world media have discovered the story of intra-Jewish "racism" inside Israel and by and large are repeating the twist to the story provided by Israel's largely leftist media. And, as usually happens, the Israeli media, by covering the story to suit their own biases and ideological agenda, are getting just about everything wrong.
Just like an office fire alarm, the Gaza flotilla affair sent thousands of Jews all over the word into a well-practiced drill.
The facts of the flotilla incident speak for themselves - but only to those who are willing to listen. Unfortunately, albeit predictably, the international community seems to care less about what actually happened and more about that fact that it now has an opportunity to engage in what appears to be a global pastime: kicking Israel.
The May 9-17 AFSI Chizuk mission was another remarkable exploration into the enigmatic world of Israel. In that beautiful country live remarkable Jews who put their lives on the line every day. As Hizbullah in the north, Hamas in the south and the PA's Fatah in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem threaten Israel, the Netanyahu government has the unenviable task of making life and death decisions while contending with pressure from the Obama administration, which seems unwilling or unable to comprehend the dangers.
What could I possibly write to justly summarize the magnitude of my/our dear rabbi, the Rishon LeTzion Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt"l? I can't believe I am actually sitting and writing about him in the past tense.
From the earliest moments of American history, before there was a state of Israel, Americans were dreaming dreams of a Jewish homeland. In every generation in each century of American history, the greatest of American patriots and leaders linked the heart of America to the cause of Israel. Why? What is it about America that so deeply connects us to Israel?