If words are a window into the soul, then Barack Obama’s now famous comments to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2008 Policy Conference revealed much about his true attitude toward Israel and the not-so-secret agenda of his foreign policy advisers. Here was an opportunity for the great orator to set the record straight and disabuse his critics of the widely held notion that his sympathies are not with Israel’s enemies but with the safety of the besieged Jewish state.
The cult of the talking snake began in the town of Abonoteichus around the year 150 CE, shortly after the Bar Kochba revolt.
Words come and words go. Some disappear completely, while others vanish into the jargon of our vocabulary. Few succeed in capturing center stage in our consciousness. One that has succeeded is a four-letter word that embellishes countless monuments, organizations, billboards and publications. Its sound enlivens the soul, its melody softens the heart.
There are two characteristics unique to humans in the universe, separating them from the animal kingdom and perhaps also differentiating them from anything in the higher or trans-natural world.
If you’re Barack Obama, and you’re looking for a retired general to make the implausible case that you’re ready to handle America’s national security concerns, you can’t afford to be choosy.
The release of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” will inevitably be overshadowed by the untimely death of one of its stars, Health Ledger, who played the Joker. The talented young actor (who actually lived a few blocks from me) had devoted himself to creating an original, multifaceted portrayal of the iconic character, arguably the most compelling villain in the Batman canon.
During our recent trip to Orlando, which I wrote about at length in a front-page essay titled “What I Learned at Disney World” (Jewish Press, May 16), we visited Hollywood Studios. There we watched a series of stunt and adventure shows, including “Racing” and “Indiana Jones.”
By executing the so-called prisoner swap with Hizbullah on Wednesday this week, the Israeli government concluded its shameful role in shirking its responsibility for the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah almost two years ago.
“George W. Bush is a [expletive] theocrat!” If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that over the past eight years. Having written a book on the faith of George W. Bush, I was pummeled by liberals for not conceding that Torquemada had risen from the grave and was now running America from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Et achai anochi mevakeish” (“I seek my brethren”) was the theme of our whirlwind four-day visit to Buenos Aires in June. There are about 250,000 Jews in that country -- one of the largest Jewish communities after the United States and Israel -- almost all of them concentrated in Buenos Aires.
Ever since the article last month in The New York Times describing a major Israeli air force training exercise, analysts and prognosticators have been busy commenting, speculating, and, in many cases, downright fantasizing.
Last week we experienced an extraordinary Kiddush Hashem when, on Wednesday, July 2, an Arab murderer armed with a huge bulldozer went on a rampage in the streets of Jerusalem. He flattened occupied cars, turned over a bus and ran over innocent pedestrians until his reign of terror was finally stopped by what was described as a passerby.
“I don’t care what group you identify with, as long as you are ashamed of it.” There is much wisdom in the throwaway line with which Dennis Prager frequently challenges audiences to admit to the flaws of the groups with which they identify.
One of the mysteries of Jewish history is why Jews find so little pride in their identities and tradition.
Two years ago, American Jewish community relations groups were busy patting themselves on the back for achieving a signal victory in turning back the attempt by anti-Israel radicals to hijack the Presbyterian Church USA.
The archconservative Patrick Buchanan has never found an isolationist cause, other than the anti-anti-communist one, that he didn't like. First he penned A Republic, Not an Empire to make the case for American active disengagement from the world's woes but, apparently unheeded, this hasn't sufficed.
On the day French President Nicolas Sarkozy told members of the Israeli Knesset that Jerusalem had to be divided, an Orthodox Jewish teenager was in intensive care in a Paris hospital after he was beaten by an anti-Semitic mob. I found it ironic that a man who is unable to protect the Jews of his own country has the gall to tell Israel’s leaders how best to conduct their internal and external foreign policy.
This week we celebrate the anniversary of America’s independence, an event of great magnitude in the history of mans’ struggle for freedom. At a time like this we should be humble and realize that we are the beneficiaries of the dedication and sacrifice of countless others who came before us and built up and defended America.
We've grown used to it: whenever anyone in the media takes note of the antics of Norman Finkelstein, a flood of disinformation is bound to follow.
Recently, I was handed a flyer advertising an event billed as “A Day of Remembrance: Recognizing and Honoring Countries and Diplomats for Their Heroism During the Holocaust.” The event took place at a prominent Brooklyn synagogue under the auspices of several respected Jewish organizations. The guest speaker was Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.
It’s been almost five years since director Ang Lee’s big budget movie The Hulk roared into theaters. Fans and critics alike were less than impressed, so moviegoers eagerly anticipated last week’s release of director Louis Leterrier’s new half-remake/half-revamp of the Bruce Banner saga, called The Incredible Hulk.
There are times when even the most ardent supporters of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem wish the politicians would just shut up. Not that they mind it when men like Sen. Barack Obama, the putative Democratic nominee for president, wax lyrical about the Jewish state’s capital. When Obama told the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., earlier this month that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” he was cheered to the echo.
There once was a nation called Rhodesia. Located in southern Africa, Rhodesia was a nation with a European minority that ruled over black Africans. Rhodesian government and society were badly flawed and racist. But black Rhodesians had a better standard of living than blacks anywhere else in Africa; black Africans smuggled themselves into Rhodesia for good jobs and a more comfortable life.
As summer arrives, our thoughts here in the offices of Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities are on our one-of-a-kind summer program, Yad B’Yad. Yad B’Yad, which translates from the Hebrew as Hand in Hand, is unique in that participants include both “mainstream” high-school students – from Jewish or public/secular schools – and campers who have developmental disabilities and sometimes accompanying physical disabilities. Yad B’Yad is a touring summer program; most summers see two concurrent trips; one in Israel and one somewhere in the United States. (This year’s U.S. trip will be on the West Coast with time spent in Hawaii.)
Nearly 20 years since he left the White House, Ronald Reagan has begun taking his place in the small gallery of most consequential presidents. Though his admirers accorded him a prominent spot long ago, the story of recent years has been the gradual recognition of Reagan’s achievements among more liberal-minded scholars.