The next presidential election is still a long way off but it’s already beginning to intrude on America’s consciousness. We’ve already had a series of debates, with candidates from both parties going at one another in their respective forums, and the nightly news programs carry a steady tale of political potshots and hot shots.
Intermarriage is far and away the biggest test faced by Jews and Judaism. Irrespective of how one defines himself or is known to be Jewish, marrying within the faith lies at the core of our survival. Choose your pogrom or persecution down through our long history and the aim was the same – to eradicate Jews and Judaism. Saying no to intermarriage is our way of saying no to those who would destroy us.
I recently called a friend in Israel and we exchanged news about our families.
Recently, after I’d given back examinations in one of my classes, one student who received a failing grade laughed, showed the exam to students on each side, and laughed again. Former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “I hate to lose worse than anyone … but if you lose with humility you can come back” a winner.
Though the late Yitzhak Rabin vowed there would never be recognition of, nor negotiation with, the PLO and that there would never be a Palestinian state, politicians from various Israeli political parties have succumbed to the international push for just such an entity – the very state Rabin said would bring about the ruin of the State of Israel.
1. From Senator Joseph Lieberman’s November 9 speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies:
“Mind your own business.” It’s one of the rules of public conduct that keep civilized society from imploding. Yes, even frum society. Although we as Torah Jews are more given to concern about each other, that doesn’t mean we enjoy attempts by others to pry into our personal lives, critique our choices, or offer unsolicited advice. Especially when it comes to parenting skills. What parent does not resent a meddler’s reproach about the terrible mistakes she is making with her child?
Why do the mainstream media keep tacking on the term “Israeli-Palestinian crisis” where it does not belong? This has become a mindless mantra meant to inflame, not inform – and, more important, to affirm the “goodness” and “fairness” of the journalists who espouse such rank propaganda.
Q: Should Israel attend the upcoming Annapolis peace conference?
On the face of it, Iran ought not to be a source of much partisan strife. Few on even the far left or far right are going to say anything nice about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his mullah masters, or be willing to defend the Islamic republic’s support for terrorism throughout the Middle East, including its sponsorship of Hizbullah and alliance with Hamas.
When I publicly disclosed the beating I received on the #2 bus going to the Kotel last November, it was after consulting with daas Torah and lots of soul searching. I did not relish the black eye this would inevitably give haredi Jews, and I was uncomfortable associating my name with such a grievous event.
Once again, haredi Jews worldwide were shamed and disgraced by association due to the actions of a few violent criminals. Two weeks ago in Beit Shemesh, according to reports in Israeli papers, a group of five haredi young men assaulted a woman for refusing to move to the back of a bus whose front seats were reserved exclusively for men. A male soldier seated next to the woman was also assaulted.
If you want to test a conservative, put him in charge of New York City. If he can make it there (this is not your cue to sing), one suspects he can handle an assortment of infantile conservative activists. And we’ll soon see, because said infantile activists – not Hillary Clinton – appear to be Rudy Giuliani’s primary obstacle to the presidency.
The respected left-wing journalist Aluf Benn recently reported in Haaretz that “When Condoleezza Rice talks about the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel, she sees in her mind’s eye the struggle of African Americans for equal rights, which culminated in the period of her Alabama childhood.”
In November, a U.S.-sponsored conference involving Israel, the Palestinian Authority and possibly several Arab states will convene in Annapolis to frame yet another plan meant to end the Arab-Israeli war and create a Palestinian state. This conference is doomed to fail. The reason: The Palestinians’ ultimate goal is not statehood, but rather Israel’s destruction.
Everyone is familiar with the age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? To some, that may sound like a silly rhetorical quandary, but it actually provides a wonderful metaphor to describe a huge problem facing today’s Jewish community.
There are many kinds of conservatives. I consider myself a small-government conservative. Small-government conservatives believe lower tax rates on employment and capital spur an economy and promote work and entrepreneurship. The alternative is the nanny state – where government seeks to control and provide more services, and tax rates are far higher to support this.
Philippe Karsenty is a tall, handsome, charming, and very determined gentleman. Karsenty, a 41-year-old former stockbroker, media analyst, and founder of Media-Ratings, came to America on a lecture and media tour shortly after his interim victory in a Paris courtroom in the matter of Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli army gunfire.
After Israel’s War of Independence, poet Nathan Alterman famously memorialized those who fell in that struggle in his poem “Magash Hakesef” – “The Silver Platter.” The reference was to a statement by the country’s first president that no one was going to hand the Jews a state “on a silver platter.” In other words, it would have to be earned by sweat and blood.
Many right-wing Israelis were disturbed by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s recent ruling banning Jews from participating in the evangelical Zionist Feast of Tabernacles parade in Jerusalem and the conference that followed.
For students of America’s response to the Holocaust, it is a familiar scenario: a small group of dedicated activists try to bring about the rescue of persecuted Jews, only to find themselves obstructed by cold-hearted bureaucrats, jealous organizational professionals, and an indifferent news media.
For years many of us believed the Nobel Peace Prize could not possibly be debased any worse than it was when Shimon Peres and mass murderer Yasir Arafat were honored for plunging the Middle East into an endless cycle of terrorist aggression against Israel and for putting Israel's very survival in jeopardy.
Germany needs an Israel Lobby. That was the thrust of Alan Posener’s commentary on Deutschland Radio in late May. Posener, chief columnist for Germany’s largest circulating Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, attended the yearly AIPAC conference in Washington and posits U.S pro-Israel solidarity as a model for Germany, where “Israel’s Lobby’s consists of six million dead Jews.”
Not many countries celebrate defeat. Syria does. Not many countries want to be reminded of grossly embarrassing encounters. Syria is celebrating Israel’s victory in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It’s a celebration with a twist. While the rest of the world records Israel’s October 1973 victory over Syria and Egypt, Syrian historians, Syria’s military and most importantly Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, tell another story. The Syrians have rewritten history. And in their version, Syria emerged victorious against Israel.
The next president of the United States will need to address the crumbling social fabric of this great nation.