In an unprecedented effort to rally popular support, al Qaeda is apparently trying to refashion its image from an ultra-conservative, radical Islamist group with clear and precise goals – the ultimate being to implement sharia law around the globe – to what the liberal West has long had a soft spot for: a romanticized revolutionary movement of the “Ché” variety, fighting to overthrow oppression and exploitation (which, as the usual story goes, are products of U.S. greed and aggression).
In 1984, the United States rectified a diplomatic anomaly when it formally recognized the Vatican and agreed to exchange ambassadors with the papal mini-state in Rome.
It is in the silent whispers of our daily Hebrew prayers. “May it be thy will, Lord our God and God of our fathers, that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days and grant us a share in thy Torah. There we will serve thee with reverence, as in days of old and as in former years.”
Is it just me, or have you also noticed how our children are introduced to an unusually high degree of competition in school? Every time I turn around it seems they are involved in one or another extracurricular program.
In the winter of 1943, a decision made by a few idealistic and brave pioneers impacted the very future of Israel. In Kfar Pines, members of the religious Zionist youth movement Bnei Akiva mulled over a recommendation by the Jewish Agency that they resettle Kfar Etzion, an abandoned kibbutz located about two miles east of the Jerusalem-Hebron road. They all understood that the task at hand was immense – the area was isolated and heavily populated by Arabs – but they courageously decided to accept the challenge.
It isn’t just about Israel. American Jews, whether politically liberal or conservative, can, should, and do work together with Evangelical Christians. Headlines and stereotypes tend to hype the issues where a majority of (liberal) Jews are at odds with a majority of (conservative) Evangelicals – abortion and gay rights quickly come to mind. But there are many issues, and the list is growing, on which Jews and Evangelicals are working toward common goals.
When a people is under siege it matters more, not less, how the besieged treat each other. Perhaps I am wrong, or only partly right, but it seems as though too many Jews are treating each other in a manner that is hardly loving, ethical or even minimally civil.
As a matter of principle, it is not the business of American friends of Israel to tell Israelis who should, or should not, be their prime minister. That is, unfortunately, a proposition that has been observed largely in the breach over the course of the last 30 years.
When my grandfather left Poland in 1930, he refused to speak Polish again. Perhaps he foresaw what many would not. When he learned of the Shoah, he discovered that his remaining family members were among those whose lives were snuffed out by their European neighbors.
Amos Oz never tires of finding ways to blame Israel for the absence of Arab-Israeli peace, no matter how clearly the voices on the other side, in Palestinian and broader Arab media, mosques, and schools, declare that their idea of peace is the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of its people. Nor does the celebrated Israeli novelist tire of grossly rewriting history to serve his blame-Israel narrative.
With the release of the Winograd Commission report, the question whether Prime Minister Olmert will resign has dominated Israeli news. A large rally of his opponents took place in Tel Aviv demanding that he accept the report’s critique of his conduct of last summer’s Lebanon war and step down. Some ideological leaders from both the Left and the Right did not participate in the demonstration – the rightists arguing that the organizers of the rally were not against Olmert’s ideology, the leftists fearing his successor would not share theirs.
There is a kind of obsessive national pastime among certain mainstream and left-of-center German dailies that involves, wittingly or unwittingly, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments. The charged debates within American Jewry, ranging from the role of American Jewish organizations to the controversy surrounding intellectual provocateurs like Tony Judt, serve to provide new fodder to those looking to exploit the anti-Israel card in central Europe.
Today, America faces a number of critical challenges. At the top of the list are the threat of radical, violent Jihad and the associated threat of nuclear proliferation. I think many of us fail to comprehend the extent of this threat. Take former president Jimmy Carter. Carter thinks Israel’s security fence is the thing that keeps peace from coming to the Holy Land. Having just been to Israel, I came to the opposite conclusion: the security fence keeps peace in Israel – that fence is helping prevent bloodshed and terror and violence.
“To this day, every Friday night I bless candles in memory of my mother, and there isn’t one Friday night that I don’t see her in my mind, blessing our candles at home…” My gaze is riveted to the television screen as I watch my mother speaking. She begins weeping quietly, remembering the large family she lost in the Holocaust. “I had a beautiful childhood, a warm, close-knit, loving family, and I think it’s what sustained me through everything.”
For centuries, the question of Jewish intellectual superiority has been quietly discussed and debated. How could such a tiny, numerically insignificant group produce so many of the world’s smartest, most accomplished, most influential people?
Forty years ago, the teshuvah movement was in its infancy. Since then, due to the efforts of some determined individuals, the phenomenon has blossomed, positively impacting Jewish communities worldwide. It would be beneficial to take a step back to see where we are today and what the trends are for the future.
American policy and the global war against Al Qaeda and the associated groups and nations that support them – i.e., Iran and Syria – are collapsing. Blame goes beyond liberal politicians intent on destroying the Bush administration, a pernicious press and the radical left which rules academe, mainline churches and the media.
Amid all the recent bad news about our child sex abuse problem in New York, Baltimore, and elsewhere, permit me to be so bold as to suggest there is a glimmer of good news and hope.
Nowadays many people claim our situation In Iraq is becoming more and more like it was in Vietnam. One major criticism of our effort in Vietnam was the absence of an exit strategy. In war planning the term “exit strategy” doesn’t necessarily mean cut and run, as some mistakenly believe. Rather, it is simply defining how you plan to bring the war to an end. In Vietnam, it was beyond the capabilities of both the Johnson and Nixon administrations to devise such a strategy.
At first glance, the question posed by our title appears ludicrous. After all, the Jewish people have a state, and went to great lengths to establish it. Israelis continue to sacrifice themselves in its defense and pay the highest income tax in support of the highest per capita military expenditures in the world. Jews in the Diaspora volunteer their treasure and energy defending Israel’s right to exist.