Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
Shortly after Sarah Palin provoked a barrage of criticism for her use of the term “blood libel,” a Democratic congressman named Steve Cohen compared Republican statements about the Obama health care reform to “the big lie” told by Joseph Goebbels, saying it’s “like [a] blood libel. The same kind of thing.”
Cohen further posited, “the Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust.” For the most part the left excoriated Palin for being insensitive to Jewish suffering, while the right has either defended her use of that historical term or has given her a pass on it. I am one of the few liberal Democrats who, while criticizing her use of crosshairs in identifying contested congressional seats, found nothing objectionable in her use of “blood libel” as a metaphor to describe what she regarded as a false accusation of complicity in the bloodletting in Tucson.
I have heard little from the left regarding Congressman Cohen’s more extreme statements.
The irony, of course, is that many of the same people on the left who criticized Palin for insensitively to Jewish suffering have themselves contributed to Jewish suffering by unfairly demonizing the Jewish state and trivializing the increase in global anti-Semitism. They have also given a pass to those on the hard left who have used Holocaust and Nazi references in mischaracterizing Israeli self defense actions.
Consider the case of Norman Finkelstein, a hero of the hard left. Finkelstein regularly uses Nazi references in his attacks on Israel. He has said the following about the Israeli Defense Forces: “[I] can’t imagine why Israel’s apologists would be offended by a comparison with the Gestapo.” (This same formulation has been used by Finkelstein’s British clone, Gilad Atzmon and by others on the hard left.)
Most recently, Finkelstein, who regularly refers to the Holocaust as a “circus,” responded to a critic with the words “Heil Hitler,” and to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s Christmas greeting to the Christian world with the words, “And a ‘Heil Hitler!’ to you too.”
So proud is Finkelstein of his references to Hitler that he regularly includes them on his website. Other Finkelstein misuses of the Holocaust include calling prominent Jews “Nazis” and comparing them to Eichmann, Streicher and Ribbentrop. He has also said they are “parasites” who “resemble stereotypes straight out of Der Sturmer.”
Yet while J Street, which claims to be a pro-Israel lobby, went out of its way to criticize Palin’s remarks, it has not leveled comparable criticism against Finkelstein and other prominent leftists who abuse the language of Jewish suffering. The reason is obvious: Many J Street supporters echo Finkelstein’s demonization of Israel.
J Street does not go after Finkelstein for the same reason it refused to go after Richard Goldstone: If it did, it would lose support from many on the hard left, which it is trying to cultivate. (One of J Street’s leading supporters, Letty Pogrebin, has praised Goldstone as a modern-day prophet and supported the most egregious statements made in his report.)
Why J Street felt it necessary to enter the kerfuffle about the use of blood libel may not be obvious to those who actually believe J Street is a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby that limits its activities to issues surrounding the Israeli Arab conflict. After all, J Street does not claim to be in the business of defending the Jewish people against defamation as does the ADL. Nor is it a protector of Jewish sensitivities as is the Wiesenthal Center. But to those of us who understand what J Street really is, its attack on Palin makes perfect sense. J Street is a lobby for the Democratic Party in general and for the Obama administration in particular. That’s why it doesn’t deviate from the Obama line, doesn’t criticize the Obama administration, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to dump on Republicans, even those who support Israel.
J Street will respond to this charge of a double standard by arguing that Palin is a prominent public figure, a potential presidential candidate, while Finkelstein and others on the hard left who abuse the language of Jewish suffering are marginal figures.
But that misses the mark. Those of us who are liberals have a special obligation to criticize abusers of the left, just as those who are conservatives have a special obligation to criticize abusers of the right, such as Patrick Buchanan.
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France 2 and Enderlin must have their press accreditation revoked and be thrown out of Israel.
Slaughter is a routine, widespread practice among many Moslem families.
parently an affront to J Street’s worldview, the focus of which appears to be the creation of a Palestinian State, whether or not that will bring peace.
My mother, the eldest daughter of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, was niftar last month at the age of 92. She took her last breath in her home in Efrat, Israel, next door to the shul that was my father’s for 24 years before his passing in 2007.
It comes down to his being famous.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, one crucial point will likely remain overlooked. The most loathsome aspect of this or any other terror bombing attack on civilians will always lie in the inexpressibility of physical pain. While all decent people will abhor the idea of bombs expressly directed at the innocent, whether here or in other countries, none will ever be able to process the very deepest horrors of what has been inflicted.
It’s only natural to see increasing evidence of Jerusalem’s glorious Jewish past being unearthed, quite literally, under modern Israeli sovereignty. The new archaeological finds are also very timely – as the Arab onslaught attempting to detach Jerusalem from its Jewish roots gains steam, the facts on the ground, or “under” the ground, show quite otherwise.
The Talmud (Berachot 26b) says, “tefillot avot tiknum” – “prayer was established by the avot.” The Talmud then uses the following verse (Bereshit 19:27) to prove how Avraham established prayer: “Vayaskem Avraham baboker el hamakom asher amad sham et pnei Hashem” – “And Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before God.”
Nearly 13 years ago, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak journeyed to Camp David to end the conflict with the Palestinians. With the approval of President Clinton, he offered Yasir Arafat an independent Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and in part of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.
The news that the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative groups has brought renewed spotlight on a 2010 lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel group Z Street, which alleges it was also singled out by the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status.
In an editorial last week (“Circling the Wagons”) we noted the efforts by the administration and its supporters to dismiss allegations that the government’s spin on the Benghazi attack was designed to shield the president and that the IRS was improperly used to stifle opposition to Mr. Obama’s reelection.
As the controversies besetting the Obama administration continue to grow in number and intensity, the prospect that President Obama would seriously consider military action against Iran, should that country continue its drive to become a nuclear power, becomes more and more remote. So we welcome the current enhancement of sanctions against Iran on the federal and New York State levels.
To his parents’ friends, he was “Mrs. Greenberg’s disgrace,” but to sports fans he is one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Jewish baseball players of all time. Long before Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg excited Jewish sports fans with his prowess on the baseball diamond.
The very word “hero” was used by the Jordanian justice minister in joining the chorus calling for the release of a convicted terrorist.
A ‘pinkwashing’ conference – focused on how Israel allegedly uses its protection of gay rights to cover up its treatment of Arabs – is being sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Studies Center at CUNY’s Graduate Center this April.
If Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga were to be elected pope, much of the good work done by recent popes in building bridges between the Catholic Church and the Jews would be endangered.
What happened at Brooklyn College demonstrates the wisdom of keeping academic departments from sponsoring non-academic hate fests, such as the BDS event.
Many pro-Israel young academics refuse to speak up out of fear that they will be subjected to the same kind of McCarthyite tactics that I am subjected to.
What if the economics department had officially endorsed Mitt Romney during last year’s election?
The burden is now on Senator Hagel to persuade the Senate, the American people, and the leaders of Iran that he is fully supportive of the President’s commitment to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
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