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.
I wasn’t the least bit surprised that Israel was vilified and condemned in the hours and days following the Israeli raid aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla ship outside of Gaza.
Like clockwork, the usual suspects lined up to censure Israel. After an emergency session, the ever-objective United Nations Security Council called for a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards” into the flotilla incident. Officials from Turkey, Iran, Venezuela, China, Mexico, Brazil, Austria, and France all took to the airwaves and print media to denounce Israel’s actions.
Faster than the IDF could upload its video evidence to YouTube proving Israeli special forces were attacked first, Israel had been tried and convicted in the court of international public opinion.
Still, none of this particularly fazed me, as our enemies never miss an opportunity to jump on the anti-Israel bandwagon. What I did find particularly jolting, however, was just how many Jews, our own flesh and blood, have joined the chorus of voices clamoring against Israel.
In an interview with the Boston Herald, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called the nine so-called activists killed during the May 31 raid “innocent.”
During that same interview, Frank said, “As a Jew,” Israeli treatment of Arabs around some West Bank settlements “makes me ashamed that there would be Jews that would engage in that kind of victimization of a minority.”
Frank later backed off from his comments, claiming the Herald was inaccurate in its report that he had criticized the Israeli Navy, and that the paper had taken his use of the word “innocent” out of context.
Long-time Israel foe and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman asked about the flotilla raid and the Gaza blockade, “How long is this going to go on? Are we going to have a whole new generation grow up in Gaza with Israel counting how many calories they each get?” (“When Friends Fall Out,” June 1, New York Times website).
In an earlier, unrelated column Friedman had written, “Continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, and even housing in disputed East Jerusalem, is sheer madness.” (“Driving Drunk in Jerusalem,” March 14, New York Times website).
In an online chat session with Washington Post readers, Adam Shapiro, self-identified board member and organizer with the Free Gaza Movement remarked, “Yes, our ships were attempting to break the blockade – a blockade that is illegal. Israel is the occupying power of Gaza, recognized as such by all governments and the UN, including the U.S. government. As occupying power it cannot declare war on that territory and cannot use blockade [sic], as that constitutes collective punishment. Yes, just as those who challenged Jim Crow laws and apartheid laws, we are challenging this blockade.” (“Israel Deports Gaza-bound Flotilla Activists,” June 2, Washington Post website).
And then there’s 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, a member of the Free Gaza Movement who was involved in coordinating the Mavi Marmara flotilla. (“Israel Signals New Flexibility on Gaza Shipments,” June 3, New York Times website).
I cannot help but feel a deep sense of betrayal when I see a Jewish name linked with anti-Israel rhetoric. I feel that same bitter disappointment in our Jewish Congressional representatives who remain quietly on the sidelines, waiting for the dust to settle, while Israel deals with an international backlash.
It is the perpetual silence of our Jewish elected officials that has enabled President Obama and his administration to set policies that have weakened Israel’s standing in the eyes of the world. It is their seeming indifference that has perpetuated the message that it is permissible, even laudable, to attack Israel, while Israel is prohibited from defending itself.
Throughout its brief history, Israel has bravely faced and fought its enemies as a matter of necessity and survival. Doing so proved easier when the line between enemy and friend was clearly demarcated. Today, as Jews openly and unabashedly attack Israel and work against its security interests, the line between enemy and friend has been blurred.
If Israel has any hope for a future, it must come to terms with the fact that, sadly, the enemy it must now confront comes from within.
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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.
The importance of the caucus on organ harvesting in China, sponsored recently by the Liberal Lobby in the Knesset, cannot be exaggerated. On the surface, the caucus’s topic seems odd. Knesset members and other VIPs were called together to discuss horrors being perpetrated by the Communist regime in China against what the government there calls “regime opponents.”
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.
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.
To eat is to live – to keep our physical bodies alive. For without the body, there is nothing. No experience. No memory. No joy and no hardship. But man, unlike animals, eats to live and to enjoy. So how should a Jew respond when he is challenged as to why he imposes upon himself not just ceremonies dedicated to the enjoyment of eating but even more to the limiting of what he can eat?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/with-friends-like-these-who-needs-enemies/2010/06/09/
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