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.”
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.
First published here almost one year ago, Professor Beres' column about Prime Minister Olmert's devastating policy errors was a warning unheeded. Written even before the 2006 Lebanon War fiasco, it takes on new and especially urgent meanings following the scathing report by Israel's Winograd Commission.
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died this week at age 73, was one of those figures who constantly attract the media’s scorn. It comes with the territory when you’re either a biblical literalist, a political conservative, or someone not shy about taking a sword to liberalism’s sacred cows. Falwell fit all those categories, making him a three-time loser to journalists whose taste in religious leaders runs more along the lines of a Desmond Tutu or a William Sloane Coffin.
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.
Religious Extremism And International Legal Norms Perfidy, Irrationality And Preemption (Conclusion)
Another term that appears in the title of my remarks is "irrationality." I have noted before − per Rene Girard − that violence need not necessarily be irrational.
It has been more than 10 years since its conception, but finally the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of Jewish History of Polish Jews has been set for June 26, 2007.
It wasn’t quite a Clark Clifford moment, but Hillary Clinton’s bizarre “deauthorization” proposal – namely, that Congress repeal its October 2002 resolution giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq – is so breathtaking in its cynicism and opportunism that it calls to mind the transparent about-face executed by Clifford nearly four decades ago, more about which later.
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.”