As a continuation of sorts from last week, some thoughts, rambling and otherwise, on The New York Times: On Friday, April 8, two days after its editors went public with an admission of yet another journalistic dereliction - the paper acknowledged that, as a result of a secret deal with Columbia University, student reaction was deliberately excluded from a front-page "exclusive" on the release of a report dealing with allegations of bias on the part of pro-Palestinian faculty - there appeared in the Times a profile of Joseph Massad, one of the professors at the heart of the Columbia controversy. (The paper, as it happens, had seen fit to solicit and run Massad's thoughts the week before in the very article in which his critics were ignored.)
The only real lesson that Marc H. Ellis wishes Jews to learn from the Holocaust is that Israelis are behaving like Nazis and that Jews who assist the Palestinian violence in achieving its aims are ethically equivalent to those few Germans who rescued Jews in World War II from the Gestapo.
It is not just our enemies who show us no mercy and who "love death" who bring us death. The triumph of the absurd (the world of Chelm or the world of Kafka?) can be found also in sober actions of the United Nations.
The New York Times, still reeling from the Jayson Blair, Rick Bragg and Judith Miller fiascos, was caught - yet again - with its pants down last month, but you may have missed it if you don't read The New York Sun or are oblivious to blogs and the media-transforming reality of the blogosphere.
The story goes something like this. During World War I, a Jew loses his way along the Austro-Hungarian frontier. Wandering through the woods late at night, he is abruptly stopped in his tracks by the screaming challenge of a nervous border-guard: "Halt, or I'll shoot." The Jew blinks uncomfortably into the beam of the searchlight and retorts with obvious annoyance: "What's the matter with you? Are you meshugga (crazy)? Can't you see that this is a flesh-and-blood human being?"
The goal now must be to influence the Israeli government to allow for this option as well as for the option of protecting the religious sites in their original locations, under international law, with eventual access for Jews under the proper security precautions.
It's fascinating to realize that the Ramah was so perturbed by the disconnect between his understanding of correct halachic practice and the reality he witnessed around him that he postulated a highly improbable sociological phenomenon.
When Abraham Karp was in his early teens growing up in the Bronx, he traveled by subway on shopping trips to the Jewish book dealers on the Lower East Side with his father, Aaron, a furrier who never had much money.
The syndicated columnist Robert Novak, compared with whom Pat Buchanan comes off looking like an honorary member of Hadassah, was in his element this week, essentially accusing Israel of crimes against humanity and relying on a dubious source for his latest bit of anti-Israel invective.
War is never far from the minds of prudent Israelis, and prudent operational planning must always look closely at the regional "correlation of forces." Drawn from the military lexicon of the former Soviet Union, this concept is usefully applied as a particular measure of armed forces, from the subunit level to major formations.
"There are unfulfilled expectations on both sides," says Fahmy. But despite the drawbacks of the status quo, Fahmy is right when he says it "is better than the alternative."