Earlier this month, at a Los Angeles event for the national African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, the keynote speaker launched into an anti-Semitic tirade – directed at the fraternity’s guest of honor. The shocking episode shows just how far we’ve strayed from the original vision of the civil rights movement – and how far we have yet to travel to realize that vision.
Thirty years ago, the journalist Sidney Zion wrote an article for New York magazine titled “The Palestine Problem: It’s All in A Name,” which he would update in 2003 for The Jewish Press. Zion essentially supported the right-wing Zionist argument against the historicity of the Kingdom of Jordan, while upending the right-wing Zionist argument against the historicity of a Palestinian people.
Senator Barak Obama has displayed basic intelligence and understanding on many complex policy issues, and his "debate promises" in support of Israel were forthright and plausibly meaningful.
Every four years America looks to a new president as a source of real hope. And every four years the code word of each yelling aspirant is "change."
Most memoirs written by former Jewish citizens of Poland talk in detail of the Shoah, such as the book I wrote about last week, The Zoo Keeper's Wife.
I wrote in early 2001, “Now we are all Israelis.” The Intifada against Israel the world chose to ignore became a global Intifada against civilization. In 2002-2003, I wrote that anti-Zionism was the new anti-Semitism, that decades of increasingly lethal propaganda against Israel had finally turned the Jewish state into the Jew of the World.
Israel’s behavior in recent decades reminds me of three anecdotes. The first concerns a businessman, a teacher and an engineer who were captured by enemy forces and condemned to death by hanging. Each was asked how he preferred to be hanged – head- or feet-up. The businessman replied that head-up was preferable. He was hanged accordingly, but the gibbet collapsed and he was freed. The teacher followed the businessman’s choice; the gibbet collapsed again and he was also saved.
It has been estimated that more than half of the millions of Jews caught up in the Holocaust observed the mitzvot, the commandments of the Torah, in their daily lives prior to the advent of the Nazis. Did this commitment to halacha, the “way” of Jewish religious law, crumble and disintegrate under the pressures of the Final Solution? Or did halacha continue to bring not only some semblance of order, but of meaning, sanity, and even sanctity, into their lives?
Reminders of the mainstream media’s egregious political double standard vis-à-vis liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, come on an almost daily basis – the latest being last week’s New York magazine, the cover of which features a head shot of John McCain smack in the middle of a concentric-ringed bulls-eye board accompanied by this charming teaser copy: “Target: Bush-Backing, Surge-Loving, Economically Clueless Geezer.”