There is no easy answer to the question of ongoing Iranian nuclearization. All options are unappealing, and all will have very substantial costs. For the moment, diplomacy still seems to be the preferred path to crisis remediation, but only because polite conversation and empty threats protect all parties from taking easily identifiable risks.
During Chol Hamoed Sukkot the sound of singing in a sukkah was heard in Czestochowa for the first time since the Shoah.
The loudest debate going on in the American Jewish world the last couple of months seems to revolve, believe it or not, around ads in Jewish weekly newspapers.
Thanks to Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon, some 500,000 Americans will run in marathons this year. In my book Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon, the World's Greatest Footrace (Syracuse University Press, 2004), I show how Lebow, a Holocaust survivor, changed the notion of this 26.2 mile race, which this year will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5, from a grueling, sweaty showcase for elite runners into a people's competition.
Professor Rashid Khalidi, who directs the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, is currently on a multi-city book tour for his new book The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (Beacon Press) - aided by a favorable New York Times review from an unlikely book reviewer.
A constant theme of Rabbi Berel Wein's writings and lectures is that the Torah is about people, not events. The Torah was never intended to sit on a shelf somewhere as so many books do. In fact, its laws and traditions were intended to be transmitted orally, evidence of the fact that it is people to whom and for whom the Torah was given.
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger is so openly pro-Palestinian in his reporting that he’s beginning to call to mind perhaps his most biased predecessor in that post – the truly execrable Deborah Sontag, whose transparently one-sided dispatches would invariably read as though she wrote them with a PLO flag draped over her word processor.
Now we have passed the five-year anniversary of September 11, 2006 - with all of the horrifying memories, with all of the recurrent pain. We know today, that all pertinent government agencies are working 24/7 to keep us safe in the future. We know, as well, that even greater preparedness can never make us truly safe. We know, above all, that we must continue with our daily lives, personal and collective, and that we must not submit to the unprecedented blackmail of Islamic terrorism ("Convert or die!").
When I moved to Israel fourteen years ago, I was very keen on meeting Rabbi Aryeh Carmell, zt"l. He had taught Gemara to my father in Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim many years earlier, but what excited me was his role as editor of Challenge, the first of the Torah/science genre. I visited him one Shabbos, and he was glad to answer my questions.
Two recent news items speak volumes about the Democratic Party's priorities on national security. First, Democratic majorities in the House and Senate - including all the presidential aspirants - voted against the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which authorized military tribunals to try terrorist suspects and established guidelines for their aggressive interrogation. Then 177 House Democrats voted to thwart the passage of the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, which expanded electronic surveillance of terrorists on foreign soil.
Imagine for a moment that all of Israel's enemies - both declared and tacit - form an alliance and appoint a single governing body to represent them. They then declare publicly and unequivocally that they are prepared to make a genuine, everlasting peace agreement with Israel. Further imagine that the authenticity of this declaration can somehow be proven beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Graydon Carter tries so hard to get New York’s liberal establishment to take him seriously – no small task for someone who’s gone from skewering the rich and famous as editor of Spy magazine, the relatively short-lived 1980’s media phenomenon, to toadying to Hollywood celebrities and their imperious agents as editor of Vanity Fair, the glossy monthly that downplays its more serious journalism behind covers that feature scantily clad Hollywood ingénues and headlines seemingly lifted from the National Enquirer. (World Exclusive, shouted the October cover, A 22-Page Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes Family Album.)
The roots of 9/11 lie deeply embedded in civilizational hostility - in its distinctly partial - but nonetheless - primal Islamic hatred for western modernity. This fixed and growing hatred extends to other major religions, especially Judaism, but also to certain elements of Christianity. And although it is true that the greatest portion of Muslims rejects terror violence as a means of fulfilling presumed Islamic expectations, the remaining portion is not statistically insignificant. This group numbers (at least) in the tens-of-millions.
The late liberal activist Allard Lowenstein was fond of recalling the time he bucked a boycott of French President Georges Pompidou's address to a joint session of Congress in March 1970.