As George W. Bush begins his eighth and final year in the White House, it’s fitting to step back and look at this president who almost wasn’t, save for the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the relentless recount process in Florida.
According to recent intelligence reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed 40 Hamas terrorists in Gaza last month without inflicting a single civilian casualty. In fact, over the past five years, collateral damage and civilian casualties caused by Israeli military actions have decreased dramatically. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire Kassam rockets indiscriminately at the working-class town of Sderot and into the suburban areas of the nearby seaside city of Ashkelon.
If one wants to be a bit closer to heaven, he should come to the combined minyan of a Hebrew school and synagogue. There he’ll find the voices of children echoing with the mourners’ Kaddish and ringing with the prayers of those devoted few who begin their morning by attending services, regardless of rain or snow.
“We should have bombed it.” With those five words, President Bush helped shatter one of the most enduring myths of the Holocaust – the notion that U.S. forces were unable to reach and destroy Auschwitz.
For a long time now, Israel’s reputation has taken a real beating among American liberals and leftists. Many American Jewish (liberal) organizations have either agreed with the criticism or have been afraid to challenge such groups with whom they agree on other important issues.
Notwithstanding all of the alleged "progress" in combating Islamist terrorism, our leaders have yet to really understand the core Jihadist rallying cry. "We love death," the murderers shout ecstatically - and they always shout in chorus, for terrorism is a collective activity - but we seem to think this apparent necrophilia is merely perverse, that operationally it is beside the point. No judgment could be further from the truth. In fact, correctly interpreting this openly lurid affection is ultimately the key to fashioning a genuinely effective strategy of counter-terrorism.
The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign is getting louder and uglier by the minute as racial and gender politics threaten to fracture the Democratic base, and even those media outlets that in the past had defended or at the very least tolerated the Clintons give every indication of having finally lost patience with the shopworn act.
Every January, in an annual rite, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. About half of those will pledge eternal servitude to their new diet plans. Sometimes the diets work – in the short run. We drop a size or two, look younger, more svelte and bask in insincere gratuitous compliments from colleagues and friends. But two-thirds of Americans who lose weight gain it back within a year. Over 90 percent gain it back within five years.
Saul Bellow once observed that a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. President Bush’s ill-advised trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank this week to promote a “two-state solution” would seem to underscore the wisdom of Bellow’s insight.
Every New Year, Americans everywhere honestly and sincerely make their resolutions. And before January turns into February the vast majority of those resolutions have been broken. People in Crawford, Texas are no exception. George Bush is no exception.
Whenever people ask me to explain Jewish anti-Semitism, Jewish anti-Zionism, or Israeli anti-Zionism, I pause and then try to discuss these questions calmly and dispassionately.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. For anyone who can still think clearly, the Annapolis "Peace Conference" in November was merely the latest hallucinatory rendition of a very troubled sleep. It's not that this carefully scripted assembly actually confirmed a catastrophic outcome for Israel. Rather, it underscored America's perilous and persistent preoccupation with a determinably wrongheaded foreign policy.
The winner of the Monitor’s fourth annual Henry Schwarzschild Award for most offensive comments by a Jew in the public spotlight is David Landau, editor of Haaretz, Israel’s leading left-wing daily. The prize is awarded to the person who, by his or her statements, displays contempt for the Jewish people, disregard for historical truth, a desire to sup at the table of Israel’s enemies, or who otherwise plays into the hands of the enemies of Jews and Israel.
The years move forward and your eighth yahrzeit (10 Shevat) will soon be here, my dear father.