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.”
Forty years ago, the teshuvah movement was in its infancy. Since then, due to the efforts of some determined individuals, the phenomenon has blossomed, positively impacting Jewish communities worldwide. It would be beneficial to take a step back to see where we are today and what the trends are for the future.
American policy and the global war against Al Qaeda and the associated groups and nations that support them – i.e., Iran and Syria – are collapsing. Blame goes beyond liberal politicians intent on destroying the Bush administration, a pernicious press and the radical left which rules academe, mainline churches and the media.
By itself, violence is not necessarily irrational. In the words of Rene Girard, whose book Violence And The Sacred should be the underlying text of all that we do here today, it sometimes "does have its reasons."
In a recent article for FrontPageMag.com, Kenneth Levin (whose most recent contribution to The Jewish Press was the April 20 page-one essay “The Empty Rage of Jewish ‘Progressives’”) took off on Steven Erlanger, the putrid Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times. In the course of his critique, Levin recalled a particularly egregious example of biased reporting by a former Times Jerusalem correspondent named William Orme.
Nowadays many people claim our situation In Iraq is becoming more and more like it was in Vietnam. One major criticism of our effort in Vietnam was the absence of an exit strategy. In war planning the term “exit strategy” doesn’t necessarily mean cut and run, as some mistakenly believe. Rather, it is simply defining how you plan to bring the war to an end. In Vietnam, it was beyond the capabilities of both the Johnson and Nixon administrations to devise such a strategy.
At first glance, the question posed by our title appears ludicrous. After all, the Jewish people have a state, and went to great lengths to establish it. Israelis continue to sacrifice themselves in its defense and pay the highest income tax in support of the highest per capita military expenditures in the world. Jews in the Diaspora volunteer their treasure and energy defending Israel’s right to exist.
Our flags fly at half-mast in memory of 32 souls whose lives were taken at Virginia Tech. That day we saw horror, but we also saw acts of quiet courage. We saw this courage in a teacher named Liviu Librescu. With the gunman set to enter his class, this brave professor blocked the door with his body while his students fled to safety.
Marc B. Shapiro, a Judaic Studies professor at the University of Scranton, is a mine of information and a lightning rod for controversy.