Ten years ago I was newly married, newly immigrated to Israel, and newly enrolled as a Masters student at an Israeli University. In most of my classes I was the only Orthodox student, and at least once a semester every pro-fessor could be counted on to make a derogatory comment or two about Jews like me. We were hypocritical, primi-tive, etc.
“Kotzo Shel Yod” (“The Point on Top of the Yod”), the 1887 poem by Judah Leib Gordon, includes a de-scription of the cruel harassment by rabbis of an un-fortunate agunah (literally, a “chained woman,” whose husband deserts her or disappears without divorcing her, thus preventing her from remarrying).
Did you hear the one about Nelson Mandela, the pope, Mother Teresa and the Jew? Turns out they are the only non-Americans ever to have received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congres-sional Medal of Honor. The Jew? None other than our own icon of freedom, Natan Sharansky, the former refusenik and prisoner of conscience who earlier this month received his Medal of Freedom at the White House.
The domestic and international debate about the Palestinians has become thoroughly detached from reality. On the one hand there are the friendlies. These include the Olmert government, the Israeli media, the Bush administration and some European governments. The friendlies say that the “moderate” Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah terror organization commander Mahmoud Abbas is the key to peace. Everything must be done they say, to strengthen Abbas against the Hamas terror organization, which they oppose.
They number in the millions and wield increasing power and influence across the United States. From year to year their voice grows stronger and more resolute, as their role in shaping policy, and the future of American society continues to expand.
A proposal for changing the laws of taharat hamishpachah (family purity) was recently raised in the Israeli newspaper HaTzofeh, based on the observation that adherence to these laws may be responsible for many couples experiencing difficulty conceiving. Healthcare professionals have named this phenomenon “Orthodox Infertility.”
Israel's policy of opacity or deliberate ambiguity on nuclear weapons had already been breached long before Prime Minister Olmert's public statement on December 11th. And it was also breached at the prime-ministerial level, no less. More than 10 years ago, Shimon Peres explicitly undermined Israel's longstanding commitment to keep the bomb in the "basement."
I grew up during the 1970's, universally acknowledged as a truly horrendous decade.
“Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts,” the ISG report declares. America cannot “achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The report issued by the Iraq Study Group, headed by former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton, urges President Bush to adopt policies that amount to ignoring 13 years of Pal-estinian terrorism, incitement to hatred and murder of Israelis by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and failed concessionary Israeli policies, while at the same time calling for even more Israeli concessions to the Hamas/ PA regime.
Blessed by newly anticipated changes in American foreign policy, certain of Israel's adversaries could soon attempt to bring the Jewish State into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice. It is therefore essential for Israel's leadership to take immediate steps to ensure that a Baker-Hamilton [Iraq Study Group heads] engendered failure of Israeli deterrence will not occasion a regional nuclear war. Israel must continue to plan around the sound understanding that nuclear deterrence and conventional deterrence remain critically interrelated.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened an exhibit last week remembering the children of the Lodz Ghetto.