Maydan, a village of 70 families, has changed little these past 100 years. The single road in town is still used by horse-drawn wagons.
In the aftermath of the Six-Day War, Israelis were convinced that peace with the Arabs was finally at hand. That thinking was based on the notion that the war had proven Israel’s invincible presence in the region. If Israel was unbeatable, they reasoned, what choice would the Arabs have other than to make peace?
This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. For those who labor under the mistaken assumption that media liberals and leftists turned against Israel because of its handling of the two Palestinian intifadas, or because of what they perceive to be the neoconservative hold on the Bush White House (particularly during Bush’s first term), or because they lay the blame squarely on Israel for the collapse of Oslo and the failure of the Clinton initiatives at Camp David and Taba, it might be instructive to take a brief look back at what liberals and leftists were saying about Israel a quarter-century ago.
It is essential today, that the Begin Doctrine be reinvigorated and declared. Now, just as during the Second World War, Jews face the threat of mass murder because of nuclear weapons. Now, however, the danger is not that these weapons will be used by a genocidal state against other states to acquire physical custody over Jewish bodies. Instead, it is directed against that single state which was expressly created for the eternal protection of these Jewish bodies.
After uncovering Nazi Germany's vast kingdom of death at the end of World War II, the victorious allies drafted a special charter for an international military tribunal at Nuremberg. Concluded on August 8, 1945, this document defined "crimes against humanity" as uniquely egregious acts that are designed to eradicate entire groups of people.
Mention the names Leo Gottlieb, Sid Hertzberg, Ossie Schectman, Ralph Kaplowitz, Nat Milotzok and Hank Rosenstein, and the image that probably comes to mind is that of the board of directors of a Florida retirement village rather than half the roster of the 1946-47 New York Knickerbockers basketball team.
In 1981, when Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor and was condemned for it by nearly the entire world, Pastor John Hagee decided he had to stand up for Israel. And he did. “A Night to Honor Israel” was born with the purpose of giving the Christian community an opportunity to demonstrate its love and support of Israel and the Jewish people.
The cultural war between Islamic barbarism and Judeo-Christian civilization is raging even as Gaza and Sderot are under siege. The manipulation of propaganda is a key factor here. Britain – the country that turned Nazi-era European Jews back from Palestine’s shores – is now trying to boycott and isolate Israeli doctors, journalists, and university professors. The British Anglican Church, well-financed British-based NGOS (Christian Aid, World Vision, Amnesty International, etc.) and British academics have joined their voices to the Islamist-led jackal-chorus against Israel.
Who was the one person most responsible for perpetuating traditional Judaism in 19th century America? The indisputable answer: Isaac Leeser.
What happens when the far Right collides with the hard Left? Will the universe explode? Will the laws of physics be distorted by some anti-Newtonian implosion of logic? No, they won’t. Not as long as the two ends of the spectrum are uniting to slam the Jews, that is.
My father, Dr. Isaac Lewin, z”l, was 37 years old in January 1943 when B’nai B’rith held a conference in Pittsburgh to which it invited 34 national Jewish organizations. It announced that the purpose of the meeting was “to consider what steps should be taken to bring about some agreement on the part of the American Jewish community with respect to the post-war status of Jews and the upbuilding of a Jewish Palestine.”
A recent Jewish Press editorial commented on an article I wrote for the Jerusalem Post calling for a reevaluation of the role of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. The editorial provided an excerpt of my article, including my critique of the Chief Rabbinate’s extreme position on conversion to Judaism. It then raised an important question: why didn’t I entertain the need for a uniform standard? “We need to hear his [Rabbi Angel’s] views regarding the consequences of an absence of universal acceptance of halachic legitimacy…”