Once again, haredi Jews worldwide were shamed and disgraced by association due to the actions of a few violent criminals. Two weeks ago in Beit Shemesh, according to reports in Israeli papers, a group of five haredi young men assaulted a woman for refusing to move to the back of a bus whose front seats were reserved exclusively for men. A male soldier seated next to the woman was also assaulted.
If you want to test a conservative, put him in charge of New York City. If he can make it there (this is not your cue to sing), one suspects he can handle an assortment of infantile conservative activists. And we’ll soon see, because said infantile activists – not Hillary Clinton – appear to be Rudy Giuliani’s primary obstacle to the presidency.
Two decades ago, Jimmy Carter was closing out a stunningly unimpressive four years in the White House. His approval ratings were lower than Richard Nixon’s had been on the eve of his resignation, and even American Jews, that most doggedly loyal constituent group of the Democratic Party, were not immune to the disaffection with Carter suffusing the nation.
My readers in The Jewish Press will already know that I write a great deal about Israeli nuclear issues. One of these inherently existential issues is the need for a coherent and codified Israeli nuclear doctrine. Moreover, this need was an integral part of Project Daniel - a private effort that reported to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ("Israel's Strategic Future," January 2003) and was most immediately concerned with Iranian nuclear weapons and the associated prospect of nuclear war in the Middle East.
Two weeks ago I debated Michael Steinhardt, the renowned philanthropist and self-declared atheist, and Prof. Noah Feldman, arguably America's foremost thirty-something legal mind, on the subject of whether or not Jews are different based on their values.
The respected left-wing journalist Aluf Benn recently reported in Haaretz that “When Condoleezza Rice talks about the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel, she sees in her mind’s eye the struggle of African Americans for equal rights, which culminated in the period of her Alabama childhood.”
In November, a U.S.-sponsored conference involving Israel, the Palestinian Authority and possibly several Arab states will convene in Annapolis to frame yet another plan meant to end the Arab-Israeli war and create a Palestinian state. This conference is doomed to fail. The reason: The Palestinians’ ultimate goal is not statehood, but rather Israel’s destruction.
Everyone is familiar with the age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? To some, that may sound like a silly rhetorical quandary, but it actually provides a wonderful metaphor to describe a huge problem facing today’s Jewish community.
There are many kinds of conservatives. I consider myself a small-government conservative. Small-government conservatives believe lower tax rates on employment and capital spur an economy and promote work and entrepreneurship. The alternative is the nanny state – where government seeks to control and provide more services, and tax rates are far higher to support this.
Over the years, I have closely followed the work of Yossi Melman, an outstanding investigative journalist with Ha'aretz and a leading authority on Israel's intelligence communities. Not surprisingly, his earlier book, Every Spy a Prince (co-authored with Dan Raviv) was an international bestseller.
During the Israeli cabinet's weekly meeting Sunday, Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported that a group of Fatah members from the Palestinian Authority's "security services" plotted to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his meeting with PA Chairman and Fatah chieftain Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho this past August.
Philippe Karsenty is a tall, handsome, charming, and very determined gentleman. Karsenty, a 41-year-old former stockbroker, media analyst, and founder of Media-Ratings, came to America on a lecture and media tour shortly after his interim victory in a Paris courtroom in the matter of Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli army gunfire.
After Israel’s War of Independence, poet Nathan Alterman famously memorialized those who fell in that struggle in his poem “Magash Hakesef” – “The Silver Platter.” The reference was to a statement by the country’s first president that no one was going to hand the Jews a state “on a silver platter.” In other words, it would have to be earned by sweat and blood.
For students of America’s response to the Holocaust, it is a familiar scenario: a small group of dedicated activists try to bring about the rescue of persecuted Jews, only to find themselves obstructed by cold-hearted bureaucrats, jealous organizational professionals, and an indifferent news media.
At precisely 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 30 (Chol HaMoed), something happened. Something new.