It’s been nearly six months since the Monitor’s last listing of worthwhile websites and blogs. It’s time for an updated list, but this time we’re sticking only to blogs – no conventional websites, newspapers, magazines, etc. As always, there’s no particular order to the list, and the views expressed on the various blogs don’t necessarily reflect those of the Monitor.
All of us today benefit from the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before us, and we continue to battle so that our children should gain from our own triumphs.
Some years ago, following one of the devastating suicide bombings in which small Jewish children were blown to bits, prominent Palestinian columnist Fahd al-Rimawi - then writing with obvious approval of Nobel Peace laureate Yassir Arafat in Amman's al-Majd newspaper, gleefully celebrated the monstrous act of terror:
In 1263, the great Spanish scholar Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, better known as Nachmanides, was summoned to Barcelona by King James I of Aragon to engage in a rather stressful form of interfaith dialogue with representatives of the Dominican and Franciscan religious orders.
Every year Forbes magazine publishes a list of the highest paid individuals in the world. This year Forbes informed us that the actor Johnny Depp made $92 million while Nicole Kidman was Hollywood’s highest paid actress, commanding an estimated $16 million per movie.
There is a growing crisis in the international Jewish community that I believe must be acknowledged if we are to survive intact and preserve our children’s future. The crisis is related to, but goes well beyond, the fact that we are in general too indulgent and tolerant as parents; it goes beyond the fact that we have acquired a level of wealth and comfort that we take too much for granted – even if we are not all wealthy nor all that comfortable; and it goes beyond any individual’s intensity ascribed to religious custom and tradition. It is more about our willingness to abandon the balance of faith and reality that has helped us endure for centuries. This is not a crisis of abiding religious faith or observant practice per se, but rather a calamity of application and interpretation. And it has the potential to be a disaster of significant proportion.
The observance last month of the UN-sanctioned International Holocaust Memorial Day once again raised the issue of a multiplicity of Holocaust memorial days. Does this add to the stature and significance of Holocaust remembrance, or just the opposite? And what does each of these memorial days signify?
The recent Annapolis "peace" conference - and President Bush's subsequent visit to the Middle East - shows that where Israel is concerned, there is still nothing new under the sun. Once again, fundamental Israeli rights were shamelessly subordinated to the presumed rights of all others, including even of openly Arab defiant terrorists now conveniently disguised as an "Authority." Once again, it seems, Israel had been called upon to offer land for nothing.
In order to emphasize the magnitude of the Holocaust and genocide, Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology: Polish Academy of Sciences, Professor Henryk Domanski, created the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, on July 2 2003.
When the Jewish people crossed the Red Sea, successfully escaping the clutches of the Egyptians, Moses gathered the Israelites together and they sang the famous “Az Yashir.” Miriam, Moses’s sister, also assembled the women as they danced with tambourines and sang “shiru lahashem ki gao gaa sus vrochbo rama bayam” – let us sing to Hashem for he is great, horse and chariot he drowned in the sea.”
That the UN is hostile to Israel hardly comes as a surprise. The perfidy that permeates the house over which Kurt Waldheim once presided can be cut with a knife; Israel bashing has become an integral part of the culture of that body. Such duplicity does not appear from thin air – it must be nurtured and stoked by individuals who, by dint of impressive titles, can command international attention and influence public opinion and thus cause much mischief.
If you think one side in a conflict is under no moral or legal obligation to send supplies to the population of the other, you have not heard what The New York Times or Human Rights Watch’s Joel Stork have been saying about Israel’s duties toward Gaza. Both have claimed Israel has been “collectively punishing” Gazans when in, recent days, Israel has not cut electrical power at all and only reduced fuel supplies.
The Israeli government’s siege of 20 young families living in Hebron’s Beit HaShalom cracked for the first time recently. Shas minister Eli Yishai, struggling to justify his continued participation in a morally bankrupt government, pressured Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who then gave the Military Appeals Court its marching orders. Shamelessly, the court “suddenly” perceived the drastic humanitarian needs of the residents and allowed them to install windows in the unfinished building.
Recent news reports identifying Robert Malley as one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers took the Monitor back a few years, to the summer of 2001 when the previously obscure Malley was suddenly popping up all over the place, castigating Israel for the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000.
It is easy to feel sorry for the Palestinians in Gaza. Televised and print images of their apparently unrelieved misery suggest Israeli cruelty in the creation of shortages and in the use of armed force. Exactly the opposite is true. The moment that flagrantly illegal Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants cease, no harms of any kind will be imposed by Israel.