Since suffering from colitis as a teen, I finally adopted a strict diet in my 30s that ended my torment. It wasn’t easy to forgo white flour, white sugar and all chemical additives, but it meant that I spend the last 40 years pretty much free of doctors, medications and illness, thank God. Thus, I was surprised when two weeks before Rosh Hashanah, I began to experience increasingly severe stomach discomfort – until I was barely able to move. Despite what I was soon to endure, it helped greatly to focus on the moment-to-moment miracles.
One of the world’s respected associations of lawyers has just made a special award in honor of one of its deceased members. Her career was not long. But it was not the quality of her legal work that earned her the award. She received it for killing 21 civilians and injuring 50 in a Haifa restaurant. The award about which we are writing was presented in the form of a plaque to the family of Hanadi Jaradat, formerly from Jenin in the Palestinian Authority territory, “on the sweet anniversary of her martyrdom.”
The Alawites are a small, historically oppressed people, whose political future will determine whether Syria remains united in some form or disintegrates into even smaller ethnic and religious entities. As they will play such an important role, America, Israel, and other forces interested in the future of Syria might do well to get to know them, their concerns, and how others can best come to terms with them.