All of the universities in Israel are political, and moreover, all of the colleges, yeshivas, hospitals, prisons, factories, homes, roads, trees – everything that we have established, built, and planted in Israel – everything, but everything, is political. The whole Zionist enterprise is a political project because it is the political and nationalistic manifestation of the desire of the Jewish people to return to its land and to renew within it its national life, its independence and its sovereignty.
The Socialist government in France has inaugurated a new mega-mosque in Paris as a first step towards “progressively building a French Islam.” It is not only vast in its dimensions, but is also highly visible and symbolic: its towering minaret, which has purposely been designed to change the suburb’s skyline by being taller than any church steeple in the neighborhood, is supposed to become the “new symbol of Islam in France.”
As a frequent traveler abroad, I rarely see a community where everyone is alike. Though the comfort of “living with your own” is understandable, there is much to be said for a Jewish community in which Streimlach walk on the same sidewalk with Kippot Serugot, and girls wearing heavy stockings walk to shul on Shabbat together with those wearing sandals without any socks.
A few days ago, en route to the south of Italy, there was a heated exchange between an Italian chief steward and two Egyptian sheikhs wearing the robes of the Egyptian religious university, Al-Azhar. The dispute erupted over where the sheikhs were to sit on the plane: the steward insisted they sit in their assigned seats in economy class, while they insisted on moving to business class. They relayed their extreme displeasure at what they called European arrogance & inflexibility.
The interesting news was not that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pelted with stuff while visiting Cairo, the important issue was who was doing the pelting. Once upon a time, anti-American radicals threw things at U.S. leaders. But now….the hurlers of objects were people from the Free Egyptians Party and other Egyptian liberals. At the same time, leading Christians refused to meet with Hillary.
Yishai Fleisher, managing editor of JewishPress.com, appeared on L’Chaim, a show that has been running on ShalomTV for years. “Fear is everywhere,” he told the interviewer, Rabbi Mark Golub. “People go silent when I talk about fear because they realize how much fear they live with…we need to be proud.”