JERUSALEM – With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine activists aboard a Gaza-bound ship, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.
In 1939, when Reb Sholom Halberstam, brother-in-law of the saintly Bobover Rebbe Shlomo Halberstam, and some other Jews were fleeing from the approaching German armies, they came to a Polish town where the sexton of the synagogue, upon hearing their story, told them to stop running because the arrival of the Messiah was imminent.
While some people have the extreme mazel of knowing within an hour of their date that the person sitting across from them is the “right one,” the vast majority of those on shidduch (blind) dates aren’t so lucky. I would guess most first dates are parve – with the consensus being, “I had a nice time, but not amazing.”
William Butler Yeats, the great Irish poet, wrote prophetically of a time in which “the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” Here he revealed what still seems to elude historians, diplomats and scholars: In the not-too-distant future, there will come a moment in which there will be no safety in treaties or in armaments, no help from “civilization,” no counsel from public authority, and no rescue from science.
Rarely does a week pass without my encountering brilliant commentary from Melanie Philips in the international media on a variety of subjects, among them human rights, anti-Semitism, human evolution, science, multiculturalism, freedom of speech and political responsibility. The primary target of her keen eye however, is Islam – Islamic terrorism, shariya law, Islamic education and methods of indoctrination.
The aristocratic atmosphere in the elegant hotel that hosted Israel’s wine competition did not disclose the scene that was about to take place: A small boutique winery from the Shomron, Hararei Kedem, won two gold medals and one silver medal. Hundreds of professional and amateur sommeliers watched in astonishment as the man with the beard and long sidelocks (who did not look particularly relevant to the glamorous event) hesitantly ascended to the podium to accept his medals.
Iran is on a winning streak. As it sprints towards the nuclear finishing line, it finds itself – and its allies and clients – being wooed by one and all. In contrast, Israel has never been more isolated.