President Bush’s strong support for Israel’s efforts to defend itself against the Hizbullah terrorists is crucial. Given this, you may want to let him know how much you appreciate his support. For information on how to contact the White House by snail mail, phone, fax or e-mail go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.
Furthermore, some rabbis have recommended that shuls say a prayer for the president and the U.S. government during krias haTorah on Shabbos. One standard prayer is “Hanotayn T’shooah,” which is customarily said before Av Harachamim.
Dr. Yitzchok Levine
Stevens Institute of Technology
How sad to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport this morning to pick up my daughter and grandchildren and find the airport deserted and New York flights arriving half empty. Deja Vu.
Where have you all disappeared to?
To the Jews of the land of Israel,
I want you to know that you have supporters here in the United States. We are cheering for you, and you are in our prayers.
From what my friends and I have seen, Israel has exercised more patience with the Palestinians than any other country on earth would have done under similar circumstances. The Palestinians have spat in your face, so to speak, and have not repaid your kindness with kindness of their own.
Now, therefore, do whatever you have to do to defend your country. Be bold, and act decisively against all of your enemies. Don’t waver. Don’t hesitate. Don’t fear the condemnation of the United Nations. After all, you are back in Israel after so many generations because God Himself returned you to the land.
Remember what your grandparents did in 1948, and 1967. With the help of God, you can do it again. And God will help you because He gathered you back into the land of Israel in the first place “for [His] holy name’s sake” (Ezekiel 36:22).
Remember what Joshua did to Jericho, per God’s command. (That really happened, you know). Remember also what King David did to Amalek, and how God called David “a man after mine own heart.”
Retake Samaria, Judea and Gaza – and don’t give it back. Reoccupy an adequate buffer zone in southern Lebanon. Destroy Hizbullah. Do whatever you have to do to defend Israel.
When this present crisis is over, encourage your friends, and say to them that if they will not perform the words of Moses, then at least read the words of the Torah. Like Aaron and Hur, lift up the hands of Moses and Israel will never fail.
Oklahoma City, OK
How dare the Jews fight back?If this is not anti-Semitism, will someone tell me what’s really going on? Look at the facts: A sovereign nation under constant attack from its neighbors rarely retaliates and is condemned when it finally does. Is that normal?
The world watches Israel’s enemies build up arms and says nothing when Israel is hit, but anything Israel does to defend itself is deemed “disproportionate.” The world says go back to diplomacy. That’s an excuse based on ignorance. There is no diplomacy. Israel gave up Gaza – that sounds like diplomacy. What did Israel get? Look at your front page.
Israel, the world says you should go down quietly. I pray you don’t.
We all have family members in Israel and of course we are thinking about them right now. The first question on our minds is “Are they safe?” The second is probably “What are they doing there?”
I would like to share the answer of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, zt”l, to that second question. In his book Torat HaShabbat vehaMoed, he notes that there are different ways to divide the mitzvot. We are used to the positive/negative distinction. We are also used to the two categories of mitzvot - bein adam l’Makom and bein adam l’chaveiro. But, there is a third category – that of bein adam l’am, le’aretz vel’medinah — between man and the Jewish people, land, and state.
The mitzvot in this third category are significant, Rabbi Goren notes, in that they push off pikuach nefesh. Unless there is a tyrannical government forcing you to transgress, only three other negative commandments override pikuach nefesh - murder, idol-worship and having forbidden relations. By contrast, the laws in this third category, between man and the Jewish people, land, and state, effectively require you to risk your own life for their sake.
The Rambam notes in Hilchot Melachim (7:15), “When a person is involved in a war, he should trust in the Savior of Israel in times of trouble, and know that for the Unity of Hashem the war is fought. That person should take his soul in his hands (gather his courage) and not be scared or afraid, and not think of his wife or his children. And anyone who starts to have second thoughts and worries himself transgresses a negative commandmentand additionally, he should know that all the blood of Israel depends upon him.”
In this last comment the Rambam is pointing out that in times of war, everyone must do his share since the Jewish People as a whole depends upon each and every individual.
This is the answer of Rav Goren to our second question of what the Jews in Israel are doing there.
Perhaps the third question should be “What are we doing here?”
With prayers for the safety of Israel,
Primer For Liberals
Do not infiltrate a mosque
Do not take the fight to the enemy
Do not detain the enemy indefinitely
Do not profile the usual suspects
Do not keep prisoners in secret locations
Do not use SWIFT to track terror finances
Do not use deadly force against the enemy
Do not offend the enemy’s religious beliefs
Do not describe Radical Islam as your enemy
Do not eavesdrop on suspicious conversations
Do not use investigative measures on detainees
Do not execute telephone-data mining operations
Do not subject terror suspects to military tribunals
Do not withhold Korans
or suicide materials from detainees
Do not take away civil liberties
from those who want it taken away from you
Do not miss on opportunity to attack, undermine
or question the Commander in Chief
In effect, do not do anything
that will win the war against terror.
Spring Valley, NY
The Ann Coulter Interview
Your interviewer did a terrific job asking Ann Coulter questions on Israel and the Middle East that the secular media never get around to (“Liberals, Bush and Israel: A Chat With Ann Coulter,” July 7). It was instructive to read of her no-nonsense support of Israel, and her wicked sense of humor came through in several of her replies.
Compare her straightforward approach to the mealy-mouthed platitudes we constantly hear from our liberal pundits and politicians, and it’s no wonder she’s so popular and her books sell like mad.
To Mr. Lewin’s question about the Israeli-Arab conflict, Ms. Coulter responded, “If you start a war and lose, you lose your land.” That sure says it all, doesn’t it? Thank you, Ann, for distilling in one short sentence the common sense that seems to be beyond the grasp of leftists and liberals – all too many Jews among them.
I appreciate Ann Coulter’s insight. She is able to argue her position in an articulate and sharp manner. Sometimes you need that. I agree with most of what she says. It was a good interview.
I am also blown away by the fact that so many Jewish people follow liberalism. I truly believe that these individuals have no idea why they are Democrats – it is just passed along from generation to generation.
Wake up and smell the truth. I am not Jewish but I am totally for the state of Israel. I love that little country.
It seems that liberal American Jews just don’t get it. Many of them hate themselves for some reason.
George R. Luce
A Naysayer In Every Crowd
Avraham Shmuel Lewin’s interview of Ann Coulter ranged from the ridiculous to the offensive. In the pantheon of interviews, this one belongs in the slow-pitch softball league, especially inappropriate for a subject who specializes in playing hardball with a corked bat.
Mr. Lewin first asked Ms. Coulter, who has accused “liberals” of treason, why she was being “silenced and castigated.” It is true that she is rightfully castigated for her bombastic style of demonizing anyone who disagrees with her. Anyone who has seen Ms. Coulter on TV or read her writing should know by now that castigation is exactly what she wants, because it helps her sell books to the choir she preaches to. All market-savvy partisan talking heads understand this, though most do not approach Ms. Coulter’s level of viciousness.
Incidentally, Ms. Coulter has many conservative critics. Her column was dropped by the National Review Online for what its editor-in-chief called “a total lack of professionalism, friendship and loyalty.” Other conservatives have described her as “bombastic, shrill, and mean-spirited.” (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Coulter.)
What is most offensive about Mr. Lewin’s interview are his assumption-laden questions to Ms. Coulter about the Jewish community. He does not even ask whether Ms. Coulter believes the liberal views held by many American Jews are antithetical to what Mr. Lewin terms “Jewish interests.” He assumes they are, and like Ms. Coulter, persists in failing to admit any difference between liberals and those on the far left.
This purposeful reduction by Coulter and Lewin, meant to impute the extremes of the far-left to anyone left-of-center in order to besmirch moderate political candidates and denigrate those who vote for them, saves Mr. Lewin and Ms. Coulter from ever positively defining what exactly liberals believe, and allows them to avoid actually making an argument against the views with which they disagree.
It is utter nonsense for someone with a syndicated newspaper column, several books to her name, and a long list of talk show appearances to whine about being silenced. That Ms. Coulter persists in this childish bellyaching despite her ubiquitous presence in print and on the small screen only evidences her disconnection from reality, or perhaps, her conscious reliance on those who read her ranting, a feat one conservative Washington Times critic could not muster, writing that he “tried to read Miss Coulter’s book [Treason] and failed. Life is too short to read pages and pages of rant.”