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In the vernacular of our sages and in our prayers, Pesach is titled, “Z’man chayrusaynu- Time of our freedom.” Although we did attain freedom at the time of our redemption from Egypt, titling the holiday as such doesn’t seem to encapsulate the root of the holiday’s greatness.
In public, Fayyad tells his people and the rest of the world how much he cares about freedom of expression. He has gone so far as announcing an annual award for press freedoms to be conferred on a deserving Palestinian journalist. Behind the scenes, however, his security officers continue to arrest and intimidate journalists who expose corruption or voice criticism of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu: Gilad "looking very well and it is evident that you are coming back to life. This year the holiday of liberation gets a special meaning. From slavery to freedom; from darkness to light."
On his WABC Radio show, Aaron Klein offered $50,000 to an organizer of the upcoming Global March to Jerusalem if the activist could name one city in the Middle East outside of Israel that has more freedom than Jerusalem.
The case is, predictably, another ugly and scary and very personal one, which is why I stayed off it all this time. But as the pressure campaign is increasing and even Fox News is dumping on the husband (a Republican!), I went looking for some context. Now you can, too…
Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Lau responds with dismay to a resolution passed by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council to operate public transportation on Shabbat. He appealed to Mayor Ron Huldai, who supported the resolution, not to "allow the candle of Shabbat to burn out."
A poll of Muslims in Britain found little support for freedom of speech. Nearly 80% of Muslims in Britain said that the publishers of the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Mohammed should be prosecuted; 68% said that those who insult Islam should be prosecuted; and 62% of Muslims in Britain disagree that freedom of speech should be allowed if it insults and offends religious groups.
Judge: "Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide."
I am shocked by the response to the “Occupy” movements in cities all over the United States. “Occupy Miami” recently joined what seems to be a loosely connected fellowship, improvising a day-to-day agenda promoting negativity. The only unifying goal seems to be a hatred of America, work and soap.
For five long years, a media campaign swirled around the abduction and internment of Gilad Shalit, gaining momentum with every passing day. Without a doubt, it was the media that helped keep his story alive and contributed significantly to his release, creating public pressure in favor of the historic (though unsettling) exchange of over one thousand convicted terrorists for Gilad's freedom.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations show no sign of abating and the voice of collective dissent now echoes well beyond lower Manhattan. During the past few weeks, the movement has spread nationally, as protesters across the country came together in a leaderless association that rails against corporate greed and social inequality.
During Yom Tov, the great majority of Jews are surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. Whether in shul or at the table, we share the holiness and festivities that define our holidays with the ones we love and are connected to. The hours fly as we daven, and later feast on a succulent variety of fish and meat dishes, kugels, salads and desserts. The day is full of warmth, color and noise as adult banter mingles with children's chatter.
I've read suggestions by newspaper columnists and observers that events have overtaken Israel, that Israel is "isolating itself" in the Middle East. That view is wrong, and always has been wrong. Israel is not isolating itself - Israel is leading in the Middle East. Israel does not stand alone - Israel stands above as the one true beacon of freedom and opportunity in the Middle East.
The eminent law professor Robert Bork once described the Israeli Supreme Court as the worst in the Western world. Israel, Bork wrote, "has set a standard for judicial imperialism that can probably never be surpassed, and, one devoutly hopes, will never be equaled elsewhere."
The assault on freedom of speech in Israel by the leftist establishment continues, manifested in a series of arrests of rabbis merely for expressing opinions.
In 1629 George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, applied to King Charles I for a charter to found what was to become the Province of Maryland. Tobacco had proven to be a profitable enterprise in Virginia, and Calvert was hopeful the same would prove true in this new venture. In addition, Calvert, a Catholic, hoped to found a religious haven for his co-religionists who were often persecuted in predominantly Protestant England.
If Toni Morrison, the Nobel-prize winning African-American novelist, could refer to Bill Clinton, a white man, as America's first black president, then surely we can take a reverse tack: Is it possible that Barack Obama is not the first real black president after all?
I'm sitting and watching President Obama's speech on the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. He is eloquent as usual, giving compelling visuals of the protestors demanding a free government amid great personal peril. He is quoting Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He has taken charge of the situation, endorsing the determination of the people of Egypt to throw out their dictator.