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February 22, 2017 / 26 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

The Jay Shapiro Show – The Crucial Meeting [audio]

21 Shevat 5777 – February 17, 2017

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump are meeting this week. It is one of the most crucial moments in the short history of the State of Israel and the long history of the Jewish People

The Jay Shapiro Show 14Feb2017 – PODCAST

Proposed US Amb to Israel Grilled by Senate Foreign Relations Comm

21 Shevat 5777 – February 17, 2017

A US senate confirmation hearing on Thursday for the nominee for ambassador to Israel was unusual both in terms of length and scope, but given the numbers, the nomination appears poised to advance to the full Senate.

David M. Friedman, President Donald J. Trump’s longtime friend and a Jewish bankruptcy lawyer hailing from Long Island, was on the hot seat before the US Senate Foreign Relations committee. During the nearly three hours long hearing Friedman was interrupted four times by protesters screaming out – some unfurling Palestinian flags – slogans such as “war criminal” and “Palestinian rights.” Senators themselves repeatedly reprimanded Friedman for his use of “intemperate language” in articles written while he was a private citizen.

Friedman comported himself with dignity, rarely getting flustered; he responded to each question fully, if occasionally surprisingly.  He made clear that, as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, he will represent President Trump’s policies and positions on the issues and not his own; and that he will proudly welcome all Americans, of every political view, when they visit Israel.

There is one more Republican on the committee than there are Democrats, and the vote is likely to be correspondingly close.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the ranking Democrat, is Jewish and considered a strong pro-Israel Democrat. Cardin was welcoming, but quickly launched into a rough upbraiding of the nominee on three grounds: his harsh verbal attacks on Democrats, including Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), President Barack Obama and former secretary of state and Senator Hillary Clinton; his perceived lack of support for the Two State Solution; and his apparent support for “settlements.”

Friedman responded, as he did repeatedly to the queries of the other senators who raised the same issues, explaining that he was previously speaking and writing initially as a private citizen and later in the heat of an election campaign, where strong rhetoric is customary.

But Friedman was forced, on several occasions, to not only apologize for his comments but to recant them. He attempted to balance between rejecting views he does hold, and explaining his language in a way the powerful senators were willing to accept. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) were particularly pointed on this issue, and “no” votes are likely assured from each of them.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) appeared satisfied with Friedman’s credentials and contrition – though some in the media falsely criticized Menendez for appearing to accuse Friedman of dual loyalty.

Other committee members seemed to focus more intensively on Friedman’s explanation of  how the peace process will unfold under the current administration. Many of the senators appear unwilling to accept that the new US President is not as committed as previous administrations to the (repeatedly failed) Two State Solution effort.

In response to this line of inquiry, Friedman referred several times to the “larger canvas” approach to the Middle East peace process. The contours of that approach include Sunni states in the region as potential partners as economic and political aids in creating a more peacefully-inclined Palestinian Arab middle class.

Several Republican senators pitched not only softball questions, but provided information helpful to Friedman’s effort.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) talked about the disconnect between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and the difficulty of trying to negotiate with a non-unified partner. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) asked about Friedman’s ability to represent the critical US position on the dangerous BDS movement – “no problem” with that.

One senator gave a fiery denunciation of the way in which Friedman was being treated.

“This sort of ordeal is unbelievable” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who blasted those suggesting that Israel should be treated exactly the same way as the representatives of the Palestinian Arab populations. “Israel is our strongest ally in the region,” Rubio said. He continued, it is “our moral duty to protect Israel,” which is the most pro-American, pro-free enterprise country in the region.

Rubio criticized those feigning horror over Friedman’s description of J Street membership as “worse than kapos” when, Rubio explained, J Street had at one of its conferences Saeb Erekat, “a person who has justified the murder of Jews as self-defense!”

Rubio also decried the idea that Jews living beyond the 1949 Armistice Line is an impediment to peace. And he derided the refusal by some senators to acknowledge Friedman’s agreement that in “a perfect and ideal world” it would be best to have “two independent states, one Jewish and one Arab, living side by side in peace and security” — but we are not yet living in that perfect world.

The real impediments to that perfect world, Rubio said, include the efforts “to impose upon Israel” borders the Jewish State does not believe it can live with and remain secure; the “wholesale and systemic indoctrination of young Palestinians into hatred and the justification of killing and murdering Jews,” an indoctrination that begins at a “tragically” young age; and the “incitement to violence by leaders of the Palestinian Authority” who justify the murders of Jews and who dedicate monuments to those murderers, and who foment “ridiculous rumors” about efforts by Israel to harm Arab holy sites.

There were several times during the hearing in which senators questioning Friedman included egregious factual errors in their questions, which the nominee apparently felt compelled to ignore and simply answer.

For example, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who sounded positively inclined towards Friedman, misspoke and said there had been a recent announcement by Israel of 5400 new housing units for Jews in homes beyond the Green Line.  At one point Paul referred to them as “5400 new settlements in the West Bank.” Friedman did not correct him.

And when the generally hostile Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) asked Friedman whether Israel would ever be willing to “give back” or “return land to the Palestinians,” Friedman did not correct him by pointing out that the Palestinians have never owned or had sovereignty over any land.

It was a contentious hearing with lots of soaring rhetoric and some unpleasant browbeating. In the end, the numbers are in Friedman’s favor and even if the vote is strictly along party lines, his nomination will move forward to the full Senate.

FULL TEXT: PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at White House Briefing

20 Shevat 5777 – February 15, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at a joint news briefing Wednesday at the White House together with President of the United States Donald Trump. Following his remarks, the president and the prime minister accepted questions from selected journalists.

“President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality you and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation. I deeply value your friendship to me, to the State of Israel. It was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke. Israel has no better ally than the United States, and I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.

Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I’m confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security, in technology, in cyber and trade and so many others. And I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.

As you have said, our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interest. And increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force: Radical Islamic terror.

Mr. President, you’ve shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head-on. You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You call for the defeat of ISIS.

Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam. And in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you.

Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity, because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly – as an ally.

I believe that under your leadership, this change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace. Let us seize this moment together; let us bolster security; let us seek new avenues of peace; and let us bring the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States to even greater heights.

Thank you, thank you, Mr. President.”

Netanyahu Arrives in Washington

18 Shevat 5777 – February 14, 2017

Prime Minister Netanyahu landed in Washington D.C. on Monday night, ahead of his first official meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Netanyahu began his visit with meetings with his consultants and Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer at Blair House.

Bibi in Washington

PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara at Blair House in Washington D.C. - Feb. 14, 2017

PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara at Blair House in Washington D.C. – Feb. 14, 2017

He will also meet Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Iran will be the primary subject for discussion between Trump and Netanyahu, but the issues of the Palestinian Authority, Syria, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and most interestingly, Jonathan Pollard will also be raised.

Likud and Bayit Yehudi members have been pushing Netanyahu to discuss the idea of applying sovereignty over all or part of Area C.

Since the elections, Trump has flip-flopped on his positions on the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria as well as on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Some attribute his contradictory statements to pressure from Arab leaders, others claim Trump himself doesn’t know what he wants and is waiting for Netanyahu to tell him what is best for Israel, while some have speculated that Trump simply made campaign promises that he doesn’t intend, or is unable to keep now that he’s in office, just like every other politician.

There is concern in Israel, among many politicians from the center-right parties that they also don’t really know what Netanyahu truly envisions for the future of Israel, or worse, that he may now actually believe in the two-state solution, and he will advise Trump to not let Israel take any steps to undermine it.

Netanyahu himself may not know what to expect next from Trump, and he’ll be playing it extra-cautious.

Most likely, the two world leaders will finish their meeting with some very pleasant public statements. They’ll agree to agree on many issues, and continue to discuss the others.

There is no doubt though that Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump will be far more friendly and cordial than any of Netanyahu’s meetings with former-President Obama, and the two will get along famously.

At least that’s an improvement.

Political Hitman -Jewish Guilt – Are Jews to Blame for Everything? [audio]

18 Shevat 5777 – February 14, 2017

Howie believes that segments of the Jewish population suffer from a Guilt and persecution syndrome. He feels that these syndromes explain why Jews are in the forefront of Anti-Jewish and Anti-Israel movements.

A thought stimulating MUST HEAR show!

Political Hitman 12Feb2017 – PODCAST

Likud Members Also Want Naftali Bennett In Their Party

4 Shevat 5777 – January 30, 2017

It’s a whole new world, and members of the Likud party are starting to look elsewhere for their leadership.

According to a new poll by Panels Politics, 52 percent of Likud voters are hoping that Naftali Bennett will choose to join their party, while 72 percent of Bayit Yehudi is praying he continues to lead them as he has done so far.

Thirty-nine percent of Likud voters agree: they too, hope that Bennett stays with Bayit Yehudi. Nearly half of all other voters also believe he should continue to lead the party.

Surprisingly, 26 percent of Israel’s general voters believe Bennett should join the Likud, and so do 20 percent of those in his own party, Bayit Yehudi.

Bennett is the current Education Minister but is known for his proactive stance on terrorism, security and on behalf of Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Mateh Binyamin.

Israeli PM Netanyahu to Visit US Pres. Trump Feb 15

4 Shevat 5777 – January 30, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the invitation officially extended by U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday to visit Washington DC.

“I deeply appreciate President Trump’s kind invitation to come to Washington and the warm words about Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement released Monday night.

“I look forward to discussing with him the areas of cooperation between us that are so vital to the security and well-being of our two countries.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced earlier in the day at a briefing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would visit President Donald Trump in Washington DC in two weeks.

“I’m pleased to announce that Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel will visit the United States on February 15,” Spicer said at the Monday morning gaggle in Washington.

“Our relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East is crucial to the security of both our nations, and the president looks forward to discussing continuous strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister.”

First Lady Sara Netanyahu will accompany her husband, and will meet with First Lady Melania Trump during that visit, it was announced earlier this month.

The press secretary underscored the importance of the American relationship with its ally, Israel.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II is currently in Washington DC for a state visit, and on Monday met with Vice President Mike Pence.

The ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom is slated to meet with President Trump on Thursday at “the national breakfast,” Spicer said.

City of Jerusalem On Strike

3 Shevat 5777 – January 29, 2017

The city of Jerusalem goes on strike Monday over the refusal of the Finance Ministry to transfer funds to the municipality.

The strike, which began Sunday, is a protest over the capital budget which the city government says the ministry owes the municipality.

The school day will begin at 10 am Monday, and all after-school programs in the capital are cancelled, at least as of Sunday evening. However, special education programs will function as usual, according to the municipality.

The campaign is being carried out by the Jerusalem municipality in cooperation with the Histadrut Labor Union, together with community leaders and parent organizations.

Demonstrations are likely to be held by the above groups during the day on Monday throughout Jerusalem.

Phantom Nation – Islam’s Inherent Anti-Semitism [audio]

28 Tevet 5777 – January 25, 2017

The source of Obama’s obsession with Israel

Phantom Nation 23Jan2017 – PODCAST

Amona Residents Meet to Discuss Court Freeze of Relocation Deal

26 Tevet 5777 – January 23, 2017

Residents of the hilltop community of Amona in Mateh Binyamin met Monday night to consider their options after the High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction against the previously approved deal that would have provided alternate homes to replace those to be demolished in less than a month’s time.

More than half of the 40 families (24) in the community were to have moved to caravans in another section of the hilltop, land that is empty and designated as “abandoned” under the “absentee landlord” law that has continued through the decades from Ottoman times.

Those lots would have been re-classified as state land, and then re-zoned for residential use in order to allow the residents to rebuild the homes that are to be demolished on February 8.

Those homes are presently located on land the Court has ruled “privately owned” by residents of the Palestinian Authority, which ordered their demolition last year. In reality, only a small percent of the land is possibly owned by Arabs, and that hasn’t even been proven in court. The destruction was delayed in order to allow the residents time to make arrangements for alternate accommodations. Half were to move to nearby Ofra until they found other arrangements; the other half were to move their homes to another section of the hilltop, as described above.

But the aforementioned lot has suddenly become unavailable: Earlier Monday, the foreign-funded leftwing NGO Yesh Din filed a brief on behalf of some Palestinian Authority Arabs claiming ownership of some of that land too, and petitioning against last month’s agreement reached between the government and the residents of Amona.

As a result, the Court has issued a temporary injunction freezing the relocation agreement until the situation can be clarified.

Meanwhile, not one alternate home has been built, nor have any other arrangements for the families of Amona been made – and the sand in the hourglass is slipping away.

Political Hitman – Democracy? What’s That? Ask The Lefties [audio]

26 Tevet 5777 – January 23, 2017

It’s been 2 days since Donald J. Trump was sworn in as President of the United States of America. Rioters have gotten violent in the streets of America.

Hamas lovers organized the Women’s march. The bastion of American morality singer Madonna said she wanted to blow up the White House and kafiah wearing terrorist supporters blocked US Vetrans from reaching inauguration activities.

What upset Howie the most was the social media attack on 10 year old Barron Trump, the President’s son.

Howie and Sharon battle it out – It’s war, you decide who wins!

Political Hitman 22Jan2017 – PODCAST

A Hebrew in the Heartland – Where will the Jewish Guests in Washington DC sleep this Shabbat? [audio]

22 Tevet 5777 – January 19, 2017

There are signs everywhere that ‘Wahsington Slept here’, but where will the Jewish guests sleep in Washington this Shabbat? Plus more…

David’s guests include:

Sid Miller – Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Texas and candidate for Secretary of Agriculture for the Trump Administration.

Daniel Greenfield – ‘Trump’s Jews’ in Frontpage magazine http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/trumps-jews-and-obamas-jews/2017/01/17/

Yitz Tendler – Co-founder and Director Young Jewish Conservatives – What can you tell us about plans and events for the Jewish guests in Washington DC this Shabbat?

Yossi Dagan – Chairman of Shomron Regional Council attending Presidential Inauguration

A Hebrew in the Heartland 18Jan2017 – PODCAST

Trump Talks With Boeing CEO on F-35 Fighter Jet Competitor, Air Force One 2.0

20 Tevet 5777 – January 17, 2017

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump met with Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York City to discuss the company’s F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet — a possible competitor for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jet, which has overrun its production times and costs — and to discuss a replacement fleet for Air Force One.

“We discussed Air Force One, we discussed fighter aircraft,” Muilenburg told reporters at a quick briefing following his one-hour meeting with Mr. Trump.

“We made some great progress on simplifying requirements on Air Force One, streamlining the process – all that is going to provide a better airplane at a lower cost.” Mr. Trump had scrapped the original replacement plans for Air Force One, saying the price was simply “too high.”

Muilenberg revealed no further details about the discussion over the military aircraft. Israel received delivery of its first two F-35 stealth fighter jets — named the “Adir” in Hebrew — this past month, with more expected to arrive this year. By the end of the next decade, Israel is expected to receive a total of 50 of the aircraft. But a Pentagon report released this month revealed the aircraft has yet to be fully “bug free” and has more than 200 technical issues that still must be addressed.

Zionist Union and Yesh Atid Line Up Against MK Ghattas

18 Tevet 5777 – January 16, 2017

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

The Zionist Union Knesset faction called on the (Israel-Arab) Joint List party to work towards firing MK Basel Ghattas from the Knesset, Israel Radio reported Monday. Ghattas was indicted earlier this month on a series of charges related to his December 2016 visit to Palestinian security prisoners at Ketziot Prison.

He is accused of abusing his parliamentary immunity to smuggle cell phones, SIM cards and written materials to the prisoners. The expected indictment will include charges of use of property for purposes of terrorism, fraud and breach of trust by a public worker, fraudulently obtaining benefits under aggravated circumstances.

In addition, the Zionist Union said it would allow faction members to sign a petition to remove Ghattas from the Knesset. Yesh Atid, led by MK Yair Lapid, has also claimed the party would support a move to impeach Ghattas under the terms of a July 2016 impeachment law allowing a super-majority of 70 MKs to initiate impeachment proceedings, including at least 10 members of the parliamentary opposition. A recommendation to remove a sitting member of the Knesset must be approved by at least 90 MKs, upon which the member will be replaced with the next person on the party list.

Netanyahu: Security Forces Busted 43 Weapons Factories in 2016

13 Tevet 5777 – January 10, 2017

by Andrew Friedman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that security forces shut down 43 weapons factories around Judea and Samaria during 2016, as opposed to virtually none in 2015. He added that a major focus for security forces at the moment is preventing weapons from reaching the Palestinian Authority street.

Speaking after an inspection tour of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the prime minister said the price of weapons on the PA street has been driven up six-fold due to carefully planned operations and coordination between IDF, police and intelligence agents since the November, 2015 attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.

“Our forces have confiscated equipment, arrested those responsible and closed factories, ” Netanyahu said.

Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who also participated in the inspection tour, and said that Israel “knows how to exact a heavy price from the other side for incitement. Both men blamed the Palestinian Authority, and especially PA leader Abu Mazen, for promoting violence with wild incitement and glorification of terrorists.

Liberman and Netanyahu also used the occasion to relate to foreign policy issues, saying Israel will not allow itself to be bullied by the international community on matters of domestic policy.

Netanyahu fired a shot at outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, saying the international stage is currently undergoing “dramatic changes… some of which will be very, very good for Israel.” The defense minister added criticism of an international “peace” conference, set to meet this Friday in Paris against Israel’s wishes and without representation from Jerusalem.

“Instead of talking to us, there are people out there that are trying to pressure us, to incite against us. But anyone who thinks that trying to frighten us or pressure us with international conferences will change the situation here is sorely mistaken,” Liberman said.

Israel On My Mind – GOOD NEWS STORIES from Israel!

8 Tevet 5777 – January 6, 2017

Join Jason & Jono as they deliver you sweet and funny news stories from Israel.

Israel On My Mind 05Jan2017 – PODCAST

Is The Bible The Future Of Politics?

8 Tevet 5777 – January 6, 2017

Politics needs new ideas. The recent presidential election taught us many lessons about celebrity and scandal, inaction and consequences, the limits of media and polls, and much more.

Perhaps more than anything, the election expressed the public’s widespread dissatisfaction with the political leaders of the past decade who have presided over growing social unrest, economic malaise, and global political crises. The unexpected success of angry outsider candidates Bernie Sanders and President-elect Donald Trump reflect popular rejection of both parties’ core ideologies. The voters said loudly that the old ideas don’t work and that America needs new ideas.

Or maybe it needs timeless ideas.

In mid-December a group of Christian and Jewish thinkers gathered to consider the application of biblical ideas to contemporary politics. Organized by the Herzl Institute under the leadership of Dr. Yoram Hazony in conjunction with the Institute for Religion and Democracy led by Mark Tooley, the distinguished attendees included, among many others, David Brog of Christians United for Israel, Prof. Joshua Mitchell of Georgetown University, R.R. Reno of First Things magazine, Michael Doran of the Hudson Institute, attorney Alyza Lewin, and political adviser Jeff Ballabon.

This Christian-Jewish Alliance sought to find eternal ideas that speak to today’s problems. That this inevitably will raise alarms is due not to any real danger of oppressive theocracy but, rather, to the crass, anti-religious media culture that envelops us. No serious person wants to impose religious rule on America. However, this country – indeed all of Western civilization – was founded on biblical principles that we forget at our own peril.

A number of themes arose during the multiple days of presentations. The room was full of an impressive array of political theorists, theologians, and other experts. The following descriptions are my own recollections and phrasings of various speakers’ ideas, which I may not share completely and for which no single attendee is responsible.

One theme that emerged is the importance of local governance, or federalism. Every tribe or group has its own traditions and culture. You cannot impose a single form of government on everyone because cultural needs differ. Consider one region in which people instinctively follow civil law. They need less regulation and policing than a region in which people routinely violate agreements and steal.

Local allegiances also explain the seeming chaos in the Middle East. Foreigners who look to broad religious groups (Sunnis, Shiites) as homogeneous blocs misunderstand the complex tribal culture, the hyper-local connections that drive what is otherwise contradictory behavior. Political thinkers from centuries ago have shown the importance of local practices for effective governance. The liberal political tradition has abandoned these thinkers in favor of a globalism that ignores people’s most basic identities.

This brings us to another theme – that local identities are not just ignored but actively suppressed. Following World War II, western leaders actively attempted to weaken nationalism in order to prevent a recurrence of the war’s horrors. The vast expansion and legalization of human rights, the growth of multiculturalism, and the various modes of economic and political globalism are examples of this bold response to evil.

However, with the weakening of nationalism comes a weakening of identity, a spiritual homelessness that confuses people. The ordinary citizen wants that patriotism back and needs the sense of belonging that a strong national identity provides. We are seeing this throughout the western world with the success of nationalist movements. To understand recent trends, we must recognize that weakening national identities brings its own danger of societal collapse, against which we are now experiencing a backlash.

A third theme is the rising hostility to religion in America. The Bible is not studied in high schools or colleges as a source of wisdom. This is not because it fails in that regard – the greatest western thinkers until the modern era utilized the Bible extensively in their theorizing. It is a fear or even hatred of religion that has shut it out of intellectual history. This has created a crippling blind spot in contemporary political theory that must be repaired by reintroducing the Bible as a source of wisdom.

This is not about religious missionizing in the university any more than teaching Greek classics indoctrinates Paganism. It is about incorporating the insights of classic religious texts into a contemporary political theory.

Hostility to religion is ominously evident in the threat that identity politics poses to religious freedom. Recent Supreme Court decisions set troubling precedents about religious accommodation. Ever since the 1990 Oregon v. Smith decision about a Native American peyote ritual, the court no longer requires a compelling interest before limiting religious freedom. Over the past few years we have seen Christians lose religious freedom lawsuits where accommodation was readily available.

For example, pharmacists who believe they are religiously proscribed from selling specific contraceptives are legally required to do so – even though they can easily refer customers to other pharmacies and industry experts testify that customers will not suffer from the practice. This legal hostility to religion threatens not just religious freedom but American society, whose unstated civil assumptions emerge from religious traditions.

Is a Christian-Jewish Alliance a contradiction in terms? Aren’t the two religions mutually exclusive? Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote: “When, however, we move from the private world of faith to the public world of humanitarian and cultural endeavors, communication among the various faith communities is desirable and even essential. We are ready to enter into dialogue on such topics as war and peace, poverty, freedom, man’s moral values, the threat of secularism, technology and human values, civil rights, etc., which revolve about religious spiritual aspects of our civilization” (Maggid edition of Confrontation and Other Essays, p. 119).

Jews and Christians will see things very differently sometimes. None of us should compromise on our particular beliefs or enter into dialogue about the “doctrinal, dogmatic or ritual aspects of our faith vis-à-vis ‘similar’ aspects of another faith community” (ibid., p. 118). In fact, the self-sufficiency of a religious community’s beliefs is essential to an authentic Christian-Jewish alliance. But on the many issues we have in common we must work together as religious minorities in a secular world to reassert the country’s Hebraic political tradition.

Progressives have co-opted religious terminology for their projects; “tikkun olam” is a favorite. However, religion runs deeper than ambiguous defenses of the divine image in all human beings. The Bible teaches about right and wrong, life and death, male and female, marriage and family, community and obligation. One presenter pointed out the change in rhetoric of black activists. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of biblical promises, of hope and redemption. Black Lives Matter activists have abandoned religious language and speak about victimhood and grievances. What used to be about restoring America’s promise is now all about individuals.

Can the Bible restore the society underlying American democracy? This is not about missionizing secular Americans or using politics as a tool for religious revival. It is about restoring the principles of American democracy. Even non-believing Americans will find the American heritage in the Bible. Perhaps a Christian-Jewish alliance is just what politics needs to get back on track.

The Danger Zone – Ramifications [audio]

27 Kislev 5777 – December 27, 2016

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 against Israel. Unlike past resolutions, this one which states, “Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law…” has far reaching implications. Gadi will discuss what he sees from this and Rabbi Aryel Nachman joins him to explain how this resolution passing right before Hanukkah is no coincidence.

The Danger Zone 26Dec2016 – PODCAST

Israeli Critically Wounded in Berlin Truck Attack

20 Kislev 5777 – December 20, 2016

Among the victims of the terrorist truck that jumped the sidewalk about 8 PM Monday near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, was an Israeli man who was critically injured in the attack, Israel’s foreign ministry reported Tuesday.

According to report, the man is in hospital on a respirator. The condition of his wife, who accompanied him to the Christmas market, is unknown. The couple was reported missing when they hadn’t returned to their hotel overnight.

The Berlin police announced early Tuesday that the killing of at least 12 and wounding of dozens more when the truck plowed through a Christmas market was “a suspected terrorist attack.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-critically-wounded-in-berlin-truck-attack/2016/12/20/

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