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Another month, another round of recriminations in the Modern Orthodox community. Two months ago it was a breakaway rabbinic organization established, in part, to promote decentralized conversion standards. Last month it was a public forum on homosexuality in the Orthodox community.
William Sloane Coffin Jr., the left-wing Presbyterian minister who gained notoriety in the 1960’s for his militant antiwar stance and his association and identification with radicals of every stripe while serving as chaplain at Yale University, died April 12 at age 81. The coverage in the mainstream media was almost uniformly laudatory – as it invariably is for those who establish themselves as outspoken critics of the United States.
Barely redeemed from Egypt, the Jewish people faced a terrible foe. Amalek attacked without warning, without reason.
Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" explores tragically unrequited anticipation.
Onward with the best (or worst, if you will) of what those on the left are saying in the aftermath of Sept. 11. We'll start off the week with Studs Terkel, whose popular oral histories (Working, etc.) lead many to mistakenly label him a writer when in fact he's nothing more than an energetic tape recordist, to use the memorable term coined for him by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Neal.
The Monitor's most recent undertaking, interrupted by unavoidable circumstances last week, involved a look at some of the early left-wing reaction to the terrorist attacks on America. That our friends on the left would adopt a blame America and/or Israel party line should have been obvious from the get-go, and was exemplified by essays written by Robert Fisk in The Nation and Gary Kamiya on Salon.com.
It took American leftists about 48 hours or so to find their voices after the Sept. 11 attack on America, but find them they did. There were no surprises.Once the initial shock wore off and it became clear that this was not Oklahoma City, not the doing of any home-grown terrorists, the rationalizations and excuses began to fly. And, as always seems to be the case with those on the left, the real culprits were not Islamic extremists but the U.S. and Israel.
The almost universal calls for ?solidarity? with Israel following in the wake of Reform leader Eric Yoffie?s announcement of the suspension of youth trips to Israel has underscored a curious dimension to the politics of the left. While the Sarid and Beilin crowd talk about American Jews demonstrating their support for the Jewish state, they continue to rail against Prime Minister Sharon for not agreeing to an immediate resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians despite the continuing violence, and for not ordering an immediate end to all construction on the so-called ?settlements.? Despite the lessons of the collapse of Oslo and the obvious and cynical refusal of Yassir Arafat to end the violence, the left persists in attacking Mr. Sharon for insisting that the violence must stop as a precondition to renewed talks. They would reward violence with political concessions while the prime minister would not.