"Judaism Doesn't Need this 'Genius' "
Political and social observations from two aspiring hedgehogs who love the Isaiah Berlin essay.
The week before the Super Bowl is historically filled with all sorts of sordid distractions, from cocaine to prostitutes to the infamously bared butt of a quarterback.
But there has never been anything like the divisive presence that will soon threaten to fracture the attention of the New England Patriots.
Today, for the first time since 1967, the United States abstained on a UN Security Council resolution, condemning Jewish settlements in the “occupied territories.” Because the U.S. abstained, rather than vetoing the resolution, the resolution passed. This abstention is a departure from the policy of 8 previous U.S. Presidents, Democrat and Republican, from Lyndon Johnson through George W. Bush.
I'm sure many of you have heard the claim that Jewish communities in Judea Samaria, the West Bank, are an obstacle to peace.
I've always been perplexed by this notion.
Because no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel – that they're an obstacle to peace. That's because they aren't. On the contrary.
Israel's diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.
There's a phrase for that: It's called ethnic cleansing.
And this demand is outrageous.
It's even more outrageous that the world doesn't find this outrageous. Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.
Ask yourself this: Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks?
Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?
At this moment, Jewish schoolchildren in Judea Samaria are playing in sandboxes with their friends.
Does their presence make peace impossible?
I don’t think so.
I think what makes peace impossible is intolerance of others. Societies that respect all people are the ones that pursue peace. Societies that demand ethnic cleansing don't pursue peace.
I envision a Middle East where young Arabs and young Jews learn together, work together, live together side by side in peace.
Our region needs more tolerance, not less.
So the next time you hear someone say Jews can't live somewhere, let alone in their ancestral homeland, take a moment to think of the implications.
Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd.
It's about time somebody said it.
I just did.
Fatah’s official Facebook page promptly posted a picture of Tarayrah and declared him a martyr, which the nonprofit group Palestinian Media Watch described as “the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority.” WAFA, the PA’s official news agency, also called Tarayrah a martyr. This designation means that under Palestinian law, Tarayrah’s family is now eligible for monthly stipends from the PA, Palestinian Media Watch explained.
Tarayrah’s mother praised her son while speaking to a news outlet in Hebron after the attack, saying: “My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised
Bernard-Henri Levy, the French intellectual, philosopher and political writer, hardly a "poser," to use President Obama's label for those who would urge him to re-evaluate his Syria policy. Levy thoroughly demolishes President Obama's stance, and, without mentioning them by name, the refusal of the Democratic Presidential candidates to identify the enemy as Islamic extremists. His column was column published online in the Globe and Mail, and republished in edited form in The Weekly Standard online. Here is his conclusion:
This was the situation two decades ago in Sarajevo, when putative experts raised the spectre of the hundreds of thousands of ground troops that would have to be deployed to prevent ethnic cleansing from reaching its grisly apogee. Yet it turned out that a handful of special forces, backed by strikes, was sufficient. I am convinced that the IS hordes are much braver when blowing the heads off defenceless young Parisians than when facing real soldiers of freedom. Similarly, I believe that the international community possesses all of the means necessary to defeat the threat it faces, should it choose to do so.
What holds us back? Why have we been so stinting in assisting our Kurdish allies?
What is it about this war that the America of Barack Obama, at least for the moment, seems not to really want to win? I do not know the answer. But I know where the key lies.And I know the alternative to using the key: No boots on their ground means more blood on ours.
If I were a college president or dean, I would say the following to current and prospective students:
Today I am 64, praise God. And I don't feel a day over 75. Last night, after midnight, when my birthday arrived, I played the Beatles' "When I'm 64" for me and Mrs. Kosher Hedghog several times. The chorus, you will recall, goes, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Happily for me, the answer appears to be "Yes."
The same administration that refused to divulge what's in its soon-to-be-concluded nuclear "deal" with Iran, last month stealthily released a top-secret 1987 report on Israel's nuclear program — information that might be used by Israel's enemies.
I have some knowledge about the build-up process of Israel’s nuclear capacity and after reading the report in question I must express my astonishment: I have never seen an official American document disclosing such extensive revelation on subjects that until now were regarded by both administrations as unspeakable secrets.
The link below is to a crow of victory from Israel Behind the News (David Bedein). He has been reporting for two decades, since Oslo, on the military cooperation between Fatah and the PA and Hamas. Now, a respected third party has issued a report that the PA has been arming Hamas.