N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.
As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.
“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.
Israel may be in a tense standoff with U.S. President Barack Obama, but the high-tech-savvy country seemed to be picking a fight this week with another formidable foe: Apple. And the Jewish state’s decision to ban the iPad, Apple’s vaunted new e-tablet, had tech writers and bloggers the world over scratching their heads trying to understand the move.
The reason? Israel’s explanation of the ban didn’t seem to add up.
American Jews, and Israel, have long taken pride in the fact that support for the Jewish state is a bipartisan issue among political leaders in this country. Whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House for the last three decades, Israel was viewed as a strong ally in every sense of the word.
But there are cracks in the façade of late, perhaps inevitable in an age of increasing partisanship in Washington, yet troubling nonetheless and in need of attention.
Last weekend’s New York Times report on a secret memo by Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning that the Obama administration needs a better long-term strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat reflects some disturbing realities.
At Teaneck synagogue, Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent says political honeymoon at an end;
sees administration push for quick resolution.
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Israel’s 16-year honeymoon with the White House (under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is over, and the tension between Jerusalem and the Obama administration is “dramatic and considerable,” according to the senior diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.
Herb Keinon, a native of Denver who has lived in and covered Israel for 27 years, spoke of “conceptual gaps on two major planes” between the allies in a talk Sunday evening at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.
Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs may not always get along, but two young pianists — one a Jew from Tel Aviv, the other an Arab from Nazareth — will be living in harmony next week at Carnegie Hall. Onstage, that is.
The skies over Israel were clear on Monday night, clear enough for the annual fireworks on the eve of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Independence Day.
But for some Israelis, the celebration of the country’s 62nd birthday was overcast.
“62, Under a U.S. Cloud,” a headline over an editorial in the Jerusalem Post declared.
The newspaper said the current chilled relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of the pace of Middle East peace negotiations, added to the threat of a nuclear Iran, cast a pall over Independence Day.