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Ceasefires Needed On All Fronts

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is not the only truce needed to restore peace for the Jewish state.  There are at least two others.

The Israeli cabinet looks like a circular firing squad as ministers take pot shots at one another and particularly at the Prime Minister, whose job each covets. It's gotten so bad that Bibi Netanyahu is reluctant to hold a Likud leadership vote because he could get dumped by his party's settler-nationalist wing. 

How Did They Find Out? ISIS Is Zionist Plot

I'll bet you didn't know that ISIS was a Zionist conspiracy created to discredit Islam.  In fact, I'll bet even ISIS didn't know it.

But Yasmina Halfi, who worked in the Dutch government's Cyper Security Center, says that's just what happened.  On Wednesday she posted on Twitter, "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.  It's part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam's name."

New Turkish Leadership Still Anti-Israel, Pro-Terrorist

They're shuffling the deck chairs on the Turkish ship of state but don't expect any changes in the government's virulent anti-Israel/anti-Semitic behavior or its support for Islamist terrorists. 

That's because President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan has picked his protégé and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu to succeed him as prime minister.

Eikev: To Be Like God, Love The Stranger

I recently had the opportunity to deliver a shiur on the topic of inclusion of people with disabilities. As a model for a Torah approach to this issue, I looked at the mitzvot relating to the ger. One of those mitzvot occurs in Parshat Eikev, the mitzvah to love the "ger," or stranger:

Love you therefore the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Devarim, 10:19).

Rabbi Dov Linzer

Another Kind Of Holy Land

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on Ellen Seidman's blog: Love That Max: Special Needs Blog

Last Wednesday, I headed to family camp with Max for five days. I figured we'd have fun; I had no idea how meaningful our time there would be. It was full of firsts for Max—and the discovery of a whole other kind of holy land.

As a a teen, I was a counselor at two Camp Ramahs in New York and loved it. After I found out that the Ramah in the Poconos had a five-day Tikvah Family Camp for kids with developmental disorders and social learning disorders, I signed us up. (The Ramah Tikvah Network offers family, day and overnight camps at nine locations.)

Fireman Max with his new friend June. Courtesy of Ellen Seidman

Time To Reexamine US-Turkey Relations

Turkey took another step away from democracy and closer to becoming an extremist Islamist state and patron of terrorists this week when Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country's first elected president.

He has said he wants to build a "new Turkey" that will respect the diverse views of his nation, but he is the one most responsible for the deep divisions that plague it and damaging its international standing. 

Soldiers With Autism Bring Special Skills To The IDF

For the past few weeks, most of us have been glued to the news and social media to keep ourselves updated on the war in Israel. Some of us have friends and family in Israel, while others are torn by watching young soldiers go off to war. 

As I explored the web looking for information about the war, I came across a press release by the IDF that discusses Special Intelligence Unit 9900. This small unit includes soldiers with autism “who have remarkable visual and analytic capabilities. They can detect even the smallest details, undetectable to most people”.

Dr. Frances Victory

Loving Thy Neighbor, In Word And Deed

Since we moved into our house 14 years ago, our next door neighbors have been the Hellers. They were an older, semi-retired couple; we were a younger, just-starting-out couple. Nonetheless, they were there to greet us with hanging plants and gardening advice when we first moved in, to admire our kids as they arrived, one and one and two at a time, and then to introduce their grandchildren as playmates to our brood.

As our eldest son’s autism became more pronounced, the Hellers were models of tolerance and love.

The author's son Avi at camp. Courtesy of Michael Steinhart

Hamas Declares Victory

Hamas said it won the war and forced Israel to retreat because it couldn't wipe out Hamas. 

It agree to a three-day ceasefire that was supposed to end this installment of the on-going Israel-Gaza wars but when Israel refused to surrender to its demands, the terrorist group let the pause expire and resumed firing rockets and mortars into Israel.  Naturally, the renewed violence was all Israel's fault, a Hamas spokesman said, because the Zionists wouldn't meet Hamas's conditions.  

Gaza's Unanswered Questions

As Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian negotiators in Cairo try to come up with a long-term truce, all know that they are just buying time until the next Gaza war.

This latest round left a very high body count and a lot of unanswered questions. 

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