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Israel’s Losing Battle With Sweden Over Outrageous Charges

How should Israel have responded to the outrageous report in a Swedish newspaper that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped and killed Palestinians in order to harvest their organs for use in transplants?

`Money For Mitzvahs’

The “Cash for Clunkers” experiment has come and gone, but what was intended for car owners to benefit from increasing their vehicles’ fuel efficiency could be applied to improve Jewish life as well.

The premise would be the same - a valuable voucher or reward going to folks who trade in something less efficient for something on the next level - but our community could make use of it by having consumers of Jewish practice and education be rewarded for stepping up their commitment.

Protesting Too Much On Holocaust Denial

What if some prominent individual or group started holding press conferences to declare that the Earth is flat, or that it is stationary while the sun revolves around it?

Would scientists rush to debunk this theory, publishing papers and holding conferences, or just shake their heads in disbelief and return to their work?

I'm not suggesting the odious, politically charged hate crime of denying the Holocaust is as benign as making spurious scientific claims. But I do think the response to it ought to be along the same lines as the scientists who shake their heads.

On Thursday Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Neytanyahu, came to the United Nations General Assembly bearing detailed plans of Auschwitz, and cited President Barack Obama's recent visit the Buchenwald. "Was President Obama paying tribute to a lie?" asked the prime minister. And, he added, are the thousands of Jews who still bear the tatoos of concentration camp numbers perpetrating a lie?

He asked these questions because on the previous day the thug who leads Iran offered up some of his usual tripe about the Holocaust being a hoax. The comments are worthy of condemnation, but the detailed response of Netanyahu and others come too close to creating a debate on the subject, something the small legion of crackpot deniers worldwide desperately wants.

Whether in academia, political discourse or popular culture, there is no serious discourse about whether the  Nazi war against the Jews took place. The detailed accounts of eyewitnesses, photographic and scientific evidence and, most significant, the records of the Nazis themselves, who never sought to cover up their crimes are readily available to any inquiring minds.

While Ahmadinejad may have convinced himself there are some questions about about the scope and scale of the atrocities, it's hard to imagine even he seriously believes the Nazis did not perpetrate genocide 60 years ago. Rather, he knows it's a sure-fire way to push buttons in the West, and to expose pro-Jewish sentiment among western leaders that he can use to muster allies who hate America and Israel.

Engaging this blowhard in any kind of serious debate only plays right into his hands.

A Link To Yom Kippur With Reb Shlomo

Some thoughts  from Reb Shlomo on Yom Kippur.

Iran activism and the ‘average’ American Jew

Friday, September 25th, 2009 Yesterday Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt published a blog item asking an important question: why, at this week’s rally on Iran at the United Nations, was the Jewish community so thinly represented?

A Link To Yom Kippur With Reb Shlomo

Friday, September 25th, 2009 Some thoughts from Reb Shlomo on Yom Kippur.

Israel, the Palestinians and ‘final status’ silliness

Thursday, September 24th, 2009 Let me see if I’ve got this right. The Obama administration wants to move  Israeli-Palestinian talks directly into “final status” issues, which in case you missed the memo are issues so difficult to resolve that they were reserved for the last stage of negotiations.

Don’t Dignify The Holocaust ‘Debate’

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

What if some prominent individual or group started holding press conferences to declare that the Earth is flat, or that it is stationary while the sun revolves around it?

 

Would scientists rush to debunk this theory, publishing papers and holding conferences, or just shake their heads in disbelief and return to their work?

 

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