Despite President Bush's insistence that the war on terrorism is not a religious conflict pitting the West against Islam, prominent members of his administration and leaders of Islamic countries are pushing inexorably in that direction.
And as the president came to the defense of the Jewish community this week, Jewish leaders were warning of dire long-term consequences in the wake of the anti-Semitic tirade unleashed last week by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
With Islam’s top religious leaders publicly sanctioning suicide bombings against Jews, outraged New York rabbis plan to protest the behavior of their religious counterparts at a demonstration in front of the Palestine Mission next Monday.
World Jewry is facing an interfaith crisis with Christians and Muslims over the anti-Jewish tirade spouted by Bashar Assad in the presence of Pope John Paul II, who failed to repudiate the Syrian president.
Anxious and irate Jewish leaders this week called for an unprecedented interfaith summit and dashed off letters imploring the Pope to renounce the stunning remarks by Assad. Experts say Assad has elevated anti-Jewish religious charges to dangerous levels.
The Islamist rhetoric blaming Jews for the Sept. 11 attacks on America has gotten bad enough that President George W. Bush and other national and international political leaders need to counter the anti-Semites and quell the growing anxiety of Jewish citizens, says the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“President Bush should publicly put his arms around the Jewish community,” Abraham Foxman said. “Some leaders don’t think it’s serious, but as Jews we take it very seriously.”
In response to sharp criticism by some right-wing Orthodox rabbis who charged that the Wye accords violate Jewish law, a group of Modern Orthodox rabbis this week issued a counter statement saying that last month’s deal between Israel and the Palestinians is indeed religiously legal.
The group, Shvil Hazahav, gathered the signatures of 28 Modern Orthodox rabbis to support an unequivocal statement asserting that the Wye deal does not violate Jewish law, or halacha.
A newspaper ad by a Yeshiva University-linked Orthodox rabbinical group is denouncing the Wye agreement as a violation of Jewish law that threatens the lives of all Jews in Israel.
But the rabbinic group called Ichud Harabonim, or Union of Rabbis, is itself being criticized for using language some say evokes the violent rhetoric used against the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin — who was assassinated three years ago this week.
So a rabbi pays a sick call to a man suffering from an intestinal disease. The man is cursing God for his afflictions. “Idiot,” says the rabbi. “You would do better to pray for mercy for yourself.”
Says the patient: “May God remove these sufferings from me and place them upon you.”
A historic partnership between Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and the largest African-American Muslim group in the United States is a “troubling and disturbing” development that threatens dialogue between Jews and black Muslims, American Jewish officials cautioned this week.
Anne Frank, the Dutch teenager who through the power and intimacy of her diary became the best-known of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is most often recalled for an entry that reads: “... I still believe, in spite of everything,
Editor and Publisher
Anne Frank, the Dutch teenager who through the power and intimacy of her diary became the best-known of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is most often recalled for an entry that reads: “... I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart ... that this cruelty, too, shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”