Thursday, July 30th, 2009
On a day dedicated to remembering exile and expulsion, here’s an excellent film, “Home Game,” about the “disengagement,” the surrealistic self-ethnic cleansing, of Jews from Gaza — four years ago, this week.
Was the new ‘crisis’ manufactured to tie settlement issue to holy city?
This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.
Publicly raising its disagreement over Jerusalem may “focus the American Jewish community, which is mostly opposed to settlements, on the fact that when the U.S. demands Israel cease building settlements that includes Jerusalem,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.
And touching the Jerusalem nerve may help galvanize Evangelical Christians, many of whom have a growing commitment to preserving Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital, to oppose new administration peace pushes.
JTA has just posted a timely series on the settlers of the West Bank, exploring their potential extremism and the very real possibility of Jew-vs.-Jew violence should Israel eventually decide to evacuate them, as much of the world, including the President of the United States, would like.
In what has become perhaps the most Americanized region in all of Israel, the sunny seaside city of Herzliya just landed a classic American import that it probably never expected: the Jewish state’s first-ever college fraternity.
Two new books are sitting on my desk, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
One is by Aaron Klein, a young journalist who made aliyah from the U.S. and it catalogues a litany of woes facing Israel. Its title: “The Late Great State of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation’s Survival.”
Nothing new here, just the Iranian nuclear threat, Palestinian terrorism, internal Israeli division and corruption, etc.
Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, has a provocative piece in the July/August issue of the magazine, entitled “How Iran Could Save The Middle East.”
His thesis, well worth considering, is that based on the Mideast cliché, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” key states in the region like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt could form an alliance with Israel based on their common opposition to and fear of Iran, especially a nuclear Iran.
As summer arrives, young people dream of adventure, thoughts of cruises and road trips and theme parks dancing in their heads.
For all too many these days, dreaming and thoughts are all they’re going to get.
Among the fondest memories of my childhood are driving down the East Coast to Florida in my father’s big Chevy Impala (the minivan of its time), stopping at almost every point of interest in between; driving up north to Toronto and Montreal, several trips to Israel and one out west to California, Arizona and Nevada.