It is easy to blame the activists on the flotilla. They sought to embarrass Israel and drive worldwide attention to the situation in Gaza.
It is also easy to blame the Israeli military. Israel was determined to stop the flotilla. And the Israel Defense Forces apparently failed to anticipate the type of confrontation that occurred after commandos rappelled onto the Mavi Marmara.
Iran's President Ahmadinejad is coming to the UN on Monday and there will be no Jewish communal rally of protest to greet him this time. That's because of the last-minute timing of the trip and because Jewish groups were worried that the turnout would be so small as to backfire.
In Cairo, the once-crowded Shar Hashamaim is restored, but there are almost no Jews left to pray in it.
Special to the Jewish Week
I make it a point to go to shul on Saturday morning, and that wasn’t going to change when I found myself in Cairo last summer. Yes, it is in an Arab country, but it is my Arab country, where I was born and where of late I have found myself traveling again and again. There is no one there for me — the 80,000 Jews who once lived in Egypt are pretty much gone, as are all my relatives. Cairo, to paraphrase Janet Flanner, was yesterday.
With talk continuing about a possible U.S. Mideast peace proposal, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl has a thought provoking analysis suggesting this is exactly the wrong policy for the current situation.
I present below, in its entirety and without further comment, former mayor Ed Koch's latest essay on the tensions between the White House and Israel. In it, he concedes that some will call him alarmist, but finds some parallels between the administration's treatment of Israel and the Roman siege against Jews at Masada.
Demonstrating NYU students graft Gaza demands
onto their protest; campus bracing for
upcoming Israel Apartheid Week.
The students’ demands, at first glance, seemed like standard-issue ones: a tuition freeze, requests for budget transparency, student representation on the board of trustees, and fair labor contracts for all employees.
But the 64 New York University students who barricaded themselves inside a cafeteria for two days last week had two other demands, that seemed out of left field: Provide 13 Palestinian students from Gaza with scholarships to the university, and donate all excess supplies to rebuild the University of Gaza, damaged in Israel’s recent war against Hamas.
Israelis fear ‘Obama’s intifada,’ return of the bad days.
Death is closing in. Jerusalem is ready to blow. A genocidal bomb is being built in Iran, and an intifada is brewing at home. My Jerusalem feels “like a war zone,” writes Yossi Klein Halevi in The New Republic (March 16). There “are clusters of helmeted border police near the gates of the Old City, black smoke from burning tires in the Arab village across from my porch, young men marching with green Islamist flags toward my neighborhood, ambulances parked at strategic places ready for this city’s ultimate nightmare.” Some are calling it the Obama intifada.
A student’s challenge offers new light on Jewish people’s old experience in Egypt.
Special To The Jewish Week
"In every generation,” we read in the Haggadah every year, “everyone must view himself or herself as if he or she had gone forth from Egypt.” This comes from the biblical commandment, “In that day you shall teach your child saying, ‘All of this is because of what God did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’ It was not only our forefathers that the blessed Holy One redeemed; us too God redeemed together with them. ...”
An unexpected question confronts a pair of Jewish visitors in Cairo.
Special To The Jewish Week
The initial plan was spectacular. While studying at Hebrew University in 1990, Arie Katz, a Princeton grad who currently serves as the chair of the Orange County Community Scholar Program in California, and I journeyed from Israel to Egypt the week before Passover to tour and admire our ancestors’ handiwork, otherwise known as the pyramids.