What follows is the sermon I delivered in my synagogue in Forest Hills last week. I wanted to share it with you because it is a more thorough treatment of the subject than I could do in a briefer piece, and I think it important. I hope you will as well.
For public consumption, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Washington this week, had to share the world's indignation about Israel's naughty behavior on that ship in not letting a band of Turkish brigands throw its soldiers into the sea.
"Unlawful, unacceptable," is how he described the incident. "Our main demand is how to end the blockade on Gaza and I believe the entire world stands with us." Right.
People seem to love author and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens for precisely the reason other people seem to hate him: he has an opinion, and a strong one, about almost everything. His new memoir, “Hitch-22,” is chock full of them, too. And when he appeared at at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday night, in a chat with his close friend Salman Rushdie, that fact was not glossed over.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.
Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.
The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.
If you don't think the tide is turning against Israel's Gaza blockade, you're just not paying attention. There are numerous reports Israel is looking for a way out of what seems like a punitive and arbitrary blockade, but I suspect that won't do much to counteract the intense and mostly negative worldwide scrutiny that followed the botched Gaza flotilla raid and the lame Israeli PR efforts to justify it.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.
Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.
A light rain fell as hundreds of New Yorkers rallied across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan Wednesday to voice their support for the embattled Jewish state in the wake of the Gaza flotilla deaths.
“This is a consensus rally,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns. “Israel is facing an existential threat. It’s important for everyone to express solidarity with Israel.”
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.
Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.
The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.