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.
Thursday, June 4th, 2009
There will be plenty of commentaries about President Obama’s speech to the Islamic world in Cairo today, and Jewish groups were weighing in even before he finished speaking. There was lots of meat to chew on, and the Jewish world is going to sate its appetite on the stuff for a long time.
Despite Obama’s strong and unequivocal statement against settlements, it was the first time an Arab and Muslim audience heard a strongly pro-Israel speech from a major leader.
You can play the national pastime — the American national pastime, that is — on a baseball diamond in Ra’anana, one of the few fields of dreams in all of the country.
In this affluent Tel Aviv suburb, you can get Gatorade there, too, and American candies can be had on the grocery store shelves. And you can join the Penn Club and reminisce about the old college days in Philadelphia.
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Did you think the issue of Christian evangelizing in the U.S. military has gone away, now that the controversy over proselytization at the Air Force Academy has died down?
Today’s New York Times has an interesting story about the inclusion of Bible quotes and religious images in official Pentagon reports during the early days of the Iraq war.
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
As if it didn’t have enough on its plate, the Obama administration is now set to try to work some reform magic on the UN Human Rights Council, a group set up to monitor human rights conditions around the world but which is led by some of the worst abusers anywhere and which seems to have little interest in anything but Israel.
On Tuesday the General Assembly elected the United States to the council following a decision by the Obama administration to seek membership.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, sure is sensitive about claims by some that it is tilted to the political right – a persistent image that could prove political awkward now that there’s a new administration in Washington that wants to move forward quickly on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
President Obama is getting pounded by the religious right for not holding a “National Day of Prayer” event at the White House tomorrow, but he is getting support from a key Orthodox group.
In his Institute for Public Affairs Blog, OU public policy director Nathan Diament reviews the history of the event, which began in 1952 and which “has been marked in various ways by all presidents since then.”
Diament goes on to say this:
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
Why does there seem to be much less buzz than usual about this year’s AIPAC policy conference, which begins on Sunday at the Washington Convention Center?
Don’t get me wrong; nobody doubts the policy conference will be the most spectacular Jewish political event of the year, as usual, or that Monday’s banquet will pull in throngs of lawmakers and other top politicians that other organizations can only dream of. But chatter about the conference has been surprisingly thin this year.