Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.
Many profiles of prominent athletes feature their “p.r.” That stands for personal record, the competitor’s best-ever performance in his or her sport, not for personal religion. So it’s often difficult to determine the religion of an athlete.
In this issue and next week’s, The Jewish Week highlights some members of the U.S. Summer Olympics squad competing in Athens who are known to be members of the Jewish community.
The Jewish connection to the Olympic Games is as old as the modern Olympics movement. Unfortunately, some of the connections are tragic, like the murder of 11 members of Israel’s team at the Munich Games in 1972.
Last week The Jewish Week looked at some largely unknown parts of Olympic Jewish history. This week, the Olympics and the Holocaust.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip throughout the Middle East last week found him in Israel on Easter — he joined thousands of pilgrims at a service in Jerusalem — but his visit there was no holiday.
During his three days in Israel, Cheney met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, voiced the Bush administration’s continued support for the Jewish state, urged all sides in the Middle East peace process to make further concessions and criticized two belligerent governments in the region.
Next week, Mr. Singer, teacher in a local day school, will be Samal Zinger, sergeant in an Israeli army unit. Next week, Aharon Singer, who looks outside his apartment window and sees children playing on a cul de sac, will open a tent and see the hills of the West Bank.
Next week, Singer will put on a bulletproof vest and put his life on the line.
With Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud Party seen cruising to victory in Tuesday's national election, political pundits speculated on how Sharon was going to form the unity government he prefers with the Labor Party, whose leader has vowed to remain in opposition.
Reading Michael Slackman’s Memo From Cairo in the New York Times today was an exercise in futility and despair for anyone who believes that morality and humanity should be a factor in international relations. (”Disentangling Layers of a Loaded Term in Search of a Thread of Peace,” Feb. 26)
The Times correspondent tackles the issue of what terrorism means to the Arab world, and finds that it is 180 degrees apart from those of us in the pro-Israel community.
“Am I going to have to go the Army?,”eight-year-old Jacob asked me recently as he channel-surfed past a war movie.
The question is impossible to answer with certainty. Parents who married after the War To End All Wars never anticipated that their children would be drafted to fight in the war that came after that, World War II.