The frustration in the voice of former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh is evident when he speaks of the planned U.S. opposition to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid for United Nations’ recognition of Palestine as a non-member state.
The move, slated for this Thursday, threatens to “destroy America’s only achievement in this region,” he said by phone from Jerusalem, referring to the American training of the Palestinian security force in the West Bank.
On the heels of the success of the Iron Dome system, Israel successfully tested a new missile defense system in the Negev.
Dubbed David’s Sling, after the weapon used in the Biblical story of David and Goliath, the system is being developed jointly between the Israeli and American defense firms Rafael and Raytheon. It is designed to intercept medium to long-range missile between 70 and 300 kilometers—likely to be primarily launched from Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.
If we are serious about a covenantal relationship between Israel and world Jewry, diaspora Jews not only have the right but the responsibility to criticize Israeli policies, from the left or the right, that seem to them inimical to Jewish values and interests.
My question is this: What, if any, are the limitations on diaspora criticism of Israel during war? I’m writing to you at a particularly sensitive moment, when Israeli cities and towns are under rocket attack, while Hamas centers in Gaza are under Israeli air bombardment.
Jerusalem — Ordinarily filled with noisy children, last Friday the Nisu’i elementary school in Jerusalem became a makeshift call-up center for reservists who, just hours earlier, had been told they were being sent to the front.
Still in civvies or in wrinkled uniforms they’d pulled out of storage, the men, religious and not, in their 20s and 30s, sat on the ground and watched as a group of teens played soccer in the schoolyard.