The old expression “the pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind this week on learning that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has urged Syrian President Bashar al Assad to stop “the killing machines and end the bloodshed.”
In contrast to the “Arab Spring” that began last winter and spread among Mideast countries, with violent protests leading to deadly confrontations over autocratic rule, the “Israel Spring” that has captured the attention and pulse of the Jewish state is, in a sense, a reinvigoration of democracy and an impassioned call for a return to social justice.
Imagine what the world reaction would be if Israel, in order to suppress civilian demonstrations among Arabs, were to unleash its army, killing up to 150 unarmed people in a few days of fighting in Israel proper or the West Bank.
The civilized world shared revulsion at the mass murders in Norway committed by Anders Behring Breivik. It is certainly natural to wonder why anyone would commit such a horrific act, and whether the killer acted alone or was an agent for others.
Reports have suggested that Breivik was, among other things, both neo-Nazi and pro-Israel. That incongruity ought to have been a red light to speculators that his was a confused mind, with too many demons for anyone to quickly decipher.
One of the ripple effects from the phone hacking scandal that has gripped Britain is concern over whether the Rupert Murdoch media empire’s strong support for Israel would continue if the founder of News Corp. loses his clout.
The Jewish community shares the pain of the Kletzky family in the wake of the tragic death of eight-year-old Leiby. The fact that so many people put aside their daily concerns to join the search for the youngster last week is but one sign of the solidarity and compassion that was evident throughout the painful ordeal.
While Israel’s situation in the world arena can sometimes resemble the last moments of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, looking out at the hundreds of Bolivian soldiers, guns-a-ready, the fact is that things are looking up for the Jewish State.
A recent BBC poll measuring opinion in 27 countries, many of them officially hostile to Israel, found a two percent rise in Israel’s popularity since 2010.
Our hearts go out to the members and leadership of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, the landmark synagogue on the Upper East Side that suffered serious fire damage this week.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the venerable spiritual leader of the 140-year-old congregation, expressed gratitude that no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze and that, since the synagogue had been under renovation since May, no Torah scrolls were on site.