One of the frustrations Israelis feel about the recently released Winograd Commission report is that it was too general in its stinging criticism of the Israeli government and army in their conduct of the 2006 war with Hezbollah. By blaming everyone — from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his cabinet to the commanders of the Israel Defense Forces — in a sense, it allowed everyone to remain blameless. Or more practically, it allowed each of the key figures to explain away his own actions and cast responsibility on someone else.
As spring training moves toward Opening Day, rekindling in baseball fans everywhere the flickering and foolish hope that this could be the year for their team, I share with you my own story of child-like dreams rubbing up against reality. It’s a saga I like to think of as My (Almost) Magical Inning.
For it was 25 years ago this week that I had an opportunity to live out one of the great fantasies a baseball fan could have: to play in a game with one’s favorite big-league team.
Throughout the on-again, mostly off-again peace process between Israel and the Palestinians for the last decade, Jerusalem has operated under certain basic assumptions.
Chief among them were:
* the primary goal of the Palestinian national movement was to establish an independent state, and to do so, it was willing to allow that state to be demilitarized;
* the establishment of the Palestinian state depended on Israel and its willingness to make compromises and concessions based on its security interests being met;
Listening to participants at a daylong program at the Jewish Theological Seminary last Wednesday celebrating the first anniversary of the school’s decision to admit gay and lesbian students to its rabbinical and cantorial programs, it was clear that last year’s vote did not end the discussion. Rather, it marked the beginning of a new phase for the Conservative movement.
Thanks to Steven Spielberg and others, visual testimony of the Shoah has been recorded for posterity, with footage of more than 50,000 survivor interviews housed under the auspices of the famed director’s Shoah Foundation.
But what about firsthand accounts of the other major event in contemporary Jewish history, the creation of the State of Israel?