As another summer comes to an end, what is also coming to an end is dairy farming in the Catskills. There was once a time when a trip on Route 17 was one in which the mom or dad would tell the city child, "Look at the cows!" Those days are almost over, killed by a combination of thoughtless legislation, poor regional leadership, and economic deflation that has forced one farmer after another in the region to sell the family farm, or relocate.
This coming Sunday's Jewish Heritage Day at Citi Field, presented by the Mets and the JCRC, is always a terrific day at the ballpark, and the Mets deserve our gratitude. Last winter, the Hebron Fund rented out a room at Citi Field for a fundraiser on behalf of one of Israel's oldest and holiest communities, a community that has lived in Hebron almost continuously since Biblical times, until wiped out in the Arab pogrom of 1929 and reconstituted shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967.
Here's a great cartoon from Steve Kelly at the New Orleans Times-Picayune (download and enlarge for best viewing). The cartoon shows Obama saying of Imam Rauf, "I support the right of religious groups to build on their property..." In the next panel, Obama adds, "Sometimes," holding his "Freeze Settlements" edict while standing next to Israel's Netanyahu.
As an Orthodox Jew, I believe that membership in a religion is not casual but legal, something like American citizenship (if you support the good people of Arizona). You can't just cross the Rio Grande and vote in Phoenix. There is a rigerous citizenship process, a conversion process, or there is Judaism's singular qualification -- being born to a Jewish mother.
An editorial in Saudi's Al-Madina (Aug. 15) gives some insight, from within the Arab world, to the news that the activation of the nuclear facility in Bushehr, expected to happen in the next week. The Saudi edit states:
Here is the complete Zion Herald interview from 2002 with the Great Moderate, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, in which he does a Helen Thomas turn, blaming "the way a Western, European Ashkenazi Jewish population created a state of Israel at the expense of the native non-European Christian, Muslim and even Jewish (Sephardic) populations.... Jews have always been welcome in the Middle East, But don't come and invade us. Don't invade our culture and our heritage."