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Jewish Organizations Talk about Human Rights, but Are Silent When a Jew Is Murdered by a Tyrannical Regime

Unknown to most, Otto Warmbier—the U.S. citizen imprisoned by North Korea who returned in a coma and died shortly thereafter—was a Jew who participated in Birthright and was active in his campus Hillel House. Warmbier’s family kept this information secret at the advice of hostage negotiators who believed it would unnecessarily embarrass Pyongyang, which was officially claiming he was a Methodist secret agent. But why, asks Liel Leibovitz, has official American Jewry remained indifferent to his fate?

You’d think that the cluster of handsomely funded Jewish organizations that fly the banner of promoting and protecting Jewish life in America and abroad would notice and acknowledge Warmbier’s murder. So far, though, American Jewish officialdom has been deafeningly silent.

The odious Anne Frank Center, whose disingenuous mission statement blathers on about a kinder and fairer world where Jewish children are safe from the death camps of tyrannical regimes, didn’t bother taking a break from bashing Donald Trump to lament a young Jew put to death by the world’s worst offender of human rights. Nor did the Anti-Defamation League, an organization quick to stand up with Linda Sarsour as she denied Jews their right to self-determination but not so swift when the victim was a young Jewish man. . . .

What you do hear are the howls of the social-justice brigades, for whom Warmbier, being white and a man, is mostly to blame for his own murder. When the young college student was arrested last year, the regressive left’s flagships . . . gleefully mocked Warmbier, arguing that white privilege was the real reason for his predicament and suggesting that when it came to oppression, there was really no difference between Portland and Pyongyang. . . .

This sort of bigoted nonsense is toxic to all Americans, but it’s particularly hazardous to Jews, whose suffering is too often explained away these days as an acceptable byproduct of excessive power and influence. It’s precisely the kind of anti-Semitic bile that Jewish organizations were founded to combat.

Read more at Tablet

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Human Rights, Jewish World, North Korea

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount