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September 11 and Seeing the Writing on the Wall

Sept. 11 2017

Reflecting on this dark anniversary in American history, Clifford May thinks back to a conversation he had in early September 2001 with the late Congressman Jack Kemp and the late diplomat and political scientist Jeane Kirkpatrick.:

[Kemp and Kirkpatrick] told me they were concerned that, with the cold war concluded, the United States had taken a holiday from history and a premature peace dividend. [For] who attacked us in Beirut in 1983, in New York City in 1993, at Khobar Towers in 1996? Who bombed two of our embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000?

The answers, respectively: Hizballah, a group connected to al-Qaeda, Hizballah again, and al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Israel was being hit by waves of suicide bombers and too many people seemed to be saying, “Well, you know, the Palestinians have grievances.” When did grievances become a license for murdering other people’s children? And those who harbor grievances against America—will we excuse the violence they inflict on us, too?

They asked me to do a bit of research, to determine whether any serious attempts were being made to understand what was happening and to devise policies to defend America and other democratic societies effectively from terrorists, their masters, and their financiers. . . .

As became all too clear a few days later, too few attempts had been made. May concludes:

Sixteen Septembers ago, enemies emerged out of a clear, blue, late summer sky. In truth, of course, the storm had been gathering for decades.

Read more at Washington Times

More about: 9/11, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Palestinian terror, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, War on Terror

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