The Moral Decadence of a Group of Rabbinical Students’ Anti-Israel Appeal

As terrorists were launching thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, mobs were destroying Israeli cities, and Jews were being harassed and attacked on the streets of the U.S. and Europe, a group of nearly 100 American rabbinic and cantorial students signed an “appeal to the heart of the Jewish community.” The document, which was circulated online and then published in the Forward, echoed the anti-Israel rhetoric that was then pouring forth from the halls of the academy, major newspapers and television stations, and various celebrities and activists. Alvin Rosenfeld comments:

The rabbinical students’ statement . . . at no point even mentions Hamas. Instead, it recycles the buzzwords now commonly used against Israel—accusing it of “racist violence,” “injustice,” “apartheid,” “abuses of power,” “the violent suppression of human rights”—in order to shame the American Jewish community out of what they claim is its “silence” in the face of a “spiritual crisis.” The “crisis” is underway, they twice [state], and “blood is flowing in the streets of the Holy Land.”

Since they never once mention the name of the bloodletters, though, the crisis is really an internal one, centered on their own pathos: no fewer than twelve times in the space of two pages do they refer to their “tears” and crying and weeping. They claim to be “shocked” by the “violence” (the word appears eight times), which they attribute to Israel’s actions, never Hamas’s. Three times they refer to their “heartbreak.” All of this rhetorical overkill is about feeling bad, but never once feeling anything remotely like solidarity with their fellow Jews in Israel, who were faced with a real crisis and had mere seconds to flee into safe rooms or the stairwells of their buildings as the air-raid sirens sounded.

The rabbinical and cantorial student signers of this letter proudly state that “we are future leaders of the Jewish community.” . . . No doubt many will eventually assume pulpits in Reform and Renewal synagogues. Before then, one can only hope that their professors will . . . teach them to look beyond their own self-indulgent tears and learn something more substantial about Judaism and Jewish peoplehood. The two are inseparable, although there is little appreciation of the latter in this pathos-laden “Appeal to the Heart of the Jewish Community.” The fact is that there will be no Jewish community worthy the name if those who emerge to lead it lack a genuine love for and solidarity with other Jews. At that point, and Heaven forfend that it will ever come to be, the community’s future will itself be a source of tears.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: American Jewry, American Judaism, Hamas, Idiocy, Rabbis

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy