Remembering One Jewish Hero on Israel’s Memorial Day

On Tuesday, the Jewish state observed Yom ha-Zikaron, the solemn day of remembrance for those who lost their lives in its defense. Allan Arkush uses the occasion to recall a former student, whose letters and diary entries were collected and published in book form:

While Jews around the world all live in the shadow of the Holocaust and may commemorate Yom HaShoah in similar ways, it’s not the same with Yom ha-Zikaron. For Israelis, it is above all a day that rekindles memories of specific individuals who died in Israel’s wars and always evokes a sense of personal loss. For those American Jews who mark it, the day is more likely to bring with it a sense of collective loss. This is only natural, but it is not true without exception. Some of those who lost their lives were very much ours—they were raised among us. And of them, there are a few who have made lasting marks, like Alex Singer, who served as a paratrooper between 1985 and 1987 and died, on his twenty-fifth birthday, fighting terrorists in southern Lebanon.

Born in White Plains, New York, in 1962, Alex first encountered Israel as a youngster, when he spent four years there with his family, including a year at a kibbutz high school. . . . Alex’s love for Israel is present on every page of this book. You see it in the joy he feels when he stumbles across Israeli tourists in England or in Spain. A visit to Israel in the spring of 1983 reminds him how very tired he is of being outside of it and leads him to conclude that he can’t put off aliyah forever.

When he finished [IDF] officers’ training, Alex got a job behind the lines—training the defenders of air-force bases. He relished the perks on those bases, especially the outstanding food, but yearned to do “real work directly involved with defense rather than the difficult and almost purposeless labor” he had been doing. At a shiva in Jerusalem for a friend who had died in an accident, he met a battalion commander in the Givati Brigade who arranged for him to become a platoon commander in the infantry.

It was in this capacity that he arrived in the Golan Heights in June. Only a few months later, in September, he died in a firefight with terrorists.

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Aliyah, Golan Heights, Yom Ha-Zikaron

 

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy