Thoughts on the Slaughter in Pittsburgh

Oct. 29 2018

Commenting on the bloody attack on worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Shabbat, and some of the reactions to it, John Podhoretz writes:

In a classic act of anti-Semitic violence, which is what this was, Jews hear the echoes of every violent anti-Semitic act that has preceded it in history. And we hear those echoes because they are there. That which motivates hatred of Jews today is what has motivated it from time immemorial—the poisonously attractive idea that Jews need to be extirpated because our existence is an offense or a threat to an existing larger order.

The blessing of Jewish life in America is that this notion has largely been consigned to the dregs from which today’s human malignancy rose. Despite the fact that most hate crimes in America are aimed at Jews, the actual number is vanishingly small—especially compared with France, from which Jews are now fleeing, and England, whose Labor party is in the hands of an actual Jew-hater. . . .

To those who object to the notion that more American synagogues ought to consider having armed guards, Podhoretz adds:

There are armed guards inside and around synagogues and Jewish institutions all over the place. Jewish day schools have armed guards. Besides which, many of us go to work in buildings with armed guards. Is it a wonderful or healthy thing that this is necessary? No. But the act of saying that it might be a good idea because there are lunatics who might otherwise do terrible things should be unobjectionable. . . .

In a time of horror, we should all look to the blessings of wisdom to save us from the moral idiocy into which we can fall, all too easily. “The wise will inherit honor,” says Proverbs. “Fools display dishonor.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Jewish World

Israeli Indecision on the Palestinian Issue Is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Oct. 11 2019

In their recent book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky—who both have had long careers as Middle East experts inside and outside the U.S. government—analyze the “courageous decisions” made by David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzḥak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon. Not coincidentally, three of these four decisions involved territorial concessions. Ross and Makovsky use the book’s final chapter to compare their profiles in courage with Benjamin Netanyahu’s cautious approach on the Palestinian front. Calling this an “almost cartoonish juxtaposition,” Haviv Rettig Gur writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli history, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict