Today Jews Have Their Own State and the Freedom to Return from Exile. So Why Do We Continue to Mourn the Temples’ Destruction?

July 30 2020

In 1977, Menachem Begin made his first visit to the U.S. as Israel’s prime minister—a visit that coincided with Tisha b’Av, the ancient day of mourning over the destruction of the two Temples, along with other calamities that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. Not only did Begin take time out from his official activities to attend Tisha b’Av eve services at a synagogue, but, appearing the next day on Meet the Press, explained the day’s significance to his American audience. Meir Soloveichik, using Begin’s comments as his point of departure, seeks to answer the question of why we still mourn Jerusalem’s destruction some 2,000 years ago when the Jewish state is restored, Jerusalem is in our hands, and we have so much to celebrate.

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Read more at Tikvah

More about: Judaism, Menachem Begin, Tisha b'Av

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Do More Harm Than Good

Aug. 12 2020

With its size, budget, and remit greatly expanded following the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah, the United Nations International Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is tasked with keeping both sides’ forces out of the southern portion of the country. While the IDF has indeed abided by the armistice, UNIFIL has failed spectacularly at compelling Hizballah to do the same. Eugene Kontorovich argues that, unless the peacekeeping force can be reorganized so as to be effective, it would be better to scrap it, or at the very least reduce its size:

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Read more at Kohelet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations