The Judaism of Self-Congratulation—and Finger-Pointing

During the Rosh Hashanah ritual of tashlikh, Jews traditionally gather by a river or stream and symbolically cast the previous year’s sins into the water. This year, a group of students and faculty at the University of Illinois used the ritual to condemn others: namely, supporters of Israel and the university itself, which withheld tenure from Steven Salaita over his public expressions of anti-Semitism. Among the collective sins being ostentatiously enumerated, Jonathan Marks writes, were “allowing violence against Palestinians to be committed in our name as Jews and as Americans” and “not speaking out against anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia.” Marks adds:

To be sure, all this is now part of the playbook of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group for whom the sum and substance of Judaism is criticism of Israel and the United States insofar as it refuses to cast Israel off. But the loathsomeness of this particular activity, because it turns even the High Holy Days into an opportunity for activists to hit Israel with one hand and pat themselves on the back with the other, remains fresh.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Idiocy, Jewish Voice for Peace, Steven Salaita, Tashlikh

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship