Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Much has been written about the life of john McCain. Listening to Sen Schumer and the NY Times you would believe they were always in awe of his talents, leadership and heroic history. We have a saying in the Torah "Acharei Mos-Kedoshim" after death the detractors from life become those who praise the dead. In 1980 John was called everything from racist, aggressive and unstable. This political ploy to name the Sensate office building is just that -a cute trick to divide the Republican party. I was friendly with John from the days of his service in the Congress .We were both Vietnam veterans and I was on the Board of AIPAC. He was always a dedicated friend and supporter of Israel. When he ran for the Senate in 1986 , my PAC ( HUVPAC) supported him. In 1986 , I brought him to Monsey as a guest for our Pac Chanukah party. Whenever I brought groups to Washington, first from our Pac and then from the OU, he always joined our luncheons, and made time to meet in his office with a small group to discuss substantive issues. He and Senator Larry Pressler of S.D , always called me their "Vietnam buddy". It signified a sense of comradery for a fellow vet.Beneath that friendly nickname was a common sense of patriotism and dedication to the exceptionalism of America. Part of that pact was a commitment to strengthen the US- Israel relationship For me he was a true "patriot" who never felt the need to stand up for what he believed in, even if he disagreed with you. America will miss his type of leadership in the Senate.
Monday, August 20, 2018
Asa young man and student , the N Y TIMES was a daily necessity. With maturity and political sophistication combined with age, I realized that the anti-Israel policies of the paper coupled with its left wing philosophy forced me to give up on them and turn to the WSJ as MY paper of record. Occasionally in our apartment complex, someone will throw out the Times in the garbage room, and we will take into the apartment to skim their editorials etc. When I was OU President, I led a delegation to meet with the editorial board of the Times regarding their anti-Israel policies. We documented their bias, and for a month or 2 we noticed a change. Long ago I gave up hope for a balanced approach to the Middle East. When Bret Stephens joined the paper, while I was disappointed I hoped he would bring a breath of freshness to the Times. As editor of the Jerusalem Post, I enjoyed his lived presentations both in Israel and the US. While I did not always agree with his point of view, I found his analyses to be based on a solid intellectual approach. The latest flap concerning the hiring of an out and out anti-white racist Sarah Jeong to the editorial board is a disgusting move. How Stephens can in any manner support this woman is beyond belief. Unlike Roseanne Barr who apologized for her single outburst ,Miss Jeong has a long history of such hate filled messages. Stephens attacked Barr but supported his new colleague. For me it is a double sadness- the depravity of the Times, and the turnaround of Stephens
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
The Middle East has a myriad countries inhabited primarily by Moslems .The Jewish people have but one TINY sliver of land that has been the homeland FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. Despite multiple wars, international pressure, UN resolutions and isolation from the world community , Israel has become the number ONE bastion of democracy in the region. Her military and economic strength built on democratic standards for all citizens is an example to be proud of by Jews world-wide. The ancient language of Hebrew has been resurrected. Despite being surrounded by enemies, and her standard of living and citizen satisfaction are among the highest in the world. The official proclamation by the Knesset a week ago of the Nation-State has brought out the haters and even the self -haters. To proclaim that Israel is the Jewish homeland, with Hebrew as the official language together with proclaiming the Jewish calendar as the official calendar should be a no-brainer. European funded NGO's are working overtime to discredit Israel. Thousands march in Tel Aviv to protest, on the very same avenues that the homosexual community marched. They are good partners .Many PLO flags were flying , as they joined the self-hating Jews who have an antipathy to a JEWISH NATION_STATE . They are sad that Israel allows Torah to prosper. They are upset that Israelis do not join the Women of the Wall in their monthly attempt to destroy a few thousand years of halacha and tradition. In short they would prefer a community where the Arabs would become the majority, and everyone would live happily- ever after. Forget terrorism - forget the pogroms - forget the destruction of the Gush as an example. As the PM pointed out, these demonstrations solidify the need for a NATION_STATE legislation as a "constitutional " part of the legal basis of Israel. As traditional Jews we should not become disappointed by those who have tried for 250 years to destroy Judaism .In the end our Torah way of life will be successful, as the self- haters assimilate, and we get stronger.