The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is nearly upon us (November 2nd 2017) and its 67 words of apparent British imperial generosity towards the Jewish people are already taking on sacred status.
We are about to canonise Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, and turn his letter to Lord Rothschild, which viewed “with favour” the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, into a holy Jewish text.
The Vietnam documentary that aired on PBS over the last two weeks — 18 hours, Ken Burns executive producer — is getting trashed by the left. The critics say that the documentary is killing history (in John Pilger’s words), that it misrepresents our leaders’ intentions as good, that it fails to humanize the Vietnamese, and fails to convey the scope of American atrocities/destruction. Close friends of mine won’t watch it.
Modern Orthodox Jews are among Israel’s strongest backers in the U.S. Think Jared Kushner. Well, the generational split that is occurring everywhere in American Jewry is taking place among the Modern Orthodox, with a minority of young Jews saying they “actively support the Jewish state”.
This week, Israel’s ‘leftist’ former Prime Minister Ehud Barak seriously spilled the beans concerning Israel’s 1967 occupation, expressing in no uncertain terms that it is not a partisan right-wing matter, as its critics often like to say. Barak proved that it is something that the ‘left’ is an integral part of. And we heard it from the horse’s mouth – the horse named ‘lightning’ (‘Barak’ means lightning in Hebrew).
It’s Yom Kippur, and I guess I have to explain why a former yeshiva boy will soon prepare his usual Friday dinner and may, if laziness permits, take out his camera into the streets and attempt to capture the ferocious burst of freedom which can be experienced only in Israel on this day: the roads all devoid of cars and given, for one day, to bicycles and hikers.
Some encounters, however brief, remain unforgettable. My meeting with the Palestinian non-violent activist Issa Amro in June 2016 was one of those. It was the end of a long day in Hebron, where I had gone with several colleagues to study first-hand the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian higher education.
You’d think that in Year 15 of the Iraq debacle, neoconservative would be a dirty word in America; but neoconservatives are having a field day! Phil Giraldi’s article blaming American Jews for stoking the “war engine,” followed by Valerie Plame’s retweet of the article, has given neocons (adherents of a hawkish ideology that came out of the Jewish community) an opportunity to grandstand about the supposed anti-