8:02 AM, Jan 12, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Tablet has one of the best articles I've seen from Paris, capturing the mood of French Jews--and the meaning for them of the state of Israel. Here are excerpts:
Anyone who wants to understand how the Jews of France—and most other places in the Diaspora, including the United States—feel inside, especially at times when we are targeted by men with guns who represent a radical, fascistic ideology bent on killing us, should take a look at these two videos from the Grand Synagogue of Paris after a solidarity rally that brought an estimated 1.5 million people into the streets to declare their support for free speech and their opposition to Islamist terrorism.
The first video shows the entrance of French President François Hollande to the Grand Synagogue, followed 40 seconds or so later by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who unlike Hollande is greeted by loud and spontaneous cheering.
...The reason they are cheering is far more basic, and it has to do with the harsh lesson that history has engraved into the souls of every conscious and self-aware Jew in the world today....We are not afraid because we know, whether overtly or in a dark half-acknowledged corner of our minds, that there is one state in the world—however imperfect it is in some of its particulars—where we and our children will be welcome, and whose government will do its best to protect us, with all the force at its disposal.
One of the great lessons of the Holocaust for the Jewish people and for all other peoples who have since been threatened with genocide by fanatics—Cambodians under Pol Pot, Bosnian Muslims, and the Tutsi of Rwanda—is that the world will always talk a good game but will do precious little to save you. If you don’t stick together, you will die alone. The fact that the State of Israel exists means that the Jewish people will never be radically alone....
The second video shows another side of who we are, and how we feel about the countries where we live. When Netanyahu finishes his speech, the crowd spontaneously starts singing their national anthem—which is, of course, the French national anthem.
The people in the Grand Synagogue are proud to be French, and they want the prime minister of Israel to see and understand their pride in their country, just as they want France to live up to the inspiring words of La Marseillaise.
Read the whole thing.
12:03 PM, Jan 9, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Reuters and Agence France-Presse report that four hostages at the Kosher market in Paris are dead.
The case for Jewish-Christian collaboration.Dec 1, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 12 • By MARK TOOLEY
Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Yafia, near Nazareth, made news in 2012 when he publicly urged Israeli Christians of Arab descent to join the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, he’s become a lightning rod for encouraging Christians to integrate themselves into Israeli society rather than maintain an Arab identity that typically entails hostility to their country. In the United States in recent days, Naddaf spoke to pro-Israel groups, urging Christians to support the Jewish state against anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Islamists throughout the Middle East.
5:31 PM, Sep 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At an event today at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren said it was "fair" when an activist compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.
“Eva Moseley, I’m not a student, I’m not an alumnae, but was in faculty life. I was also a Holocaust refugee and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them,” said the activist.
9:12 AM, Feb 14, 2014 • By EDWARD ALEXANDER
Laborare est orare: Work is worship. Once upon a time that Latin cry arose from scores of medieval monasteries. Their monks believed that—as Carlyle later put it--“all true Work is Religion: and whatsoever Religion is not work may go and dwell among the Brahmins, Spinning Dervishes, or where it will…One monster there is in the world: the idle man.” Nor were those old monks the first to believe in the religious nature of work, the blasphemous nature of idleness.
8:13 AM, Jan 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Obama administration is worried that Israel is riling up American Jews, according to a report in the Israeli press. The allegations are detailed in a story headlined, "'US perceives Israel as encouraging anti-Obama backlash among Jews,'" which appears in the Jerusalem Post.
5:38 PM, Jan 21, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Yesterday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on the New York City human rights commission's dubious case against seven business owners in the Hasidic community Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The commission alleged that these Jewish stores were guilty of religious and sexual discrimination for posting dress code signs requiring "No Shorts, No Barefoot, No Sleeveless, No Low Cut Neckline," and the stores were facing $75,000 in potential fines. The commission had already been slapped down last year by an administrative judge for alleging that the posted dress code was an attempt by the Orthodox Jewish business owners to impose their religion on others—after all, no one disputes that similar dress codes in courtrooms and other private establishments are acceptable.
"Inadvertently caused offence."3:59 PM, Jan 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a recent issue the Economist, a British newsmagazine, published an article about the Obama adminstration's efforts to reach a deal with the Iranian government over its nuclear program. The article was accompanied by a political cartoon that depicts President Obama being chained and restrained in his effort to a seal of the U.S Congress. Included on the seal are two representations of the Star of David, a traditional symbol of Judaism.
Some gloomy reflections on the presidential conscience. Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By EDWARD ALEXANDER
In his ponderously titled book Contributions to the Correction of the Public’s Judgement Concerning the French Revolution (1793), the German philosopher and political leader Johann Gottlieb Fichte took time out from his defense of the Reign of Terror to compose what has been called by Daniel Johnson “the most notorious footnote in history.” It warned his German countrymen of the Jewish menace in their midst. The Jews, he told them, constituted “a state within a state. . . .
1:16 PM, Dec 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Ruth Wisse, writing for Mosaic:
The story of the Jews was told so effectively in the Hebrew Bible that it shaped and sustained them as a people from that time to this. But what happens now?
2:52 PM, Sep 13, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In an interview with Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, Kentucky senator Rand Paul criticized "some" Christians who support Israel and the Jews and those Christians' "overeagerness" to go to war. Adding to sentiments he expressed in a speech earlier this year, Paul told Buzzfeed:
9:29 AM, Aug 5, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The indispensable online magazine of Jewish life and thought, Mosaic, is featuring a spectacular contribution by our friend, the French journalist and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, Michel Gurfinkiel.