Tag: Israel

Bret Stephens, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, sits down with Bridget to discuss Trump’s effect on the Republican Party, feeling out of place in your own country, the dangers of a culture that’s so sure of its convictions, mob politics, and how Trump’s behavior is both a symptom and a cause of a form of cultural corrosion. Bret talks growing up in Mexico and the perspective it gave him on the US that most Americans don’t have, and why what we have in the US is relatively rare, difficult to achieve, and extraordinarily easy to lose. He and Bridget cover tolerating behavior you find morally offensive because you realize that the price of intolerance is worse than whatever offense is being perpetrated, the unforgiving nature of writing a weekly column, maintaining the understanding you don’t possess a lock on truth, how antisemitism is like a society’s immune system, the emerging attitude of a hatred of excellence, and his experience of being in Jerusalem on 9/11.

Full transcript available here: WiW59-BretStephens-Transcript

Israel, Gaza, and Presidential Politics


Here we go again: rockets fired into Israel from Gaza; Israel retaliates; and the story continues. But it is a different and more ominous story, and we should all be concerned.

At the moment, there is a ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, facilitated by Egypt. It is sure to be violated, and will probably collapse. In one sense, this story is an old one. But the aggressors have changed, and Israel will not sit back and be victimized by the new guns in town: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

This is one description of the current violence:

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It’s election day in Israel, which matters quite a lot to us. So, Vrouwe and I spent about an hour looking for a good online source for live news from Israel in English and found nothing that was really live or available in Europe. We ended up listening to some chap live-blogging the elections on […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have no good martinis today. They wince as the national deficit creeps closer to $1 trillion again and lament that neither party has any intention of seriously addressing the problem before disaster strikes next decade. They also cringe as President Trump rightly slams Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and other far left lawmakers for pushing the anti-Semitic BDS movement but then says says any Jews who vote for Democrats are being disloyal. And they get a kick out of Jill Biden telling Democrats that her husband might not be the best candidate but voters should get on board because he has the best chance to beat Trump.

Netanyahu Stands up to Omar and Tlaib


At least someone has decided to stand up to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda. It’s clear that our Congress will not.

Last month, a visit to Israel by these two lawmakers had been approved. Just two days before the trip, however, both women announced that they planned to use the trip to promote the Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement, an international effort to cripple the Israeli economy and delegitimize the Jewish state. When their agenda became clear, Israel enforced a law passed in 2017 which prohibits entry to those who promote boycotting the country. Foreign Minister Israel Katz spoke out supporting the ban–referring to their support of BDS, terrorism and minimizing the Holocaust:

Rising from the Ashes in Israel


The following letter is from Alifa Sadiyah, one of our Rico friends from Israel. She lived on the moshav that was destroyed by the terrible fires this past spring. With her permission, I am posting her letter, and have encouraged her to visit Ricochet to know there is one fine group of people that supports her and wishes her well. Here’s her letter:

Dear Susan,

No Means No!


I think we should take the Palestinians at their word: they are saying “no” to peace and prosperity; we should say “no” to providing them any more help.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt should pack up their portfolios, hand-outs, graphs, easels, and charts and come home. The U.S. has spent far too much time trying to assuage a people that hates us, that is corrupt, and that holds the world hostage to their threats of violence and hand-wringing. It’s time for the U.S. to stop beating its head against the proverbial wall and let the Arab countries figure out what to do with the Palestinian people.

I’m serious. How long do we try to maintain the masquerade that there is any chance of bringing peace to the Middle East? The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. They refuse to negotiate territory. They refuse to be accountable for the billions of dollars they squander away. They continue to pay support for families whose members died as terrorists.

20 Questions From The New York Times

  1. In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns?

To quote Madison, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Including the president. “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” In an ‘ideal’ world, guns would be irrelevant, since no one would misuse them. Unfortunately, this is not an ‘ideal’ world and never will be. The philosophy that you can make the world ‘ideal’ has killed more people than guns ever will.

  1. Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?

Why is there no third, fourth or fifth option? Is healthcare so simple that there is only two ways of dealing with it?

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Until recently, a manageable level of tension has existed between the secularists in Israel, who dominate the population, and the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Although these tensions may seem completely different from the secular/religious tensions in the United States, I’m suggesting that the Israelis, as they propose a way to bridge the gap between these two groups, […]

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This is a follow up to the excellent post on May 14th by James Gawron calling out the falsity inherent in the following assertion by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D. Mich.): “There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who […]

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Rashida Tlaib is Dangerous


It seems that few people are willing to recognize and say these words about Rashida Tlaib: she is dangerous. So I will. I don’t say these words lightly, because they are as destructive as the words that Tlaib utters. The difference is: they’re true.

Missing from the heated discussion about Rep. Tlaib is the larger picture. The media, Left and Right, have either been focusing on whether or not she is anti-Semitic, whether she is only anti-Zionist, whether her comments are “inartful” (as I heard one commentator say, or overhyped, as another writer said. I want to establish the case that Rep. is anti-Semitic, intentional, and strategic in her remarks, and why it matters. And that as long as we get tangled in the details, we won’t see her true aims. First, I will explain that although she was born in Detroit (not in the Middle East), she is very adept in pressing the case for the Palestinians, her parents’ country of origin. In true Palestinian extremist fashion, she is also crafty at demonizing Jews and Israelis through insinuation and lies. Second, I will show why her behavior is not only dangerous to Congress, but to the principles of this country.

Let’s begin with her take on the history of the Middle East. Like many Palestinians, she has a distorted view of the ancient presence of Jews in the region. Recently she made the following remark regarding the Jews who went to Israel after the Holocaust:

Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Attorney General Bill Barr for appointing U.S. Attorney John Dunham to look into how the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe started and that all sides of the 2016 allegations will get investigated. They also shudder as Rep. Rashida Tlaib doubles down on her suggestion that Palestinians willingly sacrificed to accommodate the modern state of Israel after World War II and then accuses her critics of being “racist idiots.” And they note the presidential campaign of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and how this supposed moderate vetoed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act just days before jumping in the race.

Introducing the Tikvah Podcast


Hello Ricochet! The Tikvah Podcast is the latest show to join the Ricochet Audio Network. (If you haven’t listened yet, here it is!) We couldn’t be more excited about it. We want you to be excited as well, so let’s introduce ourselves…

The Tikvah Fund is a think tank, educational institution, and philanthropic foundation committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. We do our work through a wide range of venues, from great books-oriented summer programs, to publications like Mosaic and the Jewish Review of Books, to online courses and podcasts. Intellectually and politically, we’re broadly center-right, admiring and learning from the likes of Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss, Leon Kass, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and Vladimir Jabotinsky.

We think politics is important—both in Israel and in America. But Tikvah isn’t fundamentally in the business of commenting on the news cycle. And neither is the Tikvah Podcast. Our podcast is focused on asking big questions about great Jewish and Zionists texts and ideas. We hope that by taking a step back, we can help our listeners think a little more deeply about the most significant issues facing the Jewish people, our Christian friends, the State of Israel, and the United States of America.

Welcome HLC listeners, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Muslims and ye of no faith at all! Welcome indeed to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast number 220, yes you heard right. That’s number 220! This is the Judge da Buddha edition of the show with your judgemental hosts Todd Feinburg on the East Coast and Mike Stopa on the Left coast.

Today we discuss the latest Dem phenom, South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. He of the Afghanistan tour (while mayor!), he of the openly gay (since 2015), he of the really garden variety liberal political opinions. He of the highly articulate Harvard speak. Is he real? Is he in fact the Bill Weld of the Democrat party? We discuss.

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The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet ended its unsuccessful mission about three hours ago when, in the final moments of flight and barely five hundred feet from the lunar surface, it lost communication with earth and crashed on the moon. What would have been an enormous achievement for Israel and for private space exploration ended in disappointment, […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu on winning his fifth election for Prime Minister of Israel and hope the warm relations between the country and the US will continue. They also look forward to the investigation into how the Russian probe began after Attorney General William Barr promised an inquiry into the matter while testifying before Congress. And they worry about poor Republican messaging after most of the country thinks the tax cuts hurt them because they got a small refund this year, despite the significant decrease in money being withheld from paychecks in the first place.

Netanyahu Cruises to Victory in Israeli Election


With 95 percent of the votes in, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised for another electoral victory. His Likud party is tied with its chief rival, Blue and White, but the right-wing bloc holds a clear lead. Netanyahu will work with them to form a governing coalition.

As of 11 PM ET, Likud had 26.28% of the vote compared to the Blue and White party’s 25.97%. From the Times of Israel:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared himself victorious in the 2019 general election Tuesday night, as updated exit polls and early results showed him with a clear path to forming a new government.

Beresheet: Apolune 466


A few weeks ago I wrote this post about Israel’s efforts to soft-land a spacecraft on the moon and become only the fourth nation to do so successfully.

Yesterday, the Beresheet spacecraft successfully completed a critical maneuver, establishing its orbit around the moon with a greatest distance from the moon — an apolune — of 466 miles, and a perilune (closest distance) of 285 miles.