Tag: Israel

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Since Trump’s election nationalism has been talked about a lot and mostly condemned. People accuse one another of being nationalists and imply dark motivations to anyone who is believed to be a nationalist. The term is a charged one and for good reason, Nationalism is a powerful cultural force in any nation. When feelings of […]

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The pressures have been increasing on Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza for a couple of years to come to the peace negotiation table, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, has added fuel to the fire. And the Palestinians are feeling the heat. The situation between Israel and the Palestinians became especially intense […]

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Israelite Walk Happening in Bartow, Florida

 

I guess you could only do this at a private school, but I’m still delighted to see it happening.

Elsa Huff, a teacher at First Methodist School in Bartow, FL is leading her 40th annual Israelite Walk on Friday. She will be walking with third through fifth graders on this journey. At the age of 72, she is inviting students, alumni and any other interested parties to join her and her students in this journey of 5 ½ miles, from Polk State College to her school.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and naming two stellar judges to the Florida Supreme Court. They also discuss Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joining the 2020 presidential race and how her defense of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could impact the campaign. And as many breathlessly await the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that the report will likely be anti-climactic.

An Ode to the Almost Impossible and a Vision of Victory

 

“Without a vision, the nation will perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

On a quiet Shabbat evening in 2002, Dror (a Hebrew word for freedom) Weinberg, aged 38, was enjoying the company of his wife, who was pregnant, and their five children in Kiryat Moshe, a Jerusalem neighborhood known for its understated piety. Suddenly Weinberg got an emergency call. Worshipers leaving Shabbat prayers in Hebron had been attacked by terrorists. As the colonel in charge of the Hebron brigade, Weinberg quickly donned his uniform, grabbed his assault rifle, and sped to the scene of the attack. As an observant Jew, Weinberg would not normally drive on Shabbat, but when it is a matter of saving lives, you are obligated to breach Shabbat (Sabbath) law.

Weinberg led the assault on the terrorists and, tragically, was killed. His eulogy included this tribute: “He always strove to be the leader, and not dragged along; he was an initiator. His style of command was an almost impossible combination of strictness and rigidity together with humanity and empathy, and he always looked forward to victory.”

Who Was Renia Spiegel?

 

“Hear, O Israel, Save Us” “Oh God Almighty! Help us! Take care of us, give us your blessing.” 

Last week I was given a copy of the November issue of Smithsonian magazine, featuring a story on a young Jewish girl in Poland named Renia Spiegel. She created a diary right before she unknowingly entered Hell, as the horrors of the Holocaust infiltrated her innocent world. It’s a miracle that this diary survived at all if you read how it came to be found, and how it traveled over 70 years to become a powerfully troubled voice once again in 2018. The Smithsonian translated it in its entirety.

She is being compared to Anne Frank. My friend who subscribes and shared this issue with us said she cried as she read her story. The entire issue is dedicated to remembering. Let Us Never Forget.

A Message for the Tyrants of Tehran

 

Watching Bibi Netanyahu addressing the UN’s General Assembly always makes me want to cheer. Two years ago, Israel alone opposed the horrible Iranian nuclear deal that the US negotiated and declared Israel would defend itself and that the world was making a terrible mistake. As Iran continues to develop its nuclear program and the IAEA appears emasculated, Bibi was back on Thursday to tell them:

I also have a message today for the tyrants of Tehran. Israel knows what you’re doing, and Israel knows where you’re doing it. Israel will never let a regime that calls for our destruction to develop nuclear weapons. Not now, not in ten years, not ever. And Israel will do whatever it must do to to defend itself against Iran’s aggression. We will continue to act against you in Syria. We will act against you in Lebanon. We will act against you in Iraq. We will act against you whenever and wherever we must act, to defend our state and to defend our people.

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The United States has been engaged in the Middle East for such a long time that we can’t imagine ourselves not being involved with it. It’s seen as an area where we have made important contributions in terms of financing, military supplies and valuable alliances. But it’s finally time to get out. It’s imperative that I […]

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Did the ‘Deep State’ Deep Six Pentagon’s Lovinger Over Discovery of Shady Defense Department Contracts to FBI Trump Informant Stefan Halper?

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had Sean Bigley, a national security attorney who prosecutes intelligence community whistleblower retaliation cases, on to discuss the chilling alleged effort to destroy his client, Adam Lovinger, following his discovery of shady Defense Department contracts made out to among others, Trump campaign FBI informant Stefan Halper.

Lovinger, a highly regarded Pentagon analyst, has found his career ruined, allegedly due to whistleblower retaliation for raising the Halper issue and several others — first losing a prominent position in the Trump National Security Council (NSC), then having his security clearance revoked and finally being suspended without pay altogether while trying to litigate four separate cases against the officials who targeted him.

On Carrying a Gun in Israel

 

Yes, it’s about self-defense but, then again, it’s also about love. Carrying a gun in Israel, that is.

In Israel, at least for me, carrying a gun, besides allowing an immediate response to potential terrorist acts, is an expression of love for those around me, my extended Jewish family. And when you love those around you, you not only want to protect them in every possible way but you want them to feel protected, too.

Throughout history, and until today, we Jews have been the target of random violence by people who hate us just for being Jews. But until the enterprise of modern Israel, we seldom had weapons at our disposal to fight back.

Quote of the Day: Nikki Haley on Right and Wrong

 

Nikki Haley is an indomitable force at the United Nations. She has repeatedly called the UN on its immoral and biased actions. She has attacked it for publishing misleading information; she has “taken names” of those countries that refuse to support the US and yet support terrorist organizations; she has criticized the UN for misusing funds. She has called out Iran for supporting groups that use human shields; she was instrumental in the US withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council.

I look for any opportunity to celebrate a high-level US official who stands up to lies, abuse, mismanagement, deception, and immorality. Nikki Haley more than fits the bill.

The United States has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong. On the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone . . .

Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

Dennis Prager on the Self-Righteously Suicidal West and False Morality

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had nationally syndicated radio host, columnist, author of numerous books, teacher, film producer and co-founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • How Dennis Prager ended up a conservative as an Ivy League-educated Jewish intellectual from Brooklyn, New York — contrary to so many of his peers
  • How perceptions of human nature divide Left and Right
  • Whether government has filled the void of religion for the increasingly secular and progressive American coasts
  • How the good intentions that underlie Leftist policy prescriptions lead to horrendous outcomes — and emotion versus reason on the Left and Right
  • The false morality underlying European immigration policy with respect to the Muslim world, and Prager’s criticism of Jewish support of mass immigration consisting disproportionately of Jew-haters
  • The self-righteous suicidalism of the West
  • The Leftist bias of social media platforms and PragerU’s legal battle with YouTube/Google

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

Quote of the Day: An Existential Threat

 

“We ran. As the siren droned on that July 7 night, I gripped Sally’s hand and sprinted across the abandoned lawn of Kibbutz Na’an. I headed for the nearest house, which was made of concrete and might provide partial shelter. But its front door was locked. So we huddled on the porch, together with Lee, Dar and several other Bar Mitzvah guests, beneath a corrugated awning. A couple shielded their infant son with their bodies. Sufficiently experienced in shellfire, I kept my composure, though others shook and even whimpered. Any second, the rockets would hit.” — Michael Oren, from Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide

Michael Oren was born in America, but eventually felt called to move to Israel and eventually became its ambassador to the US. He describes in this quotation his visit to a kibbutz for a bar mitzvah. His visit preceded a 50-day war with Hamas in 2014, when they shot 4,500 rockets toward Israel. More recently, Gazans (and Hamas) threatened to tear down the border fence between Gaza and Israel. Then they sent flaming kites across the border, burning Israeli farmland.

In the US, we worry about the survival of our democratic republic and our overall wellbeing. In Israel, its people are faced daily with an existential threat. Even when they aren’t in the news, there are ongoing threats of bus and restaurant bombings and calls for violence. The Palestinian Authority calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. With these kinds of threats, both men and women are required to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Jim and Greg are both on vacation this week. They will be back June 25th. There will new episodes with guest hosts Thursday and Friday of this week. Today, please enjoy an encore presentation of the Three Martini Lunch.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem after three previous administrations acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but refused to move the embassy. They also wince as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoes legislation that would allow residents to carry guns without a permit, leading Jim to wonder whether the anti-gun backlash after Parkland is making GOP officials more timid. And they roll their eyes as the media condemn Israel for defending its borders against thousands of Palestinians specifically sent to the border to instigate a response from Israel.

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It’s official: the Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism have directly welcomed Jewish anti-Semites into the fold. At first glance, these self-destructive actions make no sense: why would Jews embrace other Jews who want to destroy the faith? Yet steps have been taken to threaten Judaism and I find it puzzling and frightening. In a […]

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Eurovision 2019: The Hip Hop Beat of the Mideast Conflict

 

Two weeks ago, the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest, made a startling announcement: The contest rules which have been in place for six decades should apply … unless, of course, a singer from Israel wins the contest …. and then, well, we need to rethink the matter.

Because an Israeli singer, Netta Barzilai, did in fact win the contest in Lisbon in mid-May, the European broadcasters had a dilemma: Follow the contest’s long-standing rules, or develop and apply a new, special set of rules that only apply to Israel.

To understand the controversy, and how it provides a view into the wider public diplomacy challenges that Israel faces each day, some background is needed.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America toast better-than-expected unemployment numbers, the best in 18 years. They also lambaste Virginia Republicans for rolling over and approving the Obamacare Medicaid expansion they claimed to oppose for years. And they dig through more eye-opening posts from Joy Reid’s supposedly hacked blog, including her likening of John McCain to the Virginia Tech shooter, endorsing the removal of the Israeli government to Europe, and likening illegal immigration to slave labor for multinationals.