What will you do if we assume risks and sacrifice victims and put our trust in you – and then something goes wrong?
“What if the other side does not act as it is expected to, and instead hurls at us fire and plagues and poisons and possibly even nuclear weapons?
“What will you do then? Will you ask for forgiveness? Will you say ‘we were wrong’? Will you send us bandages? Will you open orphanages for the children who survived? Will you pray for our souls?”
Powerful persuasive words from Israel’s most recent rising politician. Imagine a family in Gaza who lost their children and entire neighborhood in 2008 giving the exact same speech, using exactly these words. Why should they not use these words?
Ok, now what? After all the emotions, if you want something more in life …
In front of the Uptown theater in Washington, DC, I played one of three bankers that Michael Moore drags in to see his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. He dragged us down to the front row and put us in front of the huge adoring crowd. It was great fun! Thanks to the ever creative David Vyorst, my film maker and partner for arranging this!
Michael spoke after this devastating and entertaining film. His heart is genuine. His assault on capitalism is more systematic than I believe in. I truly believe the evils of this civilization are due as much to a betrayal of Adam Smith as to the evils of private enterprise. And Michael often points in the film to the far greater fairness in Germany and other countries that, in my mind, combine the values that Adam Smith advocated, and are hardly socialist countries in …
A curious animosity has arisen on several sides of the Pope’s visit to Israel. Israeli Members of Parliament as well as very prominent rabbis took every opportunity to snipe at every word the Pope did say, should have not said, or should have said. As I watched the media blitz unfold I was amazed at the acrimony. Roi Ben Yehuda, however, has a positive essay on the Pope’s visit and the potential role of peacemaking for religious leaders. Also, various rabbis of the United States and the world were far more generous in welcoming the Pope to Israel.
I understand policy differences with the Pope. Most of the world has one policy difference or another with this conservative Pope. I also understand that his conservative moves with regard to liturgy have angered Jews who see his reintroduction of a prayer hoping for the conversion of the Jews as detrimental …
Rush Limbaugh and others have been quick to associate the President with the swine flu and all other ills, it seems. Apparently this is a convenient way for Obama to get his choice for Director of Health and Human Services quickly appointed. The reality of this hate radio is shocking.
I have been thinking long and hard for many years about Richard Hofstadter’s famous essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics“. This is one of the most important essays in American history by one of the most influential and insightful of America’s historians.
Here are some critical quotes:
American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.
Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …
The results of the elections are not as clear as they might seem. The victory of the Right is not so unambiguous.
Central to the election campaign was the personal competition between the two contenders for the Prime Minister’s office: Livni and Netanyahu (or, as they call themselves, as if they were still at kindergarten, Tzipi and Bibi.)
Contrary to all expectations and all polls, Livni beat Netanyahu. Several factors were involved in this. Among others: the masses of the Left were terrified by the possibility of Netanyahu winning, and flocked to Livni’s camp in order to “Stop Bibi!” Also, Livni – who was never identified with feminism – remembered at the last
Sometimes in the construction of a better world, it is necessary to go into the heart of darkness, to quote Conrad. Sometimes it is only in exploring our heart of darkness that we can figure out where we are, so that we know how to get beyond our current fallen state. I am drunk with blood these days, thoughts of blood, fear of blood, the rage of boiling blood, and so is anyone for whom Palestine and Israel are a fixation.
This report of carnage in a Gaza hospital in all its horrifying details is typical of the innocents who are being cut to pieces. What stands out is the report of the impatient, smiling Islamic Jihad fighter who is just thrilled with the blood of his own people. New recruits to his cause. He sees around him a man with his…
The shocking story of Christian persecution in India in recent months has all the markings of a politically motivated campaign. The atrocities are across several provinces, and now there is footage of soldiers and police engaged in the persecution, in the regions where BJP is in control. It is clear that BJP supporters are utilizing hatred and fear of Christians as a way to gain political power. There are certainly conversions to Christianity, especially by aggrieved lower castes in India. This is nothing new, and at 3% the Christian population is absolutely no threat to anyone, but they are an interesting scapegoat.
The Nazis did the same thing. Appeal to the basest instincts of a wounded majority, get them to persecute a tiny minority, scapegoat them, and then take over the country based on concocted grievance rather than on substantive issues. Once in power, invent reasons for wars with neighbors …