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View from Central Park

Name calling

EVEN if the Prime Minister of Israel were the biggest incompetent loser around, it would still be inappropriate for a senior US government official to publicly engage in name calling against him. After all, Benjamin Netanyahu is not a private citizen. He is the prime minister of the State of Israel, a leader of the Jewish people. Basic respect should be a given.

But Tuesday, in The Atlantic, an unnamed senior source in the Obama administration sank to low, obscene name calling. The subject was Netanyahu. Aside from the sting of it, it was wholly inappropriate, to say the least.

Imagine if an anonymous senior official in Israel’s cabinet would call President Obama by an obscene name, and intentionally leak it to a journalist. It wouldn’t fly. An apology would immediately be verbalized, distancing Israel from such uncouth, unprofessional behavior (not to mention the stupidity on the diplomatic plane).

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 October 2014 08:36 )

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Reflections

The perfect time

My mother called last night when I was out. Her voice on the answering machine sounded somewhat depressed but the message belied her tone. “Hello darling, this is Mom. I’m calling with some good news. “We’ve turned the clocks back an hour so there’s only a two-hour time difference between us now. Isn’t that wonderful? Call me back soon.” Upon hearing my 89-year-old mother’s words, I immediately sensed that her message was merely a cover-up for the things she couldn’t say, eit...
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View from Central Park

Tipping point

UNFORTUNATELY this past week’s mikveh scandal involving the accused Rabbi Barry Freundel is another in a chain of scandals that has been creeping upon the Orthodox Jewish community, painfully with all too much frequency. Sadly, I know that other denominations in Judaism are riddled with their own share of scandals. Being Orthodox, though, I am more familiar with and — for better or for worse — feel more affected when the scandals are from within the Orthodox community. The Freundel scanda...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:31 )

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Conservative Lens

The media are much scarier than Ebola

WHY do some things scare people more than others? One reason is that people engage in a rational assessment of risk and conclude the appropriate level of fear. For example, people feel free to walk alone at midnight in Times Square but not in Central Park because they have made a rational assessment: Times Square, which at midnight is almost as bright as day and filled with people — usually tourists — is safer than Central Park. A second reason is that emotions rather than reason cause peo...
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Liberal Lens

Big Brother is here...literally

Why did Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba fail to record a tip when they paid their cabbies during New York City taxi rides back in 2013? Why was Cooper near a Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village? Why was Alba at a ritzy hotel in Soho? We don’t know the answers, but we do know exactly when and where the movie stars were going. And we know all of this not from some special government sting operation but from publicly available data about millions of people’s movements throughout New ...
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