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The ocean does not separate us from Europe

NEXT DECEMBER 7 will be 75 years since Pearl Harbor. Yet, based on commentary about the terrorist attacks in Belgium, one would think that we still validate the pre-World War II fallacy: We are safe because we are separated by oceans. In Europe they may fight to the death century after century, but it’s not our problem. We are separated by oceans. We are not as vulnerable to terrorism as Brussels, Istanbul and Paris.

As if ISIS may infiltrate Europe, but not the US.

As if fatal intelligence failures may wreak havoc in France, Belgium or Turkey, but not in the US.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 March 2016 12:06 )

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View from Central Park

Only as safe as the weakest link

ON A Shabbat walk last week, toward the end of the day, I found myself weaving through a large, loud group of people. It turns out it was a pro-Trump rally. One of the people standing around stopped me, trying to convince me to vote Trump. Somehow the conversation turned to Israel. The guy was anti-Israel and, after a while, I understood, without him realizing it, he was an anti-Semite. As if it were a given, he was quoting the typical tropes of primitive conspiracy theories. “Well, you know ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 March 2016 13:01 )

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View from Central Park

Donating blood — it’s personal

When you think of blood, you think of the most visceral thing. For example, the adage, “blood is thicker than water,” implying that family ties rise above all else; or the phrase “shedding blood,” meaning a life taken violently. But more than anything, when you think of blood, you think of life. Of thick red fluid pumping through your heart into your arteries. This past Sunday a local synagogue on the Upper West Side, “OZ,” hosted its annual blood drive. It was dedicated in memory o...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 March 2016 12:18 )

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View from Central Park

Wing and a prayer

WE ALL know, at the very least, the bare bones story of Israel’s 1948 Independence War: the UN partition plan that the Arab nations rejected; the ensuing war in response to said rejection; the Haganah’s role and so on. I never thought about the technical aspect of how Israel was able to win this war. I never stopped and thought how the Haganah fought with primitive rifles against the Arabs’ sophisticated aircraft. There was no country in the world supporting Israel. Newly-born Israel was...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 March 2016 15:12 )

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Conservative Lens

Who can save the world?

I cannot imagine any thinking person who does not believe the world is getting worse. The number of slaughtered and the number of refugees from slaughter is immense and growing. Islamic State now controls territories from Afghanistan to West Africa. Libya is in the process of being added to that list. Other sadistic Islamist movements hold additional territory.
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Tony Blair: Sunni states ready to normalize Israel relations on basis of Arab Peace Initiatve

Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunni Muslim countries are ready to normalize ties with Israel should Israel negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority ... [Link]

Coexistence group raises more than $18,000 for beaten Bedouin Israeli

Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA) — An organization advocating Jewish-Arab coexistence has raised more than $18,500 in a crowdfunding drive for a Bedouin Israeli who was beaten by off-duty police officers. The Neg... [Link]

Likud signs coalition agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu

Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA) — The ruling Likud and nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu parties inked a coalition agreement, paving the way for the latter’s entrance into Israel’s government. The two pa... [Link]

Israel opens pavillion at World Humanitarian Summit

Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) — An Israeli delegation led by a top diplomat arrived in Turkey to represent Israel at the first World Humanitarian Summit. Dore Gold, the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry... [Link]

GOP-Trump joint finance team includes 5 Republican Jewish donors

Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee announced a fund-raising team that includes five current or former Republican Jewish Coalition board members. Of 20 members ... [Link]

Warmonger or humanitarian? Getting to know Avigdor Liberman, Bibi’s enigmatic pick for defense minister

Ron Kampeas Yes, there’s the Avigdor Liberman who wants to behead bad guys, mandate loyalty oaths and pay Arabs to leave the country — the one who makes fun of the disabled and who dodged a fraud charge.... [Link]

‘Game of Thrones’ welcomes Israeli actress-singer

Julie Wiener (JTA) — Russian-Israeli actress Ania Bukstein recently joined the cast of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Bukstein, a Moscow native who immigrated to Israel at 8, plays Red Priestess Kinva... [Link]

At Museum of the Jewish People, an iconic exhibit of miniature synagogues breaks new ground

Lisa Keys TEL AVIV (JTA) — In 1978, when Beit Hatfutsot-Museum of the Jewish People opened, it did something big. But it did it in the smallest way possible. Among the museum’s first exhibits was a gallery ... [Link]

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