Words of the Week: Hen Mazzig

My experiences in America have changed me. I never expected to encounter such hatred and lies. I never believed that such anti-Semitism still existed, especially in the U.S. I never knew that the battlefield was not just Gaza, the West Bank, and hostile Middle Eastern countries wanting to destroy Israel and kill our citizens and soldiers. It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies.

I implore American Jews: do more.

Source: Hen Mazzig, “An Israeli Soldier to American Jews: Wake up!”

Words of the Week: David Horovitz

In an Israel beset by threats and challenges in almost every direction, an Israel whose northern border is just an hour’s drive from Assad’s toxic Damascus, an Israel being urged by the international community to take territorial risks for peace in a vicious, WMD-using, phenomenally unstable Middle East — in that Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be feeling a further bitter vindication of his long-held and oft-stated conviction that, ultimately, against all dangers, Israel needs to be able to take care of itself, by itself.

Source: David Horovitz, The Times of Israel

Words of the Week: Ban Ki-moon

UNimage“Unfortunately, because of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict, Israel’s been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias — and sometimes even discrimination,” Ban told the group, YNet reported. He was responding to a student who claimed Israelis felt their country was discriminated against at the UN.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Ban said, adding that Israel should be treated equal to all the other 192 member states.

Source: Ben Harris, quoting The Times of Israel, “Ban in Jerusalem” (do read Harris’s piece in full), JTA.org.

UPDATE: Looks as though Ban Ki-moon may be backtracking–which is also “an unfortunate situation.”

Words of the Week: David Horovitz

“Only Israel could be pressured by the free world to release convicted killers before the ends of their sentences (something that the US, UK and others would not dream of doing), agree to do so at the start rather than the culmination of peace negotiations, and still wind up looking like the bad guy the next morning.”

Source: David Horovitz, “The Worst of Both Worlds,” The Times of Israel, August 14, 2013.

Words of the Week: The Jewish Week on Sen. Lautenberg

The death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg this week is a loss for his family, for the nation and for the Jewish community. A member of the Senate for nearly three decades, an unapologetic liberal, a gruff legislator who was nonetheless described by his colleagues as a gentleman in an era when civility among partisans is increasingly becoming an anachronism, Sen. Lautenberg — at 89 the oldest member of the Senate — represented a historical memory that is hard to replace.

A product of a poor, immigrant household in Patterson, N.J., he was moved by his own experiences of deprivation to help improve the lot of America’s indigent citizens.

The last member of the Senate who served in the U.S. military during World War II, his political and communal activism was fueled by the sacrifices of a generation that fought for America in the last war that enjoyed national support.

A member of a disappearing generation that remembers a world without a State of Israel, he was inspired by the physical security that Israel offered within its borders to Jews after the Holocaust, and the emotional pride that Israel continues to offer to Jews everywhere.

Although I haven’t commented here on the recent passing of Senator Lautenberg, I have followed the tributes and eulogies. Growing up in the 1980s in New Jersey, I was one of his constituents, and I still recall him visiting our congregation during those years.

One of the tributes that impressed me most this week was one offered by The Jewish Week, which I’ve quoted above. You can find the full text here.