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Kissinger Dissed Soviet Jewry

Newly released Nixon tapes show Kissinger betraying Soviet Jewry.

Photo - Associated Press.

After Golda Meir came for a visit to the White House, the following was recorded:

An indication of Nixon’s complex relationship with Jews came the afternoon Golda Meir, the Israeli prime minister, came to visit on March 1, 1973. The tapes capture Meir offering warm and effusive thanks to Nixon for the way he had treated her and Israel.

But moments after she left, Nixon and Mr. Kissinger were brutally dismissive in response to requests that the United States press the Soviet Union to permit Jews to emigrate and escape persecution there.

“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” Mr. Kissinger said. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an Americ

an concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”

“I know,” Nixon responded. “We can’t blow up the world because of it.”

In the Atlantic, Jefferey Goldberg writes, “Holy shit.” in his blog post tonight: Henry Kissinger to Soviet Jewry: Drop Dead.

I would love to see Kissinger bumping into Sharansky right now.


Rachel’s Tomb Matters

Alex Joffe’s important essay “Why Rachel’s Tomb Matters” published on JewishIdeasDaily.com places the UNESCO decision to discount the Jewish connection to Rachel’s Tomb in the context of a broader theological struggle. The entire article is an important read.

Through the centuries, Jewish and Christian travelers and pilgrims often visited the site near Bethlehem and remarked on its pillar, made of eleven stones symbolizing the tribes of Israel, named after the sons of Jacob (excluding the twelfth and youngest, Benjamin, the ordeal of whose birth occasioned his mother Rachel’s death).  Of course, we cannot know whether the site is “really” the burial place of Rachel, the “eternal mother,” but it was firmly engraved as such in Jewish and Christian consciousness….

It is true that Muslims are not alone in the impulse to deny Jews their past: consider the regularity with which Jewish cemeteries continue to be vandalized in Christian Europe. But Islam seems especially intent on erasing Jews from history on theological grounds. Flashpoints like Rachel’s tomb (or “Ezekeiel’s tomb” near the site of ancient Babylon) are especially vulnerable because they represent personages specifically claimed by Islam, but they are joined by houses of worship like the Great Synagogue in Oran, Algeria, seized and converted into a mosque in 1960, and communal buildings like the Haim Benchimol hospital in Tangiers, suddenly seized and torn down this year. Admittedly, there are showcase exceptions: the Maimonides synagogue in Cairo, the tiny Jewish communities in Morocco and Tunisia, preserved as if in amber for their considerable value as tourist destinations. But the vast number of sites that formed the living fabric of Jewish life—the cemeteries, synagogues, and schools, not to mention homes and places of work—are forever lost.




Major Israeli Scholar Calls For End To Using Chickens For Kapparot

Citing a long list of rabbinic rulings and precedent, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner rules against using chickens for kapparot.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the capital’s Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim and rabbi of Beit El, not only provided SPCA Israel with a letter last week showing the faultiness of the rite, basing his arguments on some of the greatest arbitrators, but went on video to expound on the halachic traditions proving why it’s wrong to inflict such cruelty on God’s creations, especially when the underlying motivation is absolution of one’s sins before the same God, as Aviner quotes former Tel Aviv Rabbi Chaim David Halevi.

Read the rest of the article on jpost.com

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Sec. Clinton: Don’t Forget All Wrongfully Held Jewish Prisoners

UPDAET: Sarah Shourd was released this week! Keep up the pressure on Iran to release the last two hikers.

Josh Fattal and his friends Shane and Sarah were arrested by Iran one year ago.

Remember Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal? The three were arrested by Iranian authorities July 31, 2009, during what their friends and families describe as a hiking trip in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, which borders Iran. Tehran officials say the three crossed illegally into Iranian territory.

The three young Americans, all graduates of the University of California at Berkeley, are believed to be held in the Iranian capital, Tehran. They have had no contact with their families, and have not been granted their right to consular access.

Jonathan Pollard was convicted 25 years ago of passing on US secrets to Israel, an American ally, and was sentenced to life in prison. Pollards backers have proven his punishment did not fit the crime.

Elie Wiesel has launched a global campaign to free former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is on trial in Moscow for embezzlement and theft.

Alan is wrongfully imprisoned (undoubtedly along with hundreds of others) in Cuba for handing out cell phones.

Clinton makes plea for Cuban detainee Alan Gross

July 14, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asked Jewish groups to press the case of Alan Gross, an American Jew imprisoned in Cuba.

Gross, 60, has been held since his Dec. 3 arrest for assisting the Cuban Jewish community to connect to the Internet. He was contracted to the U.S. Agency for International Development….

“Our government works every single day through every channel for his release and safe return home,” Clinton said. “But I am really making an appeal to the active Jewish community here in our country to join this cause.”

Ironically, it takes Sen. Clinton to wake up the Jewish community to the plight of there imprisoned Jews, and the opportunity to pursue the mitzvah of pidyon shevuim, for which it is permissible to break the Sabbath.

Undoubtedly there are more Jewish prisoners – may they all be released soon.