Stevie Disses Israel

wonderStevie Wonder’s statement on why he ditched the FIDF banquet sounds like he is being impartial. Yet, a real impartiality would be to play for both audiences. The fact that he cancelled is a victory for Israel’s enemies — and a major dis to Israel.

A Message from Stevie Wonder
Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried out for world unity, I will not be performing at the FIDF Gala on December 6th. I am respectfully withdrawing my participation from this year’s event to avoid the appearance of partiality. As a Messenger of Peace, I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere. In consistently keeping with my spirit of giving, I will make a personal contribution to organizations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.

Hoping for one world, one people, one day, Stevie Wonder.

Stevie we are all for world peace. Count me in. But this move is a sucker punch, a coup for BDS, and will not advance the cause of peace one iota. And as a Detroiter, this just got personal.

6 Major Falsehoods About the UN Vote for Palestine

It’s not my beat to write about politics.But I can’t help but put down some ideas in the wake of the UN vote to create a Palestinian non-member state status at the UN — like the Vatican.

1. This is historic: An Arab Palestine was created by the UN in 1948 with the vote to partition the British occupied territory into a Jewish and Arab state with resolution 181. This was rejected by the Arabs who did not recognize any Jewish rights to the Land of Israel.

2. Palestine was prevented from being a state because of the Jewish state: Palestine was never an independent state, and the that chance was scuttled by the war against Israel in 1948.

3. Israel will not recognize a two-state solution: Israel accepted the Palestinian partition plan in 1948 – thereby recognizing the rights of Arabs to state of their own. The Oslo accords created a two state solution. Most Israelis want a two state solution.

4. This will impede efforts to create a Palestinian state: The chances that this will help push forward or be against any peace process are unknown. Israel says no. The US and many pundits argue that this unilateral action may undermine peace efforts, however, it may put more pressure on Israel to create a solution.

5. This voted in the State of Palestine: This is no “Birth Certificate” for Palestine as Abbas said at the UN. They are no more a state than the Vatican is a state.

6 This will promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict: The Palestinian leadership parade their bid as if it were a peaceful maneuver towards statehood. Really its seems like a bid for a future war. The Palestinians will argue that their armed struggle is legit. I foresee a huge increase in the number of attacks.

There are surely more. These are the biggest in my book.

Bridging the Gaps That Divide Us: Coping With the Tragedies in Aurora and Bulgaria

We mourn the twelve victims and fifty-eight wounded in the senseless slaughter in Aurora. We also mourn the suicide bombing which murdered five Israelis and two Bulgarians, and wounded dozens of Israelis in Bulgaria.

These two horrific events are tied together chronologically and also on a communal level. These tragedies potentially could provide us with a catalyst to change the harsh polarization that is affecting both the American and Israeli society.

Today, deep political divides have polarized communities in America and Israel. Opposing sides lash out in anger and vitriol, fragmenting our societies.

These tragedies occurred at precisely the time of greatest sadness for the Jewish people. During these three weeks Jews worldwide remember their persecution from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE to the Holocaust and today’s terrorism.

The Jewish Sages tell us that these Three Weeks of sadness were precipitated by national strife. Baseless hatred and disunity destroyed Jerusalem and caused the expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land. It set the stage for the next 2000 years of numerous persecutions.

The tragedies in Bulgaria and Aurora did not occur because of the current state of strife. Rather, attempting to help us all cope with the emotional impact of these tragedies can help us bridge the gaps that divide us.

A nationwide realization that people on all sides of these divides have been deeply affected by these events can help us see our common humanity. This understanding can help us begin the process of healing the disturbances caused by our divisions.

Let us transform strife into unity. Let us conquer fear with compassion. Let us soften this period of loss with acts of kindness and caring. Let us add to the healing over the tragedies and ensure that the loss of life results in some positive growth in society.

May God comfort the families and friends of victims, heal the dozens of wounded, and bring us all peace and unity.


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Rachel’s Tomb Matters

Alex Joffe’s important essay “Why Rachel’s Tomb Matters” published on 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.