CNN Taken to Task

Israeli Ambassador REAMS OUT CNN for not reporting UN statement that says Hamas makes UN schools a target”
The Right Scoop
July 24, 2014

This sort of dressing-down is overdue.

I respect CNN’s efforts to demonstrate equitability in its coverage of a situation that is charged with emotion. The network has bent over backwards to avoid taking any stance that could be construed as pro-Israel.

But when the UN – an organization known to be ambivalent about Israel at best – makes a statement like this, it IS newsworthy, and failing to report it does hint at the possibility of latent bias toward Hamas, or at least against Israel.

If CNN is determined to fight Al-Jazeera English for ratings in Muslim countries, that’s a commercial decision, and I respect that. But it should not expect to do so and maintain a veil of objectivity on the Middle East.

The Washington Post Gets On Board

Hamas is playing a dangerous game with Gazan lives – The Washington Post. The editorial board of The Washington Post has made a laudable contribution to the global conversation about what is happening in Gaza: “The right response of the international community is not to surrender to Hamas’s despicable tactics but to continue insisting that it unconditionally accept the cease-fire proposed by Egypt.”

Fashioning a Heart

Ani ma-amin be-emuno sh’laymo
Sheboyray yisborach sh’mo
Yoyday kol ma-asay v’nay odom v’cho machsh’voysom, shene-emar:
Ha-yoytzayr yachad libom ma-mayvin el kol ma-asayhem

“I believe with complete faith that the Creater, Blessed is His Name, knows all of the deeds of human beings and their thoughts, as it is said, “He fashions their hears all together, He comprehends their deeds.”

I was reading through Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of faith the other day, and as I read number ten, a line seemed to jump off the page of the siddur and into my frontal cortex:

“He fashions their hearts all together.”

What grabbed me about this was the possibility that this means that all of humanity was created with a single, collective heart that Hashem has formed from a combination of each of our hearts. Could it be, I thought, that Hashem in his wisdom decided to create each of us bound heart-to-heart in an unbreakable web of love, compassion, mercy? Could it be that our job on Earth is to realize – and actualize – these pre-existing ties?

This is one of those moments where I feel the limits of my Torah scholarship. I have no answers. But this idea offers a great start to my next bout of study.

China and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Why China Must Pay Attention to the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Mu Chunsan

The Diplomat
July 19, 2014

Mu Chunsan makes a fair point: the Beijing cannot ignore for long a foreign policy issue that is engrossing – and dividing – a growing percentage of the Chinese people.

What Mu misses, though, is that despite the growing influence of popular politics on Chinese foreign policy, there are other factors that weigh upon China’s decision to remain aloof from the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorists. China has a complex relationship with Israel (see my article here), one that is disproportionate with the latter’s size. China has defense ties with Jerusalem, depends on a flow of innovations from Israel’s booming labs, and needs Israel’s support in its stance against the growing specter of  Islamo-fascism.

Yet China cannot directly incite its Muslim population, nor thumb its nose at the Islamist countries that are a growing part of its international influence and energy supply. Closer examination suggests that Beijing has managed to strike a delicate balance with Israel that has eluded other powers. A more explicit policy on the Mideast, no matter how it might calm a domestic argument, could undermine that balance to the benefit of no one.

Taking Moral Responsibility

Moral clarity in Gaza
Charles Krauthammer,
The Washington Post,
July 17, 2014.

In an incisive op/ed in the WaPo, Krauthammer hits the nail on the head. You don’t have to buy into everything Bibi Netanyahu has done (I have real issues with the West Bank settlements,) but you must recognize that there is no moral equivalence in Gaza: Israel is fighting for its life here.

The Arab nations, if not much of global Islam, has chosen to play the role of Amalek and eradicate Israel, and then the Jews. They have chosen to do so by proxy because doing so with tanks, bombs, and infantry was not only spectacularly unsuccessful, it made them all look foolish AND it surrendered the moral high ground from 1947 to 1983.

In so doing, they have made the people of Gaza the cannon fodder in a worldwide propaganda war. If you want a bad guy in the deaths of Palestinian civilians, don’t look to Jerusalem: look to the cynical leaders of Hamas, of the Palestinian Authority, and of those national leaders who smile at Israel’s leaders for the cameras while they secretly write checks for Israel’s demise, and write off the people of Gaza as martyrs to a selfish cause.

The game has been the same since the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem called for the eradication of the Jews in 1926. All that has changed is the tactics.

I stand with Israel. I will bear the pain of its wrongs and fight to minimize them as I enjoy the triumphs of the good that it does and work to maximize them, because on the balance I know the scales tip heavily toward the good.

All I ask in return is that anyone who buys into Hamas propaganda, who stands with terrorists, similarly bears the moral responsibility for their actions, goals, and atrocities.