Review Category : All

Tisha B’Av 2009

I generally do not use this space for spiritual musings. However, this past Thursday marked Tisha B’Av, the ninth of the Jewish month of Av. This is a date on the Jewish calendar that my people commemorate not only the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE and the Second Temple in 70 CE, but all of the tragic and horrible ensuing events that have befallen our people in our long and sorry history.

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Matters of Trust

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved”
—George MacDonald

From the commitments exchanged between a man and his wife, to those that are exchanged between nations, trust is the cement that adheres all human relationships together.

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Missiles, Bombs and Tweets

“Dictatorial regimes and their behavior are a phenomenon that must be confronted constantly… It is very important to explain and stress over and over again that people fighting for human rights are not doing this just for themselves, but they are opposing the humiliation of individuals wherever they may be”—-Vaclav Havel, Former Czech President

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Hopes, Dreams and Nightmares – An Analysis of President Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech of June 5, 2009

President Barack Obama’s much anticipated Cairo speech had within it some high points and some rather disappointing ones. It carried a positive tone of respect to the Muslim world which can only help to build bridges and ease some unnecessary tension and several lofty universalist and humanist messages that can only resonate well with anyone with a sense of the common thread of humanity and decency. However, there were also several deeply disturbing elements.

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In meeting with Bibi, Obama boosted Iran

Special to WJW

All lies and jest. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest – “The Boxer,” Paul Simon

President Barack Obama emerged from his meeting last week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu with these words: “If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way.

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Escaping the Prison of One’s Own Paradigm

“Abandoning existing assumptions is no easy matter. Students of world politics, like politicians, are prisoners of their paradigms, unwilling or unable to escape the state premise of state predominance and constantly tempted to cling to familiar assumptions about hierarchy, authority and sovereignty.”
—-James N. Rosenau, The Two Worlds of World Politics

Like an abusive marriage which should have ended in divorce years earlier, many people seem wedded to their unexamined political ideas, and will end up taking them to their graves without ever, once, having had let some empirical data creep in to challenge them.

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The Belief in Impossible Things

There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen…. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”

As I write these words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to enter into the oval office and have his first meeting with President Barak Obama.

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