It has been clear for some time that Mainline Protestants have gone through a complete transformation. This religious group led by Presbyterians has become a secular humanistic faith far more interested in same sex marriage, abortion privileges, equality in some abstract sense, and fashionable left wing ideologies and tropes than religious doctrines.
Whenever I talk about the Middle East I get lambasted. And when I fail to mention Israel or Palestine I get lambasted because I didn’t. Pro-Israeli listeners brook no criticism whatever of what Israel does. Supporters of the Palestinians recognize the legitimacy of nothing else. Sometimes you can’t please everybody and sometimes you can’t please anybody. So, OK, here goes.
From the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the 1980’s, comments about this Jewish nation were uniformly and reflexively positive. Jews and non-Jews alike took pride in the resourcefulness of a people who could make the desert bloom and who had the backbone and will to defend themselves against Arab invaders.
The flame of anti-Zionism burns brightly at Northeastern University in Boston. On the first day of Israel Apartheid Week, Students for Justice in Palestine, a group currently on probation for violating campus policies for acts of anti-Semitism and vandalism, dispersed “evacuation” notices to students residing in the dormitories.
Early in my tenure as head of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I – like many other university presidents – was asked to support the agenda of a Palestinian initiative known as B.D.S., a call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, given the organization’s belief that Israel was not complying with international law and Palestinian rights. Specifically, they were asking for our university’s participation in a boycott of Israeli universities ... a request I unequivocally rejected as being antithetical to the concept of academic freedom which is at the very heart of the mission of a university - institutions devoted to unfettered inquiry and discovery.
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, is a deeply personal narrative history of the state of Israel by Ari Shavit - one of the most influential Israeli journalist writing about the Middle East today.
As it examines the complexity and the contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions- Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? And can Israel survive?
Shavit draws on an almost 30 year long careered delve into his countries most defining conflicts, ambitions, successes, and disappointments- as well as to explore his own families history, and the story of other ordinary individuals.
Thirty-seven Democratic Congressional representatives have returned from a trip to Israel and the West Bank. A Hudson Valley Congressman was part of the delegation and has spoken about what he learned.
As the various disparate observances approach, which, by some series of absurdities has become a misnomer, now known as Judeo-Christian kinship, this commentator’s memory harks back to his childhood and the question he yearned to ask his biblically astute Grandfather but never dared: “Why is it that at the end of the Passover Seder, at the final ‘Amen,’ does everyone fervently respond: “Next year in Jerusalem!”?