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“Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.” – Jean Francois Revel
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan tapped a Georgetown professor named Jeane Kirkpatrick to be his ambassador to the United Nations. Kirkpatrick, a lifelong Democrat, was an ardent anti-Communist and a strong believer that the world needed an America with the confidence in and conviction of its values and institutions. She believed that a strong America — willing and able to project its strength around the world — was the greatest force for peace the planet could enjoy. And she believed that self-governance and freedom were guarantors of peace.
She believed our strength extended beyond our military capability; that ours was a moral strength. That, when we knew that we were right — as we were about Soviet communism — it was incumbent upon us to act accordingly. One could negotiate with the Soviets, of course. But only from a position of strength and only when such negotiations underscored American ideals rather than undermining them.
Jeane Kirkpatrick would never have entered into the current round of talks with Iran. And, she would point out, neither would Democratic presidents like Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy. These talks project weakness, indecision, and expediency.
Today, America’s confidence has been shaken by more than a decade of war and an asymmetrical enemy that does not conform to any previously known standards of conduct or decency. The world is different from the one Ambassador Kirkpatrick confronted. It is more complex and more dangerous.
But, at some point, we will begin to believe in ourselves again. When that day comes, let us hope that things are not so far out of control that they can’t be repaired by a little bit of good old American ingenuity and elbow grease.Comments (13) »
Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 8:16 AM | Stand For Israel
When Toni Buda lost her son and the IDF lost a hero, little did they know what would be gained. IsraelSeen brings us the story of a grieving mother whose idea grew into a project to commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers and celebrate their bravery and heritage:
“I believe that the relationship between the military and the bereaved families is very important,” Toni explains … After the memorial site opened, bereaved families were invited to see how their loved ones were being remembered. “Everything that the army does to commemorate fallen soldiers strengthens these families,” Toni says. “I still miss him every day.”
While we honor those like Toni’s son, Lieutenant Ariel Buda, who made the greatest sacrifice of all while protecting the Holy Land and defending freedom, let us not forget the grieving families left behind, as they are often forgotten.Comments (2) »
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Stand For Israel
While our country may not be perfect, a new study by the Anti-Defamation League is the country where Jews suffer the least anti-Semitism. Writing for The Times of Israel, Uriel Heilman notes that America offers Jewish people — and all people — freedoms and safety not found elsewhere:
Jews can live, study, and work anywhere they want in America. Yes, there’s Mel Gibson, Louis Farrakhan and the occasional swastika scrawled on a synagogue wall, but Jews in America for the most part live free of discrimination or the threat of violence.
Yet, as the article notes, there is still anti-Semitism in the U.S. And, as we see with more and more frequency, Jews in Europe and the Middle East are being targeted because of their faith. Let us pray for God’s protection for all people, and let us do our part to alleviate hatred and anti-Semitism in the world around us.Comments (1) »
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Stand For Israel
Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, looks at yesterday’s framework agreement for talks between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) and Iran and concludes not only that the talks are at a dead end, but that everybody involved knows they’re at a dead end:
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Critics of the administration suspect either the talks will never end because it is impossible to conceive that Iran would do this or the president will try to peddle a phony deal that does none of these things in an effort to claim success. So the administration is back to its fundamental problem. It has carefully delineated what Iran must do, a standard less than the United Nations but higher than anything Iran would remotely do.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Last week, Stand for Israel alerted you to the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s recent publication of a harshly anti-Zionist study guide titled Zionism Unsettled, the latest in a long line of the PCUSA’s anti-Israel missteps. Now, a noted and influential PCUSA leader has spoken out against the work as well.
In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, harshly criticized what she calls the document’s “demonization, distortion and imbalance”:
An ideologically driven document such as this one cannot conceivably promote solutions that all parties in this conflict urgently need. Moreover, it is written at a particularly unfortunate moment as world leaders struggle to engage in new efforts to work towards resolution of the practical problems that face everyone in the region and make actual reconciliation between the parties extremely difficult.
This document purports to be about love but it actually expresses demonization, distortion and imbalance. Sadly, its sweeping allegations, blanket condemnations and troubling omissions are not likely to foster productive conversations, but rather to prevent them. It creates walls not just between Presbyterians and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, but also within the Presbyterian body itself.
We’re grateful for Dr. Henderson’s strong condemnation of Zionism Unsettled, and we pray that clear heads like hers will prevail in the Presbyterian Church (USA), as well as in other denominations that continue to promote a distorted view of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.Comments (11) »
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Dr. Henry Heimlich, the Jewish surgeon who invented the technique that has saved so many choking victims, has now written a book. The 94-year-old Cincinnati doctor’s memoir, Heimlich’s Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation, looks at the Heimlich Maneuver, as well as the many other innovations and accomplishments made during its namesake’s long medical career. Thousands, if not millions, have been saved because of the creation of the maneuver, as well as the many other breakthroughs Dr. Heimlich is responsible for, such as a chest drain valve. The doctor — who lives in an assisted-living home, but still writes, emails, and speaks about his work — has, like any innovator, faced criticism. But to those who question his maneuver or his methods, Dr. Heimlich has these words of wisdom from a life lived well:
“I’ll be the first to admit that a number of my ideas are controversial and in some ways unorthodox,” Heimlich said. “But I have enough guts to know that when I am right, it will come about as the thing to do, even if others do the wrong thing for a time.”
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Stand For Israel
Iran has long used the tactics of delay and deception in order to attempt to run out the clock on their nuclear ambitions — to acquire a bomb before the West can ramp up enough pressure to stop them. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin thinks we’re in for another helping of that old familiar dish:
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What is most distressing about the Iran talks is the blithe assumption on the part of the negotiators that they will drag on for as long as a year. That gives the lie to the president’s assurances that he wouldn’t let himself be suckered by the Iranians into allowing them to keep delaying while they continue to get closer to their nuclear goal.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 8:22 AM | Stand For Israel
As the new round of farcical nuclear talks between the permanent U.N. Security Council members (plus Germany) and Iran begin in Vienna, Ray Takeyh writes at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. needs to remember its economic and military might and begin to act like it has some weight to throw around:
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The various sanctions bills passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama have a secondary aspect: If enforced, a European bank or oil firm that concludes an agreement with Iran would be denied access to U.S. markets. The sizable U.S. economy will always trump whatever deals the Islamic republic is offering.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
Times of Israel correspondent Avi Issacharoff, one of the best journalists in the world covering Gaza and Sinai, says that the attack on the tourist bus in Taba, Egypt indicates something we’ve written about before — the pro-Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in Egypt are smart enough to go after Egypt’s two biggest money-makers:
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The attack on the tourist bus is the latest in a series of dozens of strikes from extremist Muslim groups meant to damage one of the two most important income sources in Egypt — tourism. In Cairo, it’s clear that the terrorists would not stop at just tourism, but are already gunning for the primary income source, the Suez Canal. This is what is generating the sense of urgency in military operations in the Sinai.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 8:42 AM | Stand For Israel