Wednesday, November 27, 2013

COMEDY CENTRAL, MRS. ARAFAT, AND THE RESURRECTION OF ANDY KAUFMAN


by Alan Edelstein

Israel doesn't have SNL.  It doesn't have Jon Stewart and the Daily Show.  Sadly, it doesn't have Colbert.  But, we've got something even better:  We've got the Middle East, and it doesn't get any more entertaining than in our very own neighborhood.  Think I'm kidding?  Try these:

According to Hamas and its allies, Israel and Jews are evil incarnate, to blame for virtually every wound, even those self-inflicted, suffered by the Arab world.  Hamas keeps calling for the Zionist entity's destruction.

Yet the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who is often the first in line to declare how murderous and mean the Israelis are, apparently had  no problem having his granddaughter transferred to the "Zionist entity" to be treated in an Israeli hospital for a life-threatening condition.

 In a clear case of "babywashing," Israeli doctors attempted to treat the one-year old for an infection of her digestive system. 

About two years ago Haniyeh's brother-in-law came to Israel for life-saving heart surgery. One wonders if the Haniyeh's health insurance has a provision that includes Zionist Entity/Occupier providers. 

Given that the Hamas government regularly pressures the tens of thousands of Gazans who cross the border to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals (often at no cost) to not go, one wonders what the public would think if word got out that his family seems to make a habit of the Israeli health care system. 

No worries there.  No press reports in Gaza.  The baby's father,  Haniyeh's oldest son, did post on  Facebook that the baby had "crossed the green line" to receive the treatment.  That post came down fast. Not sure how many "friends" he still has.

Monday, November 11, 2013

IT'S THE BOMB!


By Alan Edelstein

In my October 20 post, I wrote about how the latest thing amongst some in the American Jewish community is to spend inordinate amounts of time discussing and debating what it means to "support" Israel and, in the course of twisting and turning, to conclude that "support" can mean lots of things that are anything but.

It seems that the appetite for this seemingly endless discussion is unabated.  Even someone at my own hometown Sacramento synagogue, Mosaic Law Congregation, long a bastion of the unabashedly pro-Israel crowd, with a lot of smart people who always seemed to know what supporting Israel meant, now seems to think the congregants need assistance on figuring out what it means.

It's upcoming program is entitled "How Best to Support Israel," and its publicity invites one to an "intriguing discussion on how best to support Israel at this challenging time in its history."  The organizer sent out an e-mail saying "'No one has a stronger voice in this than the American Jewish community.' So said Secretary of State John Carry [sic] in a speech to the American Jewish Committee, refereeing [sic] to the renewed peace negotiations." 

Really? Apparently Secretary Kerry and the organizer of the program forgot about the voices of the Israelis and Palestinians whose lives and futures are involved.

Just 15 minutes west in the university town of Davis, the Israel Matters Committee of the local Reform synagogue, Congregation Bet Haverim, seems to have figured the puzzle out with no discussion necessary.  They advertise that they are "beginning a year-long project to raise funds for portable bomb shelters in southern Israel--especially for kindergartens in Israeli communities along the Gaza border. In the last week alone, more than 15 rockets and mortars have been indiscriminately fired at southern Israeli men, women, and children."

How did the folks in Davis figure out this question of what "support" means so easily and quickly, while folks in Sacramento seem to be devoting countless hours to exploring the meaning of the word.  Could it be all of those PhD's?