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Haunting Voices from the Holocaust

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Most of my formative years were spent in a working class, Jewish neighborhood in Detroit. I went to a grade school that was overwhelmingly Jewish. I was immersed in the Jewish culture and knew it as my own. I’m a richer and better person for those experiences.

I vividly recall many discussions of the Holocaust. I can still close my eyes and see the number tattooed on the arm of Beverly Hearn’s mother that bore witness to her experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. I was aghast to see the pictures of the starving prisoners on their liberation day and of the trenches filled with the emaciated corpses that didn’t live to see the end of the war. We were told to never forget the horrors that had been perpetrated just a few years earlier. “It must be remembered so that it never happens again” we were instructed.

There was a very active group of Nazi war criminal hunters as I approached my adolescence. I still remember the publicity and excitement when, in 1960, Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann was captured in Argentina and taken to Israel to stand trial. He was hanged in 1962, but the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, continued to search for more war criminals. That search has continued well into this century.

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The Value of Faith?

A Google quote-of-the-day caught my eye this morning. It amounted to a backhanded slap to the arrogance of humanity. After all, we’re all so damned important or so we think.

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

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Shaving Israel with Ockham’s Razor

Does a bad child’s behavior reflect on its parents? Most agree an ill behaved child reflects a lack of parenting and discipline. It appears Israel is becoming our delinquent child. With each passing day, more and more people are beginning to believe it’s high time for a little discipline. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Time for some tough love.

Israel is our ally and we are hers. There can be no question about that. America was the midwife at the birth of Israel as a nation. Our cultures are inextricably intertwined. Israel is an important economic ally. She is of critical importance to America strategically. She is our canary in the mine shaft in the Middle East. The Jews are a well spring of culture, intellect and creativity. Our histories are so tied together as to be inseparable. The Jewish culture has survived and prospered for 3,000 years. I have no doubt that when the curtain is finally drawn on this great play we call civilization, the Jews will be the last to leave the stage. Israel’s survival and prosperity are not only in their own best interests, they are in the interests of all freedom loving Americans. We cannot turn our backs on Israel any more than we can disavow our relationship with a brother or our own child.

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Hopefully for Israel, Elephants are the Only Animals that Never Forget

With the holiday season upon us, social gatherings abound. I seized the opportunity to attend one recently. Who am I to turn down free food? There was a promise of excitement. It was to be attended by an eclectic group of writers, politicos and intellectuals. It was to be an evening where one conceptual piñata after another would be clubbed and beaten to the delight of the provocateurs present.

I walked into the room and came face-to-face with an elephant. It was huge, but no one seemed to be paying attention to it. I couldn’t imagine how it got there. Siegfried and Roy were the only guys on the planet that could pull off this stunt, but they were nowhere to be seen. I grabbed a glass of wine and slowly worked my way around the elephant. I said hello to a number of the guests as I walked through the room. Some were actually leaning against the elephant that was calmly standing near the double doors leading out onto the patio. No one said a word about the imposing pachyderm.

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The Israeli Conundrum

For more than a half century, Israel has been a focal point of global controversy. Wars have been fought, assassinations have taken place, riots, suicide bombings, invasions, boycotts, strikes and stories of intrigue that no doubt remain untold. The United States and Israel have been fast friends and allies since the creation of the state in 1948.

Israel is critically important to the United States. Our economic ties are strong. Cultural ties are strong between the Jewish state and a large and important Jewish community in this country. Evangelical Christians support Israel believing its existence is critical to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. Strategically, Israel is our “canary in the mine shaft”. It is a strong military presence in a volatile Middle East rich in resources critical to our economic interests. Like marriages used to be, the relationship between the United States and Israel may have some tensions and feuds from time to time, but it’s solid and if one doesn’t discover a seditious affair on the part of the other, it promises to last a long time.

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