Monday, March 31, 2008

J'accuse: Jeff Jacoby's article in the Sunday, March 30 Globe, brought into focus an important historical event which could otherwise get lost in the sands of historical time. The Dreyfuss case, illuminating entrenched anti-Semitism in 19th century France, is important not only to the history of the Jewish people but to all history where men are made into scapegoats and events are politicized so that justice invariably takes a back seat. The cost of that miscarriage of justice was profound. It was a mirror into just how deep the roots of anti-Semitism were in a Europe which ultimately gave birth to the greatest catastrophe for the Jewish people, the Holocaust.

We need go no further, too, than in our own country to see the political wreckage that has occurred at the hands of an utterly corrupt and unconscionable administration. We now possess our own Devil's Island, Guantanamo, and within our own Department of Justice, justice is a most elusive commodity. The innocent are jailed, so many guilty go free and the drum beat to maintain policies based on lies goes on and on and on to the peril of us all.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wright and Wrong: The comments by the former pastor of United Church of Christ, Jeremiah Wright have certainly kicked up a brouhaha and placed Barak Obama, a 22 year parishioner of that church, in the middle of a whirlwind of accusations and protest. Is Obama now tainted by this zealous pastor's unfortunate vituperatively unpatriotic comments? In part, yes Senator Obama bears some associative guilt. He was a member of that church for over two decades, was married and his children baptized by Pastor Wright. To me that says something. Senator Obama must have had at least some suspicion of the political views of, as he describes this relationship, his uncle-like friend and pastoral mentor of twenty years. It does, however, not say everything.

Barak Obama has dealt with the issue immediately by answering suspicions some may have of this association. He has disavowed the caustic over-the-top comments of a religious figure. In addition, Reverend Wright has resigned from the Obama campaign. One cannot always be responsible for what others say. One can though, refuse to be a part of an organization which has had an affinity towards ideologies which do not often examine both sides of an issue. Some of what Reverend Wright believes can be objectively discussed. His views that American foreign policy has made some egregious mistakes, has cost many lives and alienated many people are, in my opinion, correct. Other things he believes, though, are debatable. He is not right in all he says and, indeed, much of what Pastor Wright says is unequivocally and consummately wrong. Senator Obama emphatically should say exactly that.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Attack in Jerusalem: Religion's Advocacy of Murder and Mayhem: As a Jew, every Jewish death is like a stake in my heart. I was sickened, to put it mildly, by the murders of innocents in a Jewish rabbinical school in Jerusalem several days ago. I think one needs to understand that this is and will be a part of life there. It is something, difficult as it may be, to which we must reconcile ourselves. There will, I believe, never be peace in my lifetime. The fear of attack and killing will always be there.

It is my opinion there will never be peace because religion makes people absolutely intractable and uncompromising in their positions. It is impossible to deal with anyone -- Muslim, Jew or Christian -- when extreme religious adherence is at the heart of their motivations. Unfortunately, the ones who would use murder as a tool to promote what they want is not new. It is hard wired in us. Religion, though, has brought modern political violence to a new level as it successfully dupes the masses so its leadership can gain power. Through the fog of irrational belief, much of organized religion is, underneath it all, about acquiring power. For Jews, this is problematic because our numbers are so small and the competition is vast.

In my opinion, until humanity can get the monkey of fundamentalist religious world views off its backs there will be no peace. No amount of military expertise will stop these attacks when people think they have God on their side and that He is not on the other guy's side. I have lost hope a long time ago. I believe each side must listen to the other but when some do the other extremists (both Arabs and Israelis alike) don't and they won't. So Israel's fate and many others in that violent neck of the woods will suffer tit for tat ad infinitum endless violence until that violence engulfs all of us. Our life eradicating weaponry could mean, ultimately, the end of our species and civilization on earth as we know it. This may happen, if it continues as it has, sooner than we think.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Life Support or Life: In the final analysis whether the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama he or she will be running, of course, against John McCain. All rational thought would deduce that the US is in huge trouble with an economy tanking and no upswing in sight. Adding fuel to an out-of-control fire is the dismal state of US foreign policy.

Our country has suffered a train wreck. It would seem completely logical that the Democratic party, no matter who the nominee is, should experience a landslide victory over horrifically failed and utterly corrupt Republican politics on every single level of government. If, yet again, the American public elect more Republicans to the oval office and the Congress then, indeed, our country has a death wish.

We will sew the seeds of our own destruction by electing John McCain and opting for the same ubiquitously failed policies manufactured over decades. Electing a change Democratic candidate whether the change is Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama is vital to our country's resuscitation. If we do not do that we will be choosing to be put on life support. We are in critical condition. Team Bush and his Republican party have, indeed no question about it, put us there!