Thursday, May 03, 2007

א-ray

(this is a weekly column we are working on @ The Algemeiner Journal in our ongoing effort to enhance it. What do you think of this as a weekly feature?)

א-ray

Believe it or not, faith is in the air (and the news). In Israel, from Olmert to Herzl, the people have lost faith in their leaders. In Politics, from Obama to Ahmadinejad, faith is suddenly omnipresent. In Environment, from Global Warming to coral reefs, faith is all that seems to be left. In Science, from apes to new planets, faith is dissected. In Economics, from Wolfowitz to Wal-Mart, in G-d they trust. And in The Middle East, well, faith has always been their excuse.

Israel:

The Israeli leader-ship is sinking fast. Following the Winograd commission’s criticism of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of last summer’s war on Hezbollah, the call for the prime minister’s resignation rings from the Golan Heights down to the Negev. The only question is: What took so long?

Cabinet minister Eitan Cabel of the Labor Party resigned from the Cabinet and called for Olmert to follow suit, to “bear responsibility” for his actions.

Olmert, who even before the release of the report had a below 3% approval rate (which, in a country the size of Israel, is about three falafel-stand owners and an Egged bus driver), said he will not quit and his spokeswoman said, “He thinks that through his actions, [public] support will come.”

For some odd reason – perhaps because of the 119 soldiers and 39 civilians killed from his previous actions – it is highly unlikely.

But, don’t worry – the Israeli leadership is not alone in its demise. The Socialist dream may be dying as well. In what Time magazine called “The End of a Zionist Idyll,” the oldest kibbutz in Israel, Degnia, has given up its socialist ideals and gone private.

“Many Israelis see us as yet another broken symbol,” said the kibbutz manager.

And, with Olmert breaking other ones, maybe it’s time for Israel to find better symbols.

Politics:

Jumping one leader-ship for another: To be politically correct, G-d votes neither Democrat nor Republican; yet, that doesn’t stop Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama from voting for G-d. In a front-page story, the NY Times followed Senator Obama’s journey “from skepticism to belief,” how the stepson of “a nominal Muslim who hung prayer beads over his bed but enjoyed bacon, which Islam forbids,” adopted the Christian faith.

To be politically incorrect, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the 27th anniversary of the failed U.S. operation to rescue 53 American hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by saying, “Heavenly aides supported the Iranian nation and clobbered the enemy in the desert.”

You think Ahmadinejad enjoys bacon too?

Environment:

From fried, unhealthy (and non-kosher) foods, to fried, unhealthy (though kosher) planets, UN scientists claim nuclear power can save the world. And all this time we thought Iran wanted to destroy it.

More than 2,000 scientists have contributed to this report given by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the syllables themselves could corrode any ozone layer – the third of such a report given this year.

Meanwhile, as this Planet Earth is melting away, another has floated to the surface.

Science:

In real-life, ET fashion, scientists have discovered a warm and rocky “second Earth” circling a star, which they believe dramatically boosts the prospects that we are not alone.

Yet, while they make progress in regard to life on other planets, they can barely figure out life on this one:

In their undying quest to find the origins of everything (wonder where the origins of that comes from?), scientists have sought clues in the gestures of chimpanzees to hint at the origins of language.

Is it possible that the origins of language are found – dare it be said – in a being higher than a baboon?

Economics:

From one deity to the next: The Almighty Dollar is in play – and for very high-stakes. Wal-Mart, the mega-retailer, is being charged by the Human Rights Watch with using illegal means to prevent its workers from forming unions, while Google Inc., the mega-parent of the popular video-sharing site YouTube, filed a response to Viacom Inc.’s lawsuit that claimed YouTube was willfully infringing copyrights of Viacom Inc.’s materials.

It seems, “In G-d We Trust” has its limits. Maybe Paul D. Wolfowitz, in response to the World Bank’s inquiry into his securing a $193,590 job for a close female friend, put it best: it would be “unjust and frankly hypocritical” of the board to find guilt of ethical collapse.

After all, how can one find someone guilty of ethical collapse when there is no ethical standard to begin with?

The Middle East:

Talk about ethical standards: A suicide bomber blew himself up in middle of an Iraqi funeral, killing 32 people; a gunman killed 14 travelers on an Iraqi highway; Hamas threatened more violence if its “demands” were not met; and Iran continues its march to world domination. Is it any wonder then that, while the EU and UN sat down for tea with Hamas and the gang, terrorist attacks shot-up (and blew-up) more than 25% over the past year?

With Turkey and the Middle East at large going through a religious-or-secular identity crisis, where faith threatens humanity and humanity “sacrifices” itself over the blood of innocent children – but, of course, all in the name of Allah – who will stand up as a courageous voice in this sandy realm of terror and human indignity? Israel?

Maybe if its leader-ship could right itself.

If that doesn’t put things in perspective maybe next week will.

2 Comments:

Anonymous no name said...

that piece is very enjoyable, thank you! if you can keep up this kind of writing every week, it is most welcome. i found the economics part a bit vague, but from what i understand, this is intentional (?)

this rocks- good work.

5/04/2007 1:58 AM  
Anonymous m said...

Mendel bravo on you work of art. I think you have put a beautiful article. It has a humoris part as well as the serious part( the news..). well keep up your good work, and yea its a good way to bring the newspaper back to life.

5/13/2007 9:43 PM  

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