Filed under: opinion, politics, religion | Tags: morality, pidyon shvuim, posted by ronShapiro, Prisoner swap
You don’t have to take an AP Calculus class to understand that 204 is way larger than 2. So why would Israel “trade” 204 terrorists (199 dead, 5 alive) including living murder mastermind Samir Kuntar for 2 (dead) captured soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev?
By straight numbers, Israel is giving 102 times as many people as Hezbollah. Hezbollah is also getting 5 living terrorists that could contribute to many more murders in the future. When looking at the numbers, it seems like this “trade” is WAY lopsided.
But this equation is not 2=204. It is 2+morality=204. Israel is a country that prides itself on treating their soldiers and the parents of soldiers the right way. These soldiers fought for THEIR country and deserve a proper burial. The parents of the soldiers deserve to know the status of their children.
Israel just completed a mitzvah commanded in the Torah, pidyon shvuim (return of captives). Although it is not a country solely run by the religious book, the government takes religion into consideration every day. The exchange that happened over the summer was not a necessarily a “trade” but rather a “swap.” The addition of morality and mitzvot can not be overlooked.
On Thursday, July 24th, Barack Obama stopped at the Kotel during his visit to Israel, and paying respects to the holy site, he placed a note in the wall, as is traditionally done. Not long after he left the Kotel, a Jewish seminary student snatched what he believed to be Obama’s note from the Wall, and then sent it to multiple media outlets for potential publishing. The note said: “Lord – Protect my family and me, forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”
When I first heard about what the student did, I was outraged. Since I was at the Kotel just a couple days before this incident, the sanctity and importance of this site was fresh in my mind. Not only was it completely disrespectful of the student and Ma’ariv News for making the note known worldwide, but it also reflects badly on the Jewish people. Yes, it was the actions of one person, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned, the Presidential candidate was disrespected and humiliated by the Jews. Even with the apology made by the student days after, it was still a wrong and unecessary act, despite temptations provided by Obama’s celebrity.
There is no doubt in my mind that Obama was excepecting this kind of thing to happen, but maybe we could have proven him wrong?
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: Election, Israel, McCain, Obama, posted by jpachefsky
During the last few weeks of school, I had this constant question in my head: Who will be better for Israel? John McCain or Barack Obama? This is not an easy issue because our next President (with the help of Congress of course) will be a major player in deciding the fate of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda. Now, just to set things straight, I am not a one issue voter; however, since I have a pretty big connection with Israel and am a first time voter, Israel is one of the bigger concerns on my political palette. In order to help me figure this out, I turned the question to the Discussion Minyan at my school, which I am very involved in. The results were very interesting.
One person even suggested that the next President whether it would be McCain or Obama, would be the next Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton – bringing two sides together to establish a peace agreement. Many students talked about what the different administrations would do for Israel and the peace process, but the general consensus of our discussion minyan was pretty unanimous. There is no way the new president will not be pro-Israel because Isreal is too important to America. Israel is not just the only democracy in the Middle East, but also America’s only reliable ally. Since I am a first time voter, my opinion actually matters, but I know whoever we elect to be our nation’s leader this coming November, our new Mr. President will be pro-Israel.