There should be no need to apologize for her trip. For whatever reasons she had, she chose to spend her free time in Israel.
The sad and disgusting irony of this unnecessary apology is that if she had chosen to visit any other country, it wouldn’t have even made the news. But because she chose to visit Israel, it becomes a big deal.
Israel is a beautiful country with warm people, delicious food and the opportunity to walk through history while living in the present. I apologize to Ms. Lovato that she was forced to apologize and I suggest that if you have the chance to visit Israel, you take it. It may be the vacation of vacations.
Sports is supposed to be free from politics and international conflict. It should be about skill, talent and hard work. But that does not mean that politics and international conflict cannot get in the way.
Israeli athlete Sagi Muki met Egyptian athlete Mohamed Abdelaal met on the mat during the World Judo Championship semifinals in Tokyo. Mr. Muki was named the winner of the match. Instead of being a good sportsman and shaking Mr. Muki’s hand, Mr. Abedelaal just walked off the mat.
Mr. Abdelaal’s actions, in my mind, represents what I think is a sad mentality when it comes to Israel and Jews. Regardless of ethnicity or national origin, Mr. Muki won fair and square. But to Mr. Abdelaal and millions who think like him, he was beaten by an Israeli Jew. In their mind, it is an unthinkable act.
I wish that we lived in a world in which we respected one another as individuals. I also wish we lived in a world in which when one entered any sports arena, one only saw their fellow athlete and not their ethnicity. But wishing sometimes goes nowhere.
When one gets to a certain age, the blame game become immature and a waste of time. It takes an adult to see that. Unfortunately, not all of us who are grown act like adults.
In the latest twist in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) blamed Israel for the honor killing of Israa Gharib. Her crime is that she was fraternizing with a man outside the bonds of marriage. In her world, this was a crime for which the only punishment is death. The men accused of killing her are her father and brothers.
I agree with Rep. Tlaib that toxic masculinity was responsible for Ms. Gharib’s death. She was not seen by the men closest to her as a flesh and blood creature with thoughts, feelings, ambitions, dreams and flaws. She was seen as an object to be used and sold in the name of marriage.
However, the blame for her death lands solely in the lap of her father and brothers. It has nothing to do with Israel.
The sooner Rep. Tlaib and the rest of the Israel haters recognize that, the sooner we will get to a legit and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.
August 24th, 1929 started out as an ordinary day for Jewish population of Hebron. By the time the sun set, nearly 70 Jews were murdered in what would become the Hebron Massacre. As a result, the authorities (which was then the British) moved the survivors out of Hebron. After thousands of years of Jews calling Hebron home, it was Judenrein.
This week, another young lady was killed because she is Jewish. The same blood lust and hatred that killed nearly 70 people 90 years ago caused the death of Rina Shnerb. 17 year old Rina was hiking with her brother and father when they were hit by a terrorist bomb. Rina died at the scene. Her father and brother were seriously injured and are still hospitalized.
I am not saying that every Muslim who lives in Middle East or any place in the world for that matter has a blood thirsty hatred of Jews. However, there are many in that part of the world that would dearly love and would do anything to see the region become Judeinrein.
May the memories of Rina and the people killed in Hebron be a blessing and a reminder that until this blood thirsty hatred ends, Israel and Jews around the world must always be on the defensive.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one that can be construed as simple or complicated, depending on one’s point of view.
While I certainly recognize the shades of grey in this conflict, my perspective is that Israel is trying to defend herself and her people from neighbors who would love to her wiped off the face of the Earth. The BDS movement is just one of those complicating factors that makes this issue even murkier.
Aside from the implications for our political future, this statement I believe speaks the truth. It is a truth that many either refuse to hear or if they hear it, refuse to believe.
Speaking of Israel, the ban on Reps Tlaib and Omar entering the country last week were lifted after a fair amount of controversy. Representative Tlaib decided to turn down the invitation and not visit her grandmother. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was kid, my grandparents were my world. They are all long gone, there are days when I wish I could still see them and talk to them.
Others have said and I agree that she hates Israel more than she loves her grandmother. If I was in her shoes, I would be on the next flight out. Family is more important than politics will ever be.
I wish there was a way out of this conflict. I wish both sides would see each other as fellow human beings, instead of labels and political/historical baggage. But wishes don’t often become reality.
There is nothing like a first hand experience to change hearts and minds. But unless one has that experience, it is unknown if hearts and minds can be changed.
Over the years, Israel has been a regular destination for members of the United States Congress. She has also experienced more than her fair share of criticism, prejudice, lies and half truths.
The latest news regarding Israel is that Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) have been banned from visiting the Jewish state with their colleagues.
The reason, as per the Israeli press is as follows: “Israel has decided. We won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Kan News. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle, this is a very justified decision.”
This decision, in short, is a huge mistake. While I disagree with both Representatives’s opinion of Israel, I also strongly disagree with this ban.
I want Representatives Omar and Tlaib to see the Israel that I know and love. My Israel is a beautiful, thriving and vibrant democracy. My Israel is a land that is both ancient and modern. My Israel is a nation in which one can walk in the footsteps of the Bible while experiencing modern technological breakthroughs.
Like any nation, Israel has her fair share of problems. However, she deserves to be seen for what she is without relying on momentary news bites or flashy headlines.
I believe that it would be a wise decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to lift the ban. But that may not happen and if it is does not, I am concerned that it may negatively impact both the United States and Israel for years to come.
Before I go further, I need to make one thing clear. There is a stark difference between criticizing a government/country because of the governmental policies and criticizing the government/country because of the religious or cultural identity of said government/country.
I agree with AOC on many things, but not about Israel. Instead of being the intelligent woman that I know she is and replying thoughtfully, she just repeated the same lies that have unfortunately become part of our political rhetoric.
Israel is one of America’s greatest ally, especially in the Middle East. We should not be cutting of our nose to spite our face because of lies and half truths.
We have, as we all know, a Presidential election coming up next fall. Israel will be one of the many topics that will come up during the election season. The Democrats, as a political party, will need everything in their arsenal to oust you know who from office. In speaking as she did, AOC has given the Republicans an edge, especially with Jewish voters. If she is as committed to the Democratic party as she says she is, I would suggest that next time, she does her homework before publicly speaking about Israel as she did.
There is an old saying: Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
I firmly believe that this saying not only applies to an issue on the personal level, but it also applies to an issue on a political or cultural level.
Israel has been one of the go to countries for American politicians to visit over the years. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) will be the latest American politicians to visit Israel, in spite of their openly antisemitic and anti-Israel comments.
When it comes these two members of Congress, I have to admit that I have two distinct feelings. I was appalled by you know who’s comments on Twitter last weekend. These women, both as citizens and members of the political class, have every right to speak their minds. However, I was hurt and disgusted by their public statements regarding Israel and the Jews in general.
Israel, like any country is imperfect, both at the government level and the personal level. This country, like all other countries, must face head on the racism that exists within her borders.
That being said, I have been to Israel twice in my life. I saw a country like my own. I saw a multi-cultural country in which most citizens (hopefully) don’t care about the religion or background of their fellow citizen. They just go about their business.
I challenge anyone who believes that Israel is an apartheid state to visit Israel. Ignore, for a short time, what the peanut gallery is saying. Make a decision based on what you are seeing, thinking and feeling.
I am not in the minds of Reps Tlaib or Omar. Nor can I influence what they are thinking or feelings. But I can hope and wish that their visit opens their eyes and convinces them to see the truth about Israel.
Compassion can be taught one of two ways. The first way is teaching via the phrase “thou shall”, threatening figurative fire and brimstone if one looks away from the suffering of their fellow human. The second way to teach compassion is via kindness and example.
This week, Jews around the world celebrate the Jewish holiday of Shavout. The heroine of the holiday is Ruth. An unlikely heroine, her story teaches compassion and kindness for the poor, the stranger and the outsider.
The story, for those who are unaware, is as follows: Moabite Ruth’s Israelite husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law are all dead. Her mother-in-law, Naomi left ancient Israel decades ago due to a famine with her husband and sons. Neither Ruth or Orpah, her sister-in-law, have children via their late husbands.
Naomi bids the younger women to return to their families, as she has nothing for them. Orpah goes back to her family, but Ruth stays with Naomi. To make a long story short, Ruth will travel back to Israel with Naomi, eventually convert and re-marry. One of her many great-grandsons is King David.
The stories in the Bible speak to us for any number of reasons. For me, the Book of Ruth is not just a lesson in helping out those less fortunate. It is the lesson of accepting and respecting others who are different from us. It is also the story of two women who take control over their own lives instead of waiting for a man to rescue them.