Monday, April 25, 2005

Around and About

RIP, Ezer Weizman: The Jerusalem Post remembers former President Ezer Weizman, who passed away last Saturday night at the age of eighty.

Remembering the Rachels: Tom Gross’s answer to the recently produced play in Britain glorifying ISM terror-enabler Rachel Corrie: The Forgotten Rachels.

My Name Is Rachel Thaler is not the title of a play likely to be produced anytime soon in London. Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following the February 16, 2002 attack when a suicide bomber approached a crowd of teenagers and blew himself up.
She was a British citizen, born in London, where her grandparents still live. Yet I doubt that anyone at London’s Royal Court Theatre, or most people in the British media, have heard of her. “Not a single British journalist has ever interviewed me or mentioned her death,” her mother, Ginette, told me last week.
Thaler’s parents donated her organs for transplant (helping to save the life of a young Russian man), and grieved quietly. After the accidental killing of Rachel Corrie, by contrast, her parents embarked on a major publicity campaign. They traveled to Ramallah to accept a plaque from Yasser Arafat on behalf of their daughter. They circulated her emails and diary entries to a world media eager to publicize them.
Among those who published extracts from them in 2003 was the influential British leftist daily The Guardian. This in turn inspired a new play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie, which opened this month at the Royal Court Theatre, one of London most prestigious venues. (The New York Times recently described it as “the most important theatre in Europe.”)

A nation unlike all others: Yehuda Avner on the idea of Israel as a nation among other nations:

To begin with, our profoundest oddity is our identity. Many gentiles—and many Jews for that matter—have only the slightest comprehension of what a Jew is. At the salons and receptions where Israeli diplomats move, one might encounter people bemused over why our envoys display as much concern for the welfare of the local Jewish community as they do for their own countrymen. It is not uncommon, for example, to be collared by some vaguely inebriated individual and asked, “Now, tell me, what exactly are you Jews—are you a nation, or a religion, or what?”
The answer—both—is baffling. For, in modern society Jews are unique in personifying a nation-faith personality, a seamless blend of peoplehood and religion born out of the two seminal events that forged our identity: the Exodus from Egypt, when we entered history as a people, and the concomitant giving of the Torah at Sinai, when we entered history as a nation-faith.
Whether one is a believer or a skeptic, this subtle individuality is indivisible. A Jew cannot be one without the other, though many throughout the centuries have tried. A Jew remains forever a synergy of Exodus and Sinai.

Read the whole thing. Hag sameah (happy holiday)!

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