Don’t fret about Tea Party
It would be a shame if the April 1 opinion piece, “Tea Party dangers ahead?” worries my fellow Jews into fearing a tide of national opinion that ought to be seen as timely, refreshing and hopeful.
Guest columnist Rob Eshman erects a virtual haunted house on scattered reports of epithets and anonymous notes directed at politicians. If he “scratched deep enough,” the poor fellow says, he suspects he’d “find some good old-fashioned anti-Semitism.”
Well, I can testify I found none at the “party” I attended in Pittsburgh, with 3,000 others, last April and I don’t expect to find any at rallies in this year of crucial elections.
We partyers are indeed upset at the threats to freedom posed by an ever more intrusive government; by trillion-dollar deficits that may yet bankrupt the country and ruin the dollar; and by foreign policies likely to weaken America (and ultimately our will to support Israel).
No doubt any crowd might include individuals lacking in couth or self-control. But one needn’t be anti-Semitic or homophobic to detest, and become vocal about, the legislative sins of a Rep. Barney Frank, for example. The push he gave government entities to promote subprime mortgages was a root cause of the housing bubble and ensuing recession. Is it not permissible to criticize this statesman without being suspected of anti-Semitism?
Eshman is “no more paranoid than any Jew born after the Holocaust needs to be,” he says.
But none of us “needs to be” paranoid. We need to be sensible and skeptical — certainly of gifts from politicians — and not to cringe as Jews from taking part in any public movement striving to deal with the country’s great questions.
A new Jerusalem
Alexander Orbach’s plea for a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem (“Look forward, not backward,” March 18) appears to ignore Danny Danon’s appraisal of Arab Muslim activities in Jerusalem (“In defense of Jewish heritage”) in the same issue.
It makes me think of several reasons the Palestinians would want their capital in Jerusalem, other than the one mentioned by Dr. Orbach, but I would like to address one of them as the topic for this letter — the Temple Mount dilemma.
We must remember that, as a nation, Israel functions from a political perspective, but she also represents one of the world’s major religions, and thus maintains a spiritual perspective, too.
Once a capital is established in Jerusalem as part of a Palestinian state, the Temple Mount, which only contains a Muslim spiritual presence, can give legitimacy to the Muslim convictions that their faith is the ultimate and divinely preferred religion of the world, and therefore, an international Muslim caliphate is the only way to go. All efforts will be made to erase the Jewish historical presence in the land of Israel.
Either we go like sheep to the slaughter or come to our senses. Either the Palestinians have a Gaza capital, in spite of Dr. Orbach’s concern that this plan would affect their functioning ability, or Israel offers to trade them a piece of Jerusalem for a piece of the Temple Mount to construct a third Temple. A Temple could give us the opportunity to redeem ourselves and return to the spiritual grandeur of the past. Just like The Hague has become the judicial location of the world, Jerusalem could become the spiritual location of the world body where representatives of all the world’s religions would come, pray and engage in faith diplomacy, where world problems could be resolved peacefully.