Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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So you think you know Hanukka...

December 16, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

With its universal themes of heroism, faith and determination, Hanukka has become one of the most well-known and familiar of Jewish holidays.

Or has it? Year in and out, Jews gather for eight nights to light candles, sing songs and celebrate the miracles performed for our ancestors more than two millennia ago. We fry potato latkes, exchange presents and perhaps take a vacation from our daily routines.

This, in a nutshell, is the common conception of the festival: the Hellenists tried to destroy Judaism, we won, now pass me a jelly doughnut.

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Did the chief of police overstep his authority?

December 1, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

Amid the political drama regarding the fate of the governing coalition, a spectacle no less crucial to the future of the Jewish state has gone largely overlooked.

In a series of public statements over the course of four consecutive days, Police Chief Yohanan Danino brazenly overstepped his position and authority, launching unprecedented verbal attacks on the attorney general, the Israeli Right and members of the Knesset.

Under heavy criticism in recent weeks for his failure to curb Palestinian violence on the Temple Mount and in eastern Jerusalem, Danino did what any bungling bureaucrat would do: he tried to pin the blame on everyone else but himself.

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Who's afraid of a Jewish nation-state?

November 24, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

After the approval of the "Jewish state bill" by the cabinet on Sunday, Israel's Left now finds itself in quite a tizzy. Furious with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for daring to underscore the Jewishness of the State of Israel, various liberal leaders are foaming at the mouth, their hyperbole matched only by their hubris.

Writing in Haaretz, former education minister Yossi Sarid warned that "we have reached the end of our democratic rope," while Science Minister Yaakov Peri said that the bill reminded him of "countries that took upon themselves Sharia law." Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On went even further, blasting it as "a crime against Israeli democracy" and "one of the blackest stains in Israel's law books."

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A Palestinian pogrom in Jerusalem

November 19, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

Yesterday morning, two Palestinian Arabs entered the Kehillat Yaakov yeshiva and synagogue complex in Jerusalem and proceeded to slaughter Jewish men at prayer.

Armed with guns, knives and a meat cleaver, our "partners in peace" shot, slashed and stabbed their victims, leaving pools of blood and horror in their wake, before being eliminated by the police.

It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable deed.

This act of Palestinian brutality was so heinous that even Israelis hardened by decades of terror responded with disbelief. Indeed, anyone still thinking of giving the Palestinians a state should take a long, hard look at the disturbing photos of the synagogue slaughter that are circulating online.

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From Gaza to Catalonia: Europe's insufferable hypocrisy

November 11, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

This past Saturday, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini set a world record for diplomatic duplicity and haste. Barely seven days after assuming her new post, the former Italian foreign minister rushed to pay a visit to Gaza and Ramallah, where she managed to call for the division of Jerusalem, denounce housing construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria, and insist on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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