Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Obama and the 'W' word

September 16, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

So Washington has decided to go to war against the fanatics of the Islamic State. Or has it? After President Barack Obama addressed the American people from the White House last Wednesday and spelled out his proposed strategy for dealing with the threat posed by IS, his administration quickly tripped and fell headlong into a crater of confusion. Less than 24 hours after Obama's speech, Secretary of State John Kerry, America's top diplomat, flatly denied that the US was going to war against IS (also called ISIS or ISIL), insisting instead that it was simply a "major counterterrorism operation."

Speaking to CBS, Kerry said that "'war' is the wrong terminology."

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Israel and Europe's OCD

September 9, 2014  •  HaModia

For a continent beset by problems, Europe sure seems to have a strange set of priorities.

The region's economy is faltering, Russian forces are threatening the Ukraine, and the Muslim fanatics of the Islamic State (ISIS) are said to be plotting terror attacks on its soil.

But none of that has distracted the European Union (EU) from a matter of paramount importance: whether to halt the import of poultry from Israel.

No, this isn't a kashrus issue, nor are EU officials suddenly concerned about the sharpness of the knife used for shechitah.

Simply put, it is age-old anti-Semitism fastidiously dressed up in the guise of policy.

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Welcome home to the Jewish people, Gwyneth Paltrow!

September 9, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

Judaism is making headlines around the world in recent days, amid reports that Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has decided to embrace the Law of Moses. Everyone from The New York Post to the UK Daily Mail to something called Beauty World News has made a fuss over the possibility that the celebrity named "Most Beautiful Woman" last year by People magazine will go from television scripts to Torah study.

Don't be surprised if we start to see gossip columnists, celebrity news outlets and paparazzi staking out afternoon Mincha prayer services and Daf Yomi Talmud study groups in an effort to catch a glimpse of the beautiful blonde as she connects with her Creator.

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From World War II Nazis to World War III Jihadis

September 2, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

This week marks a significant anniversary, one that carries with it some crucial lessons as the West confronts the mounting danger posed by the Muslim jihadis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

It was 75 years ago, at 4:45 a.m. on September 1, 1939, that a German warship fired on Polish troops stationed at the Westerplatte Fort in the port city of Danzig (Gdansk), signifying the start of World War II.

It was a cataclysm that would engulf the globe, killing more than 50 million human beings while permanently altering the international order.

And, according to Britain's wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, it was one that should never have had to been fought.

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Fighting terror for dummies

August 26, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

War has been known to bring out the best and worst in man.

There are moments of indelible courage, such as when a young Givati Brigade soldier dashed into a Hamas tunnel in Gaza in a vain attempt to save Lt. Hadar Goldin earlier this month. And there are also occasions of unspeakable cruelty, as exemplified by the mass executions carried out by Hamas in broad daylight last week.

Emotions such as anger and heartbreak, determination and despair, frequently come to the fore, appearing to be as common as the ammunition that is employed on the battlefield.

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