Category: Disputes/Dialogues

  • The Pastor’s Dilemma

    In the wake of this year’s MLK Day, a colleague shared with me a short sermon that was recently delivered in a church and asked what I thought about it. As I read the sermon, I realized that I had rather strong opinions about the ideas expressed in the sermon, and that I would very […]

  • Iftar at the White House (2)

    This post has been long overdue! Even as I wrote “Iftar at the White House” (1) on August 11, I knew I wanted to write a sequel—for there were several things that needed to be clarified regarding the position I was taking. At that time, I was pretty sure I would be able to write […]

  • Iftar at the White House (1)

    It started innocently enough. It was late last night and I was looking at my Facebook news feed. I noticed a picture posted by someone who was attending the Iftar dinner at the White House. I knew this happens every year, and not seeing anything unusual in the picture (except the very large number of […]

  • The Politician’s Speech (5)

    On May 24, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to a joint session of the US Congress, a speech that I find endlessly fascinating. I previously posted four installments of my analysis of this speech, trying to decipher (with some help from George Orwell) Netanyahu’s use of such words as “peace,” “friend,” “security,” and […]

  • The Politician’s Speech (4)

    When politicians speak, we ought to listen — but we must listen attentively, critically, and with the understanding that their language is designed to mask the truth rather than reveal it. I am beginning to realize that listening to a politician’s speech is probably as much of an art as speaking like one. Neither of these is my […]

  • The Politician’s Speech (3)

    As I continue a close reading of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress, I am learning to appreciate just how relevant George Orwell is for our understanding of contemporary politics. In this post, I will draw upon Orwell’s work once again in order to explain what Netanyahu really means when he uses words like “peace,” […]

  • The Politician’s Speech (2)

    In my previous post, I commented on Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated use of the word “friend” during his speech to the US Congress. I tried to apply a hermeneutic of suspicion in order to reveal what is really going on when he says something like “Israel has no better friend than America, and America has no better friend than […]

  • The Politician’s Speech (1)

    On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the US Congress. His performance, while not worthy of an Academy Award, does seem to deserve whatever is the topmost prize in the world of political chicanery. Watching the speech on C-SPAN, I experienced a wide range of feelings, including (in no particular […]

  • Guess who’s not Coming to Dinner Tonight!

    According to the US Code (Title 5, Section 6103) the fourth Thursday in November is to be celebrated as a national holiday, otherwise known as “Thanksgiving Day.”  The exact origin of this tradition is a matter of some debate, though we know that it was President Abraham Lincoln who first gave it official recognition in […]

  • Why the Israeli Government is Right

    By now everyone has heard about Israeli military response to the Freedom Flotilla that was brining humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.  While the Israeli actions are being condemned all over the world, let’s look closely, and somewhat objectively, at the Israeli government’s official position. In doing so, I am interested in finding out not […]