27 November 2008

27 November 2008 - Indo-Jew Bowl IX: Jews 14, Indos 7

Today the residents of Skokie, Illinois continued a time-honored tradition: the Indo-Jew Bowl, a Thanksgiving match-up between two communities not usually known for their football prowess. The game was started by friends from Niles North High School, Class of 1998, and many of the original players come back year after year for good times and friendly competition.

In recent years the Indo-Jew Bowl has enjoyed attention from Sports Illustrated and other national media. Past games have featured canned food drives and even a guest appearance by former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit.

This year the game was special. On the other side of the world, in the Indian city of Mumbai, terrorists had launched a rampage the day before that killed over one hundred innocent people, and were still holding a rabbi and his wife hostage, as well as several other Israeli Jews. The organizers of the Indo-Jew Bowl briefly considered canceling the event, but decided to go ahead and play--to celebrate diversity and friendship in a great American hometown.

The weather was perfect--crisp and sunny--and the game got under way. The Jews won the coin toss but the "Indo" defense held. Then it was the Jews' turn to shut down the Indo attack. Each team traded punts for much of the first half and the game reached halftime in a scoreless tie. In the second half, the Jews broke the game open with a screen pass that became a sprint to the end zone after several broken tackles in the backfield. The Indos responded on their next possession with almost exactly the same play.

With three minutes left, the Jews threw deep and scored on an amazing catch by Yuval Eisenberg, who earned his place in next year's squad. The Indos made it to the red zone on the return trip but could not convert for the score. At the whistle, the score was 14-7, giving the Jews an overall lead of 7-2 in the series. There were hugs and congratulations all around, and everyone went back home to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.

Almost everyone, that is. One of the Indos--who happened to be Muslim--was hit in the face by the football as he guarded the defensive line late in the game. A local Jewish doctor took the player home and treated him before arranging for him to visit an eye specialist at a nearby hospital. As he left, the player said: "That's what's great about this community. Everybody helps each other."

16 November 2008

16 November 2008 - Obama backs Saudi peace plan

Via HotAir and the Times of London comes a report that Obama will back the 2002 Saudi peace plan, updated in 2007 to become the Arab Peace Initiative.

The plan offers Israel peace and full normalization of relations in return for a return to the 1967 borders--i.e. giving up all of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. The dovish Abba Eban called these the "Auschwitz borders" because they left Israel in a provocatively weak position against any attack by her neighbors.

In addition, the plan is ambivalent about the solution to the Palestinian refugee problem, which was the reason many critics rejected it.

Obama's position here will be a disappointment to many of those who hoped he would be as pro-Israel as advertised.

First, it cements his flip-flop on the status of Jerusalem. Second, it gives away all of Israel's bargaining chips at the outset to regimes (especially Syria) that have not shown good faith in previous talks. And third, it undermines the understandings reached in ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians that there would need to be border adjustments and land swaps.

Change? You bet. But maybe not the change you voted for. Don't say you weren't warned.

UPDATE: Dennis Ross now says the reports of Obama's support for the Saudi peace plan are false.

08 November 2008

08 November 2008 - A timely lesson

Pirkei Avot 2:3 (the Chabad translation)

Be careful with the government, for they befriend a person only for their own needs. They appear to be friends when it is beneficial to them, but they do not stand by a person at the time of his distress.

03 November 2008

03 November 2008 - Best of luck for a great election

My fortune cookie this evening:

3 November 2008 - Democrat: "Let them invade Georgia"

Appeasement is the order of the day among Obama's supporters.