The Front Page Cover
 The Events of the Week -- Featruring: 
A tide turns as Israelis pray for American Jews
by Daniel Gordis
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 Top Headlines 
12.2 Million signed up for liar-nObamaCare in 2017, half of what CBO projected. (The Washington Free Beacon)
 
Trump on the House's health care bill: "We will take care of our people or I'm not signing it." (Hot Air)
 
Judge who froze first travel ban hands Trump a victory. (Washington Examiner)
 
Senate approves National Security Adviser McMaster, 86-10. (Defense News)
 
Rex Tillerson: Military action against North Korea is "on the table." (NBC News)
 
White House on climate change: "We're not spending money on that anymore. ... A waste of your money." (CNS News)
 
It's not fake news: Predators are taking advantage of Target's fitting room policy. (The Daily Signal)
 
Minimum wage effect: McDonald's tests mobile ordering before national rollout. (Associated Press)
 
Assisted suicide loses in New Mexico. (National Review)
 
What you didn't know about St. Patrick. (FaithZette)
 
Policy: Trump must drain the Iran appeasement swamp in the State Department. (Washington Examiner)
 
Policy: Regulatory implications of the American Health Care Act. (American Action Forum~The Patriot Post
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Intelligence Chief Says NO Evidence
of Trump-Russia Connection
by Onan Coca
{minutemennews.com} ~ Former acting CIA Director and liar-Hillary Clinton supporter Michael Morrell told an audience at an event for the intelligence website Cipher Brief that there was simply no evidence whatsoever to connect President Trump to the Russian government... Morrell wrote an op-ed for the New York Times back in August where he both announced his support for liar-Hillary Clinton and argued that Trump was a puppet of Vladimir Putin, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” However, he’s now changed his tune and believes that Mr. Trump is not only innocent of any collaboration with Russia but he further argued that the “Trump dossier” released a few months ago is likely a fraud...  http://minutemennews.com/intelligence-chief-says-no-evidence-trump-...
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Seven Jewish protesters arrested
at AIPAC L.A. office
by Eitan Arom
{jewishjournal.com} ~ Seven Jewish protesters were arrested March 17 in the lobby of the Century City office tower that houses the Los Angeles office of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)... The protesters, who were affiliated with IfNotNow, a progressive network of millennial Jews opposed to Israeli policy, were chanting and stomping their feet when they were arrested for trespassing, according to Capt. Tina Nieto, area commanding officer for West L.A. for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). “We are here to say that we’ll occupy this building until AIPAC is ready to stop supporting the endless occupation in Israel-Palestine,” said Michal David, 26, an organizer for IfNotNow, while a small group of protesters marched in a circle and chanted on the sidewalk behind her...They need to read the Bible to know the truth.  http://jewishjournal.com/news/nation/216778/watch-seven-jewish-prot...
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Sanders Calls Democratic Party “A Sinking Ship”
by Sam Dorman
{freebeacon.com} ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) implied in a recent interview that the Democratic Party is like the ill-fated Titanic, adding that some Democrats want to go along with the "status quo" and sink with the ship... "Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo," Sanders told the New York Times Magazine when asked "if he thought the Democratic Party knew what it stood for." "They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats," Sanders continued...  http://freebeacon.com/politics/bernie-sanders-refers-to-democratic-...
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A Supporter of Israel Must Have a "Bias" on
Trump Travel Ban: The Newest Bigotry!
by Alan M. Dershowitz
{gatestoneinstitute.org} ~ A recent panel discussion regarding the Trump travel ban was infected by the bigotry of one of the participants. The host, Don Lemon, called on former prosecutor, John Flannery, to express his views on the decision of a federal judge to stay the order... This was Flannery's response: "...Here's Trump saying that we have to write rules. What have they been doing? They've been sitting on their hands doing nothing this entire time. And our dear colleague, Alan Dershowitz, I think, hopes that this may secure Israel and thinks that this is a bogus argument..." I asked him what he was talking about, since in my dozens of TV appearances discussing the travel ban, I have never once mentioned Israel, and certainly never made the argument that the ban – which I oppose as a matter of policy – would "secure Israel." He replied: "I think that's what you believe."...  https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10074/a-supporter-of-israel-must...
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Secret Service Fails Again – Laptop And
Sensitive Documents Stolen From Agent
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ The theft of sensitive information from a Secret Service agent’s vehicle again looks to have been an instance of someone exploiting the security vulnerabilities, in this case laxity, of the Secret Service... With the theft of an agent’s laptop, the perpetrator appears to have deliberately targeted her and her vehicle, seemingly aware that there would be valuable information left inside. President Trump might want to see if the Keystone Cops are available as a security upgrade from what he has now. A laptop computer containing floor plans for Trump Tower as well as information about the liar-Hillary Clinton email investigation, apparently still ongoing, and evacuation protocols was stolen on Thursday morning. Other national security information was reportedly on the stolen laptop as well. It had been carelessly and irresponsibly left in her vehicle, parked in her driveway, outside her Brooklyn home. The evacuation protocol information is particularly unsettling, as bad guys have a blueprint for how the Secret Service will react to a threat...  http://rickwells.us/secret-service-fails-laptop-sensitive-documents...
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A tide turns as Israelis pray for American Jews
by Daniel Gordis
{jewishworldreview.com} ~ The Jewish liturgy includes a category of prayers known as the mi she-beirach, which open with the words, "May G0D who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, also bless . . . ."

These brief prayers are recited on behalf of those who are ill, for women who have recently given birth and for newborn babies, for example.

In recent decades, new prayers have been added. Most common is the one for Israeli soldiers, recited in virtually every Israeli synagogue, usually along with the Prayer for the State of Israel.

Among the Diaspora Jews in U.S., the mi she-beirach for those who are ill is recited across denominational lines. Traditional synagogues also recite the Prayer for the State of Israel and the prayer on behalf of Israeli soldiers. More liberal synagogues, uncomfortable with the militarism of the former and the politics of the latter, often omit those.

It was thus with a degree of astonishment that, in Jerusalem last Friday evening, we listened as the rabbi noted that we would be adding a newly written mi she-beirach.

"For years," the rabbi said, "communities across the globe have been praying for us, for our safety, for our children serving in the army and defending this country. But now, we are the ones who are secure, and they are the ones facing danger. It is time that we began to pray on their behalf."

The prayer was concluded in a minute or two, but a sense that something profound had just transpired lingered.

Something is shifting in Israeli discourse about American Jews. In Israel's early years, the classic Zionist position was that American Jews had proved deaf to the call of history when the vast majority chose to remain in the U.S. and not move to the newly founded state. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding prime minister, once remarked with sadness, "For hundreds of years, a question-prayer hovered in the mouths of the Jewish people: Would a country be found for this people? No one imagined the frightening question: Would a people be found for the country when it would be created?"

Israelis have watched recent threats against Jews and attacks on Jewish property in the U.S. which some American analysts believe have been drastically overstated after the election of President Donald Trump not with the triumphalism that one might have expected from the country Ben-Gurion founded, but with sadness and concern.

Two longstanding international Jewish tropes are shifting.

Israelis are looking at the world's largest Diaspora community with concern. And no longer are Israelis looking across the ocean with the expectation that American Jews will provide them with support. Today, Israeli leaders clearly wish there was something they could do something to help protect their American counterparts.

The radical changes in the Jewish world were clearly evident in this year's Purim, celebrated Sunday throughout the world and on Monday in Jerusalem. Purim, after all, is the quintessential Diaspora holiday. The biblical Book of Esther tells the story of a Jewish community situated seemingly comfortably in Persia. But the Bible warns that Diaspora comfort is always ephemeral. Hatred of the Jew can spring seemingly from nowhere, when least expected.

In the Book of Esther it emerges simply because Mordecai, the Jewish protagonist, refuses to bow down to Haman, the archetypal representation of evil and Jew-hatred. For virtually no reason, Haman decides to destroy the Jews.

Haman tells the king, "There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of Your kingdom; and their laws differ from those of every people; and they do not keep king's laws; there is no reason for the King to let them be." (3:8) The king acquiesces and issues a decree ordering the murder of the Jews.

When Esther refuses Mordecai's entreaties that she intervene with the king, Mordecai admonishes her for not using her access to power, asking "Who knows? Perhaps it was precisely for this moment that you have become royalty?" (4:14) Some have called on Ivanka Trump, a Jewish woman in a non-Jewish "court," to intervene. Others have thrown her husband, Jared Kushner, into the mix, as well.

What made Purim so sobering on both sides of the Atlantic this year was the resonance of Purim's central message that even a combination of assimilation into Persian society and access to power cannot save the Jews. Somehow, everything the Jews do seems to backfire. Assimilation provides no protection from hatred. Joining the royalty seems not to be enough.

Some American Jewish leaders worry that today, too, almost every strategy can backfire. Some warn that focusing on Ivanka Trump or her husband's Jewishness risks leading others to "blame the Jews for what goes on in the White House," in the words of Abe Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's recently retired chief executive.

Toward the conclusion of the biblical story, the world is turned upside down. The victims are saved, the would-be murderers are hanged, and the Jews create a holiday to remember the occasion.

But the celebration is accompanied by the knowledge that Jews cannot count on such reversals each time. Thus, the holiday is also one of masquerading, of Jews hiding who they are, because they fear that nothing else will save them.

Purim is also celebrated by consuming copious amounts of alcohol, as if to say that the only way to avoid worry is to escape reality altogether.

Israeli Jews do not usually offer prayers on behalf of their American counterparts, and American Jews do not typically write about parallels between the Book of Esther and the White House's cast of characters. But this has turned into a year in which nothing is "as usual," in which fears long subsided have once again become acute.

Often, Jewish leaders search desperately for ways to make the holidays relevant once again. The tragedy of this year's Purim was that it was no challenge at all.
 

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