U.S. National Security adviser John Bolton told Reuters this week that UNRWA, which extends aid to Palestinians displaced by the 1948 war of Israel’s founding and to millions of their descendants, was “a failed mechanism” that violated standard international law on the status of refugees. “I think it is long overdue that we have taken steps to reduce funding,” Bolton said, adding that “much of UNRWA’s expenses really go to perpetuating the refugee status of the Palestinian people.”
But this hunt is neither about managing a wildlife population that has exceeded the carrying capacity of its habitat, nor about putting healthy food on the table. Instead, this hunt is about what the great conservationist and thoughtful hunter Aldo Leopold, called a “certificate” — a trophy proving that it’s owner has “been somewhere and done something.” In the case of killing a grizzly, it means you’ve done something that has been considered difficult and dangerous. And it was, when you were hunting with a spear. But anyone who has shot a high-powered rifle knows that knocking off a grizzly bear is no more than an exercise in marksmanship, like shooting an elk. The difference is, you eat the elk. Grizzly bears are not hunted for their meat. Wyoming’s hunting regulations make this clear. If you shoot what’s called a “big game animal” in Wyoming, like an elk, a deer or an antelope, you’re legally bound to bring all the edible portions of the animal out of the field. But if you shoot what’s called “a trophy animal,” like a mountain lion, a black bear and, now, a grizzly, all you have to bring out is its skull and pelt.
Netanyahu has thrown the dice and made a calculated decision to abandon not only American Jews at odds with Israel’s ascendant populist agenda, but Judaism itself.
That is, Judaism as we know it: progressive, scholarly Judaism in dialogue with the outside world for thousands of years. The Judaism whose greatest works and innovations developed in Babylon, Spain, and Poland. Intellectual Judaism that absorbed and pollinated the Enlightenment (Mendelssohn); philosophy (Buber, Scholem, Marx, Frankl, Arendt); American equal rights movements (Steinem, Friedan, Milk); and culture (Gershwin, Berlin, Streisand, Mailer, Allen, Marx, Polanski). Tolerant Judaism with an outsider’s sensibility that “loves the stranger,” as commanded 36 times in the Torah.
Netanyahu wants to throw all that in history’s trash bin. He wants to mutate Jewish identity into Jewish hubris and turn Israel into a walled fortress of illiberal ethnocracy.
In a controversial case that involved the rights of illegal immigrants and their young children, a Guatemalan mother lost her effort today to get back the five-year old son who was taken away from her after her arrest on immigration charges and put up for adoption in Missouri despite her objections. A Missouri judge ruled the boy should stay with the Missouri couple, Melinda and Seth Moser, who took him into their home five years ago while his mother was in federal custody, where she attempted in vain to oppose the adoption proceedings.
US Border Patrol agents separated Wil from his father six months ago, after the pair made the long journey from violence-torn Honduras to the US border in Arizona, attempting to claim asylum there. Within days of arriving in the United States, Wil watched as his father was taken away in handcuffs, joining a long line of other chained men. That, according to his foster parents, was the last time he saw his dad. In the intentionally brutal logic of President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border, Wil is actually among the lucky kids. At least his foster parents know where his father is being held, though not when father and son might be reunited. Three other young children in the care of Coryn and Silas don’t know the location of their parents and have had no contact with them for weeks.
The soldiers pass through the house. In one of the rooms a terrified woman holds a small child, telling the soldiers that she is alone with the children. “Everything is okay,” the soldiers tell her. What is so okay about their forced presence in the middle of the night? After that, the soldiers tell the adults to bring the children to them. Young children are woken up in order to stand before the soldiers. The soldiers make another round inside the house, another round of talks with the adults, and the soldiers continue on their way. What was the purpose of the raid? What were they looking for? Who were they looking for? Did the soldiers themselves even know? Was the systematic fear the raid instilled itself the purpose of the raid?
Israeli soldiers fired two or three bullets from across the fence, according to a witness, hitting Ms. Najjar in the upper body. She was pronounced dead soon after. Ms. Najjar was the 119th Palestinian killed since the protests began in March, according to Gaza health officials. Hers was the only fatality registered on Friday. The Israeli military said Saturday that the case would be examined. The military said it “has repeatedly warned civilians against approaching the fence and taking part in violent incidents and terrorist attacks and will continue to act professionally and determinedly to protect Israeli civilians and Israeli security infrastructure.”
When the police in Jammu (the Hindu-dominated part of Kashmir) tried to register a charge against the men they had arrested, a Hindu nationalist mob threatened the few honest policemen and lawyers who were trying to do their jobs. The was a mob with a difference: it included government ministers, lawyers and women waving the national flag in favour of the arrested men, as well as supporters of the two major Indian parties, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) – the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Britain this week to attend the Commonwealth heads of government meeting.