Yoav Lurie is a freelancer in Washington. In his weekly YouTube address this morning, President Obama commended the passage of the stimulus plan and acknowledged that Americans may be a bit skeptical of Washington's ability to pull this one off, given its recent history of bungling. Towards the end of the message, he offered words that "President Kennedy spoke in another time of uncertainty": "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks." The only problem is John F.
As you know very well, I don't hold out much hope for the Middle East peace process. At the State Department and almost all the ostensibly important--but truly irrelevant--European foreign ministries however, officials are insisting that peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is at the top of their agenda. Sanctimonious, yes; realistic, no. Why? One reason is that there are more important hot spots in the world, more important especially for the United States. But not only.
Time magazine's cover story this week, 'The Biology of Belief: How Faith Can Heal,' is almost too silly for words. Here is a flavor of the article's thesis: Here's what's surprising: a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that faith may indeed bring us health. People who attend religious services do have a lower risk of dying in any one year than people who don't attend.
Tuesday is when Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, will go to the polls to elect their next Knesset. There are 33 parties in the contest of which the weirdest is the Holocaust Survivors and Grown-Up Green Leaf Party. This, then, is a vital democracy but more than a bit on the wild side.
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University. He is the author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. "There remains in our politics a place for an authentic conservatism," writes Sam Tanenhaus, "a conservatism that seeks not to destroy but to conserve." Which begs the question: Given our current predicament, what exactly should principled conservatives view as worth conserving? Let's take a quick inventory. The Left has won the culture war, and, at least in the near-term, its victory is irreversible.
I've kept silent so far about Pope Benedict's decision to de-excommunicate four Lefebvrist bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X, at least one of whom is a virulently anti-Semitic Holocaust-denier. My silence is a product of uncertainty about what I might add to the discussion. I agree with Andrew that the pope's action demonstrates very clearly that the pope is far more interested in reaching an understanding with ultra-traditionalist dissenters than he is with feminist or homosexual Catholics.
My current TRB column is about the eerie intellectual parallels between J Street (and its followers) and the right-wing Israel hawks they so virulently oppose.
More than a few bloggers have jumped on the news that the Israeli Knesset's Central Elections Committee voted overwhelmingly to ban Arab parties from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections, with some of these bloggers using the vote to question Israel's status as a democracy. Allegations of racism surrounding the vote demonstrate a lack of knowledge about Israeli history and society. This is not the first time that Israel has banned an extremist political party. In 1988, the Central Election Commission banned Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach party for its racist and undemocratic platform.
In the three-and-a-half years I worked at First Things magazine, I came to know two Richard John Neuhauses. The first is the one I worked with in the journal's offices every day: personally generous and jovial, intellectually and theologically curious, alert to political and cultural complications, overflowing with energy and ideas. This is the Neuhaus readers encountered in his lengthy, erudite essays on philosophy, theology, and history, which frequently graced the pages of the magazine.
The following reflection on the passing of Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) is cross-posted at the National Catholic Reporter. Additional thoughts on Neuhaus' life and legacy will appear in this space over the coming days. In the three-and-a-half years I worked at First Things magazine, I came to know two Richard John Neuhauses. The first is the one I worked with in the journal's offices every day: personally generous and jovial, intellectually and theologically curious, alert to political and cultural complications, overflowing with energy and ideas.