Earl Shugerman’s Corner: Chanukha in Haifa – The Holiday of Holidays

December 31, 2009

Earl Shugerman brings every week a serie of stories about Anglo-Saxon immigrants to Israel. This project is aimed to promote a more realistic view of life in Israel.

We’re writing this while the Jews are enjoying the holiday of lights: Chanukah. Chanukah is celebrated as a holiday of joy and memorial to our past.

For eight days we light candles in the Channukia – which represents the miracle of the Menorah in the Temple in the days of the Maccabim.

Haifa, though, is not just a home for the Jews, but also Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Bahai and other religions. The beautiful thing about Haifa is that we celebrate together the differences in our faiths rather than see it as a source of conflict. Each year we have the annual festival of Hag ha Hagim-the holiday of holidays. This festival attracts each year to Wadi Nisnas tens of thousands of visitors.

This year, is the 16th year of the festival. The neighborhood –  has maintained its’ Arabic-Christian atmosphere and identity, and is known for the three churches and the market in the center. The festival takes place at this very lively market. At these times of the year, as Christmas approaches, the neighborhood is ornamented beautifully with Christmas ornaments that add a lot of color to the festival. This celebration is just one of Haifa’s advantages.

Another one of Haifa’s qualities is that you have a variety of lifestyles from the academic environment of the university to the orthodox Jewish community in Hadar to the Christian society in Wadi NisNas where the stores are adorned with Christmas lights and you can buy a real Christmas tree. Of course, there is also the Cababbir neighborhood where the Muslim majority lives peacefully-in a simple yet elegant middle-class environment. One of my favorite activities is to seat with my friends at the Cabbabir center, and enjoy the beautiful view of Haifa.

As we come to the close of the Roman calendar – I say to myself – if the people of Haifa can live in relative peace and harmony – why can’t we do it elsewhere. One of the most inspiring rewards of being an immigrant to Israel is that you have a chance to encounter different religions and cultures, and the personal growth that comes with it as result.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas from Haifa!

About the author: Earl Shugerman is a retired American Government public relations specialist,  currently spokesperson in Haifa for The Jewish Agency and a writer specializing in interfaith relations. He has worked together with the Catholic and Southern Baptist Movements, the Reformed Jewish Movement and Muslim groups in interfaith activities.

Understanding Terror Means Connecting the Dots

December 28, 2009

David Harris published  a letter on terrorism in the New York Times, in response to a New York Times article on the Brooklyn Bridge terror attack.

To the Editor:

Re “How to Find the Bridge? First, Pay Your Respects” (news article, December 28, 2009):

The article on the Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp states, “The shooting was considered an act of terrorism.”

Yes, the 1994 shooting of Ari Halberstam was an act of terrorism, but, astonishingly, it was not labeled as such by the F.B.I. until December 2000.

Despite the efforts of elected officials and, above all, Ari’s mother, Devorah Halberstam, the F.B.I. insisted on attributing the horrific crime to “road rage.” Only in 1999 did the F.B.I. initiate a review of the case.

Six years after the shooting, it finally acknowledged the obvious — this was a planned attack to kill Jews, and the van carrying Ari Halberstam and other religious youngsters was an inviting target.

Our country at times still has difficulty connecting the dots and understanding what constitutes terrorism. Witness, for instance, the fatal shootings at Fort Hood in November, and the painfully slow recognition of the killer’s motives, not to mention the pattern of missed signals preceding the attack.

The Halberstam tragedy is a case study in what can go wrong with a terrorism investigation.

It should not require a victim’s determined mother to set the record straight and try to wake up America.

David Harris
Executive Director
American Jewish Committee
New York, December 28, 2009

American Jewish Committee 2010 Annual Meeting

December 23, 2009

When was the last time you…

…received a briefing from the Obama Administration?

             …dined at an Ambassador’s home?

…sang Hatikvah with an Israeli soldier?

                         …heard directly from a head of state?

You will have the opportunity to do all this and more at AJC’s Annual Meeting April 28-30, 2010 in Washington D.C. We encourage you to register now.

You will hear from the Foreign Minister of Spain, Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé, one of the world’s most important leaders in stopping Iran’s nuclear program, as Spain will hold the EU presidency.

You will enjoy intimate access to top policymakers. There will be more exclusive private dinners that were so popular last year. The French Ambassador to the United States will host a small group at his home, among many more to come.

You will engage with the cutting-edge issues that matter most. Expert panelists will debate topics like “The Obama Administration and Israel“,  “Have Human Rights Gone Wrong?” and “Can Europe Be Multicultural?“.

These sessions will fill up fast, so please act quickly.

We hope to see you April 28-30, 2010.

AJC 2010 Annual Meeting
Global Jewish Advocacy
Washington, D.C. on April 28 – April 30, 2010

Grand Hyatt Hotel
1000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 582-1234

Register now!

Plebiszite: Volksabstimmung oder Volksverstimmung?

December 23, 2009

In einem Essay erschienen in der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung klärt der Historiker Christoph Jahr die Frage, wie demokratisch Hitler an die Macht gekommen ist und was Hitlers Machtergreifung für die Debatte um Plebiszite in Deutschland bedeutet. Sind Volksabstimmungen nur noch ein Erfolgsmittel von Populisten?

“Tatsächlich kam Hitler 1933 durch die Entscheidung eines kleinen Zirkels von Beratern des Reichspräsidenten von Hindenburg an die Macht, wobei Letzterer, wie der Historiker Wolfram Pyta jüngst dargelegt hat, keineswegs jene willenlose Marionette war, als die er lange Zeit erschien.

Hitler wurde aber nur deshalb Reichskanzler, weil er zu bieten hatte, woran es den alten konservativen Eliten gebrach: eine Massenbasis.

Und ohne diese waren alle Versuche aussichtslos, Deutschland in einen rechtsautoritären Staat umzuformen, wie die Jahre ab 1930 mit ihren – ab 1932 immer schneller wechselnden – Präsidialkabinetten gezeigt hatten.”

Zum Artikel.

Islamist Extremism and the Murder of Daniel Pearl

December 16, 2009

Senator Joseph Lieberman delivered the Fourth Annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture entitled “The End of the War on Terror” at Stanford University on October 18, 2009. The lecture focused on the consequences of Islamist extremism on both western and Muslim countries.

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman:"“We’re not in a war against Islam. It’s a group of Islamist extremists who have taken the Muslim religion and made it into a political ideology, and I think if we’re not clear about that, we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are not extremists."

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman:"We’re not in a war against Islam. It’s a group of Islamist extremists who have taken the Muslim religion and made it into a political ideology, and I think if we’re not clear about that, we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are not extremists."

“What we are witnessing is not a war between civilizations, as the extremists want us to believe, but a civil war within Islam,” the Senator said. Students, teachers, alumni and local residents also engaged the Senator in a challenging question and answer session. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, Stanford University’s Office of the President and Office for Religious Life, and Hillel at Stanford.

Read full story.

Happy Chanukah!

December 11, 2009

At this time of year, we recall how our people prevailed against those who would deny them the right to live and express their Jewish identity.

What better time to take a step back and reflect on how important the work of HIRAM7 REVIEW to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?

The next generation will thank us for our efforts to act against those who would delegitimize the state of Israel and/or the Jewish people. In this regard, it is incumbent upon us to be modern-day Maccabees.

With sincere appreciation to you for your partnership,

David Berger – Editor & Publisher

Analyse réflexive

December 6, 2009

Beaucoup de ceux qui s’autoproclament «phénoménologues» ont oublié (l’ont-ils su un jour?) que ce qui est fondamental dans l’approche phénoménologique est une chose qu’on peut appeler de manière simple «analyse réflexive».

Beaucoup de «phénoménologues» auto-proclamés consacrent une grande part, si ce n’est la totalité de leurs efforts à construire des argumentaires pour ou contre des thèses, comme cela se fait en philosophie analytique, où beaucoup ne peuvent pas concevoir qu’il puisse même exister d’autres approches que l’argumentative. Au contraire, les authentiques phénoménologues ne produisent généralement pas d’arguments. Ils produisent plutôt des «analyses». Ce que cela signifie sera montré et décrit dans ce texte.

Lester Embree (New School, 1972) a étudié auprès de Edward G. Ballard, Dorion Cairns et Aron Gurwitsch. Il a enseigné à l’Université Northern Illinois, à l’Université Duquesne et maintenant à l’Université Florida Atlantic, où il est William F. Dietrich Eminent Scholar in Philosophy. De 1985 à 2005, il était président du Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc.

Lire l’introduction.

Commander le livre.