Former Pentagon Iran analyst Larry Franklin recently quit his job cleaning the restrooms at his local church in West Virginia. He still keeps his weekend job, mopping the floors at a nearby Roy Rogers restaurant. In recent years, Franklin also has gained experience in parking cars, digging trenches and cleaning cesspools. In between, he has been searching for a publisher for his book — a manual for saving America from the Iranian threat.
Givat Ha’eytam, a lonely hill in the Israeli occupied West Bank, seems like anything but a natural part of the bustling 8,000-person Jewish settlement of Efrat. Indeed, the stony outcrop, with its view of Efrat’s buildings in the distance, soon will be cut off from that settlement by the separation barrier Israel is building across the length of the West Bank, ostensibly to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorism.
The age-old Jewish antipathy toward the murderous, antisemitic monarchs of pre-communist Russia was never captured better than in the old joke, retold in “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which a rabbi asks if there is a special prayer for the czar. Yes, the rabbi replies: “May the Lord bless and keep the czar — far away from us.”
Iran’s descent into instability has confronted Israel and its American supporters with a dilemma in choosing between two competing approaches: one based on human rights, and the other on realpolitik.
In what may be the final opportunity for many Holocaust survivors, the international community is launching a new effort to reach understandings on restitution of property that belonged to Jews in Europe before the Nazi occupation.