As millions of people worldwide — celebrities like Madonna among them — turn to Kabbalah in hopes of solving their problems, hundreds of thousands of Israelis are going one step further by appealing directly to the man some consider to be the author of mystical Judaism’s most important text.
When Sarah Palin was asked by Barbara Walters late last year whether she supported a freeze on settlement growth in the West Bank, Palin issued an emphatic no. But her reasoning confounded many: “More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”58
At 11 p.m. on May 3, a group of marchers will begin a candlelight vigil at Kent State University in Ohio to recall what is for many a distant echo from another era.30
The growing sentiment within the organized Jewish community was unmistakable. Amid recent fears of a crisis in relations between Washington and Jerusalem, key players were calling on the community to take off its gloves.
Two months after being aggressively heckled by Muslim students in a high-profile incident at the University of California, Irvine, Israel’s ambassador to the United States is getting a chilly advance reception at a school one might have expected to be friendlier turf: Brandeis University.62
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