Friday, December 10, 2010



Today’s Wall Street Journal (Friday, 12/10/10 page A16) contains news of disgruntlement in Israel over a decree, signed on to by 300 prominent rabbis, that any Israeli who sells or rents property to a Gentile be ostracized by neighbors and acquaintances and denied the right to read from the Torah.

Over the last thirty years or so, my foreign policy views have evolved. As a young man, my approach to foreign policy was the basic Republican and, truth be told, Democratic, for the most part, approach: America has everything figured out and therefore we have the right to tell anybody anywhere on this planet what to do. If the benighted foreign masses do not want to heed our advice and our military must be brought in to show them the error of their ways, and the futility of resistance, well, that’s just more money in the pockets of the defense contractors who so willingly share their taxpayer provided dollars with our Party.

Over the years, however, I have slowly adopted a view much more akin to those of the Founding Fathers the GOP so hollowly adulates: What other countries do is their business, not ours. The best policy to follow, as long as their interests do not conflict with ours, narrowly defined, is to keep our considerable probosces out of other countries’ business, wish them well, not interfere in the least in their affairs, and, very importantly, let them bear the consequences, however dyspeptic or eupeptic, of those actions. Had we followed such a policy since, oh, 1946 or so, we would have saved ourselves a lot of lives, money, grief, and aggravation.

And so, consistent with this foreign policy stance, I have little comment on the aforementioned rabbinical decree or the public reaction in Israel. What caught my eye about the article was the last paragraph, which pointed to something that is indeed my, and, in many cases, your, business:

The rabbinic establishment has undergone dramatic changes over the years, becoming increasingly dominated by ultra-orthodox sects whose leaders are educated entirely in ultra-orthodox schools. They have virtually no exposure to the secular or non-Jewish world, (Rabbi David Rosen) said.”

With just a few changes, the same could be said for the Catholic Church, and certainly of the American Catholic Church, of which I remain a loyal, participating, and active member.

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