Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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New coalition can give Temple Mount back to Jewish people

November 20, 2022  •  Jerusalem Post

Here's a news item you may have missed which is as revealing as it is risible.

This past Monday, a young Israeli woman named Ofir Dayan visited the Temple Mount. Moved by the experience of setting foot on the site where Jews had longed to return for 19 centuries, she burst into song, proudly offering up a rendition of "Hatikvah," Israel's national anthem.

But as patriotism poured forth from her vocal cords in the heart of Jerusalem, Dayan was greeted by an unpleasant and rather unwelcome surprise, when an Israeli policeman asked her to stop.

Despite the inexplicable instructions, that is exactly what Dayan did, acting in line with the officer's directive.

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The murder of a young Bnei Menashe immigrant

October 23, 2022  •  Jerusalem Post

Two weeks have passed since a young new immigrant was murdered in Kiryat Shmona by an Israeli teen, but the shock and pain have yet to diminish.

Yoel Lhunghal was an 18-year-old yeshiva student who made aliyah last year with his family from India. He was a member of Bnei Menashe, a community that has longed for Zion and yearned to return to its soil for more than 2,700 years.

Moving to Israel was a dream that Yoel and his family had tenderly and carefully nourished. Indeed, Yoel aspired to learn Torah and then serve in the IDF as a combat soldier in the paratroopers – not out of a sense of youthful machismo but because he loved the Land of Israel and wanted to defend it and the Jewish people.

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Declare the Palestinian Authority an enemy

October 9, 2022  •  Jerusalem Post

Across the globe, election campaigns seem to bring out both the best and the worst in those seeking or holding public office. Amid the torrent of words that are deployed to persuade the electorate, it is easy to find catchy slogans alongside bold promises, as well as sketchy assertions mixed in with occasional gaffes.

But every once in a while, a politician delivers a real howler, uttering something so patently absurd that it almost defies rational explanation.

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Ashkenazi vs Sephardi absurdity

September 23, 2022  •  Jerusalem Post

Last week, Israelis received a somewhat shocking reminder that in certain circles, the dubious pastime of fanning the flames of ethnic division for political gain remains alive and well.

In a post on its Russian-language website, Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party attempted to persuade Russian-speaking immigrants not to vote for the Likud. But instead of engaging in appeals to reason by highlighting policy differences and underlining ideological disputes, the ostensibly enlightened representatives of the ruling elite chose instead to resort to a shameless slur.

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Remembering the destroyed shtetls

August 26, 2022  •  Jerusalem Post

You've probably never heard of a town called Kanczuga in southeastern Poland. It is a tiny point on the map, just another one of countless thousands of villages in Eastern Europe where, over the centuries, Jews lived, worked and dreamt of redemption.

They toiled to scratch out a living in conditions of poverty that would seem unimaginable to our generation, endured antisemitism and hatred far beyond our understanding, and yet managed to maintain a vibrant Jewish life. Among them were members of my family.

But 80 years ago this month, all that was cruelly shattered.

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