The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its damning report into antisemtism in the Labour Party. How did we get here, what does the report say and what happens next? An update session from a lawyer who acted in the investigation.
In this session, I analyse the relationship between the USA and Israel from 1956 until 2000. This is a tale of increased, incremental bonding between the two countries. I explain the goals of American foreign policy, and the factors that influence American foreign policy. I trace how relationships between the two countries were tightened from the presidency of John F. Kennedy and further still during the Lyndon Johnson administration. The 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, brought the two nations closer, making the bonding stronger than ever. The trend continued during the presidency of Jimmy Carter who brokered peace between Israel and Egypt. This was his calling. Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton remained committed to maintaining the bond, despite political disagreements with Likud leaders relating mostly to Israeli policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Clinton’s goodwill and sincere attempts to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, however, failed at the Camp David Peace Summit of 2000. The bond between the two countries, based on political interests, religious sentiments and shared ideological values, remains unshaken.
The events of the past year have left many of us bereft of previous certainties. Our world has become less predictable, which often elicits increased anxiety. In our tradition, however, uncertainty does not have purely negative connotations. On Purim, we are actually charged to cultivate a state of not-knowing, and our mystics regard not-knowing as a helpful doorway to increased wisdom and capacity for intimacy. In this session, we will explore a range of Torah texts about not-knowing, and then experience some brief guided meditation exercises, which will help us to taste increased freedom and stability amidst our uncertainty.
The session will look at the history of the ancient Judean date palm as a major export and iconic symbol of ancient Israel. We will look at our attempts to germinate 2000 year ancient date seeds recovered from Masada and other Judean desert sites and what their germination says about the resilience of nature after such a prolonged period. We will also look at the fascinating genetics of 7 germinated seedlings and how their heritage mirrors to some degree the ancient trading links of the Land of Israel and diasporas of the Jewish people.
Michelangelo, The Moon, Miracles and Man’s Magnificence