I’ve been waiting 50 years to write this column and wouldn’t you know it, the Donald got in the way.
Well, not exactly the Donald, but the person closest to him. Well, not the person closest to him but the person closest to the person closest to him. Namely, the Jared.
Yes, Prince Jared Kushner, the second most powerful Jew in all the land. Man, I’m beginning to see why some people are against the monarchy. For the most powerful Jew in all the land, the king of the Jews, is one Sheldon Adelson, billionaire casino mogul, who, because of all his money, has the ear of both Trump and The Bibi Netanyahu. When Sheldon talks, they unfortunately both listen.
Some king we have. Not only are his casinos accused of all kinds of financial shenanigans but he himself is so right wing that he said publicly that if Israel has to stop being a democracy in order to hold on to all of the West Bank, no problem, no big loss. Bye, bye democracy in the Jewish state. So sayeth King Sheldon.
And now we have Prince Jared, who we are learning is either incredibly stupid or an amazing liar, or both, just like his father in law. Most dangerous of all, it seems, Jared doesn’t seem to know what he doesn’t know.
And so this 36 year old pisher, who has no experience in government, who has messed up every business he’s run, who is as wealthy as he is solely due to who he was born to and who he is married to, hasn’t blinked when asked to make peace in the Middle East, totally restructure the American government, solve the opioid crisis, manage relations with China, and a whole bunch of other jobs that have him earned the title of Secretary of Everything. Clearly, he doesn’t know Clint Eastwood’s wise admonition that “a man has to know his limitations.”
What is really steaming me right now about Jared is that he is the most visible Jew in the country, has an office in the White House right next to that of the president of the United States, and yet he is a big fat liar, on things small and very big.
Take the recent Trump trip overseas. Air Force One flew to Saudi Arabia on Shabbat. Before the trip, the White House announced that Jared and Ivanka, both of whom proclaim themselves to be Orthodox Jews, had received a rabbinical dispensation to fly on Shabbat. But as it turns out, that is a lie. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who converted Ivanka, said he gave no such dispensation. Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the rabbi of the shul they attend in Washington, said he gave no such dispensation. Rabbi Marvin Heir, who gave an invocation at the inauguration, said he gave no such dispensation. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, rabbi to the stars, said he gave no such dispensation. So which rabbi did? The White House said it is not saying. Meaning Jared and Ivanka lied.
Just as they did when both filled out the forms allowing them to assume positions in the government. In the required financial disclosures, Jared and Ivanka failed to disclose a multimillion-dollar art collection they have amassed since they were married. A collection worth millions, but evidently something that just slipped their minds.
Kushner also did not report his stake in Cadre, a real estate finance startup co-founded with his brother Joshua. And he also failed to report loans totaling at least $1 billion from more than 20 lenders to properties and companies he co-owns.
For a guy who is supposed to be so smart, he sure forgets a lot of stuff. You know the sad thing is I could go on and on about all the things he’s forgotten to mention, such as secret meetings he held with top Russian officials during and after the campaign, including one at which he incredibly sought to set up a back channel using the Russian embassy as the secure place from which he would communicate with Moscow. Something that Michael Hayden, the former head of both the NSA and CIA, said was the most outrageous thing he has ever heard of.
So Jared forgets all kinds of important things, does all kinds of stupid things. But on top of all that, he is as big a putz as his father in law and as big a crook as his father. It was just revealed that Jared owns more than a dozen apartment buildings in Baltimore which were basically slum dwellings and at which he sued and sued his low income tenants over and over again for late fees, missing a rent payment, and more. And then there is the fact that Jared bought 666 Park Avenue in Manhattan, paying double the price he should have. Mr. Genius. And so like father in law, like son, he proceeded to stiff his lenders, paying them back pennies on the dollar. And then we have his lovely Orthodox family in which his father Charles had a dispute with his brother in law over money and so hired a prostitute to seduce his brother in law, had their encounter videotaped and then gave the video to his brother in law’s wife, as in Charles’ sister. For that and other crimes, Charles, father of Jared, spent a couple years in jail.
Okay, I gotta stop so I can get to that 50 year thing. My point is that thanks to the back channel scandal, we are going to hear Jared’s name a lot in the coming weeks. Going to hear the very Jewish name of Kushner a lot over the coming weeks. And not in a way that makes the Jews look very good.
Indeed, for all those Jews so happy that Trump won, thinking him so much better than Hillary, so much better for the Jews, please reflect a moment as we endure the mother of all chilul Hashem, desecration of G-d’s name, as we learn more and more about the arrogant, idiotic Prince Jared, Orthodox Jew who lies about rabbinical dispensations, who goes behind the back of his government to make secret deals with Vladimir Putin, who hails from a family where they use prostitutes to smear other family members. I cringe as we are about to witness the ongoing and ever growing shandah, source of shame, that is Prince Jared.
Okay, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the miracle that was the Six Day War. I truly hope you all take a few minutes to really reflect on that. I must admit I am disappointed at how little a deal the Jewish community seems to be making out of that very big deal.
Indeed, it is nothing short of amazing to me how much incredible Jewish history we have been privileged to witness in the last 50 years. The rescue of Ethiopian Jewry. The exodus of Soviet Jewry. Three Jews named to the Supreme Court. A Jew, Joe Lieberman, nominated to run for vice president on a major party ticket. A Jew, Bernie Sanders, winning the New Hampshire primary and igniting a political revolution.
But none of it comes close to the Six Day War. Tiny Israel, surrounded by Arab nations with many more people, much bigger armies, much more world support, winning a stunning military victory in less than a week, in the process, returning the Western Wall to Jewish hands.
Indeed, three of the most stirring words ever uttered by a Jew were said exactly 50 years ago by Mordechai Gur as he led Israeli troops into the Old City of Jerusalem and headed for the Wall. “Har Habayit b’yadeinu,” he said, “The Temple Mount is in our hands.”
To this day, I still get a chill up my spine when I hear those words. Words Jews waited for, prayed for for 2,000 years. I’ve interviewed many famous people in my time, from President Bush the father to Netanyahu when he was Israel’s UN Ambassador, to Abba Eban to Chaim Potok and on and on, but none left me more awestruck then when I had the chance to sit down with Mordechai Gur and have him tell me what it felt like on that June day in 1967 as Jews could once again touch the stones of the holiest Jewish site in the world.
It is no overstatement to say that those six days 50 years ago changed Jewish history. To have the Wall was to reunite the Jewish people with its tangible touchstone, was to complete the miracle of the establishment of the state of Israel begun in 1948.
Any Jew, every Jew, lucky alive to be alive 50 years ago when it happened, lucky enough to be alive today when all they have to do is get on a plane to be able to walk up to the Wall, should thank G-d for that, should thank all those brave Israeli soldiers, brilliant Israeli military leaders, who made it possible.
There is much for us to celebrate on this anniversary, but also much for us to contemplate. Namely, that the Six Day War not only gave us the Wall, but also gave us control over the West Bank, the Sinai Desert, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.
No Israeli leader understood the Arab mind better than Moshe Dayan, a hero of the Six Day War. Interestingly, it was his feeling that Israel should immediately relinquish control of the West Bank back to the Arabs. He understood, amidst the euphoria of the victory, that Israel had acquired not only the miracle of the Wall but also the headache of the West Bank. He foresaw what controlling another people would do to Israel.
And indeed I find it absolutely fascinating and very telling that it has been Israel’s most brilliant, most brave military leaders that have been the ones that have understood that best and done the most to do something about that.
It was Menachem Begin who tried to give back the Gaza Strip and who did give back the Sinai Desert in the historic Camp David Accords. It was Yitzhak Rabin who gave back part of the West Bank. It was Ariel Sharon who relinquished control of the Gaza Strip. It was Ehud Barak, the most decorated soldier in Israeli history, who tried to make a comprehensive peace deal.
Israel has had no tougher, more patriotic political and military leaders than Begin, Rabin, Sharon and Barak, and each of them, all of them, understood that the Six Day War was yes, a gift from G-d in giving us back the Wall, but also a test from G-d to see if we had the wisdom and faith to recognize that a Jewish state must put values above land. Judaism teaches us that we are to remember that we were strangers in a strange land, that we are to live by the principle that don’t do unto others that which you would not have done unto you, that we are to fulfill our mission to be a light unto the nations. Which means that holding on to territory is not to be placed above being a holy nation.
And so this 50th anniversary, we should rejoice at having the Wall and be grateful for all it took to get it back, but we should also remember that there is no higher Jewish calling than making peace, as the high priest Aaron dedicated his life to, and that there is no holier goal than living in peace with our cousins, with whom we share a common father Abraham, and with whom G-d wishes us to peacefully share his holy land.