Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Benjamin Kerstein


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  • Biden and the left's reality distortion field

    Benjamin Kerstein|Jul 12, 2024

    (JNS) — The revelation of President Joe Biden’s precipitous cognitive decline at last week’s debate has come has a shock to many, including myself. In retrospect, of course, we were all foolish to dismiss the plethora of evidence that the decline was underway. But beset by the machinations of a collaborationist news media and what was clearly a carefully managed cover-up by the White House, we can’t be entirely blamed for holding on to our illusions. There was, moreover, a great deal of wishful thinking involved. Many of us were dissati...

  • The rise of the protester-terrorist

    Benjamin Kerstein|Jun 14, 2024

    (JNS) — For Jews the world over, the past eight months have been little more than a series of catastrophes. Contrary to their expectations, American Jews have proved to be no exception. They have discovered that no Jewish community is ever immune to history. American Jews are reeling from this terrible realization. To an extent, so are all Americans, and with good reason. After all, what has emerged since the Oct. 7 massacre has been rather remarkable: A self-declared “antiracist” movement that embraces antisemitism. An unholy alliance betwe...

  • The 'international community' has no right to exist

    Benjamin Kerstein|Jun 7, 2024

    (JNS) — Recent decisions against Israel by the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice, which are clearly intended to rescue Hamas and aid and abet its genocidal war on the Jewish state, can only reinforce a truism often expressed by Israelis: Kol ha’olam negdeinu. “The whole world is against us.” Israelis have reason enough to feel this way, but it is worth asking whether it’s actually true. What, after all, is the “whole world”? If the term refers to world popular opinion, then it is almost certainly wrong. It is...

  • The time for Jexit has come

    Benjamin Kerstein|May 24, 2024

    (JNS) — For some time, right-wing Jewish activists have called for a “Jexit” from the Democratic Party. They believe that the Democrats are now an anti-Israel and increasingly antisemitic party. Thus, for Jews to continue their monolithic support for the Democrats is suicidal. American Jews have resisted the call, but post-Oct. 7 things may have changed. While President Joe Biden and much of his party strongly supported Israel after the massacre, many Democrats did precisely the opposite. The Red-Green Alliance between the progressive left and...

  • The pro-Hamas fifth column intends to kill people

    Benjamin Kerstein|Mar 8, 2024

    (JNS) — Sigmund Freud always took a somewhat jaundiced view of the human psyche, but in the wake of the horrors of World War I, it turned even darker. Confronted with mankind’s capacity to destroy itself, Freud concluded that within every living thing, there is a drive towards senescence and homeostasis—a state in which things do not change. The ultimate form of such a state, of course, is death. Thus, Freud believed, all life contains within it the seed of its own destruction and dissolution—a death drive. But Freud understood that this was no...

  • Kissinger, Israel and the morality of realism

    Benjamin Kerstein|Dec 15, 2023

    (JNS) — When I heard the news that Henry Kissinger had died, the only thing I could think was “There goes the smartest man in the world.” This is hyperbolic, of course, but one cannot read any of Kissinger’s books without feeling that one has encountered an extraordinary intelligence. In a world that despises anything resembling intelligence, this is not easily dismissed. Many, however, do dismiss it. Even the more positive eulogists have hedged their bets, attempting to head off the inevitable fusillade of invective from the progres...

  • The Yom Kippur divide

    Benjamin Kerstein|Oct 6, 2023

    (JNS) — This Yom Kippur, one of my favorite songs came to mind, and it was not a happy occasion. Each year on the holiday, I take the opportunity to walk in a carless Tel Aviv. This time, I found myself returning home via Dizengoff Street. I knew there was a controversial prayer service set to take place in Dizengoff Square. Amidst the ongoing clash over the government’s judicial reform campaign, it had become a flashpoint. Some activists opposed it because of the planned mechitzah, which technically violates laws against gender seg...

  • Celebrating the first Jewish Superman

    Benjamin Kerstein|Aug 18, 2023

    (JNS) — I am not a comic book fan. I am not a superhero fan. I think comic book films are slowly demolishing whatever remains of American cinema. But, if I may be slightly hypocritical, I am a huge Superman fan. My love for the character goes back to my earliest childhood, when my family gathered before a black-and-white television to watch the first network broadcast of the classic 1978 film “Superman,” starring the immortal Christopher Reeve as the title character. Even without its vibrant colors, the film transported me to another world...

  • Should Robert Bowers hang?

    Benjamin Kerstein|Jun 30, 2023

    (JNS) — In a decidedly unsurprising verdict, the man who murdered 11 Jews in the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh has been found guilty. Now, Robert Bowers faces a second judgment: The court must determine whether he will receive the death penalty. Three congregations were using the Tree of Life facility at the time of the massacre—New Light, Dor Hadash and Tree of Life itself. According to The New York Times, “There has not been agreement among the three congregations or within them about whether Mr. Bowers should be sentence...

  • 'Then they came for me'?

    Benjamin Kerstein|Feb 17, 2023

    (JNS) — International Holocaust Remembrance Day has put me in mind of a famous poem by German clergyman Martin Niemöller about the rise of Nazism: First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew Then they came for me And there was no one left To...

  • Why American Jewish politicians have rushed to defend Omar

    Benjamin Kerstein|Feb 10, 2023

    (JNS) — Opposition to American antisemitism is remarkably situational: By and large, right-wing antisemites face, as they should, widespread condemnation and ostracism. Left-wing antisemites and antisemites of color almost always get a free pass, with ostensibly anti-racist progressives rushing to their defense and proclaiming the usual shibboleths about “criticism of Israel” and “taken out of context.” At the moment, the primary beneficiary of this largesse is Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has thus far served as a highly effective spearhead for the e...

  • The Jews learned a lesson from the Munich massacre

    Benjamin Kerstein|Aug 26, 2022

    (JNS) — We are swiftly approaching the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Even after the passage of decades, the wounds have not healed, and the atrocity remains as emotive and fraught as it ever was. In particular, the German government, which botched its ambush attempt on the terrorists, allowing them to murder the athletes they had taken hostage, recently offered further compensation to the families of the victims. It was refused, with one survivor c...

  • The 'Mapping Project' proves there is only one 'Jewish issue' 

    Benjamin Kerstein|Jul 1, 2022

    (JNS) — Much has been written in recent days about a Boston BDS group’s online map of Jewish sites across Massachusetts. The “Mapping Project” ostensibly revealed the monstrous connections between Massachusetts institutions and the alleged evils of Zionism and Israel, which would have been bad enough, but it also gleefully included synagogues, Jewish sites and Jewish schools at best tangentially related to the Jewish state. The takeaway was clear: Jews equal Zionists. And since Zionism is evil, the Jews are evil. And now, says the map, you kno...

  • Farrakhan in Iran: Trump Like Satan, Chants 'Death to America'

    Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner|Nov 16, 2018

    Nation of Islam leader and prominent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan chanted "Death to America" and claimed that "America has never been a democracy" on Sunday during a solidarity trip to Iran, ahead of the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on the country this week. According to Iran's semi-official state news agency Mehr, Farrakhan said at a meeting with the Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei that America is conspiring against Iran. He also compared President Donald Trump to Satan.... Full story

  • Arab states furious at Abbas over response to Trump

    Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner|Jan 5, 2018

    Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are incensed at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over his reaction to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to Israeli media reports. Israel Hayom quoted a Jordanian official as saying, "The Palestinians' efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left... Full story