Wedding cake (Photo by Shutterstock)
Three prominent Orthodox rabbinic organizations came out with official statements supporting the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Christian baker in Colorado who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
In a narrow decision published on Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy handed down a 7-2 ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. The supreme court ruled that Phillips was within his rights to refuse to provide creative services, such as a custom wedding cake for the marriage of a same-sex couple, on the basis of the his religious beliefs. The case pitted First Amendment claims of free speech against free exercise of religion, allowing the business to be exempt from laws ensuring non-discrimination in public accommodation.
The Orthodox Union (OU), one of the oldest and largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the US, came out in support of the ruling.
“Too many pundits and politicians have lately engaged in rhetoric that seeks to paint religious liberty in a negative light, especially as they seek to advance policies to which some have sincere dissent,” Nathan Diament, the OU’s executive director for public policy, said in a statement. “Today, the United States Supreme Court sent a clear message: that the demonization of religious beliefs – especially in policymaking – is constitutionally unacceptable.”
“It’s crucial for Jews and for other minority communities that religious freedoms be given the strongest and widest scope,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “The intent of the policymakers is going to be taken into consideration when they’re evaluating a policy.”
The Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA) (Igud HaRabonim), a national rabbinical organization, with over 950 Orthodox rabbis as members, also came out with a statement praising the Supreme Court ruling.
“Since its inception in 1942, the RAA has consistently championed the protection of our first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religious choices,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, presidium chairman of the Today’s decision, said. “Today’s decision, rendered by the highest court in the land, clearly demonstrates that our constitutional rights have not been quashed in favor of political correctness.”
He added: “In this historic decision, religious choice and religious conviction have been preserved and honored by the distinguished jurists of the Supreme Court, whom we wholeheartedly applaud. Everyone who cherishes religious liberty and the freedom of religious expression should take pause at this moment to thank God for the multitudinous rights conferred upon us in this great nation.”
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, today welcomed the US Supreme Court Decision.
“The premise of the case was patently absurd,” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV. “Bigotry has always been understood as discrimination against individuals. Leftist groups attempted to elevate same-sex marriage to be a fundamental matter of identity, such that not baking a wedding cake would be akin to refusing service to blacks or Jews. That would not enhance civil rights; it would have trampled them, sacrificing religious freedoms ensconced in the First Amendment on the altar of political correctness.”
“This case created a situation uniquely dangerous to Jewish Americans,” said CJV Vice President Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, “Because our religion is one of observance. The Constitution does not speak merely of freedom of worship or belief, but underscores free exercise, free religious practice. The wrong decision would have prohibited free exercise of religion for business owners, rendering the First Amendment devoid of meaning in a way that affects every aspect of our lives. It could have made Jewish observance a target of potential lawsuits by those seeking a new form of persecution.”
“The people who sued Jack Phillips were not opposed to discrimination, but, as the Supreme Court determined, expert practitioners of the craft,” Rabbi Menken concluded, “and that was not what the Founding Fathers envisioned as American values. False accusations of bigotry demonstrate intolerance for those of different views and limit their freedoms. Those who tried to punish Phillips for expressing his religious beliefs in practice must ask themselves: is that the America in which they would want to live?”
Iraqi Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, May 17, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Alaa al-Marjani / File.
Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday that Jews could return to Iraq if they “demonstrated loyalty,” the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
The 44-year-old Sadr heads the Saairun coalition, which won the most seats in the Iraqi parliamentary election last month.
His comment on Jews came in response to a question asked by a supporter, the Walla report said.
In the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Sadr’s Mahdi Army targeted American troops.
Iran’s base in southern Syria, as photographed by satellite imagery, in October 2017. (Screenshot)
An Arabic news source reported on the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Russia concerning the Iranian military presence in Syria, stating that Russia has agreed to “a green light” for Israeli military strikes against Iranian military target.
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman is currently in negotiations with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow concerning the Iranian military presence in Southern Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also in telephone contact over the matter.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“Paranoia predisposed him to believe in nefarious, hidden forces driving events,” the New York Times writes of Trump. “Political opportunism informed his promotion of conspiracy theories.”
But that could just as easily apply to the New York Times.
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it. THE CONFLICT BEYOND ADVOCACY
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it.
Reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.
Who would have believed that within certain communities, there could be more supporters of the radical Arab Palestinian agenda than supporters of the free, democratic and altruistic State of Israel. The relentless Arab Palestinian deceitful and well-organized propaganda, with the irrational support of many in the Western Media, may be a part of this transition.
The Democratic Party in the USA used to be a staunch supporter of the just cause of the State of Israel, but a recent Pew Research Center report showed a dangerous shift in this attitude. Within the more radical liberal branch of the Democratic party, about 38% will be anti-Israeli while the supporters of Israel will be only about 26%. When you look at the overall numbers as they relate to the Democratic party, you find that about 31% will be anti-Israeli and only 33% will be pro-Israel. On the other hand, within the Republican party, about 74% will be pro-Israel.
Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza, speaks during a protest east of Khan Yunis, April 16, 2018.
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, recently gave interviews to Al Jazeera and Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV, which is close to Hezbollah, to boast about his movement’s achievements in the wake of the recent border fence demonstrations and the Great Return March. In the interviews, on May 16 and 21, respectively, Sinwar also threatened that if Hamas is forced into another round of fighting with Israel, its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades will have a few surprises in store for the “Zionist enemy
“The Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over.” The Arvut, Baal HaSulam
The Trump-Kim summit generated a renewed sense of hope along with questions about the future. Will we witness a new and peaceful North Korea? Will Trump’s deal-making skills become instrumental in promoting world peace? And specifically among Israel analysts: Will Trump be able to make a deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
On May 22, Susanna Maria Feldman went missing. It was the day after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which celebrates G-d’s revelation of the Ten Commandments to Moses and a nation of freed slaves.
The fifth commandment is, “Honor thy father and mother.” The sixth is, “Thou shalt not murder.”
And in the German city of Mainz, whose Jewish community dates back to Roman times, a worried mother waited for the worst. Susanna had gone off with her friends. They came home. And she didn’t.
What can one learn from the controversy? Basically, that it is safer to be a member of Hamas than to be gay. Palestinian leaders would much rather see young Palestinians trying to kill Israelis than talk about gays in their own society. In the world of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, there is no room for comedy or satire.
On June 8, an estimated 250,000 people attended the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. Tourists from all around the world came to Israel to watch and participate in the event. The theme of this year’s event is “The Community Makes History” — a reference to the LGBT community in Israel.
Fifty one years have passed since the Six Day War, fifty one years during which Israel has advanced on every front, in economics, technology, its society (it switched from a socialist to a nationalist regime) and, most significantly, in its geo-political situation: Two Arab countries bordering Israel, Jordan and Egypt, signed peace treaties with the Jewish State, and a number of Arab states have relations with Israel behind the scenes. Israel is an honored member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its per capita GNP approaches $40,000 per annum.
The anti-Israel boycott is despicable. In the past, the Jews were boycotted by the unenlightened. Today, the unenlightened are not alone. They’re in a coalition with the pseudo-enlightened.
Jibril Rajoub, the man who announced that if he had an atom bomb he would drop it on Israel, won a huge victory, because the game against Argentina was supposed to be the jewel in the crown. It was supposed to join the Eurovision win in proving that Israel doesn’t have to give a damn about the rest of the world. But no, it does.
We must admit that Rajoub is not the only one who defeated Israel. Israel defeated itself. Because when you do things to spite other, you end up paying the price. And we’re paying it.