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Friday, September 21, 2012

Day of Atonement - Day of Outrage

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is perhaps the most solemn holiday on the Jewish calendar. This day of repentance and reconciliation is observed on the 10th of Tishri, from sunset on Tuesday, September 25 to sunset September 26 this year, and Jews all over the world will take the day off to fast and pray. In a bit of grim irony, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to give a speech before the United Nations on September 26. In his speech last year, Ahmadinejad railed against the West and denied the horror of the Holocaust. Israel is asking the world to boycott this year's harangue from the Iranian leader, especially one offered by an avowed enemy of the Jews on the Day of Atonement.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not arrive at the United Nations until September 27, the day after Yom Kippur, and Israeli officials do not expect him to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama. Netanyahu will have the opportunity to speak at the United Nations as well, and he will likely speak about the ever-increasing danger of Iran's nuclear program, the need for harsher sanctions, and the insistence that whatever the cost, Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the destruction of the state of Israel, and while the world oozes along with painfully slow diplomatic efforts to halt the program, Iran has been charging on toward its nuclear goals.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor expressed the weakness of the diplomatic efforts to stop Iran thus far, telling the Times of Israel last Thursday, "Iran's nuclear program is like an express train from New York to Washington, and the international community's response is like a local train that stops at every stop. At one stop Russia wants to get off, at another someone else wants to get on. In order to work, diplomacy has to build up the speed" necessary to stop the nuclear program, he said. "The international community doesn't have the option of doing nothing," he warned.

 Israel and the Jewish people need our prayers and support now more than ever. With this news, coupled with waning U.S. support, Israel and Jerusalem need our prayers for peace. Stand firm in the gap and support the boycott of this sad and ridiculous event and let us pray for Israel.

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