Colors: Cyan Color

For the past ten years, I have brought the present-day National Security Adviser John Bolton to the Israel Day Concert in Central Park for the express purpose of warning the world of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Ambassador Bolton will tell you that he has been warning America and the world about Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a lot longer – more than 20 years. He has spent the latter half of his life devoted to getting rid of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Yes, he believes regime change would be best, but everything is on the table.

Last week, a story about Keanu Reeves made the rounds on social media. Some fans of the actor started noticing that while posing for pictures with fans, or even fellow celebrities, Reeves does not touch women. Reeves maintains a hands-off approach with women in order to remove any potential awkwardness from unwanted touching during an encounter. This approach is in stark contrast to the first “meeting” between pop star Ke$ha, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld back in 2017. During that encounter, Ke$ha (and I can’t tell you how annoying that name is to type) tried to kiss Seinfeld three different times, each time being politely denied. Ke$ha, not having the misfortune of being male, never received any negative press for this. Reeves’ method eliminates such awkwardness.

National Security Adviser John Bolton was wont to point out that the BDS movement was just a continuation of the United Nations resolution equating “Zionism with racism.” One of John Bolton’s greatest achievements was striking down that despicable and blatantly anti-Semitic canard that had lasted 19 years before Bolton came to town. We are still waiting for the day that the BDS movement is finally laid to rest. I know Bolton and the president are doing everything they can to make that happen. Unfortunately, there are universities and colleges like Swarthmore that keep propping it up. In March, the Swarthmore College student leaders voted to support the BDS movement. A pro-BDS dean was almost chosen at Dartmouth.

Individual biases exist. I have them. You have them. Even scientists conducting fact-based experiments have them. The old thinking in behavioral economics was that people tended to analyze data, and based on their analysis they make their decisions. However, more recent studies suggest that this is not the case. Political economist at Stanford University Francis Fukuyama explains that people tend to “start out with an emotional commitment to a certain idea, and then they use their formidable cognitive powers to organize facts to support what they want to believe anyhow. So the partisan affiliation comes first, and the reasoning process by which you justify it comes second.” In other words, people believe what they want to believe, and when faced with facts, they either accept them as proving their beliefs, try to make them fit their world view, or discard them as inaccurate.

It is an honor and a privilege to write about great individuals, especially those who’ve tremendously impacted my own life and politics. Joe Mermelstein was one such individual. It is not a coincidence that his third yahrtzeit takes place on the very same day that his friend, his colleague, and his prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is up for re-election on April 9. Joe, if he were still alive, would be the first to pay for 747s to fly Israeli citizens living in America to Israel to make sure to vote in the election (of course, he would not tell them who to vote for, but they would know). He was a man of action. He was not a talker. He was a doer. He made me president of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, and for that I am forever grateful. His life spanned most of the 20th century and was devoted to the Jewish people, his family, and his business. His story is truly an impressive history lesson.

April 26, 1974. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5 in 15 innings. The game pitted the two teams that would meet later in the season for a chance to go to the World Series, and featured future Hall-of-Famers Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer, Rollie Fingers, and Brooks Robinson. It also featured one of the greatest anomalies in baseball history. But I am getting ahead of myself.