I know it’s been too long. Have you missed me? Oh, there’s no shame in admitting it. But let’s get down to important business — mine, not yours. The extra hour of morning daylight has invigorated by invigorating senses. Or something like that.

It’s time to vote  for Houston’s next mayor. It’s also time to vote against anyone conflating supporting anti-discrimination laws with supporting men declaring themselves women, just  so they can join their longer  public restroom lines. So what if hundreds of other cities, including Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, have similar laws to the one Houstonians are voting on? So what if  no toiletgate issues have arisen anywhere? Some of our leading religious leaders and one former baseball player have decreed that it is more moral to worry about imaginary constructs than anti-human hatred.

My daughter has a new last name. She’s perfect. Although she’d be more perfect if she kept the old one. Where’s the challenge in having a last name that everyone can pronounce? My son-in-law is also perfect: He loves my perfect daughter, drinks IPA’s, his employer — Valeant — is always in the news, and he promises that I’ll soon get to join his pro football fantasy league. (Actually, he didn’t promise. But I’m ready whenever he relents.  Or needs me to stop my Valeant short selling.)

I had a not-so-special ambulance run to the emergency room.  It was fun going through the red lights. Not so much fun killing five hours because my new doctor didn’t believe in my prior doctor’s athletic heart syndrome diagnosis — irregular EKG readings as a result of high levels of exercise not as a result of a heart attack. My diagnosis? New doctor.

I consulted with a rabbi in another city about his Rosh Hashanah sermon. (He didn’t request my advise, but I wanted to join with the other hundred or so other people that he said had already weighed in.) I  decided his focus should be to skip the Iran agreement bashing and focus on Israeli security post-agreement. He decided his focus should be on skipping casual conversations with Jeff. Interestingly enough,  when he did choose to deliver a sermon with a post-agreement focus he was bashed by some of the Obama-phobic troglodytes who see Obama as Dr. Evil and evidently prefer to join with Cubs’ fans and back the lovable losers.

I joined with 50 or so like-minded Houstonians in admonishing the local Jewish Federation for dipping its toe into political advocacy by actively opposing the Iran agreement — an agreement that various polls reflected the majority  of Jews actually favored. But we made progress. The Federation met with a few of us and promised to  reconsider its decision making process so that the views of all Jews, not just Board members or large donors, would be more seriously considered.

I hope so, but then I always hope to see those pigs others say won’t ever fly. Speaking of flying pigs, one just flew over the country’s largest conservative synagogue. Houston’s Congregation Beth Yeshurun just announced that it will now perform same sex marriages. The pig that didn’t fly? Same sex (or opposite sex) interfaith marriages. Even though the recent Pew Study reflected that the majority of Jews are now entering into mixed marriages, Conservative and Orthodox Jewish branches still choose to ostracize and not embrace. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for Judaism’s continued decline among its future generations.

I celebrated my in-law’s anniversary at a famous Houston restaurant. Exactly one other table was occupied. On a Saturday night. And it still took forever to get our waiter’s attention. He was focused on a U.T. game. By the end of the year, he may be the only one focused.  And with guns soon to be allowed on campus, it’s never a good thing to get rabid football fans upset.

Israel and its Palestinian citizens and non-citizens are playing Hatfield and McCoy again. Horrible. Forty eight years of this recycled garbage. And now we are back to daily body counts. As always, Israel has the upper hand, and as always the world assesses blame to Israel because it isn’t in the body count lead.

It’s the failed and feckless leadership.  On both sides. It’s the palpable sense of victimhood — historic, yet ever-present.  It’s the comfort in managing and living in an uncomfortable stasis. It’s the misfocus on blaming, on looking for reasons not to trust, not to hope. It’s my tit for your tat.

Your terrorist is my hero. Take your Yasser Arafat and his Olympics terrorism and I’ll raise you your Menachem Begin and his King David hotel.  Oh, it’s not the same. It’s never the same. It can’t be the same. Because if we try to understand motivations we may develop more understanding. We may develop a kinship. We may even see a little of our fears and dreams in their fears and dreams. And then we may lose some of our ability to mistrust and hate. We may even come to realize that there is more long term risk in maintaining the status quo than in taking actions that can actually lead to a two state agreement…. and the (not too soon enough) end to both side’s numerous pro- and anti- political advocacy groups.


One Strong Answer To The Violence (And It’s Not To Stab, Shoot, Blame, Make A Speech, Or Call For A New Coalition)

by Jeff Pozmantier October 15, 2015

The senseless, random violence within Israel and the West Bank is truly appalling. The abysmal lack of leadership is truly enduring. What Hand in Hand schools are doing — partially in response to the violence, but entirely because it is Hand in Hand’s mission — is truly inspiring.  I would not normally relay an organizational p.r. piece. But today, with Israelis and Palestinians […]

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Exclusive Interview With Donald Trump: Shocking Reveals On McCain, Palestinians, Israelis, Iran And More!!!

by Jeff Pozmantier July 25, 2015

Donald Trump’s entry into the 2016 Republican gaggle has captured the imagination of the majority of the Republican party’s cave dweller wing. Political pundits feign surprise. Come on. The man owns black and white, the colors his Republican base loves to buy. He attacks intelligent thought, a position that is obviously quite popular. Complexity? No, everything is simple. SIMPLE! Gun […]

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This Could Be My Last Blog

by Jeff Pozmantier June 16, 2015

I’m still pondering whether our relationship should continue. I’m unsettled. Did you really miss me? Did you even know I’ve been away for the last couple of months?  Strike that. Too needy.  I’ve been in Chile, land of empanadas, earthquakes, reverse seasons, and people who refuse to accept that English is their universal language. But that was only for a week. I […]

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Benjamin Netanyahu: The Best Republican Candidate?

by Jeff Pozmantier April 13, 2015

The Republican candidate field is an embarrassment of richness. And surnames. It features politicians mouthing poll-tested and PAC-bought positions against this and that today and that and this tomorrow — until the polls or PAC funding changes. What else should we expect when we don’t have laws that apply China’s one child policy to Republican families? Any natural born U.S. citizen can run […]

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A New Plan: Behead The Opposition

by Jeff Pozmantier March 9, 2015

Springtime signals its entrance as  temperatures warm and leaves and flowers reliably return. Election time in Israel signals its entrance as politicians emerge from their hibernation and their embarrassing proposals reliably return. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s secular mullah, recently awoke. His proposal?  Behead Palestinians. What makes Lieberman’s plan so unique is he doesn’t limit it to terrorists or criminals. His focus is on  Israeli […]

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Et Tu, Bibi? Netanyahu Made His “Bad Deal” Worse

by Jeff Pozmantier March 5, 2015

Supporters of Israel sometimes disagree about tactics, threats and how to best insult the person they feel isn’t really pro-Israel or pro-Israel enough. Two Jews. Check. Three opinions. Check. Four Kapo insults. Doublecheck. Some of us with nothing better to do also disagree about how, when, and where to express support for what is still the Middle East’s only democracy and nuclear power, and also its uncontested […]

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Why Netanyahu’s Speech To Congress Is An Existential Threat To Israel

by Jeff Pozmantier March 2, 2015

I’ve held my tongue (and typing finger). Until now. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election Congressional field trip is more likely to result in long-lasting damage to the U.S.-Israeli relationship than result in some sudden reversal of the U.S. effort to reach a nuclear agreement between Iran and key world powers. Today is not the day  to debate the fine points of an […]

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My War Zone Experiences (And Brian Williams’ and Bill O’ Reilly’s)

by Jeff Pozmantier February 25, 2015

Like Brian Williams, I braved enemy combat. I somehow managed to survive the  2014 Israeli destruction of Gaza and Hamas tunneling into  Israeli border towns. In the height of the conflict I was but a mile away in the underground Sderot command center. And I listened to the shelling and watched a security camera tape showing  a missile that exploded two […]

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One Question Israel Needs To Ask

by Jeff Pozmantier February 1, 2015

Before we get to the question, a caveat: You may have your own question. That’s OK. Or so I’ll say to keep the Middle East blogging peace. Group-think isn’t necessarily a good thing. Although when it comes to Israeli or Palestinian issues, it would certainly help to at least occasionally have alignment, if only to model behavior for our protagonists and reduce […]

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