By Arye Nisonson
The Religious Zionists of America, under the leadership of its chairman, Martin Oliner, will host its fourth annual Shabbaton and convention this weekend at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence. The activities commence Friday evening with a Shabbos seudah following davening at 7:00 p.m. The featured speaker on Friday night will be journalist Jonathan Tobin, who will address the issue, “Did Israel have a better option in Gaza?”
Tobin told the 5TJT that his presentation would also focus on the U.S.–Israel relationship and the specific tension between Israel and the Obama administration. “American Jews need to be aware about the details of what is taking place and be prepared to push back,” he said. A dimension of his talk will also be devoted to contemporary anti-Semitism, which he says is increasingly being disguised as anti-Zionism.
On Shabbos morning, the congregation will be addressed by Dr. Michael Singh, managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who will talk about the destabilization in the region being caused by Iran’s various activities. He says he will focus on Iran’s nuclear-weapons production but also plans to address the Iranian support for Hezbollah, Hamas, their attempt to smuggle arms into the territories, and their backing for Shia militias in Syria.
Also scheduled to address the gathering are Rabbi Solly Sacks, director general of the World Mizrachi organization, and Mohsen Sazegara, Iranian ambassador to the Institute on Contemporary Iran. For more information on the Shabbaton, call 212-465-9234.