Get Out Your Crystal Ball!
s Jewish newspapers went to
press with their Rosh
Hashanah issues last year,
Islamic terrorists launched
their war on the United States on
Sept. 11 and everything changed.
Among many other far more impor-
tant things, this also meant that I
threw out my annual Jewish pundit
quiz column and replaced it with one
that focused on the tragic events of
This week, as we observe the
anniversary of the terror attacks, it's
time again to think about the High
Holiday season and what's in store for
Let's face it, 5762 was awful. Here
in America, we coped with the after-
math of Sept. 11; in Israel, the
Palestinians escalated their terror war
on Jews, and casualties reached record
Can things get worse? Sure, they
But even as we cope with horrible
memories of terrorism in this country
and Israel, we shouldn't lose what's
left of our sense of humor.
So before the Almighty writes down
just how much worse (or better) it
will be for all of us in the proverbial
Book of Life, I present (with apolo-
gies, as always, to New York Times
columnist William Safire) my annual
Jewish Pundit Quiz for 5763.
-So guess, or should I say prognosti-
cate, along with me about the coming
My answers are at the bottom of the
column. And remember, if you are
worried about the outcome, teshuvah
(repentance), tefillah (prayer) and
tzedekah (acts of justice and charity)
may avert the severe decree!
Eshanah tovah tikateivu! (May you
be inscribed in the Book of Life).
1. At the start of 5764, the prime
minister of the State of Israel will be:
a. Ariel Sharon, who will lead the
Likud Party to victory and be the first
Israeli premier to be re-elected since
Menachem Begin in 1981.
b. Haifa Mayor and former General
Amram Mitzna, whose dovish policies
will sweep the Labor Party back to
c. Binyamin Netanyahu, who will
oust Sharon in a Likud primary and
then coast to victory in the general
Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor
of the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia.
d. Zionist Organization of
America President Mort
Klein, whose "moderate"
right-wing stands will out-
flank both Sharon and Bibi
inside the Likud Party — after
he- makes aliyah, of course.
e. Anti-religious Shinui
Party leader Tommy Lapid,
who capitalizes on secular
resentment of Haredim.
Jewish attempts to aid the
hasbara ("public relations")
5. The most important
American Jewish cultural
event of 5763 will be:
a. The selection of a Jewish
JONATHAN gangster as head of the
Soprano crime family on the
HBO series, as consigliore
Commentary Herman "Hesh" Rabkin
2. By the end of 5763,
(played by Jerry Adler) steps
President Bush's planned war
in after Tony is put away by
with Iraq will:
b. The decision of reclusive Demo-
a. Still be waiting to be launched as
support for regime change fades.
cratic singer Barbra Streisand to do a
benefit concert for the George W.
b. Be successfully concluded as
Saddam Hussein's dictatorship is
Bush re-election fund after Bush
swept away as easily as the Taliban
proves' his friendship for Israel anew
were in Afghanistan.
during the war with Iraq.
c. Be completely forgotten as the
c. Los Angeles slugger Sean Green's
bloody overthrow of the royal family
ninth-inning playoff home run off of
in Saudi Arabia by Al Qaida sympa-
Arizona's Curt Schilling to put the
thizers shifts America's war on terror-
Dodgers into the World Series for the
ism to the Arabian peninsula.
first time in 14 years.
d. A boom in both travel to Israel
d. Be stalemated as American forCes
become bogged down in a lengthy
and aliyah, as both the intifada (upris-
ing) and an obsession with "progress'
and bloody war against Saddam's loy-
toward peace with the Palestinians
alists- and Al Qaida allies.
3. By the end of 5763, the Middle
East peace process will:
6. In 5763, the American economy
will affect Jewish philanthropy as:
a. Be at the brink of success as
reforms transform the Palestinian
a. The stock slump transforms itself
into a full-force recession, slashing
Authority into a Jeffersonian democ-
donations to record lows.
b. Be stalemated as the Palestinian
b. The revival of the economy and
the start of a new bull market create a
terrorism continues unabated and
Israel gradually abandons any pretense new wave of giving.
c. A moderate rise in the economy
that a return to peace talks is possible.
-c. Be completely forgotten as a gen-
has no impact on declining levels of
eral Middle East war that begins after
Jewish giving as federations, organiza-
tions and charities are seen as increas-
the American invasion of Iraq leads
to a failed Pan-Arab attempt to
destroy Israel via weapons of mass
d. A continued slump has no
impact on Jewish philanthropy, as
increased support for Israel in the
d. Be the subject of renewed hope
as the end of Saddam Hussein forces
wake of the war with Iraq and
Palestinian terrorism reinvigorates
the rest of the Arab world to cut off
support for Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat despite his re-election as head
7. The most influential American
of the P.A.
Jewish politician in 5763 will be:
4. During 5763, the level of
a. U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-
American support for Israel will:
Conn., who breaks ranks with former
running mate Al Gore and becomes
a. Decline precipitately as
an early frontrunner for the
Americans blame Israel for the casual-
Democratic presidential nominee in
ties in the war on Iraq and the spike
in oil prices.
b. Newly elected Pennsylvania Gov.
b. Increase to new heights as Israel
Ed Rendell, who assumes the role of
gains sympathy after Saddam
Democratic presidential powerbroker,
Hussein's latest missile attacks on the
and decides in the summer of 2003 to
give his support to Gore and against
c. Remain at the same high levels
Lieberman in the presidential contest.
despite generally incompetent Israeli
diplomacy and ham-handed American
c. Gov. Linda Lingle, whose status
as America's only Jewish Republican
governor after winning election in
Hawaii makes her a national celebrity.
d. Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose non-
Jewish identity doesn't prevent Jewish
liberals from making her their pre-
ferred presidential option for 2004.
8. The most significant event in
Jewish history to take place in 5763
a. The re-adoption of the "Zionism
is racism" canard by the U.N. General
b. The selection of Jewish leftist
Michael Lerner as the Green Party's
presidential candidate for 2004 as he
runs on a platform of "don't leave the
Israel-bashing to the anti-Semites."
c. The tragic collapse of part of the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem as
Palestinian Muslims in charge of the
site allow it to go unrepaired in a con-
tinuing effort to destroy Jewish antiq-
d. The pardon of American Jewish
spy Jonathan Pollard after the war on
e. The admission by the editors of
AmeriCa's leading daily newspapers
and broadcast networks that their
Mideast coverage has been biased
9. The most sought-after Jewish
invitation in 5763 will be:
a. The wedding of Chelsea Clinton
to her Jewish boyfriend in Hollywood
live on Bill's television talk show.
b. Brunch with-media and real
estate mogul and Conference of
Presidents of Major Jewish
Organizations honcho Mortimer
c. Lunch at the summer White
House in West Texas as the end of the
Saudi dynasty creates openings in
President Bush's schedule.
d. Dinner with American troops in
10. The most hotly debated issue
among American Jews in 5763 will
a. Religious pluralism in Israel.
b. Whether or not it is kosher to
oppose Joe Lieberman's run for presi-
c. The morality of Israeli counter-
terrorism measures that result in Arab
d. The war on Iraq.
e. The revival of worldwide anti-
Tobin's Answers: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. c,
,d, 6 d, 7.a, 8. c, 9. a, 10. e