1) The Saban Center for Middle East Policy has published a report urging dialogue with Iran, while pressuring Israel to strip itself naked in order to avoid nuclear attack.
Saban, the Israeli expatriate who funds the center, apparently thinks that his Power Rangers are real and will clean up the nuclear waste of Iran's Jihad.
The leading thinker (sic!) behind this nightmare scenario is Martin 'Ive Gone Native' Indyk. Indyk, as we all know, is 'Turkey' in Yiddish. 'Nuff Said.
2) Among the side issues raised by the tragedy in Mumbai, is the question of Orthodox participation in Inter-faith Memorial Gatherings for the victims of Islamist Slaughter. More to the point, while Muslim and Christian clergy pose limited problems, Hindu priests are another matter. The Hindu religion is, by all criteria of which I am aware, Avoda Zara. Thus, such participation is (at best) aiding and abetting Avoda Zara on the part of a Noachide and constitutes a breach of 'Placing a Stumbling Block before the blind' (לפני עיוור לא תתן מכשול). On the other hand, one could hardly not include a Hindu priest in such gatherings, because Hindus were the key target and the majority of victims were Hindus (as they were for centuries of Moghul Muslim rule in India).
So, what to do?
I posted a longer version of this answer on a rabbinic forum:
I think we need to distinguish several different strands from this discussion. I would first like to address the specifically halalakhic issues, and then move on to the questions of public policy.
A) Personally, I am convinced of the validity of Rabbi Dr. David Berger's distinction between polytheism and Avoda zara, as far as Christianity is concerned. Indeed, I really like his formulation: Non-Pagan Avoda Zara in a monotheistic mode. Identifying Avoda Zara exclusively with ancient polytheism is far too blithe and simplistic. Christian believe themselves to be pure monotheists, though by halakhic criteria they are not such. Nevertheless, as implied directly by Tosafos to Bekhoros 2b, since they think that they are praying to the One God, if they do not mention his putative son, I see no reason why there should be any compunction in the participation of Christian clergy.
For better or worse, Hinduism (and not a few forms of Buddhism, Jain and Shinto) are in a much worse position. After years of teaching a course on Judaism and other religions, it is clear to me that Hinduism IS pagan (whether pantheist or pluralist in the identity of its deities). Certainly the reverance that Hindus pay their plethora of gods is closer to Greco-roman, Egyptian or Canaanite religion than is Christianity. In addition, there was not a small degree of sophistication inherent in all of these. Indeed, I believe that it is specifically the positive elements in Avoda zara that led the Torah and Hazal to be so adament about not being seduced thereby. Since when are we tempted by the ugly, the stupid and the festishistic?
B) One might aver that one can rely, in this connection, on the more liberal opinion of R. Menachem Ha-Meiri. Now, it may well be true that Moshe Halbertal is correct, and that Christianity (and by reasonable extension, Hinduism) does not qualify (in his opinion) to be classified as Avoda Zara of any kind. However, relying upon that ruling is highly questionable from an halakhic stand point.
First, a reasonable case can be made that Halbertal is wrong and that Ha-Meiri did not maintain so far-reaching a position. Moreover, and I speak as an Historian of Halakhah, since when do the tentative results of academic scholarship play a role in normative halakhic discourse? More important, the legal consebsus (sugya de-alma) is overwhelmingly against accepting the Meiri as normative. Rabbenu Tam was also a brilliant scholar and I don't know of anyone who accepts his very convincing ruling that חמץ בטל בששים, מין במינו.
C) On the other hand, it is totally unrealistic, churlish and ( at baste)in very bad taste to exclude a Hindu priest from this type of event. Boycotting it is worse. I can only imagine the Hillul HaShem to which it will lead. I recommend, that it be suggested to all the clergy that are slated to speak at such memorials that in the interest of amity, religion specific prayers (not to mention ritual actions) be totally eschewed. Reference should be made to God, Allah, the Supreme Power or some such formulation, along with the type of humanitarian emphasis that unites us all. Let each person interpret them in his or her own heart. This, it seems to me, fits the criteria laid out by Tosafos in Bekhoros.
3) I delivered the first of two, 'After Srugim' lectures at Bar Ilan today (despite walking pneumonia). I did record the lecture, but have yet to decide if I want to release it unedited. The central text was רמב"ם, הלכות מעילה פרק ח הלכה ח and the presentation included important ideas advanced by Rabbis David Berger, Lawrence Kaplan and Shalom Carmy, here and here.
[UPDATE: This posting has generated a surprising degree of response. I've responded in the comments.]