Bibi or Bougie? Despite focus on security, Israeli elections could come down to social issues

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Israelis will head to the polls early next week to cast their votes for the country’s 20th Knesset. As Election Day draws closer, the question has become: Will Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retain his position, or will Isaac Herzog, the not-as-charismatic leader of the opposition Labor Party and its joint Zionist Union slate with Hatnuah,… Read More

AIPAC Doubles Down Focus on Iran

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to a crowd of over 2,000 people at this year's JFNA GA. The keyword: security.

Organizers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee told attendees of its Policy Conference 2015 that unlike previous years –where a number of issues and pieces of legislation made up the slate of lobbying initiatives – this Tuesday delegates should focus solely on “stopping Iran.” “When we go to the Hill on Tuesday, we will… Read More

Center of Attention In Lithuania, Yiddish teacher becomes unlikely bulwark against far right

Dovid Katz has become a target of scorn for speaking out against 
ultranationalist groups in Lithuania.
(Photos by Cnaan Liphshiz)

KAUNAS, Lithuania — Dovid Katz isn’t typically a hard man to miss. With his bushy charcoal beard, heavy physique and trademark all-black outfits, Katz, a New York-born scholar of Yiddish, resembles a character from a Harry Potter film. But at one of Europe’s more unusual neo-Nazi marches, complete with ultranationalists clad in medieval armor and… Read More

Power Player Oren lends foreign policy bona fides to new Israeli party Kulanu

Michael Oren, former diplomat and noted historian, may be the only American-born member of the next 
Israeli parliament.
(Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90)

TEL AVIV — Michael Oren, New York-born and educated at Columbia and Princeton, begins an interview in Hebrew. Though he quickly switches to English, Oren interrupts himself every so often to translate a word into Hebrew for his assistant. It’s a bilingual bridge he has spanned in one capacity or another for decades, first as… Read More

Tough Question Where does war authorization aimed at ISIS leave Iran?

Secretary of State John Kerry is flanked by Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France at U.N. headquarters in Geneva following nuclear talks with Iran in November 2013. Some U.S.
lawmakers fear that a focus on fighting ISIS will distract from preventing a nuclear Iran.
(Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — Don’t make the enemy of your enemy your friend. That’s the message some lawmakers hope to convey to the Obama administration as they consider its request for a war authorization to combat ISIS. Concerns about how best to shape such an authorization without empowering Iran — a concern shared by Israel — are… Read More

Investing for a Cause

Amid the seemingly ever-growing popularity of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, some in the financial and investment community are returning fire with an initiative of their own. “It just occurred to me, as I watched the divestment campaign unfold — when the Presbyterians divested, that was kind of the final straw… Read More

Payback PLO, PA found liable; must compensate American victims of terror

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A federal jury in New York found the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) liable in a civil lawsuit over terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel during the second intifada more than a decade ago. The jury at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan found the… Read More

‘No One Stuck Up for Us’

LONDON — Nat and her husband have always talked about moving to Israel, but the time never seemed right. The London residents had good jobs, were surrounded by friends and family, and their three kids were happy in school. Then this past summer, during the conflict between Israel and Gaza, they decided it was definitely… Read More

The Fight for ‘Israeliness’ Israeli left resurgent as campaign rhetoric escalates ahead of March elections

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TEL AVIV — Stav Shaffir was angry. The 29-year-old firebrand is known for her outbursts, which have gotten her kicked out of multiple Knesset hearings in the past year. But when she rose in the Knesset on Jan. 21 to answer Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett’s charge that she is post-Zionist, her shrill rebuttal… Read More

An Arab-Israeli Rarity Anett Haskia is first Muslim to run for Jewish Home slate

Anett Haskia fared poorly in the Jewish Home primary, but she says party voters embraced her despite her background. 
(Photo/Ben Sales)

PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — Outside the Moriah Synagogue in this central Israeli city, boys in ritual fringes and girls in long skirts handed out fliers for the dozens of candidates running in the Jan. 14 primary for the Jewish Home party, a right-wing, modern Orthodox faction. Religious voters trickled in and out of polls in… Read More