Knesset Elections

Remember the second U.S. presidential debate in October, when the incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney stood about six inches from each other, with one interrupting the other at every turn? Add about a dozen candidates, take away the formal rules of debate, switch to Hebrew, and you’ve got a fairly good approximation of… Read More

Analysis: Israel At The Polls

Yair Lapid said his party, Yesh Atid, “will not sit as a fig leaf” in acenter-right government.

Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/JTA

What will the next government of Israel look like? In just a few days, Israelis —  and the rest of the world —  will know. On Jan. 22, Israelis will take to the polls and cast their ballots for a new Knesset, one that according to recent polls likely will be led by current Prime… Read More

Chavez & The Jews

In his 14 years in 
power, Hugo Chavez 
turned Venezuela 
into the Latin American 
hub of anti-American 
rogue states.
MIGUEL GUTIERREZ/EPA/Newscom

Like one of those telenovelas that are so popular on Latin American television stations, the slow yet inexorable deterioration of Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, has been soaked in drama and cloying sentimentality. For almost two years, Chavez has been fighting cancer. And for most of that time, he has been claiming — falsely — to… Read More

Spice & Spirit

Mayer Niknava still dreams of the tastes and aromas of authentic Persian foods.
(Photo By David Stuck)

Mayer Niknava has been in the United States for 25 years. He married an Ashkenazi woman. Still, every Friday night, his house is filled with traditional Persian aromas. He said he still dreams of the tastes of Iran. Turmeric is the main spice used in Persian food, Niknava, who lives off Seven Mile Lane, said…. Read More

Light Of The East

Daniel Golfeiz (left) and Rabbi Rouben Arieh say Ohr Hamizrach's success has improved the self-esteem of the local Iranian Jewish community.
(Photo By David Stuck)

It was four years ago this March that a three-story, 20,000-square-foot building modeled after the magnificent Persian palaces of ancient Iran, was dedicated. The building, located on the corner of Fallstaff Road and Park Heights Avenue, at 6813 Park Heights Ave., is known as Ohr Hamizrach Sephardic Center. The shul is named for Rabbi Herman… Read More

Ancient & Modern Collide

The tomb of 
Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan, Iran.
Egmont Strigl Image Broker/Newscom

Today, Iran’s relationship with the Jewish state — and some say with the Jews — is explosive, or potentially so. It wasn’t always this way. Jews have been in Iran for more than 2,700 years, arriving before the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE and the resultant exile of the Jews from Judea… Read More

The 21st-Century Iranian Jew

On Nov. 26, Toobah Nehdaran, 57, was murdered in her home in the Jewish quarter of the city of Isfahan in Iran. The murder, according to a statement by the ad hoc Jewbareh Committee, took place against the backdrop of the victim’s previous complaint against the takeover of a section of her family residence by… Read More

Ultimate Top 10

Mohammed Badie tops the list of 2012 anti-Semites.
MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS/Newscom

It may be two week since Jan. 1, but the mouthpieces that topped the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of top 10 anti-Semites of 2012 are still spewing hatred. The list, which was put out for the third year this past Dec. 27, provides a snapshot of anti-Semitism in the mainstream of government, organizations, media and… Read More

#Hashing It Out

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is tweeting ... in Arabic. 
Courtesy of JTA

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is now tweeting in Arabic on a new Twitter account opened in mid-December.  The development caught the attention of the Saudi Internet news service, Al Arabiya, which reported this week that Netanyahu’s Twitter account has drawn new followers from Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, currently numbering 671 followers. “The aim of… Read More

Israel-EU Tension

Catherine Ashton, high representative for foreign affairs and security 
policy of the European Union, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on October 24.
 Moshe Milner/GPO/FLASH90.

This month, some of Israel’s strongest friends in Europe — Britain, France and Germany — summoned their ambassadors to protest the Jewish state’s construction decisions. As a result, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that European governments are willing to abandon Israel in a similar fashion to the way they gave up Czechoslovakia to the… Read More