An escalating stalemate in Syria

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The second round of Syrian peace talks ended in Geneva last weekend with very little progress reproted. In recognition of that failure, the U.N.’s Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, sent an apology to the Syrian people: “I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people, [whose] hopes were very, very high,” that… Read More

The Presbyterian problem with Israel

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The conciliation between Christians and Jews in recent decades has been so remarkable that, although most Jews can’t explain the differences between, say, the Lutheran church and the Methodist church, the general feeling is that all is well, or at least doing better. This era of good feeling does not extend to Israel, however. Ironically,… Read More

Scarlett Johansson takes a stand

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The skirmish over actress Scarlett Johansson’s relationship with the Israeli company Soda-Stream seems to have ended in a draw — although a largely satisfying one — with some short-term winners and losers but no real change in the fundamentals that are driving the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The big winner was SodaStream,… Read More

Morocco’s Arab Street Maneuvers

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Morocco is a stable, Western-oriented Arab monarchy, which is also known for its cooperation with Israel dating back decades. Last fall, King Muhammed VI came to Washington as part of an effort to deepen the relationship between the U.S. and Morocco. At that time, Ambassador- at-Large Serge Berdugo, president of the Jewish community of Morocco… Read More

Ariel Sharon Without Apology

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Ariel Sharon’s long, highly decorated and celebrated life in Israel’s military and political spheres is a rich source of material for constructing a meaningful remembrance. The complexity of his life and the different roles he played in service of the State of Israel have been on display since the general and former premier died Jan…. Read More

Lingering Questions For The Reform Movement

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At the Reform movement’s biennial gathering in San Diego last week, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), came out swinging. In his keynote address to some 5,000 participants, he called for his movement to offer a welcome to the unaffiliated so inclusive that he termed it “audacious hospitality.” Reform must… Read More

An Alternative To Peace?

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The current round of Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations, restarted in July by Secretary of State John Kerry, is at the halfway point of an agreed-upon nine-month timetable. While it is unclear whether the parties have made any real progress in their negotiations, it is clear that the complaints and finger pointing from the Israelis and Palestinians… Read More

Assad, War Criminal

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On Monday, the U.N.’s human rights chief accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of war crimes in his two-year-long battle against opposition to his rule. Navi Pillay said a commission of inquiry “has produced massive evidence … [of] very serious crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity” and that “the evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level… Read More

A Questionable Agreement

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The deal reached Sunday between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) does not remove Iran’s nuclear threat. But it does relieve some of the economic sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. As such, the agreement may pave the way for a… Read More

Iran Sanctions Revisited

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke out forcefully against a nuclear agreement with Iran three times on Sunday — at the Sunday Israeli Cabinet meeting, on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, which was meeting in Jerusalem. “What is being proposed now is a deal… Read More