Continuing Skirmishes with the Chief Rabbinate

Israel’s haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate has racked up a series of recent victories against those who want to expand the country’s religious freedoms. In the Jewish state, religious questions are also political, so Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acquiescence to the haredi side in the debate gives the Rabbinate’s narrow, inflexible approach the state’s stamp of… Read More

Melania Trump’s 93 Percent

Let’s say it up front: Plagiarism is wrong. It’s wrong when journalists do it. It’s wrong when high school students do it. And it was wrong when Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention last week plagiarized the words of First Lady Michelle Obama in her opening night speech before a television audience of 23… Read More

Sharansky’s Dark Prophecy

Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, was in Paris last week for a Jewish Agency Board of Governor’s meeting. Many of the lay and professional leaders from around the world who joined him viewed the choice of venue as an opportunity to express solidarity with the Jewish community of Europe in… Read More

The Stew of Demonization

There may be many reasons — none of them justified — why 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah jumped the fence around the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron and stabbed to death 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel. But even if it is determined why Tarayrah — who was shot and killed by guards after the attack — murdered… Read More

No Easy Answers in Orlando Bloodbath

Omar Mateen’s massacre of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., appears to have touched more pressure points than any of the other well-known mass shootings in the last two decades. There is the hate crime of homophobia. Then there is Mateen’s pledge of allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in the heat… Read More

Economic Support for Terrorism?

Does foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority contribute to terrorism? An independent study in the United Kingdom suggests that it indirectly does, pointing to the P.A.’s much criticized policy of paying the salaries of people on the government payroll while they are serving time for terrorism. The pro-Israel community has been making just such an… Read More

After the Tel Aviv Attack

Last week’s terrorist attack, in which two Palestinian men shot and killed four Israelis in a Tel Aviv food court, came after the country’s least violent month since May 2015. Still, the brazen, almost cinematic  nature of the attack — “They dressed in suits and ties and posed as customers at a restaurant, ordering a… Read More

Of Swiss Handshakes, Restricted Swimming

We are so used to thinking that the world is growing steadily more homogenous, particularly in the West, that it’s a surprise to learn about local customs that continue to thrive. Last week, we learned that in Switzerland it is customary for students to shake their teacher’s hand before and after class. It is a… Read More

A ‘Rupture’ Over the Wall?

The stalled implementation of the plan to bring pluralistic Jewish prayer to the Kotel probably won’t cause a major rupture  between American Jews and Israel, but it is further proof of the complaint that  Israel guarantees religious freedom for all, except many Jews. Emerging from a meeting on June 1 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, … Read More

When Not to Act against Anti-Semites

For a while last week, Jews were able to  indulge in a conspiracy theory of their own. “(((Echoes))), Exposed: The Secret Symbol Neo-Nazis Use to Target Jews Online,” read the headline on Mic.com, which brought to light a Google Chrome app that automatically placed a set of three parentheses around Jewish-sounding surnames to make them… Read More