A Birthright for Evangelicals?

A new program to bring young evangelical Christians to Israel on an 11-day subsidized trip has been dubbed “Birthright for evangelicals” because it was inspired by the successful Birthright Israel program open to Jewish young adults. And it’s a testament to that success that other groups seek to copy it. But comparisons between the two… Read More

The Pope’s Recognition

Under Pope Francis, the Vatican announced an agreement with the “State of Palestine.”
(Massimiliani Migliorato /CPP/POLARIS)

As the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis is also the head of a political entity called the Vatican. It was that entity that on May 13 announced an agreement with the “State of Palestine” about churches under Palestinian control. The use of “Palestine” was a shift away from the Vatican’s prior reference… Read More

The Freundel Sentence

Was justice served in the 61/2-year sentence Rabbi Barry Freundel received last week? In handing down the sentence, D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Geoffrey Alprin told the former rabbi of Kesher Israel: “You repeatedly and secretly violated the trust your victims had in you, and you abused your power.” The sentence — about six weeks… Read More

It’s About the Funding

Eight riders were killed and more than 200 injured in last week’s Amtrak crash.
(LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom)

Investigators are still determining the cause of the Amtrak crash that took eight lives and injured more than 200 riders of the northbound train in Philadelphia on May 12. But when asked whether Congress shared the blame because it underfunds the rail system, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) shot back: “Are you really going to… Read More

Free Speech on Z Street

Z Street, the pro-Israel group that says it was denied 501(c)(3) tax status because of its views, got its day in court last week. While the outcome of the case is far from certain, during oral arguments, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals criticized the IRS and the Justice Department for… Read More

Netanyahu’s New Government

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with haredi Orthodox Knesset 
members, in the rear of the parliament in Jerusalem last week.
(JIM HOLLANDER/EPA/Newscom)

Despite being a coalition comprised of the “right” and the “religious,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth government, which was scheduled to be voted in on Wednesday, does not appear to be united or stable. With a razor-thin, one-seat Knesset majority, the new governing coalition could easily be toppled by a single, rebellious coalition partner. Avoiding… Read More

Muhammad as a Red Flag

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had an idea worth trying in response to the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, which was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and held in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas on Sunday. “We are not paying any attention to this at all,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman,… Read More

The Hope of Ethiopian-Israelis

Several thousand people march  to protest police violence against Israel’s ethnic Ethiopians.
(NurPhoto/REX Shutterstock/Newscom)

It would be a mistake to try to draw too many comparisons between Sunday’s protest in Tel Aviv by Ethiopian-Israelis and the upheavals resulting from the line of demonstrations stretching from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore. Indeed, the origins and nature of the demonstrations are markedly different — even if the Israeli protests against the April… Read More

The Death of Warren Weinstein

President Obama addresses the media after two hostages were killed in Yemen during a failed rescue attempt.
(Polaris/Newscom)

Is the fog of war to blame for the death of Warren Weinstein? President Barack Obama suggested as much on April 23 when he told the country about the U.S. drone strike in January on an al-Qaida camp in Pakistan that mistakenly killed Weinstein, a kidnapped USAID worker, and Giovanni Lo Porto of Italy, who… Read More

A Unique Tragedy

Each of the recent well-publicized and widely condemned deaths of young black men at the hands of police, beginning last August with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has its unique circumstances. The unexplained injuries that led to the death of Freddie Gray on April 19 after his arrest by Baltimore Police is… Read More