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

Proud To Pilot

Baltimore’s tight-knit, engaged Jewish community  presents an ideal setting for  national organizations to run test projects or pilot programs.  Two such recent efforts give us cause for pride and a challenge for the future. First, Repair the World, is  Jewish-sponsored “AmeriCorps,” whose goal is to “enable more Jews to volunteer more frequently and more meaningfully.” … Read More

Nasser’s Heir?

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Will Egypt’s military strong man, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, become the country’s next president? And will the Egyptian leader he most closely resembles be Gamal Abdel Nasser, the army officer who established an aggressive, nationalist military-backed regime that sought to establish Egypt’s pre-eminence in the Arab world? There are good reasons to think… Read More

Taking Aim At A Trial Balloon

The recent Pew study on American Jews has lent a sense of urgency to those who want to see Judaism flourish and affiliation rates rise in this country. In a recent op-ed in Forward, which also appeared in the Huffington Post, two leaders of the Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group for the… Read More

Strange Bedfellows And Marriages Of Convenience

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Is there really a serious breach between the United States and Saudi Arabia?  And if so, how far will it go? In the last two weeks, the Saudis have signaled that they want to put some daylight between themselves, on the one hand, and the U.S., the West and the United Nations Security Council, on… Read More

Mayor Bloomberg, Jewish Hero?

On Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was named as the first recipient of the Genesis Prize. When plans for the prize were first announced, the Genesis idea seemed promising. According to the group’s mission, the prize is designed to “recognize individuals … whose actions … in addition to their achievements, embody the character of… Read More

The Value Of Sanctions On Iran

In the long, frustrating history of dealing with Iran over its nuclear development program, the meetings that took place earlier this month between Iran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1) were described as the most serious and candid to date. Those meetings have led to optimism that progress might be… Read More

Conservative Judaism at 100

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The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism just observed its 100th birthday. And even according to its most ardent supporters, it is suffering serious signs of old age. At its Centennial conference this week here in Baltimore, the movement’s leaders sought to play up Conservative Judaism’s strengths and energize the faithful, while using new language in… Read More

Dude, Don’t Boycott Israel

For the current crop of Jewish college students, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, or BDS, is a major stimulus for pro-Israel activism. BDS is wrong, and it is a challenge that deserves an answer. Yet, most arguments in favor of Israel, despite their good intentions, seem tired and familiar. Two weeks ago, Orthodox rapper… Read More

Who Is An Israeli?

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founder, may have inadvertently complicated things when he gave the name Israel to new the Jewish state. Had he chosen Judea instead, the citizens of the country would have been known as Jews, and their connection with their kin in the Diaspora would have been obvious. As it is, Israel’s population registry… Read More