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

Tyranny Of The Minority

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) watches as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) addresses the press following a House Republican party meeting on Capitol Hill earlier this week. (JASON REED/REUTERS/Newscom)

The government shutdown, which is now in its second week, is an outrage. And the continued dysfunctionality of the legislative branch of our federal government is an embarrassment. With accusations, threats and sound bites being exchanged by frustrated leadership on both sides, one sometimes loses focus on the real culprits in this sad story. The… Read More

The Hard Reality Of The New Pew Report

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The latest study by the Pew Research Center put on paper a lot of what our communal leaders already knew. Intermarriage is on the rise (71percent of non-Orthodox Jews are intermarried) and younger Jews are opting out of ritual and affiliation (1/3 of Millenials identify as Jews of no religion). But it also reported other… Read More

A Questionable Religious Freedom Envoy

Last month, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 301 with bipartisan support. The bill calls for the establishment of a special envoy to promote religious freedom for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. The bill has yet to be considered by the Senate, where a similar measure died in 2011…. Read More

Security Or Provocation?

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  The separate murders last weekend of two Israeli soldiers has led to an outpouring of grief. On Sunday, Sgt. Gal Gabriel Kobi was killed by a Palestinian sniper while on patrol in Hebron. That followed the killing Friday of Sgt. Tomer Hazan, who was lured unarmed to a West Bank village by a Palestinian… Read More