Three-Dimensional Chess

Sen. Charles Schumer

President Barack Obama presented a polished and impassioned defense last week of the international nuclear agreement with Iran that is being considered by Congress. For those who are trying to understand the agreement and what exactly separates its backers from its bashers, the speech offered a clear view of  the deal’s supporter-in-chief’s vision. Inside the… Read More

A Poll for Everyone

As in any political campaign, Jewish supporters and opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement are promoting the results of opinion polls to support their position. But how reliable are those polls? And why is it that polling results on the same issue are so dramatically different? One poll, conducted by the liberal group J Street,… Read More

What’s Next for Pollard?

Israelis call for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard during President Barack Obama’s visit to Jerusalem in 2013.

Thirty years after he was arrested outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, former Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard is expected to be paroled from a federal prison in North Carolina on Nov. 20. The day of his release may prove to be Pollard’s Rip Van Winkle moment. Although the convicted spy for Israel has not been… Read More

Standing Up for the Little Guy

Unlike most entertainers, even the political ones, activism was very much a part of Theodore Bikel’s everyday life. So was his Jewishness and his love of Israel. He was an activist with a commitment to social justice. Whether it was an insistence that benefit shows be a part of his performance contracts, publicly protesting Chicago… Read More

Signs of Frustration

An EU recommendation played havoc with  Israel’s stock market.

A European Union think tank last week recommended that the EU restrict its dealings with Israeli banks in order to differentiate Europe’s relations with Israel from that of the settlements. While the Israeli foreign ministry played down the recommendation and the EU quickly clarified that it had “no intention of imposing restrictions on Israeli banks… Read More

How Not to Save Greece

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

This is not the golden age of Greece. After winning a parliamentary election in January by vowing to fight the draconian austerity imposed on his country by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, followed by his successful efforts to defeat a national referendum that included dramatic fiscal compromise, austerity and economic discipline, Prime… Read More

End Run Around Congress

On July 13, the day before the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was reached, the Obama administration began circulating a resolution at the U.N. Security Council calling for the chamber’s approval of the deal. That vote took place Monday, with the council backing the agreement on the heels of the European Union… Read More

Sobering Thoughts about BDS

In its annual survey of the Jewish world, the Israel-based think tank Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) considered the de-legitimization threat posed against Israel by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The think tank, which is chaired by longtime U.S. diplomats Stuart Eizenstat and Dennis Ross, submitted its assessment last month to the Israeli… Read More

An Untimely Objection

State Department  spokesman John Kirby (DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett/Public Domain)

Why did the State Department move from celebrating President Barack Obama’s legislative victory a day after the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority bill to “clarifying” a provision in the legislation that treats Israel and “Israeli-controlled territories” as a single economic entity? The provision in question, spearheaded by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman… Read More

Order in the Court

It is one of Israel’s paradoxes that, while the country accepts any conversion made abroad for purposes of aliyah, not even many Orthodox conversions made abroad are sufficient to render a future Israeli Jewish for personal status purposes. That’s because only Orthodox conversions made in the country under the auspices of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate —… Read More