Resolve And Hope On Yom Kippur

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With the High Holidays falling at the earliest time since 1899, they also coincide with the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the dozen years since that fateful day of horror and tragedy, the initial sense of dread and helplessness has in many ways given way to resolve, hope and a greater understanding and… Read More

Who Owns Iraq’s Jewish Past?

In the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. troops discovered a treasure trove of Iraq’s ancient Jewish community in the waterlogged basement of Saddam Hussein’s secret police headquarters. The vast collection included more than 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents, the earliest from 1540. They were left behind… Read More

Red Lines, Green Lights And Mixed Messages

President Bashar al-Assad has threatened to retaliate against Israel if the U.S. strikes Syria with missiles. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The past week has been witness to a dizzying array of political brinkmanship, even in a town like Washington, D.C., where changing strategy can be as commonplace as changing shoes. More than a year ago, President Obama dec-lared that if Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, used chemical weapons to attack his own people, he would be… Read More

Hamas’ Sudden Vulnerability

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The chaotic changes in the Middle East have had at least one positive result at the moment: the weakening of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. Because of alignment decisions made by the Islamist group in both Egypt and Syria, Hamas has emerged as a big loser. (See related story, “The Mideast… Read More

Do Jews Need A White House Liaison?

When Matt Nosanchuk was appointed associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for Jewish Outreach last month, the former defense department staffer became the fourth in a series of President Obama’s “Jewish liaisons.” It is a role that goes back officially or unofficially to FDR and Harry Truman. The Jewish liaison is… Read More

A Seat At The New Year’s Table

This is the time of year when even the unaffiliated feel the pull of prayer, and many of them seek to join with other Jews to usher in the New Year. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — the World Series of Judaism — is also when seats in synagogues are at a premium. Increasingly, congregations… Read More

Another Syria?

An injured supporter of deposed Egyptian 
President Mohamed Morsi is carried into the Fatah Mosque at Ramses Square in Cairo. 
Ed Giles/Getty

With the death toll in Egypt at now more than 1,000, and through its ongoing deadly security sweeps targeted at supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian military has ended the pretense that it is supporting a civilian government and a return to the rule of law. Among the victims of the chaos in… Read More

More Than A Timeout Needed With Russia

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With the cancellation of President Barack Obama’s meeting early next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the administration’s hoped-for political reset with the Russians has suffered a further setback. Obama canceled the planned bilateral meeting in Moscow shortly after Putin granted political asylum to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The grant of asylum to Snowden was… Read More

National Night Out Block Party For Safety

Neighborhood security comes from several sources. It comes from the absence of crime, of course, and from good relations between neighbors and the police when problems do occur. And safety is strengthened when neighbors know each other and look out for each other. These last two components were emphasized at last week’s National Night Out,… Read More

John Kerry’s Accomplishment

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Many thought that in taking on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, Secretary of State John Kerry was embarking on a fool’s errand. But after investing significant time, effort and his own reputation in the process, he was able to bring the parties to the table last week. By achieving that result, Kerry confounded the doubters, at least in… Read More