The Toxic Brew of Politics and Religion

Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine your rabbi dedicating his Yom Kippur sermon to why he will be voting for Candidate X come Election Day and why you should as well. Now suppose the rabbi made that endorsement because your congregation’s biggest donor asked that he do so in exchange for an unprecedented gift to the… Read More

Abbas’ Photo Op

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent reception at the White House provided the optics for a new Middle East peace push, even though it does not appear to have generated any actual momentum. But the high-profile reception did give legitimacy to the Palestinian leader, notwithstanding the fact that he is despised at home, is still in… Read More

Is This Really Happening in NYC?

Gentrification is a serious issue in many large cities. Rising real estate values, which are generally a sign of economic health, can bring with them upper-income residents who displace lower-income tenants from developing neighborhoods. There is nothing new about this problem. But are Jews to blame for it? One Democratic candidate for the New York… Read More

Netanyahu’s German Problem

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the foreign minister of Germany, one of Israel’s oldest and strongest allies, a choice: Either meet with me or with Israeli human rights groups, but you can’t meet with both. While it is hard to believe that Netanyahu would snub Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, that is exactly… Read More

Free Speech at Berkeley

As of this writing, the University of California at Berkeley is still planning to host a speech by conservative provocateur Ann Coulter. This is after the university canceled Coulter’s planned appearance at the invitation of a Republican student group, citing security concerns. The move brought to mind the violence in February that preceded the cancellation… Read More

A New Dawn at the UN?

On Sunday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a series of statements that were unusual for the world body and its chief executive. He vowed to take action to end anti-Semitism and called denial of Israel’s right to exist a modern form of anti-Jewish hatred. Granted, he was speaking to the World Jewish Congress, an… Read More

Spicer’s Yom HaShoah Lesson

It would be simple to play the moral outrage card on White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s confused comparison of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and Adolf Hitler’s refraining from gassing enemy troops on the battlefield (but killing millions of Jews with that method to effect his Final Solution). But we detect… Read More

Is Taylor Force the Right Approach?

In March 2016, a 29-year-old former U.S. Army officer named Taylor Force was fatally stabbed in Jaffa, Israel, reportedly by a Palestinian resident of the West Bank, who was himself killed. The attack came during the so-called Knife Intifada carried out by mostly young Palestinians. In death, Taylor Force lent his name to a Senate… Read More

Bye, Bye Bannon

In another sign that the Trump administration is moving toward greater stability and more traditional governance, the president last week signed an executive order removing White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council. Bannon’s appointment to the council and to its Principals Committee was roundly criticized as the infiltration of a radical… Read More