Empty Gestures

In 2012, when the Palestinians won “nonmember observer state status” in the United Nations, Israel responded by withholding the tax revenues it regularly collects for and passes on to the Palestinian Authority. Later, Israel quietly reinstated the transfers. Last Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will again withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian… Read More

The Interdating Challenge

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently found itself embroiled in controversy when it reported on the annual international convention of the Conservative movement’s youth arm in Atlanta. In a Dec. 23 story titled, “USY drops ban on interdating,” JTA characterized an amendment adopted by United Synagogue Youth voters as relaxing longstanding rules precluding the group’s teenage… Read More

European Hypocrisy

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The past month has been difficult for Israel. With its government in turmoil as the nation girds for the next election, the country has seen a disturbing flare-up of Palestinian violence — including a brief exchange of rockets from Gaza and the firebombing of Israelis in the West Bank during the past week. But as… Read More

North Korea’s Lump of Coal

Reactions have been mixed to the unfolding story regarding the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the reported threats that were made by the hackers and the company’s cancellation of the planned Christmas Day release of” The Interview,” a comedy centered on the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Did Sony react properly? Was… Read More

Welcome Home, Alan Gross

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It became clear last week that the release of USAID contractor Alan Gross from Cuban imprisonment was a piece of a complex international puzzle involving nothing less than the restoration of U.S.-Cuban relations after a break of more than a half-century. We now understand that Gross’ release was far more than what we were led… Read More

The ‘Israeli Example’

The release on Dec. 9 of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects showed that the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” was both less effective and more brutal than originally claimed. With its details of waterboarding, sleep and sensory deprivation and other abuses, the 528-page report, redacted from… Read More

Reaching Across the Aisle

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What should we make of the Dec. 10 “partnership” announcement by Israel’s Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Tnuah Party’s Tzipi Livni? Is Herzog a shrewd pragmatist who is willing to share power in order to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from the prime minister’s office? Or is he a just another politician who in an attempt… Read More

‘It Cannot Go On Like This’

The disturbing attack on a young Jewish couple in a Paris suburb on Dec. 1 contained an element not seen in previous attacks thought to be motivated by anti-Semitism: the rape of a woman. This is an appalling crime against the 19-year-old victim and makes the attack qualitatively different from the disturbing attacks on Jews… Read More

Addressing Racial Bias

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In Ferguson, Mo., and again in Staten Island, N.Y., the widely reported decisions by grand juries not to indict white police officers accused of killing unarmed black men has brought protesters into the streets. The Jewish community, while not silent on the decisions, has been spotty in its response, perhaps reflecting the view that as… Read More

A Bad Bill for the Jewish State

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In what has largely been seen as a political move by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a controversial bill that would declare Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people. Such legislation, coming at this time, is not in Israel’s best interests. Sunday’s vote was the result of heated negotiations… Read More