Asleep at the Switch on BDS

In recent years, BDS has become the scourge of the organized Jewish community and the government of Israel. Everyone from B’nai B’rith International to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that the movement to boycott, divest and sanction the Israeli economy is not only anti-Israel, but also anti-Semitic. This past Tuesday, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny… Read More

Shaky Steps in Building the Party Platform

Humorist Will Rogers once famously remarked: “I’m a member of no organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” That decades-old quip appears to be today’s political reality on the left, as tensions continue to mount between the camp of presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the partisans supporting Bernie Sanders, raising questions about the achievability of Democratic… Read More

Pro-Peace, Not Anti-Israel

Over the last several years, mainline Protestant denominations have become increasingly active in their opposition to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, known to the rest of the world as the West Bank. The territory is where Palestinians hope one day to establish a state. In support of that effort, the churches have turned to… Read More

Netanyahu Leans Right

With his offer to bring the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party into his governing coalition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has probably formed the most right-wing ruling coalition in the country’s history. And with his offer to make party leader Avigdor Lieberman defense minister, Netanyahu is putting  Israel’s formidable armed forces into the hands of a… Read More

The White House’s New Jewish Liaison

In the Washington area, just about every politically active member of the Jewish community considers himself or herself a Jewish liaison to one or more politicians. In the case of the White House, however, it is the president who chooses the person who will convey the administration’s message to organized Jewry and who will respond… Read More

Getting Serious about Zika

In February, President Barack Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and prevent a major outbreak in the United States. Last week, the Republican-controlled Congress finally responded, and it looks like the Senate and possibly the House of Representatives will soon vote on their own measures. Even though… Read More

A Call for Civility in the Public Sphere

Diversity of opinion has long been a feature of Jewish tradition as well as of American democracy. Argument “for the sake of heaven” — disagreement in search of a higher truth, as opposed to disagreement for the sake of obstinacy — is a core feature of Judaism. Similarly, a robust and vigorous debate about political… Read More

Misleading With Contempt

Politics, diplomacy and warfare are not for the naïve. So we probably shouldn’t be upset to learn that the Obama administration manipulated the media to tell a narrative about the nuclear negotiations with Iran that was misleading and untrue. But we are upset. And we have a right to be. The conduct of secret, sensitive… Read More

Our Complex Relationship with Saudi Arabia

The U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia has always been complex. Founded on oil, the relationship flourished as America’s need for foreign energy resources grew and was fed by the Arab world’s seeming endless supply of oil. But the kingdom is dramatically different from Western democracy, and the alliance has made for very strange bedfellows. Saudi… Read More

Syria’s Insoluble Puzzle

“In the last 48 hours, we have had an average of one Syrian killed every 25 minutes. One Syrian wounded every 13 minutes.” That was U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura’s  assessment of the carnage, as the shaky cease-fire in the Syrian civil war collapsed late last week. In the divided northern city of Aleppo, a… Read More