Hier Will Honor the Presidency

A presidential inauguration has always been a celebration of the peaceful transfer of power. This year, after a crude and divisive election campaign won by Donald Trump, the idea of a peaceful transfer has emerged in high relief. That’s what we read into the words of Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center… Read More

Sgt. Azaria and the Rule of Law

Last week, Sgt. Elor Azaria, 20, of the Israel Defense Forces was convicted on a charge of manslaughter for killing a prone Palestinian man who had earlier lunged at Israeli troops with a knife. A three-judge military panel rejected Azaria’s defense that he acted out of fear when he shot Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in… Read More

So Much for Friendship

Conventional wisdom holds that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in a two-state solution and that the United States will always have Israel’s back through the peace process. In one speech last week, Secretary of State John Kerry turned that wisdom on its head. On their face, Kerry’s remarks seemed to be nothing… Read More

Justice for Rubashkin

President Barack Obama has been using his waning days in office to cement his legacy as the most merciful president in recent memory. Two weeks ago, he commuted 153 sentences of primarily low-level drug offenders ensnared in statutorily mandated minimum sentences, bringing his overall commutation total to the highest of the last 11 presidents combined…. Read More

Obama Abstains on Israel

At the recent White House Chanukah parties — the last such affairs under the outgoing Obama administration — there were smiles and warm feelings all around between the president and American Jews. That was in keeping with the administration’s oft-repeated assertion that it is the most supportive of Israel in history. That the White House… Read More

Treating the Wounds of Aleppo

The Syrian city of Aleppo is 400 miles from the Israeli border. It is closer to Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon than it is to any hospital in Israel. That’s one reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement last week that his government is looking into ways to bring thousands of Syrian civilians who were… Read More

Trump’s Man in Jerusalem

Donald Trump says he wants to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in David Friedman, the president-elect has nominated an ambassador to Israel who reflects the belief that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital — nothing more and nothing less. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who has for years represented Trump and his… Read More

The Ballad of Julia Ioffe

Julia Ioffe is, by all accounts, a sharp and insightful journalist. If her name is familiar to you, that may be because she spent a good part of 2016 chained to the rise of Donald Trump. Her April GQ profile of Trump’s wife, Melania, led to a torrent of abuse and threats against the 34-year-old… Read More

An Epidemic of Hopelessness

The health news last week from the federal government was startling. Overall, mortality is up and life expectancy has fallen for the first time since 1993, particularly for Americans under age 65. It appears that the progress in longevity that we have come to expect is reversible. Some of the deaths may be linked to… Read More

Illegal West Bank Construction

In a speech last week to the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that there are “about 11,000 demolition orders for Palestinian homes through the West Bank.” These homes have been built without permits, evidence that unauthorized or illegal building by Palestinians is an ongoing problem in Area C, the 60… Read More