Balance of Rights

President Barack Obama has set his sights on the rights that gun violence has taken away. (PHILIP COBURN)

In announcing executive action to reduce gun violence across the nation last week, President Barack Obama called for balancing Second Amendment gun rights with other liberties. As he did so, he recited a litany of those whose elementary rights were taken away by gun violence: The “right to worship freely and safely … was denied… Read More

Seeing Through the Transparency Bill

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s bill most certainly would promote intimidation. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

Under a bill introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the right-wing Jewish Home party and approved by the Israeli Cabinet on Dec. 27, new rules are going to be imposed on Israeli nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding support from foreign governments.  According to supporters, the Shaked bill is a “transparency bill” designed to… Read More

No Reason to Spy

One of the many surprising revelations made by  Edward Snowden in 2013 was that the National  Security Agency was tapping the phone conversations of world leaders, most famously German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a key U.S. ally. That led President Barack Obama in January 2014 to announce that the United States would no longer spy on… Read More

Unparalleled Race

In case you haven’t noticed — or alternatively, you’ve noticed too much and have tuned out the endless headlines and reports over who said what and who insulted whom — the presidential election season, that quadrennial bacchanalia of wall-to-wall coverage, jingoistic slogans, sleazy ads and fever-pitched rallies, is firmly upon us. Dear readers, welcome to… Read More

Is a Jewish Dentist a Security Threat?

The crime of practicing dentistry while Jewish would be funny if it wasn’t true. But by all appearances, that’s exactly what led a retired dentist, Dr. Gershon Pincus, to be denied a needed security clearance to continue treating patients at an off-base naval clinic in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. We would normally question such accounts as… Read More

Justice, Not Vengeance, for Freddie Gray

A protester carries a sign outside the City Circuit Court House during jury deliberations in the trial 
of William G. Porter.

The mistrial of Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter, who was on trial for the death of Freddie Gray, likely satisfied no one. Most disappointed appear to be those who wanted to see Porter convicted of the charges against him: involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. The fact that there was… Read More

Progress in the Absence of Peace

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin: “Cultivating channels of communication … improves our situation.” (Itzike via Wikimedia Commons.)

In an op-ed in The Washington Post last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin outlined a kinder, gentler right-wing approach to the Palestinians living under Israeli control that would focus on improving basic services and quality of life in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the absence of “a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,”… Read More

Key to Student Success?

The Every Student Succeeds Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law last week, was a triumph of bipartisan cooperation between Congress and the administration. The successor to No Child Left Behind, the new law will affect some 50 million students and 3.4 million teachers. Like No Child Left Behind, which President George W. Bush… Read More

Donald Trump and the Jews

Donald Trump waves to an  appreciative audience at a  campaign rally in September. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Last week’s daylong Republican Jewish Coalition-sponsored candidates’ forum generated a fair amount of interest and comment. While the “mainstream” Republican presidential candidates largely pitched their cases as expected, two of the current “leading” candidates did not. In the case of Donald Trump — who is now said to be leading his closest competitor by at… Read More

Iran’s Effort to Build a Bomb

Throughout its negotiations over an agreement to restrict its nuclear development program in exchange for economic sanctions relief, Iran insisted that its historic nuclear activities were for peaceful purposes only. Some may have taken the Iranians at their word, but at the time it would have been naïve to assume that a regime that sponsored… Read More