With Friends Like This

Anyone who would like to know what a tell-it-like-it-is, shoot-from-the-hip president is like can look to the Philippines and its leader, Rodrigo Duterte. A 71-year-old populist, Duterte fought drugs while he was mayor of Davao by allegedly ordering death-squad killings. When he took office as president in June he promised more of the same. Since… Read More

Is Caesar the Answer?

The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act is a bipartisan bill designed to sanction the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for mass murder and crimes against humanity. The bill would also sanction entities that support Assad, namely Russia and Iran. The Obama administration is reportedly seeking to weaken the bill, in an apparent attempt to avoid… Read More

Hillary Clinton for President

clintonendorsementrotator

The election of 2016 has thrown a light onto many aspects of the American Dream that have either been ignored or given short shrift in recent years. The unsuccessful primary campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders brought out the enthusiasm and frustration of young middle-class Americans burdened by school debt and fearful that a prosperous future… Read More

Justice for 9/11 Victims’ Families

Americans have little warmth for Saudi Arabia. Despite its strong strategic relationship with the United States — its vital oil supplies acted as a counterbalance against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and now Iran — the desert kingdom shares little in common with American values. It exports Wahhabism, a radical form of orthodox Sunni Islam. Its human… Read More

Shimon Peres

A cartoon by Israeli Amos Biderman making the rounds last week showed Shimon Peres climbing the steps to heaven. Waiting to greet him, wearing robes, wings and haloes, are three former prime ministers: Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, who is puffing on a cigarette and in front with arms outstretched, and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime… Read More

The Unvarnished Candidates

An estimated 100 million viewers had an unvarnished look at the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on Monday night. The nationally televised — and live-streamed — debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton showed the two for who they are and so gave the American electorate a chance to make a more educated decision on… Read More

Barack and Bibi: The Finale

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit all the right notes in their public comments before their 35-minute meeting in New York last week during the United Nations General Assembly. Obama declared the bond between the two countries “unbreakable.” He thanked former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who recently suffered  a stroke, “for… Read More

Congregational Collaboration in the New Year

Here’s a thought to take to High Holiday services next month: Collaboration  between congregations can be a good thing. In an article in eJewish Philanthropy, Larry Glickman, the director of network engagement and collaboration for the Union for Reform Judaism, questioned the spirit of competition in the synagogue world. People go “shul shopping” and ultimately… Read More

Understanding the U.S.-Israel MOU

It’s being billed as historic — the largest-ever U.S. military aid package. The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed Sept. 14 and will go into effect in 2018, will provide Israel with $3.8 billion in aid a year for 10 years. The increase in aid from the previous MOU’s annual $3.1 billion sends important messages:… Read More

Bring on the Judges

In order to maintain public confidence in the legal system of a diverse country, those who uphold and enforce the laws must be from equally diverse backgrounds. Before the Civil War, when sectional differences were acute, the Supreme Court was composed of justices who were chosen, in part, to maintain a regional balance. More recently,… Read More