A Seder is not enough

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The hungry, like the poor, have always been with us. At our Seders this week we declared, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” But can our words alone fight hunger? That is the question raised by the National Hunger Seder, held April 9 at the U.S. Capitol. Being against hunger is easy. Doing… Read More

The knockout of Ali

What do we make of the incident of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the outspoken critic of Islam whose invitation to receive an honorary doctorate from Brandeis University was revoked following protests? The school’s actions drew howls of protest from The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol and others on the right and generated discomfort from just about everyone… Read More

The collapsed talks

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The recriminations and told-you-so’s that followed the apparent breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations last week are well- founded. Each side pointed to the other in an effort to cast blame. At least with respect to the particular accusations made, each side was right: The Palestinians acted contrary to agreed protocol by signing 15 U.N. treaties, as… Read More

Newspaper ownership consolidation

News this week that the Jerusalem Post would buy the troubled Hebrew daily Maariv for $1.5 million comes on the heels of word that American Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson will purchase the Israeli weekly Makor Rishon and NRG website for nearly $5 million. Adelson, a casino mogul, high-profile political contributor and prolific philanthropist, also owns… Read More

The Israeli visa question

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Most Americans who go to Israel can do so without a visa. It’s not the same for Israelis who want to visit the U.S., who must first have a 90-day visa approved in a meeting with a U.S. consular official in Israel. That certainly creates an uneven relationship. But for the vast majority of Israeli… Read More

A spectacle for King Sheldon

There are no current kings in Israel. But there are kings in politics — and Jewish kings as well. Most prominent of these is casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who, with his fortune, is the financial backbone of the Republican Party, along with the non-Jewish Koch brothers. Last weekend, a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition… Read More

A man apart

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As he serves a 150-year sentence for running the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history, Bernard Madoff surely has a lot of time to think about his crimes and their ramifications. But in an interview last week with Politico, Madoff showed that he was a man apart — imperious, disconnected, unrepentant and surprisingly lacking in… Read More

Strength in numbers

No one denies that Wayne Stephen Young murdered Esther Lebovitz, the 11-year-old girl who disappeared on her way home from the Bais Yaakov School for Girls in 1969. And in a perfect world, the question of Young’s freedom — he was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 — would not be an issue almost… Read More

Three little words

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Will Israeli-Palestinian peace come down to whether the Palestinians will acknowledge that Israel is “a Jewish state”? And if Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t say those three little words, will we see the current negotiations end without a resolution? In his defense, Abbas says that he recognizes Israel; that his predecessor, Yassir Ara-fat, already recognized… Read More

Beit Shemesh has spoken

In last week’s mayoral election in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, incumbent Moshe Abutbul appears to have been returned to office fair and square. That wasn’t the case last fall, when the results of an earlier election went in Abutbul’s favor, only to be overturned due to voter fraud. While it appears that the… Read More