Bringing openness to JNF

American Jews have historical, idealistic views of Zionist institutions. And the Jewish National Fund is no exception. For many, JNF conjures up the warm images of placing coins in blue pushkes, planting trees in Israel and generally making the land of Israel bloom. It is this image that has sustained support of the organization for… Read More

Daylight falls

The whole world looks forward to daylight, except when it concerns the U.S.-Israel relationship. There, we have grown accustomed to the refrain that “there is no daylight” between the United States and Israel as the metaphor for the rock-solid relationship between the two countries. So, when daylight starts to appear between the public pronouncements and… Read More

Referendum on the Presidents’ Conference

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In 1956, developing American Jewish organizations were working hard to find their voice in public matters. At the same time, the State of Israel, not yet a close ally of the United States, was looking for every possible way to make its needs known to the U.S. government. And the Eisenhower administration was looking for… Read More

The Postal Service’s easy button

Think about the U.S. Postal Service and the words “bloated,” “bureaucratic” and “broke” come to mind. The agency has been in the red for years, as the age of the Internet has matured and the use of electronic mail has overtaken and largely replaced the use of first-class mail for almost everything except bill payment…. Read More

Assessing Palestinian unity

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The agreement reached April 23 by Fatah and Hamas apparently caught both the United States and Israel off guard. But with Israel-Palestinian negotiations sputtering to a disappointing ending last month, the “unity accord” gave everyone something to talk about. Under their agreement, rival Palestinian groups will form a unity government in five weeks. Since a… Read More

Compromise of sorts in Ukraine

The agreement over Ukraine reached April 17 in Geneva will likely only offer each side some breathing room until the next threatening act by Russia on its western neighbor. Moscow was a signatory to the “agreement,” along with the United States, the European Union and Ukraine, which calls for all parties — including the pro-Russian… Read More

Rethinking right-wing extremism

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The Boston Marathon bombing, a year ago last week, took three lives, created an uproar and reignited fears about the threat of Islamist-inspired terrorism in this country. The response after what police say was white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller’s murder of three people outside two Jewish institutions in suburban Kansas City was decidedly different. True,… Read More

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