A Mega-Million Gamble on BDS

Somewhere between $20 million and $50 million is reported to have been pledged at the recent Campus Maccabees Summit convened in Las Vegas by billionaire Sheldon Adelson to fight against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses. The exact size of the pledges is unknown, and precisely what transpired at the two-day… Read More

Diane Rehm’s Loyalty Oath

Diane Rehm, National Public Radio host 
(BILL GREENBLATT/UPI/Newscom)

Public radio host Diane Rehm is known for running a genial, intelligent and well-informed talk show. But during her interview with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders last week, something went very wrong. Prompted by a listener’s post on Facebook, Rehm stated that Sanders, who is Jewish, had dual citizenship with Israel. “No, I do not… Read More

Rabbi Riskin Under Fire

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Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin is a well-respected and accomplished modern Orthodox rabbi. In the 1960s and ’70s he was among the leading voices in the Soviet Jewry movement and led the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a hub for the area’s young modern Orthodox population. He made aliya in 1983 and became… Read More

The Crowning Glory of American Pharoah

It’s not often that an American Jewish publication chooses to comment on a horse race. And we certainly claim no expertise regarding the coveted Triple Crown of horse racing. But American Pharoah is a rare hose. Having won the Kentucky Derby and Maryland’s Preakness Stakes last month, the thoroughbred stands to be the first Triple… Read More

Tony Blair’s Mideast Exit

Tony Blair was the so-called Quartet’s Middle East envoy.
(FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA/Newscom)

Tony Blair stepped down last month as the Middle East envoy of the so-called Quartet — the group comprised of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia. To the extent Blair’s assignment was the achievement of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, he clearly didn’t finish the job. But,… Read More

A Birthright for Evangelicals?

A new program to bring young evangelical Christians to Israel on an 11-day subsidized trip has been dubbed “Birthright for evangelicals” because it was inspired by the successful Birthright Israel program open to Jewish young adults. And it’s a testament to that success that other groups seek to copy it. But comparisons between the two… Read More

The Pope’s Recognition

Under Pope Francis, the Vatican announced an agreement with the “State of Palestine.”
(Massimiliani Migliorato /CPP/POLARIS)

As the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis is also the head of a political entity called the Vatican. It was that entity that on May 13 announced an agreement with the “State of Palestine” about churches under Palestinian control. The use of “Palestine” was a shift away from the Vatican’s prior reference… Read More

The Freundel Sentence

Was justice served in the 61/2-year sentence Rabbi Barry Freundel received last week? In handing down the sentence, D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Geoffrey Alprin told the former rabbi of Kesher Israel: “You repeatedly and secretly violated the trust your victims had in you, and you abused your power.” The sentence — about six weeks… Read More

It’s About the Funding

Eight riders were killed and more than 200 injured in last week’s Amtrak crash.
(LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom)

Investigators are still determining the cause of the Amtrak crash that took eight lives and injured more than 200 riders of the northbound train in Philadelphia on May 12. But when asked whether Congress shared the blame because it underfunds the rail system, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) shot back: “Are you really going to… Read More

Free Speech on Z Street

Z Street, the pro-Israel group that says it was denied 501(c)(3) tax status because of its views, got its day in court last week. While the outcome of the case is far from certain, during oral arguments, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals criticized the IRS and the Justice Department for… Read More