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

Michael Oren’s Unilateral Withdrawal

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Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, recently suggested that if negotiations with the Palestinians fail, Israel should unilaterally withdraw from parts of the West Bank. If the suggestion was a trial balloon, it deserves to be deflated. That approach was partially adopted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview on… Read More

Women of the Mall?

Until now, the Women of the Wall were known as a group that has been working for decades in an effort to obtain equal prayer rights for women at Judaism’s holiest site. But last Friday, group members moved from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. They set up a table at the entrance to Tel Aviv’s Carmel… Read More

A Kingdom Too Weak To Let Fail

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The Kingdom of Jordan has made a virtue of its weakness. Ruled by a canny monarchy that manages to balance competing forces within the country and kept afloat by international aid, Jordan has always seemed fragile. Yet, Jordan is pro-Western and a close and reliable friend of the United States (the notable exception being Jordan’s… Read More