‘Our Boys’

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In the weeks since their disappearance while hitchhiking home from their West Bank yeshiva, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel became household names for many. For those who held their photos aloft at vigils, taped their pictures to their front doors or tied three yellow ribbons around a front-yard tree, they became familiar faces,… Read More

Where Are We Going With Iraq?

With their good cop/bad cop approach to foreign policy, it is hard to know exactly how far President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will go in order to achieve the administration’s frequently conflicting goals of a peaceful world and a United States detached from it. Up until now, we haven’t seen much… Read More

With friends like these …

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What’s with the Presbyterians? On the one hand, the Presbyterian Church (USA) claims to love its “Jewish sisters and brothers” and believes in interfaith dialogue; and its member churches frequently partner with Jewish organizations to combat such societal ills as hunger and homelessness. On the other hand, the church has now become the poster child… Read More

A nightmare come true

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Having a child snatched off the street is a common parental fear, although one with little basis in reality. In the case of three Israeli teens who disappeared late last week after hitchhiking home in the West Bank, such a nightmare has come true. The apparent kidnapping galvanized Israelis, tens of thousands of whom gathered… Read More

Eric Cantor’s fall

At a time when the presence of three Jews on the Supreme Court is barely the subject of much discussion in our community, Eric Cantor’s service as the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, but the chamber’s only Jewish Republican, still causes wonder and much commentary. It’s easy to see why. Republicans are a… Read More

A hope that Israel’s 10th president is a uniter-in-chief

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The role of the president of Israel is largely ceremonial. The most important constitutional role is holding consultations in forming a government and accepting a government’s resignation. But Israel’s presidency has also been shaped by the men who have served in that capacity. In the case of Likud Knesset member Reuven Rivlin, who was elected… Read More

Let’s bring the others home too

To free or not to free. “Every circumstance is different,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in explaining why the U.S. trade of Taliban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl does not necessarily mean that Washington will make trades for other Americans in enemy hands. The list of Americans held includes… Read More

Hamas has to change

The Palestinian unity government that was sworn in Monday has been denounced in Jerusalem and met with an official wait-and-see in Washington. To soften the effect of his partnership with Hamas, President Mahmoud Abbas filled his cabinet with lawyers, businessmen and academics — none of whom proclaim to have direct connections to Abbas’ Fatah or… Read More

It sure isn’t art

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Everything in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have two narratives. Even in art. Even in Pittsburgh. That’s the lesson of the exhibit of Israeli, Palestinian and American artists, which was to have opened Sunday at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory museum but was canceled at the last minute. “Sites of Passage: Borders, Walls & Citizenship” was to… Read More

Pope in the Holy Land

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Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank was not merely a religious event. He is, after all, the head of a state. And even more than the charismatic John Paul II, Francis is everyone’s pope. He came, as one commentator put it, “mostly to do what he does best — project… Read More