An escalating stalemate in Syria

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The second round of Syrian peace talks ended in Geneva last weekend with very little progress reproted. In recognition of that failure, the U.N.’s Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, sent an apology to the Syrian people: “I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people, [whose] hopes were very, very high,” that… Read More

After Abe Foxman

Abe Foxman’s announcement last week that he was planning to retire as national director of the Anti-Defamation League was inevitable. Yet, it somehow came as a surprise. For years, Foxman watchers suggested that he needed to groom a successor and, with that heir in place, step down. The fact that Mr. Foxman seemed to take… Read More

The Presbyterian problem with Israel

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The conciliation between Christians and Jews in recent decades has been so remarkable that, although most Jews can’t explain the differences between, say, the Lutheran church and the Methodist church, the general feeling is that all is well, or at least doing better. This era of good feeling does not extend to Israel, however. Ironically,… Read More

Washington JCC draws a red line

The story of David Harris-Gershon goes a bit of the way toward answering the perennial question of whether a tree makes a sound if it falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it. In 2012, Harris-Gershon, a Pittsburgh Jewish day school teacher, “came out” about his support of the boycott, divestment… Read More

Cloudy skies in Sochi?

As much as the Olympic Games are about athletic excellence, they are also about pride: national pride for the host country and pride for the teams representing their homelands. No doubt there is pride among smaller groups, as Jews can attest. We wonder how the Israeli team will do at the 2014 Winter Games, which… Read More

Scarlett Johansson takes a stand

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The skirmish over actress Scarlett Johansson’s relationship with the Israeli company Soda-Stream seems to have ended in a draw — although a largely satisfying one — with some short-term winners and losers but no real change in the fundamentals that are driving the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The big winner was SodaStream,… Read More

Birthright Welcomes the ‘Veterans’

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Birthright Israel was created with the idea that every Jew is entitled to a free trip to Israel. It operates on the premise that if a Jew experiences the Jewish state as a young adult, between ages 18 and 26, he or she will develop an attachment to the country and become a more committed… Read More

Morocco’s Arab Street Maneuvers

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Morocco is a stable, Western-oriented Arab monarchy, which is also known for its cooperation with Israel dating back decades. Last fall, King Muhammed VI came to Washington as part of an effort to deepen the relationship between the U.S. and Morocco. At that time, Ambassador- at-Large Serge Berdugo, president of the Jewish community of Morocco… Read More

Inadvertently Offensive

The Economist made some waves recently with an editorial cartoon showing the difficulty the U.S. and Iran are having coming to terms. President Hassan Rouhani is depicted reaching over a chasm to President Obama, but is being held back by a variety of hardline figures, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr. Obama, on the… Read More

Harsh Words on Iran Sanctions

Rabbi Jack Moline, the incoming director of the National Jewish Democratic Committee, last week charged into the debate over enhanced Iran sanctions in a way that raised eyebrows and some concern. An Iran sanctions bill has won a bipartisan majority in the Senate but with not enough votes yet to overcome a promised veto from… Read More