As the American Jewish community mimics the rest of America with ugly, polarizing political fights, calls for a “big tent” are becoming common. Partisans are pushing back, caricaturing calls for a big tent as lacking in principle or shilling for the status quo. But constructing a big tent that is open enough to welcome disparate voices, yet not so undefined that it has no mooring, takes great skill and vision.
Last week, Yale made national headlines when it decided to close its five-year-old anti-Semitism institute. The decision came after a growing number of scholars began to question whether it was promoting anti-Arab sentiment, rather than coolly objective academic scholarship. Not to toot my own horn, by I saw this one coming.
President Barack Obama’s call for Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders with “mutually agreed swaps” in order to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza has split the American Jewish community along predictable lines: one right-wing group denounced Obama as the “most hostile president to Israel ever,” while centrist and left-wing groups commended him.
President Barack Obama's “Cairo II” speech yesterday may have complicated life for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose annual policy conference he will keynote on Sunday.
In his speech at the State Department, Obama advocated an Israeli-Palestinian agreement with borders “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Fervently Orthodox Israeli rabbi new darling of Jewish establishment here.
Editor And Publisher
Rabbi Chaim Amsellem has become an unlikely hero to many in the American Jewish establishment who closely follow Israeli life, including a new worldwide group being formed to support his positions.
A Sephardic scholar of Talmud with a thick gray beard and black hat, the rabbi, 51, is a Knesset member from the fervently Orthodox Shas party, known for its socially conservative agenda and interest in obtaining government funds to support a network of yeshivas.
The more I blog, the thicker my skin gets. Overtime, I've learned to prepare myself before reading the comment section at the bottom of my posts. With great inventions, we have to take the bad with the good. It's been wonderful that newspapers and magazines make their articles available to us on the Web, but it also means that individuals can post outrageous, defaming, and insulting comments underneath each article -- opinions that would never be published in a print edition.