Gary Rosenblatt's blog

An Insider's Look At AIPAC Conference: Just Me And 10,000 Other Attendees

Along with The Western Wall in Jerusalem and the ice sculptures at swanky Passover hotels' lunch buffets, the annual AIPAC conference in Washington surely must rank as one of the Seven Wonders of The Jewish World.

Bibi’s Blunder: The Mideast’s Mr. No

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had an excellent response to President Obama’s major speech on the Arab world and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But it came two days too late, and the net result is another hasbara disaster for Jerusalem.

Netanyahu said on Saturday that Obama had “shown his commitment to Israel’s security, both in word and deed,” in Thursday’s Presidential speech, adding: “We are working with the administration to achieve common goals.”

Billionaire Adelson Defends Gingrich

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas businessman and philanthropist, called me last Friday afternoon to complain about our story, “Will Gingrich Bomb With Jewish Republicans?” (May 13), saying it was “biased and prejudiced” and unfairly negative, “starting with the headline.”

He said he has known the former house speaker, who last week announced his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, for close to two decades, and asserted that “no candidate is stronger” than Gingrich or more supportive of Israel.

Birthright Mega Event Comes To New York

Mayor Bloomberg, a surprise guest at Birthright Israel’s New York City Mega Event last night (May 4), tried to impress the sell-out audience at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater with his Hebrew, greeting them with “mah nishmah?” (loosely, “what’s up?”).

But he botched it by emphasizing the first rather than the second syllable in “nishmah.”

Camp HASC Supporters Plan Legal Action To Reverse `Brazen Coup D’Etat’

 In the wake of our April 15 story, “HASC Staff Fighting Return Of Disgraced Exec,” an effort is under way to bring legal action against the board of directors of the highly praised special needs camp for rehiring Bernard Moshe Kahn, who was forced to resign more than seven years ago for alleged improper use of charitable funds.

Israeli Educator Fears Mideast Move Toward Fundamentalism

Uriel Reichman, 68, a distinguished Israeli educator who almost – and should have been – appointed education minister several years ago, is as pessimistic about Israel’s diplomatic status as he is enthusiastic about the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC), the country’s first private university, which he founded and serves as president.

During a visit to The Jewish Week offices this week, he predicted that the entire Mideast region would undergo a major shift toward Islamic extremism, isolating Israel even more than today.

Sober Responses To My Column On Drinking

It seems my column this week hit a raw nerve in describing how some Jewish groups are using alcohol and partying as outreach tools to attract young people.

On the first day I've already received several dozen emails, in addition to online Comments, ranging from kudos for "telling like it is," to strong critiques for exaggerating, if not outright fabricating tales of overindulgence at organizational events.

A Lot Of Talk About Engaging Younger Jews On Israel; Now What?

I spent almost 10 hours at the American Jewish Committee headquarters yesterday, most of that time engaged in discussions on whether young American Jews are distancing from Israel.

When Israel Becomes A Source Of Embarrassment

Responding to a talk on the Israeli-Palestinian situation by the PLO representative to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, in New York the other day, an Israeli professor at NYU commented publicly how ironic it was that the PLO ambassador sounded more reasonable than Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Areikat smiled broadly and many in the audience, a group of several dozen Jewish leaders and graduate students, nodded approvingly.

Sign of the times?

Jewish Week to Ohel: Where’s The Beef?

The Jewish Week finds itself, unfortunately, in a war of words with Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services.

To be clear: we have no animus toward the Brooklyn-based social service agency or any other Jewish organization; our mission and goal is to report the truth and inform and strengthen the Jewish community. Sometimes that makes for hard feelings.

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