Remember when President Obama's approval rating among Israelis was in the single digits? That was August 2009 when it bottomed at 4%. A lot has changed since then, and a Pew Research Center survey released this week showed Obama "enjoys the confidence of 61% of Israelis." Among Israeli Jews, 64% rate Obama favorably vs. 48% of Arabs.
For my dissertation research, I have focused on studying Jewish parents of children with and without autism. During these interviews, many parents of children without autism discussed the importance of taking their child to services so that he or she could experience a Jewish environment. Parents of children with autism talked about how they often felt distressed when attending services with their child.
This year’s MFA exhibition at The New York Studio School, which opened on Wednesday night, includes two Israeli painters working with specifically Jewish or Israeli themes. Leah Raab paints large-scale images of Jerusalem that are tender and intimate, but sometimes communicate a sense of foreboding. Shany Saar paints narrative works, often of biblical themes. Both create strong images through an inventive sense of form and color, vigorous brushwork and an achieved sense of pictorial space.
Arab League leaders were in Washington last week doing what they do best: talking. Trouble is they're all talk and no walk. This time they endorsed the concept of land swaps as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. They made it sound revolutionary but in fact it was old stuff for the two parties who'd been discussing that for more than a dozen years.