Politics

Ten Republican Questions For Kagan

 Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is scoring points for grace with her witty comeback during confirmation hearings to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's oddly non-sequitur question "Where were you last Christmas?"

To her credit, the solicitor general defused the situation by saying she was likely eating at a Chinese restaurant, to which Graham answered "Great answer."

She has also had to contend with questions that stress her Upper West Side origins and her admiration of an Israeli jurist.

Expect more fireworks.

Time To Make Room for Women In The Orthodox Religious Hierarchy

06/29/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

One of the biggest challenges facing Orthodox Jewish communities is rarely spoken about publicly. By admitting women into the cadre of the religious hierarchy, those who traditionally hold this place must make room to allow new members to be part of their ranks. It comes as no surprise that those in power are reluctant to relinquish it and evoke women’s modesty, biology or formal position naming issues to hinder the negotiation between present demands and past traditions.

Mike Huckabee loves Israel, but will Jewish voters love him?

The Jewish political world is buzzing ...well, it's a pretty quiet buzz, more like a murmur ... about the New Yorker profile of former Arkansas governor, Fox news commentator and 2012 GOP presidential Wannabee Mike Huckabee.

Israel’s Black Panthers Remembered

BAM film documents Mizrahi civil rights movement of the ‘70s, though inequities still resonate for Jews from Arab countries.

06/29/2010
Staff Writer

Shortly after Israel’s victory in the War of Independence, the Jewish state took in a mass exodus of Jews from Arab lands, first in 1949, and then again in 1956. 

Jews from Arab lands, called Mizrahim, came to Israel not because they were ardent Zionists, but because their host Arab countries, angered by the establishment of the State of Israel, had turned against them. 

A scene from “The Black Panthers (In Israel) Speak” shows a Mizrahi protest from the early ‘70s.

Engel slams Chavez for Calling Israel 'Genocidal'

06/29/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Latin American subcommittee slammed Venezuela's president for calling Israel a "genocidal" state.

Hugo Chavez, this week hosting Syrian president Bashar Assad, described their countries as having "common enemies": "The Yankee empire, the genocidal state of Israel."

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Chavez needed to distract attention from his own problems.

First Jewish reactions to Supreme Court gun decision

 It will be much harder for cites to regulate the firearms that are turning some neighborhoods into free-fire zones in the wake of Monday's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. the City of Chicago, according to several Jewish groups.

In a 5-4 decision, the Justices ruled that the right to keep and bear arms can't be restricted by state and local governments, at least not easily.

The case zeros in on the nation's toughest laws, starting with Chicago, but could also affect gun restrictions in New York.

New Zealand Jews Plan to Fight for Kosher Slaughter

06/28/2010
JTA

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Barring a last-minute policy reversal, Jewish leaders in New Zealand appear certain to launch legal action against the government over its controversial new law banning kosher slaughter.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Jewish groups praise Iran sanctions passage, dovish groups split

My email inbox today has been chock full of statements from Jewish organizations and Capitol Hill politicians lauding final passage of the new, tougher Iran sanctions bill, and groups like AIPAC deserve a pat on the back for getting the legislation through a largely gridlocked Congress.

This from AIPAC:

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