Jerusalem

More on Jerusalem: Peace Now weighs in on Sec. Clinton’s comments

Monday, March 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Earlier today the Political Insider cited the Orthodox Union’s anger at Ehud Olmert for suggesting Jerusalem must be divided as part of any peace agreement with the Palestinians, and about the silence of pro-peace process groups in response to the outgoing Prime Minister’s words.

Pointless Hatred

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

There is no more cautionary concept in Judaism than that of mitzvah haba b’avera – the act of tainting a good deed by committing a bad deed in the process.

 

I’m sure most halachic decisors would concur that we are not to be judged simply on a system of how many mitzvot we rack up in our lives (like points in a game) but by the manner in which we conduct ourselves and the consideration and thoughtfulness we put into our actions.

 

Does the administration care about the next Israeli government?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Usually, every change in government in Israel produces intense speculation about  which party and leaders Washington favors, and sometimes  thinly veiled meddling by officials here.  There’s some interest this time around,  but with the Israeli political system in deep limbo, it’s curiously muted.

Are Jewish Groups living in economic la-la land?

Friday, February 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It just me, or is there a kind of surrealistic atmosphere surrounding Jewish activism in the early days of the Obama administration? The issues are mostly the same as always, but the context has changed dramatically. And it’s not at all clear our leaders understand the potential extent of that shift.

Hamas Boosting Bibi?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Does the resumption this week of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, in violation of the fragile and unofficial truce between Hamas and Jerusalem, signal a Hamas endorsement of Bibi Netanyahu for Israeli prime minister?

That’s the likely effect of renewed attacks on Israel on the eve of next Tuesday’s national elections. The rockets underscore that despite the beating Hamas took last month, the terror group still rules Gaza and can still make life miserable for Israelis, especially those living in the south.

Mitchell, Israel and “Even-handedness”

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Here’s a paradox for you: most leaders of major American Jewish groups believe there has to be a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but many are very nervous about the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as the Obama administration’s special envoy in the region (Read the Jewish Week story here).  Why?

Gaza War: Reinforcing Hamas?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Okay, we all know by now that Israel was “justified” in mounting a major offensive against Hamas to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.  We’ve sure heard it enough from Jewish groups across the political spectrum that have rallied to Israel’s defense as, predictably, world opinion turns against the Jewish state.

Notes From A New Public School Parent

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

After all the years my wife and I have carried  the burden of yeshiva tuition, we never thought we’d see the day we pull one of our children out because of an issue not related to money. But sure enough, because of learning issues that were impeding the progress of one of my kids, we decided an unusual mid-year shift was in order.

 

Gaza Isn’t Mexico: The Hasbara Dilemma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I confess to great uncertainty about Israel’s current offensive in Gaza.  That Israeli’ leaders were justified in taking strong action against relentless rocket attacks is not an issue for me. Whether the current massive operation is the best option is something I don’t feel qualified to judge.
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