Afghanistan

The Jews Of ‘Restrepo’

06/30/2010

 His parents gave Misha Pemble-Belkin a pacifist, “hippie” upbringing, forbidding him and his two brothers from playing with toy guns or watching violent films.

But both of them, including his Jewish father, were “very proud” that he enlisted in the Army, says their son, now a sergeant at Fort Polk, La., and one of 11 soldiers interviewed in “Restrepo,” a new documentary about one company’s grueling tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin, left, is one of 11 soldiers featured in the new film “Restrepo,” about U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Obama's big headache: Afghanistan, not Israel

To listen to Jewish bloggers and pundits, you'd think President Obama's Middle East policy and his chilly relations with Israel will be his biggest foreign policy headache when he faces voters in 2012.

Well, maybe it'll be a big problem with a small minority of a small minority, but nothing like the problem he could face if the Afghanistan war is still going on – and if he's still clueless about how to fix the problem.

Coming soon: a new Iran day of reckoning for pro-Israel groups?

Could pro-Israel leaders here face a grim day of reckoning on the issue of Iran's nuclear program?

Last week the UN Security Council passed new sanctions demanded by the Obama administration, which won the support of China and Russia – the biggest obstacles to a new sanctions regime. Congress seems poised to pass tougher U.S. sanctions targeting companies, individuals and states that deal with Iran's nuclear sector, JTA reports.

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.

06/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

Respected foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman: Genuine alliances are two-way streets.

Jewish Soldiers Fighting Enemies, And Stereotypes

A meditation on Memorial Day.

05/26/2010
Editor And Publisher

This Monday is Memorial Day.

For most of us that means no work — a holiday that is more about family barbecues and shopping sales than remembering those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. 

That’s especially true for a Jewish community that knows few who serve in today’s all-volunteer military. Can you name even two people in active service? How about one?

Gary Rosenblatt

Rethinking, And Rejecting, The ‘Peace Process’

04/27/2010
Editor and Publisher

One side effect of the current showdown between Washington and Jerusalem is that it has provided an opportunity for American diplomats and Mideast experts to step back and reassess the situation, and the results have been fascinating. Several key figures long involved in pushing the Oslo/land-for-peace equation are now saying quite bluntly that it doesn’t make sense, at  least for now, and that the Obama administration should back off.

Gary Rosenblatt

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.
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