Israel

Benefit Of Doubt

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I am savoring an unusual moment of calm amid the morning rush, when my daughter Talia startles me: “Next year I want to go to a Hebrew school where I can keep up my Hebrew.”

I roll my eyes toward my husband. Her pronouncement comes a few hours before the end-of-year party at her afterschool Jewish program — a program I consider to be one of the best-kept secrets of the Hebrew school world.

‘I Never Felt In My Place’

In ‘Let It Rain,’ filmmaker/actress Agnes Jaoui, the French-born daughter of Tunisian Jewish
immigrants, explores damaged people.

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Agnes Jaoui knows what it feels like not to fit in.

“My parents were Jews from Tunisia,” she says, sitting on the edge of the bed in a Soho hotel suite. “I was born in a suburb of Paris, but when I was 7 we moved to Paris itself. We lived in a poor and ugly block, but in a very chic arondissement [neighborhood]. So I went to very, very good schools, but it was purely by chance, because we were in this arondissement. I never felt in my place, nowhere.”

Agnes Jaoui as Agathe Villanova and Jean-Pierre Bacri in Jaoui’s “Let it Rain.”

Like It Or Not, We Jews Can’t Separate From Israel

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I generally feel guilty about stuff. Sometimes I blame that on my being Jewish — other times I accept that it’s just me. Maybe that’s why the latest round of somewhat justified Israel bashing, as well as the utterly unjustified Jew-bashing that’s going along with it, has been keeping me up at night. Try as I might, I don’t seem able to extricate myself from Israel anymore.

And the Band Didn’t Play On: Why a Cultural Boycott of Israel is Wrong

06/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In what one concert promoter has called “cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” more musicians seem to be trumpeting the latest Palestinian efforts to undermine movement in the peace process as they cancel scheduled tour dates in Israel.

How ironic that these artists are boycotting Israel, a nation that has a lively and vibrant cultural arts scene, to make a political statement about Gaza, a region where “cultural police” inhibit free expression.

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Israel Approves Gaza Flotilla Inquiry Panel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet unanimously approved a commission of inquiry into the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.

Two foreign observers were named to the commission.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Monday's meeting to approve the independent public commission that its establishment "will make it clear to the entire world that the State of Israel acts according to the law, transparently, and with full responsibility."

Mossad Agent Reportedly Arrested in Poland

06/13/2010

BERLIN (JTA) -- An alleged Mossad spy wanted in Germany in connection with the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai was arrested in Poland.

The arrest earlier this month of Uri Brodsky, and his possible extradition to Germany, could lead to a diplomatic row between Germany and Israel, according to reports. The arrest was made public Saturday.

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.

Day of the Locust (in the wake of the flotilla)

Don't be fooled by the noise against Israel, the clacking of locusts in a darkening sky. Maybe Obama's buying into it, announcing a $400 million gift to the Palestinians, including the Gaza of Hamas, which is like a geek handing over his lunch money to the bully in the playground, and there are plenty of Jews who crumple whenever the sky blackens, but most Americans aren't buying it.

I'm not buying it, either.

Defending Israel, but maybe not its policies

 In recent days I've read a few eloquent pleas for American Jews to stand up and support Israel in the face of worldwide condemnation; now, the writers argue, is not the time to quibble about policy.

Some of these are written by people I really respect – and I'd respectfully like to take issue with them.

A Jew Learns Arabic at a Catholic University

06/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Note: This summer Campus Confidential will explore the many ways Jewish students are spending their vacation. Have a great summer story? Send it to rubinink@gmail.com.

When I introduced myself to my summer housing roommate as a student from Brown University with a Jewish heritage studying Arabic for the summer at a Catholic University founded by Jesuits, the first response I got was the ever-articulate “Wow!” His next question was “Why?”

Spencer Parsons
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