Some of the nastiest email I get is on the issue of immigration reform. To read these missives, you'd never know that Jewish groups have been at the forefront of the effort to overhaul a badly broken legal immigration system and offer a path to citizenship for those here illegally.
All I hear about these days is the “New Anti-Semitism.” The Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman had a book some years ago — a rather gevaltist book — with the Kahanist title “Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism.” Phyllis Chesler had a book on the “New Anti-Semitism.” Even Alexander Cockburn, of all people, weighed in.
I can't quite get my mind around the fierce reaction to an allegedly anti-Semitic joke told by Gen. Jim Jones, the Obama administration national security adviser, during a recent appearance before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank.
Those reactions range from ADL national director Abe Foxman's relatively sedate label of “inappropiate” to emails I've received (the usual chain emails, suggesting Obama-inspired pogroms are just around the corner) calling his joke “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”
So did Vice President Joe Biden accomplish his top goal during this week's Israel visit – reassuring a skeptical Israeli public about the Obama administration's intentions while also reassuring the Palestinians that the administration is still determined to play a role in bringing the two sides back together for serious peace talks?
I've been a fan of The Prairie Home Companion since it went national, though I confess I often hit the “off” switch when host Garrison Keillor starts to sing, so I don't exactly know what to make of his column this week in Salon – which also appeared in newspapers around the country.
Keillor is complaining about a Unitarian rewrite of the Christmas song “Silent Night” that pretty much removes all the Christian content.
There are two major personnel changes in the world of Jewish-Christian dialogue, even as meetings between representatives of the two religions continue.
On the Catholic side, Pope John Paul II has appointed German Cardinal Walter Kasper to head the Vatican’s Commission on Relations with the Jews – the Roman Catholic Church’s primary representative on Jewish issues.
Black-Jewish tensions escalated this week following the selection of the first Jewish vice presidential candidate of a major party in American history. Even as the Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced strong support for Sen. Joseph Lieberman during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles Tuesday night, and as Lieberman met with the Congressional Black Caucus to assuage their fears about his stand on affirmative action, attacks on Lieberman came from other corners of the black community.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.