untry steeped in memory, the Jewish state operates on a calendar of Jewish holidays that are implicitly or explicitly memorials, both religious and secular. But the fast pace of recent decades in Israel, one crisis or scandal or existential threat following closely on the heels of another, has left little time for communal remembrance of the latest events.
Monday, December 28th, 2009
I’ve always admired Hannah Rosenthal. When she was executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), she brought a new energy and edginess to a group that was having a hard time finding its identity in a changing Jewish world and a strong, consistent dedication to progressive Jewish politics – which is where a majority of Jews remain, despite persistent claims to the contrary.
So I’m even more mystified than most by her recent gaffe.
My colleague, James Besser, asked, on his blog , why Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren (correctly described as “smart and sophisticated”) “continues to pick needless fights” with J Street, the so-called and cynically self-described “pro-peace process lobby” and political action committee (see a JTA story on Oren’s latest comments).
I haven't spoken to Michael Oren, Israel's current ambassador in Washington, more than a handful of times, but he's always struck me as smart and sophisticated. So I can't help but wonder why he continues to pick needless fights with J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee.
Monday, December 14th, 2009
I haven’t spoken to Michael Oren, Israel’s current ambassador in Washington, more than a handful of times, but he’s always struck me as smart and sophisticated. So I can’t help but wonder why he continues to pick needless fights with J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee (see a JTA story on his latest comments here).
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Israeli ambassador Michael Oren may have brushed off J Street, which invited the new envoy to speak at their first national conference this week, but a lower-level official found time to talk to a group that takes even more critical positions when it comes to Israeli policy.
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Some think that Israel’s settlements have done nothing for Israel politically. In fact, the settlements have given Israel something to give away. “Land for peace” – in the mouths of most Arabs, the most cynical phrase since Arbeit Macht Frei — requires land. If Israel didn’t have West Bank land, it would be asked to give up other land instead.