Prime Minister

Can significant numbers of American Jews be enticed into buying homes in Jewish settlements on the far side of Israel’s separation fence?

03/09/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Can significant numbers of American Jews be enticed into buying homes in Jewish settlements on the far side of Israel’s separation fence? 

Based on the results of real estate fairs that two emissaries of the settler movement held with potential buyers in Orthodox synagogues in Teaneck, N.J., and Hillcrest, Queens, on Sunday, the answer may well be a qualified “Yes.” 

The response was “positive beyond anything we had imagined before coming here,” said Aliza Herbst, spokesperson for Yesha Council leader Pinchas Wallerstein.

New Israel Fund Grants Spark Human Rights Brouhaha

Right-wing Im Tirtzu accuses New Israel Fund —and its president — of bearing responsibility for Goldstone; NIF decries campaign to repress ‘dissent and honesty.’

02/03/2010
Staff Writer

Charges that the New Israel Fund supports Israeli civil rights groups that played a key role in providing information highly critical of Israel’s role in the Gaza war last year have sparked a spirited, and nasty, debate over the proper role for civil and human rights groups in a democratic state.

Locking horns over Goldstone: ad sponsored by Im Tirzu depicted Naomi Chazen, NIF president, with a horn on her head

Memo To Israel’s Leaders: Reinvent The Jewish Agency

02/02/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

To: Prime Minister Netanyahu, Chairman Sharansky

From: Prof. Yoav Shoham, Stanford University

1. Background:

a. Re-conceptualizing and re-establishing the connection between Israel and Jewish communities worldwide is a matter of national security for Israel no less important than Iran;

b. Reforming the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) is a key component of such a move.

2. JAFI today:

Year Of Crisis, Year Of Shame

Special to The Jewish Week
01/08/2010

 Did anything good happen in 2009? It’s hard to find the silver lining in this year of crisis and shame for the Jewish world — as hard as finding a likable character in “A Serious Man,” a film whose dark Joban overtones of unjust absurdity fit the zeitgeist perfectly. Hope was most definitely last year’s poster. We’ve had worse years, to be sure, but rarely have we suffered so much from wounds that were primarily self-inflicted.

Goldstone Response Seen As Too Narrow

Israeli military ethics expert says country’s tack on war probe ‘inadequate.’

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Israel’s reported refusal to conduct an independent, thorough probe of its military’s handling of last winter’s 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza as demanded by the United Nations is a “missed opportunity,” according to Moshe Halbertal, co-author of the Israeli military’s code of ethics.

Moshe Halbertal, co- author of the Israeli military code of ethics. Israel’s war review a “missed opportunity.”

Howard Berman, Peace Now and right-wing pot shotters

So let’s see: J Street is “anti-Israel,” according to the many emails I continue to receive and blogs I read (if Google News Alerts are any measure, J Street must be the single most active topic in the entire known universe).   And Americans for Peace Now (APN) is, by almost any objective standard, further to the left than the upstart J Street.

Year Of Crisis, Year Of Shame

Special To The Jewish Week
12/25/2009

Did anything good happen in 2009? It’s hard to find the silver lining in this year of crisis and shame for the Jewish world — as hard as finding a likable character in “A Serious Man,” a film whose dark Joban overtones of unjust absurdity fit the zeitgeist perfectly. Hope was most definitely last year’s poster. We’ve had worse years, to be sure, but rarely have we suffered so much from wounds that were primarily self-inflicted.

APN call to Obama: Pressure Israel, Palestinians; ain’t gonna happen

In the wake of Tuesdays’ disastrous election results for the Democrats, Americans for Peace Now (APN) wants President Obama to ratchet up Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, even if it means getting  tough with both sides.

Sorry, guys, I know what you’re saying, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Darkness After ‘Noon’

As a new biography shows, the second half of Arthur Koestler’s life, marked by a peculiar mix of Zionism and Jewish self-hatred, was one of steadily declining reputation.

01/22/2010
Staff Writer

If you were Jewish and lived in the 1940s, to say that Arthur Koestler was on your side was no small thing. Then at the height of his renown, Koestler, born in Budapest in 1905, had become one of Western literature’s most revered figures. His anti-Stalinist novel “Darkness at Noon,” published in 1940 and still his most famous, made him one of the first liberals to come out against Communism. The book would partly inspire George Orwell, an author whose reputation today far eclipses Koestler’s.

The new biography of Arthur Koestler by Michael Scammell, bottom, revives an overlooked thesis.

Walking that Fine Line: Obama and Israel

06/19/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Now that both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have issued significant pronouncements on the prospects for (and path to) Middle East peace, American Jews are scrambling to figure out how to make sense of it all.  We are, quite obviously, no longer dealing with an American president who will write Israel a “blank check” as regards its policies, a la George W. Bush.  But many of the people I’ve spoken are struggling to figure out whether or not, in the words of the classic joke, this is good or bad for the Jews.

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