Is Mel Gibson a cynical manipulator or an insensitive true believer? Those are two theories being floated in trying to explain the increasing controversy over Gibson's upcoming film, "The Passion," his bloody retelling of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some leading interfaith experts say the film, which the 47-year-old Gibson co-wrote and is due out in February, violates Catholic teachings and will foment anti-Semitism worldwide.
Three prominent liberal New York rabbis have abruptly resigned from the advisory board of a new national Jewish peace group after their names appeared in a controversial full-page New York Times ad that likened Israel to the Passover story’s evil Pharaoh, and also used a Nazi allusion to describe the Sharon government’s military actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
Most young boys learning to play basketball at the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in the early 1970s were trying to shoot jump shots like former New York Knick superstar Willis Reed. Or “shake and bake” like Earl (The Pearl) Monroe. Or play defense like Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
“Bradley from the corner. Yes!” That was the oft-heard exclamation from a happy 12-year-old who just launched a successful shot from the corner of the gym like his hero, “Dollar” Bill Bradley.
In the past few days, Zalman Shoval’s popularity has soared with colleagues and strangers he bumps into around his Washington office.
“There isn’t a single person in the [U.S.] State Department that hasn’t tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘thank you,’ ” related Shoval, Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States. “It reminds me of the good old days of Israel’s restraint in the  Gulf war.”
‘Now Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, for the Lord had come down upon it in fire.’ Exodus 19:18
It’s not every millennium that God descends onto a mountain for a chat with one of his creations.
In fact, according to Jewish tradition, it’s only happened once, about 3,250 years ago, on a modest mountain sometimes called Sinai.
A New York Times article is expected to be a model of balance, clarity and precision. But who knew the same journalistic standards held true for ads on the paper’s radio station?
When it comes to Israel, at least, that is what WQXR-FM seemed to be saying to the American Jewish Committee in rejecting one of its radio ads this week.
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Like most other analysts, I’m still trying to figure out the real meaning of Monday’s Obama-Netanyahu tete a tete and the bizarre events leading up to it, including the fact the administration reportedly wouldn’t agree to a meeting until Obama was in the air.
In a Jewish Week story posted yesterday I cited the views of a number of analysts, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
The blogosphere is buzzing with commentary about an op-ed in today's New York Times blasting the group Human Rights Watch for its obsession with Israel – an obsession the writer says diminishes its effectiveness in addressing epidemic human rights abuses around the world.
And what a writer; the op-ed was penned by Robert Bernstein, HRW's founder and for twenty years its chairman.