The Jewish Week has long encouraged respectful debate and discussion in its pages on religious, political and social issues. And we look to our rabbis to serve as role models in expressing views that educate rather than marginalize.
As voters went to the polls for midterm elections on Tuesday, supporters of Israel already were speculating on if, and how, the results would impact the U.S.-Israel relationship. Conventional wisdom has it that a Republican Congress would be more supportive of the policies of the Netanyahu government in Israel, which is in an openly rocky relationship with the Obama White House. Democrats point out that the level of military and strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem has never been higher than today, despite the dysfunctional status of the two top leaders.
The diplomatic rift between Washington and Jerusalem reached a new low this week. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon’s snub by senior members of the Obama administration was made public here, a week after his U.S. visit, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build more than 1,000 new units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, fully aware of the negative response it would receive in America and in the international community.
There have been a number of front-page photos in the daily papers lately of U.S. bombing ISIS positions in Syria from the air. But have you read any articles about the inevitable collateral damage, the impact on civilians resulting from the attacks? Have you seen any statistics on casualties among the population caught in the crossfire?
One month away from the Nov. 24 deadline on the talks between the U.S. (and its allies) and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program, the two sides appear to be far apart and an agreement unlikely. That would be good news, given that the alternative — a deal that has Iran reduce its operational centrifuges but keeps it on the threshold of producing a nuclear bomb — is far worse.