Why I Don’t Share Beinart’s Pessimism

How Zionist education, Birthright can strengthen Israel support.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Is it true, as Peter Beinart suggested in his widely read New York Review of Books essay in June, that young American Jews are increasingly alienated from Israel because of its allegedly declining commitment to democratic ideals?

Agree with him or not, the former New Republic editor hit a raw nerve among many Jews when he wrote “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” setting off a discussion that continues to stir debate six months later.

Gary Rosenblatt

New Consensus Seen Emerging On Israel Education

Centrist players now calling for more open, critical approach to teaching about Jewish state.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Associate Editor

Two years ago, when the Gaza war began, Moriel Rothman felt caught in the middle.

Then a sophomore at Middlebury College, he was distressed by what he saw as the “disproportionate” number of Palestinians killed.

“The statements coming from Israel advocacy groups weren’t resonating for me,” he recalled. At the same time, the pro-Palestinian rhetoric was “falling flat,” with its claims that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.

Wearing Israeli flags, students from J Street U demonstrate outside a New York fundraising event for the Hebron Fund.

Debate Over ‘Schnorring’ For Fire Trucks

In wake of historic fire, should Jewish money from U.S. pay for Israeli government’s ‘incompetence?’
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Assistant Managing Editor

As Jewish organizations scramble to muster aid to a northern Israel scorched by a wildfire the government was hard-pressed to contain, the relief effort has triggered a debate over who should pick up the tab for an evident lack of preparedness.

The Fires This Time

12/06/2010 - 19:00

While the now-extinguished fires in northern Israel were an unimaginable catastrophe for the tiny nation — which, more than almost any other, cherishes its trees — there were heartening aspects of the fatal disaster.

U.S. Pulls The Plug

12/06/2010 - 19:00

It’s hardly surprising that U.S. efforts to coax Israel into extending its West Bank settlement freeze seem to have derailed. What was unclear from the initial reports: does the Obama administration have a Plan B, or does this represent the effective end of its efforts to find a route to peace for Israel and the Palestinians?

From the beginning, it never made much sense to us to invest U.S. prestige in an unbecoming effort to lure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back to the peace table with a rich package of incentives that included F-35 warplanes.

Smoking Teen Who Started Fire Is Released

12/06/2010 - 19:00

(JTA)—The teen arrested after admitting to starting the Carmel Forest fire was released from police custody to house arrest.
The teen admitted to smoking a nargila water pipe and dumping its embers into an open area before returning to school last week, the day the blaze erupted, near his Druze village of Ussfiya.

Innovators Step Up To The Plate in Wake of Israel Fire

ROI recruits alumni to help with fire relief fund.
12/06/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Much ink has been spilled about the younger generation of Jews, a generation (older people tend to gripe) that is marked by entitlement.

This moniker has oft been applied to members of the ROI Community, an international group of 550 young Jewish leaders whom philanthropist Lynn Schusterman has treated to an all-expenses paid trip to Israel, including lodging at a nice hotel, sumptuous food and lavish entertainment (in recent years, participants were asked to pay a nominal fee of a few hundred dollars).

ROI members and staff. Young leaders being asked, for the first time, to give back.

Gotta Love Those Israeli Rabbis

I will never again pull an all-nighter, or even half-nighter, if I can help it!

Last night, I was up past 1 a.m. trying to finish writing an article about Israel education and advocacy in the United States. Whenever I write about Israel, my head starts spinning and my own opinions dart all over the ideological spectrum depending on what I’ve read most recently.

This morning, I dragged myself out of bed with a headache that no amount of caffeine can remedy, a complete incapacity for thinking clearly about anything, and the joy of this delightful headline: “Dozens of Israeli rabbis forbid renting to gentiles.”

WikiLeaks: U.S. Accuses Syria of Arming Hezbollah

12/06/2010 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The United States accused Syria of arming Hezbollah with advanced ballistic missiles, a new document released by WikiLeaks showed.

The document was released by the site Tuesday, the same day that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange turned himself in to London police and was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant over allegations of sex crimes in Sweden. Assange was denied bail by a British court .

Dozens of Israeli Rabbis Forbid Renting to Gentiles

12/06/2010 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a religious ruling that forbids renting homes to gentiles, and more specifically to Arabs.

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