Israel

Time To End The Reform-Orthodox Wars

08/31/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

With the renewed seasonal outbreak of the Reform-Orthodox wars, I cannot see myself as a mere bystander, inasmuch as the letter by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, is addressed to me, as an official town rabbi. (See).

Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg

When An Israeli Team Played At The Polo Grounds, Shibe Park and Ebbets Field

This coming Sunday's Jewish Heritage Day at Citi Field, presented by the Mets and the JCRC, is always a terrific day at the ballpark, and the Mets deserve our gratitude. Last winter, the Hebron Fund rented out a room at Citi Field for a fundraiser on behalf of one of Israel's oldest and holiest communities, a community that has lived in Hebron almost continuously since Biblical times, until wiped out in the Arab pogrom of 1929 and reconstituted shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967.

The Palestinian Mandelas

Reading this Economist review of "Budrus," a new documentary about a nascent Palestinian non-violent movement, which premiers in New York this October, reminded of Tom Friedman.  I'm usually a fan of Friedman's Middle East commentary; he's one of the few voices who's spent years reporting from region and gets both Israeli and Arab viewpoints pretty much right.  

U.S., Israel Lobby Against Missile Sales to Syria, Lebanon

08/27/2010

(JTA) -- Israel and the United States reportedly are attempting to prevent missile sales to Lebanon and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, in a bid to persuade him not to sell P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, Ha'aretz reported on Friday, and Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak is set to make the same case in Moscow this week. Israel's case is that Hezbollah used Chinese-manufactured missiles purchased by Syria to target Israeli ships during the 2006 Lebanon war.

Brooklyn College Facing Criticism Over Required Reading by Harsh Israel Critic

08/27/2010

When the school year begins next week, Brooklyn College could face a firestorm of opposition to the decision to assign a book to all incoming transfer students by an author who has been harshly critical of the Jewish state.

“How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi , has been assigned to about 1500 incoming transfer students “in an effort to provide a common experience for this population of students,” according to a letter from the school administration to Brooklyn College faculty members.

Rethinking Christian Zionism

There's a modest buzz this week about Steven Weiss' panegyric to Christian Zionists in Slate with the provocative title “The Uncircumcised Israel Lobby.”

Will Netanyahu Change Coalition?

Experts divided on prospects of talks, but some suggest prime minister may be willing to bring in Kadima.

08/24/2010
Staff Writer

If the Palestinians are serious about a peace agreement with Israel, many analysts believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the desire and ability to deliver it — even if it means having to change his coalition.

“If [Mahmoud] Abbas decides to move forward and do what is doable, he will have a partner in Netanyahu,” said Jonathan Rynhold, a senior lecturer at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said his focus is on security before engaging in peace talks.

U.S.: Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks 'Very Close'

08/20/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are "very, very close," a U.S. State Department spokesman said, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is in constant telephone contact with the leaders.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Leaving When Needed Most

The government of Israel will be losing a key and effective diplomat in New York just when it needs her most.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, highly praised for her low-key, thoughtful and compassionate work these last two years, is returning to Israel and her academic life at the end of this month on the eve of what some Israeli officials here are already predicting will be a “Black September” for the Jewish state at the UN.

David Mamet: Before He Was Conservative, He Was Jewish. Discuss.

Now that he is an established potentate of American theater, David Mamet has had no trouble saying what he really thinks.  Jews may remember his 2002 essay in The Forward, where he lambasted Jews for over-sympathizing with Palestinians.  They will probably remember better his 2006 book, "The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Jewish Self-Hatred and the Jews," where he took it further, arguing that liberal Jewish antagonism toward Israel was simple self-hate.

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