This week Israel enters its third year of a war with no name, with nary an ally, and with no objective more glorious than a lull.
It’s been a war plagued by indecision and misdirection. The enemy’s leader is harassed and reviled but not erased. The country is said to be safe for tourism yet the danger is compared to the 1930s. Israel claims impending victory but has surrendered the messianic dreams and borders that thrilled us in 1967.
Israeli political arguments can be crude but are they criminal?
After the Rabin assassination, conventional wisdom insisted that Yigal Amir was the “Manchurian Candidate” of Israel’s right. Rallies in the weeks before the murder would sometimes feature photos of Rabin dressed like a Nazi, while fringe rabbis cast spells amounting to a death sentence in retaliation for Rabin’s refusal to slow the peace process even as Israeli busses were exploding with regularity.
Talk about hitting a sour note.
The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's eight-city American concert tour that was slated to begin Aug. 20 has been canceled, but the reason why remains unclear.
Some reports quoted orchestra officials in Israel as saying that no security firm could be found to protect the orchestra and its patrons for fear of a terrorist attack. Other reports attributed the cancellation to the orchestra's inability to find an insurance company willing to provide coverage because of what was called "terrorist problems."
Even as Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza grinds on, attracting headlines around the world and support among pro-Israel advocates, I have the disturbing but distinct sense that the Jewish state is on the way to becoming increasingly irrelevant to the majority of American Jews.
There were no classes on the morning of June 5, 1967, the first morning of war, in my yeshiva high school. Instead we prayed like I never prayed in my first 15 years, as if my life depended on it — Israel’s life to be more exact, but that’s how we thought. Our freshman class bulldozed through Tehillim, reading Psalms I never really considered before, thinking Psalms only for old people to say for the dead and the dying, but who knew how many dead or dying there’d be by the end of first period?
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plans for withdrawal from much of the West Bank is leading to erosion of political support within the one American group — the conservative, primarily Christian right —that had been most supportive of Israel, and reportedly the root of President Bush’s support, as well.
Jerusalem — The potential silver lining from last week’s inconclusive national elections — resulting in a frustrated electorate without a clear-cut leader or stable government — is that the country’s voting system, finally exposed as disastrous, will be overhauled.
A Conservative rabbi, a homosexual and an Israeli Arab were appointed to the Jerusalem City Council last week, but they cannot take office until Israel's fervently Orthodox interior minister approves. As of midweek, Eliyahu Yishai still had not acted.
"I've been told by my colleagues that there is a good chance we will have to go to court," said David Lazar, the Conservative rabbi.
Jewish groups divided over an all-out campaign by the pro-Israel lobby against a rumored administration squeeze on Israel.
Picking A FightWith Clinton?
The drill used to be simple. In times of tension between the United States and Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee would lobby lawmakers to sign statements and letters to the administration backing Jerusalem. And the members would sign on, to pretty much universal applause from organized Jewry.