Netanyahu: Israeli “sovereignty” over Jerusalem “cannot be challenged.”
This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.
When the city's Districting Commission earlier this year approved a plan that split Brighton Beach in two, some say it weakened the political power of Russian-speaking new immigrants in south Brooklyn.
But the long-term effect may be the opposite.
Galvanized by what many feel was a raw deal, Russian-Jewish activists more than ever are making themselves heard, exhibiting a "don't tread on me" attitude that is as classically New York as it is alien to the mores of Moscow, Kiev or Minsk.
The Jewish community, here and around the world, equates demographics with survival, so it’s only natural that we obsess over our numbers. But we may be willfully ignoring a plausible solution to our ever-worrisome dwindling Jewish population.
It’s Round 2 for the Neeman Commission. Still staggering from the knock-down, drag-out fight over conversions in Israel, the five-member committee chaired by Finance Minister Yaacov Neeman is about to enter the freedom-of-religion fray again, this time to tackle the controversy over allowing women to pray in groups at the Western Wall.
Despite criticism from the right and the left, a special Israeli cabinet subcommittee adopted the recommendations of the Neeman Commission this week and authorized the first of several planned conversion institutes, to open in Beersheva this spring.
Professor Binyamin Ish-Shalom, a respected educator and scholar, was named to head the institute. The board of directors will have seven members — five Orthodox, one Conservative and one Reform.
Jerusalem — American and Israeli Jews seemed to have switched traditional roles during the General Assembly of the UJA Federations of North America, held here this week.
Not only was the conference held in Israel for the first time in its 67-year history, but a surprisingly large number of Israelis were participating, seeking to connect with American Jewry. And Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged to provide millions of dollars to educate diaspora youth.
Asserting that “Israeli society is in danger now,” Leah Rabin this week announced a hoped-for national antidote — the establishment of a $40 million center in Tel Aviv in her late husband’s memory, dedicated to furthering peace, tolerance and democratic values.
touch with the people. Indeed, he seems so focused on achieving peace on, as he says, “two-and-a-half fronts” (including Lebanon), that he may not be hearing the deep skepticism voiced by coalition partners as well as average Israelis who fear the government is on the verge of giving away too much, too soon.
With increasing attention being paid to the anti-Israel nastiness of Palestinian textbooks, and amid demands that the curriculum be overhauled, consider the following comments about Israel from a prominent academic: “the garbage heap of Europe,” a “site of experiments … in ethnic cleansing,” and “a regime that produces and distributes evil systematically.”