Editorial

Israel At 66, Blessed And Threatened

05/06/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

This week the Jewish state underwent a unique annual ritual, blending its most solemn and joyous national holidays. Throughout the country Israelis mourned the loss of more than 25,000 soldiers, on Yom HaZikaron this past Monday — and then celebrated the 66th anniversary of statehood on Yom Ha’Atzmaut the very next day. That rhythm represents a striking reminder of the Jewish tradition of balancing opposite emotions and, sometimes, realities — seemingly a requirement in a society that has achieved remarkable social and economic stability while facing existential threats from its enemies.

Israeli-Palestinian Talks: End Of The Road?

04/29/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Taking stock as the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations deadline passes this week, one can ask whether the two sides are any closer to peace than they were when Secretary of State Kerry launched the energetic initiative last summer. The good news is that despite the endless recriminations and implied threats — like Mahmoud Abbas saying he may dissolve the Palestinian Authority and Benjamin Netanyahu talking of withholding funds for the PA — the Israeli homeland has remained secure, with few acts of terror.

Appreciating YU’s Value

04/23/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The recent Chag HaSemicha (holiday of ordination) in Washington Heights, with 230 rabbinic graduates of Yeshiva University (classes 2011-14) taking center stage, was a much-needed shot in the arm for an embattled institution, and a reminder of its vitality and importance in the American Jewish community.

Kerry’s ‘Poof’ Moment

04/16/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The fact that the current Mideast peace talks are over — but for the bickering over who is to blame — is a shame, if not a tragedy. But it is certainly not a surprise. For all of Secretary of State Kerry’s energetic efforts since last summer in trying to revive a comatose situation, the fact remains that while Israel was, and is, prepared to make major compromises for peace, the Palestinian leadership is not.

Making Mischief Of The Parade

04/08/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The annual Celebrate Israel parade, the largest of its kind anywhere, is intended to unify our community under the umbrella of pride in the Jewish state and send that message to Israel and the world. But life is not simple, certainly not Jewish life, and the fissures that create tensions within our community over Israel have come to the surface once again in the weeks leading up to parade, which this year will mark its 50th anniversary and be held in midtown on Sunday, June 1. (See story on page 16.)

Restoring Confidence In Brooklyn DA’s Office

04/01/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The new Brooklyn district attorney, Ken Thompson, ended Sam Kellner’s three-year legal ordeal last month, dismissing his criminal case after a six-week investigation concluded that the witnesses against him “lacked credibility to such a degree” that the case could not be prosecuted. Kellner is the whistleblower from a chasidic community who pressed charges against Baruch Lebovits for alleged sexual abuse against Kellner’s young son. That brave act turned into a nightmare when Kellner himself was later charged with perjury and extortion.

Israel’s Diplomats On Strike

03/25/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The fact that Israel’s Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and its 103 consulates around the world are on strike is an embarrassment. Prime Minister Netanyahu had to cancel a planned trip in April to Latin America because of this strike, stemming from diplomats’ protests over employment conditions, including a pay cut. And the planned state visit of Pope Francis in May is in jeopardy, as are any number of other diplomatic projects.

Prisoner Swap Could Be The Last Straw

03/25/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, already on life support for months, could flatline this weekend. The issue now is not whether the negotiations will collapse, but who will take the primary blame for it.

‘Jewish State’ Still An Obstacle For Abbas

03/18/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

With the deadline for the Mideast peace talks five weeks away and little visible progress between the Palestinians and Israelis, it looks like the U.S. is more interested in saving face at this point than actually brokering a deal. The short-term goal is to get an agreement on a U.S.-drafted framework paper to allow for further talks.

Leading The Way On How To Disagree

03/11/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

It is both heartening and sad that the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York has initiated and drafted a statement calling on the community to engage in civil discourse when discussing and debating issues about Israel.

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