Editorial

Worries In The Arab World

01/18/2011
Editorial

The revolution in Tunisia of recent days has sparked hope among some who believe that the era of the autocratic old guard among Arab rulers is coming to an end, to be replaced by a trend toward democracy.

It’s still far too early to tell how even the immediate chaotic situation in Tunis will be resolved, much less the region, after the fleeing of corrupt dictator Ben Ali. But it is far more likely that old regimes will fade than that human rights and freedoms soon await tens of millions of citizens of Arab states.

Barak’s Bombshell

01/18/2011
Editorial

With the kind of surprise that was his military trademark, Defense Minister Ehud Barak shook up Israeli politics on Monday with his surprise announcement that he is abandoning the Labor Party he led and creating a new faction, Atzmaut (Independence), which will remain in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Debbie Friedman’s Gift

01/11/2011
Editorial

One of Debbie Friedman’s most beautiful songs, “Lechi Lach,” reflects God’s telling Abraham and Sarah to go to “a place you do not know.” In her way, Ms. Friedman — Dina Leah bat Freydl v’Gavriel — did that for the rest of us, taking us to a spiritual place that few could have imagined, either as individuals or as a community.

She did it not only as a composer and singer but as a presence, a guide, a friend.

Tucson: No Rush To Judgment

01/11/2011
Editorial

A nation aghast at the horror of last week’s events in a Tucson parking lot understandably wants answers, and a nervous Jewish community has some special reasons for concern. Why did alleged shooter Jared Loughner target a Jewish congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)? What role did anti-government conspiracies play in his actions, and was anti-Semitism a motive? How was this young man, so obviously disturbed and deluded, able to buy the Glock semiautomatic handgun with high capacity magazine that was able to wreak such horrific violence in a matter of seconds?

Limmud Bucks The Trend

01/04/2011
Editorial

For all the talk about the decline of synagogue and organizational affiliation and the need to engage more people — particularly the young — in Jewish life, there are some remarkable success stories out there, and we can all learn from what they do well.

Skepticism Over Syria

01/04/2011
Editorial

With Israeli-Palestinian negotiations back in the deep freeze, the past few days have seen a flurry of speculation about possible movement on the Israel-Syrian diplomatic front. Last month President Barack Obama appointed the first ambassador to Damascus since 2005. This week Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Presidents Conference, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, prompting speculation he was there at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Needed: Bipartisanship on Israel

12/28/2010
Editorial

The good news about the incoming Congress is that support for Israel is stronger than ever. The pro-Israel community has good friends in the leadership of both parties; rank-and-file support for Israel’s quest for security in a hostile world is unquestioned.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges ahead.

Support for Israel’s $3 billion-plus in U.S. aid remains strong in both parties. But with pressure mounting on lawmakers to rein in a runaway deficit, the entire foreign aid budget will come under much tougher scrutiny.

The Durban Travesty

12/28/2010
Editorial

If ever there was a perfect symbol of the failure of the United Nations to live up to the promise of its creators and to serve as a force for peace in the troubled Middle East, it was the 2001 World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which degenerated into an ugly festival of Israel bashing and outright anti-Semitism.

The Unilateral Dead End

12/21/2010
Editorial

It seems like a no-brainer; Palestinians can attain the state they crave only through a negotiated agreement that provides Israel the security it deserves. But that isn't stopping Palestinian leaders from roaming the world, seeking meaningless recognition from feckless governments interested more in currying favor and lashing out against Israel than in contributing to an equitable solution.

Taming The Deficit Monster

12/21/2010
Editorial

When the incoming Congress and the Obama administration start zeroing in on complex, politically charged issues of taxation and government spending, there is a very real danger they will look for political easy ways out — which, if history is a guide, means heaping most of the burden on the nation's most vulnerable citizens.

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