As many of you know, The Jewish Week launched its all-new Web site (still found at www.thejewishweek.com) a few days ago. If you’re a print-only reader, we hope you try out the new site, and be sure to tell us what you think.
If you’ve been a regular visitor to our old site, you are well aware that speed and advanced features were not among its virtues. We hope and expect our new site will offer the performance you have a right to expect, although it will take a few weeks of tweaking to reach maximum speed.
Slavery, like the fog, comes in on cat’s feet. For all the analogies to the black experience, shackled suddenly in Africa and shipped on the Middle Passage, Jewish slavery and hard times through the years has been different; loss of freedom, dignity and destiny comes slowly, even gently, golden eras slipping into lesser ones, almost inexplicably, and undeserved.
The press has had a field day with the recent diplomatic friction between Israel and the United States over building in east Jerusalem, and many Jewish leaders here are justifiably worried. That alliance is a critical pillar in Israel’s security; anything that appears to weaken it is a matter of grave concern.
It’s important to remember that such controversies are perhaps inevitable in an alliance in which the parties sometimes have different priorities and face different domestic political realities even as they pursue shared goals.
As some Jewish leaders noted in a Jewish Week story this week, it’s getting harder to keep our community focused on the crisis posed by Iran’s continuing nuclear arms quest.
Jewish organizations are remarkably unified in making Iran sanctions a top priority; polls show an undiminished understanding of the huge risks a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel, to other Middle Eastern states and to U.S. interests around the world.
Jonathan Pollard, in jail for 23 years, should be freed — not because he is a hero or a Jewish paragon but because his continued incarceration for spying for Israel makes no sense from a legal, national security or humanitarian perspective. That said, Pollard and his supporters continue to say and do things that can only prolong his torment.
This much is known about the situation in Pakistan: The country with the second-largest Muslim population in the world (after Indonesia) is in chaos and it has the nuclear bomb. That should galvanize the West in addressing a crisis that may well surpass the one posed by Iran, at least for now.
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating as some 2008 presidential contenders take up the issue with reckless abandon: politicians who exploit public anger about illegal immigration are stoking long-simmering resentments that can ultimately threaten all minorities in this pluralistic land.
This isn’t to say our nation’s leaders should sit idly by while illegal immigrants pour across our borders. Far from it. In this age of terrorism, effective border control is more vital than ever.
Dovish groups repeat like a mantra the claim that a majority of Jews here, as well as in Israel, still support some kind of peace process and the “painful concessions” Israeli leaders say are necessary to make that happen.
But clearly, that patience is wearing thin as the bitter fruit of the Gaza pullout and last year’s wars continue to affect the citizens of Israel — and undermine hopes among Jews everywhere for a genuine and sustainable peace in the region.