Other than the remnants of Sadat’s Egypt, whose peace with Israel is now as fragile as peace can be, more Western hope was invested in Turkey than any other country in the Middle East. It was at one point less Islamist than secular, an applicant to the European Union and a member of NATO but not the Arab League. In the late 1990s, Israel and Turkey seemed virtual allies.
The rabbi of a synagogue in Rockaway heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy recently noted the illogic of those who argue that houses of worship should not be allowed to apply for federal emergency aid, in keeping with the separation of church and state.
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about what was said at the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington this week, attended by some 13,000 delegates, clearly the biggest pro-Israel gathering of its kind.
The “new normal” became a bit of a buzzword about five years ago, after the 2008 financial crisis. It was a way to describe the change in our economy, and seems to imply reassuringly that the chaos and upheaval were subsiding and would go away altogether.
Our lead story this week is Part I (the second and third parts can be found on our website) of a three-part exploration of how a relatively small number of haredi yeshivas in New York have received tens of millions of dollars in federal funds designated for Internet and other telecommunication technology.
The ugly incident at Brooklyn College, where two supporters of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) were invited to speak on campus last week, was less about freedom of speech, as its defenders claimed, than about the political science department’s sponsorship of a program seeking to delegitimize the State of Israel.
It was no coincidence that Edward I. Koch, the quintessentially New York mayor who made “brash” a near-official part of his mayoral title, was remembered in death this week in a style of which he would have approved — a rigorously hands-on administrator during his three terms at the helm of the city, he planned his own funeral, starting some 30 years ago.
The fact that Argentina has decided to create a “truth commission” with Iran to investigate the 1994 terror bombing that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others at the AMIA, a major Jewish center in Buenos Aires, is an outrage. Bad enough that Argentina has bungled the case — the worst bombing in the country’s history — for more than 18 years, with President Nestor Kirchner declaring in 2005 that the various investigations, which to this day have not led to a conviction, were “a national disgrace.”
A most promising development in the area of campus dialogue on the Mideast took place at Brandeis University this week. More than 250 college students from the New England region came together to discuss how best to defuse the volatile topic and make it more civil, engaging and open, focusing on the future rather than the past. Best of all, the program, known as bVIEW (Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World), was created for and by college students themselves.
With a new Congress convening as Israel holds its national elections, it’s hard to miss the parallel narratives taking place in Washington and Jerusalem, and particularly between the Republican Party here and the dominant Likud Party there.