It’s a phrase we’ve come to associate over the years with Israel’s West Bank settlements, seen by supporters as a tangible Jewish presence to serve as a bulwark against Arab incursions, a vanguard to protect larger Jewish population centers.
That wasn’t the title of a conference I participated in last week, but it could have been.
Many in the mix of 45 New Yorkers — Jewishly active in one way or another — who engaged in 48 hours of almost nonstop conversation challenged the very pillars of Jewish communal life and how we think about them. Whether that’s a good or bad sign depends on your own point of view and vision for the future.
Write On For Israel, an intensive two-year program that trains a select group of high school students to be advocates for Israel through journalism, was launched by The Jewish Week in 2002, at the height of the second intifada. At the time, I never imagined it would be around, or needed, nine years later.
Prime minister, at AIPAC, revives call against ‘indefensible’ borders.
Editor And Publisher
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had an excellent response to President Barack Obama’s major speech on the Arab world and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But it came two days too late, and the net result is another hasbara disaster for Jerusalem.
Other issues on the Jewish agenda pale before a series of looming showdowns for Jerusalem, from major addresses by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on the Mideast, to another flotilla setting sail soon for Gaza, to the Palestinian drive for statehood at the United Nations this fall.
Some people in Europe and elsewhere are deeply disturbed that the U.S. Navy Seals on their secret mission in Pakistan last week killed an unarmed Osama bin Laden. But it didn’t matter to me whether he was fighting back or not at the time he was shot.
Rabbinical students, in generational divide, seen disenchanted with Jewish state; time to rethink year-in-Israel study?
Editor And Publisher
A second-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary says her year-in-Israel experience, as part of her academic training, has been “enriching and incredibly painful” in terms of what she sees of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.
“The Israel I see does not seem to reflect so many of the Jewish values that my family and community raised me with,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Jewish Week.