Opinion

Walking Arm In Arm With Elie Wiesel

07/12/2016 - 11:50

I first met Elie Wiesel when he was a young journalist working in New York in the late 1950s. We developed a close friendship, bound by a deep understanding of our experiences as teenagers during the Holocaust. Having survived, our mission was to make the world remember our martyrs and to break the pervasive silence about the Shoah. We were both driven to ensure the remembrance of the destruction of our people under the Nazis and their collaborators and to educate the world about the ultimate consequences of anti-Semitism, intolerance, inhumanity, and injustice.

Sam Bloch, President of the World Federation of Bergen-Belsen Associations. Getty Images

Why We Must Speak Out Against The Occupation

07/12/2016 - 10:53

At our National Assembly in April, J Street U students met with several prominent leaders in the American Jewish community – the head of the Reform movement, the CEO of the ADL, and the former head of the UJA-Federation of New York, among others. We invited these leaders to the assembly because we care about Israel’s  future as a Jewish and democratic state, and we believe that they have a crucial role to play in securing its future. As such, we asked them to use their considerable power to demonstrate leadership with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation – in particular around the issue of settlements.

Marissa Rosenberg-Carlson. Via facebook.com

Time To Welcome, Not Smuggle, Palestinian Workers

07/12/2016 - 11:38
Special To The Jewish Week

A recent New York Times report of a robust and thriving smuggling industry moving undocumented Palestinian workers into Israel offers an opportunity to think about what this development can teach us. 

Samuel Heilman

Why I Don’t Call Out Israel On The Occupation

07/12/2016 - 11:37
Special To The Jewish Week

At the J Street U conference in April, student activists insisted that the Jewish establishment publicly denounce the Israeli occupation. While students at J Street U were measured in their demands, not so students from J Street U’s more uncompromising offshoot, If Not Now, which protests Jewish organizations for not publicly opposing the occupation, but refuses to sit down with their leaders to discuss demands. These students insist, like hubristic voices on the extreme right, that others accept their viewpoints, and refuse to engage in dialogue.

David Bernstein

Second Generation: Returning Home To Bar-Ilan

07/07/2016 - 18:07
Special To The Jewish Week

In 1958, as a young, recently ordained rabbi, I watched with a combination of astonishment and admiration as my father, Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein, assumed the presidency of a fledgling Bar-Ilan University after the untimely passing of his close friend, Dr. Pinchas Churgin, the university’s founder and first president.  Dr. Churgin had died two-and-a-half years after Bar-Ilan opened its doors. There were 70 students at the time in what was Israel’s first and only university under religious auspices. 

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein

Why I Don’t Call Out Israel On The Occupation

07/06/2016 - 10:16
Special To The Jewish Week

At the J Street U conference in April, student activists insisted that the Jewish establishment publicly denounce the Israeli occupation. While students at J Street U were measured in their demands, not so students from J Street U’s more uncompromising offshoot, If Not Now, which protests Jewish organizations for not publicly opposing the occupation, but refuses to sit down with their leaders to discuss demands. These students insist, like hubristic voices on the extreme right, that others accept their viewpoints, and refuse to engage in dialogue.

David Bernstein

Trump’s Appeal To Pro-Israel Voter Goes Beyond Emotions

07/05/2016 - 16:35
Special To The Jewish Week

With Hillary Clinton aiding him as the self-proclaimed “designated yeller” at Israel’s leaders, President Obama has spent the last seven and a half years placing enormous pressure on Israel to make unilateral concessions to a Palestinian leadership that foments terrorism and glorifies the murder of Jews. This administration coddles America’s adversaries while antagonizing our allies. ISIS is terrorizing the world and establishing bases on Israel’s doorstep, throughout Europe and elsewhere around the world. It is no wonder that pro-Israel Americans — Jews and non-Jews — are yearning for a strong, principled leader. Yet Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt seems perplexed as to why many American supporters of Israel prefer Donald Trump (“Israel-Firsters Seen Edging Toward Trump,” July 1).

Jason Greenblatt

Israel Is World’s Most Frequent Terrorist Target

07/05/2016 - 13:04
Special To The Jewish Week

Summer has barely gotten underway, and its bright sunshine has already been darkened by a series of horrific terror attacks. In early June Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded six others in a shooting at Tel Aviv’s popular Sarona market. Later in the month, a massacre by a single shooter in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. left 49 dead and 53 injured, the worst mass shooting in this nation’s history. And in the last days of June, three suicide bombers infiltrated Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, killing at least 42 and wounding dozens more.

Francine Klagsbrun

Elie Wiesel Symbolized Memory

07/05/2016 - 10:28
Special To The Jewish Week

Memory was the most vital element of Elie Wiesel’s life.  That’s why such institutions as Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, and Israel’s Yad Vashem were so dear to him. Especially Yad Vashem.

Elie Wiesel and wife Marion in 2014. Tim Boxer/JW

Profaning History At Touro Synagogue

06/30/2016 - 14:57
Special To The Jewish Week

For over 250 years, Shearith Israel, America’s first Jewish congregation, has actively ensured that Newport’s Touro Synagogue — including the precious Myer Myers Torah finials (rimonim) used there — remains vital, vibrant and intact.  Congregation Jeshuat Israel (CJI), the current, temporal caretaker of the legacy of American Jewry in Newport, can’t justify its attempt to sever the sacred rimonim from their historical, ritual context in Touro Synagogue by selling them.

Lou Solomon.
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