Editorial & Opinion

UNESCO Fiasco

11/01/2011
Editorial

The vote this week by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to approve full membership for the Palestinians is another step along the treacherous road toward full UN recognition of Palestine and continued delegitimization of Israel.

Fortunately, and to its credit, the United States voted against the move, labeling it “inexplicable,” but the final tally was 107-14, with 52 abstentions, among the UNESCO membership.

The Ask

11/01/2011

We go to the Internet for information. The range of reference at our fingertips is astonishing. We have too many places to get answers. But one reads, wrote Franz Kafka, to ask questions. 

Where can a reader go for good questions? One place is the prayerbook. Early in the morning service is a series of powerful questions: “What are we?” “What is our life?” What is our righteousness?” At the outset of the service each morning we are invited to question the very fundamentals of our lives.

Segregated Bus Line

11/01/2011

Your article on the segregated (by gender) bus line in Brooklyn (“Segregated Bus Line Tacitly Sanctioned For Decades,” Oct. 28) contained this quote from Queens College sociology professor Samuel Heilman, author of two books about haredi life in America: “This is about owning the public square.

Take Him At His Word

11/01/2011

Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Council, recently stated on Al Jazeera in Arabic, the following, which was translated into English by MEMRI: “The settlement should be based on the borders of June 4, 1967 (“Arab Media Says What U.S. Media Won’t,” The Edge of Town, Oct. 21).

Don’t Blame Researchers

11/01/2011

As host of the conference on socio-demography recently held at Brandeis University, I very much appreciated Gary Rosenblatt’s commentary (“How Many U.S. Jews? And Who Cares?” Oct. 28). Indeed, the Jewish community needs systematic and up-to-date information about its size and character, despite the challenges of collecting such data.

Christians Mostly Failed To Act During Kristallnacht

11/01/2011

Most American Christian leaders strongly condemned the Kristallnacht pogrom that the Nazis carried out against Germany’s Jews 73 years ago next week, when hundreds of synagogues were torched on the night of Nov. 9-10, the windows of thousands of Jewish businesses were smashed, 100 Jews were murdered and 30,000 more were dragged off to concentration camps.

Rafael Medoff

Demographers Should Help Rather Than Criticize

11/01/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The Oct. 28 Jewish Week column by Gary Rosenblatt on a recent conference of Jewish demographers (“How Many U.S. Jews, And Who Cares?”) sheds some light on one of the greatest challenges that has faced the Jewish people throughout our history — our tendency to fragment rather than coalesce. Given the fact that however one counts, we Jews are a miniscule fraction of the 7 billion human beings on the face of the earth, it is a sad fact that more often than not, we squander the resources we have at our command by bickering, rather than finding better ways to work together.

Howard Rieger

A Call For Civility, Not Censorship

11/01/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

In a laudable effort to tone down the rancorous political rhetoric that has made Israel a wedge issue between Republicans and Democrats, and to rally bipartisan support for Israel, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League announced a “National Unity Pledge for Israel” last week. They were unfortunately lambasted by right-wing groups committed to using Israel as a political football in the presidential election, even at the expense of the solid bipartisanship that has characterized U.S. support for Israel for decades.

Peter A. Joseph

Going Into The Supreme Court, United For Jerusalem

11/01/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

On Monday, the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take a rare excursion into the realm of foreign policy and the fraught issues surrounding the Israeli-Arab conflict. The case of Menachem B. Zivotofsky v. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, concerns a decades-long dispute over American policy toward Jerusalem, with Congress passing laws designed to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the holy city and the executive branch refusing to implement those laws out of diplomatic concerns.

Nathan J. Diament
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