We are in the season of the Jewish calendar when celebration and mourning are upon us in rapid and sometimes confusing succession, from the joy of Passover freedom to the darkness of Holocaust commemoration, followed a week later by Israel’s Yom HaZikaron (memorializing its fallen soldiers) and the following day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, marked with fireworks and parades in the Jewish state.
Israel is understandably ambivalent about the tsunami of change washing across the Middle East. Old adversaries suddenly look like forces for stability; anti-authoritarian change, long advocated by Israeli leaders as a precondition for real peace, is turning out to be scary.
That dynamic is particular evident in the case of Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator who is busy gunning down his own citizens as they demand a semblance of freedom.
Gary Rosenblatt’s column (“Back Off On The Bacchanalia,” April 1) about the downside of the recent TribeFest event in Las Vegas, sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), and other Jewish programs that offer alcohol to spark engagement in Jewish life, speaks to the larger issue and challenge of engagement of young leadership in the activities of our Jewish collective.
You don’t have to work for a Middle East think tank or have a doctorate in international relations to understand that a Palestinian state created through unilateral action can never be anything resembling a real state — even if it is endorsed by the United Nations.
This week marks the first 100 days of what has come to be known as the Arab Uprising or Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia and soon spread to Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya and beyond. It is too soon to tell what the region will look like even a year from now, but it is clear that it will never be quite the same, and some benchmarks are emerging.
Over time, a journalist gets used to being criticized. How, then, to respond, if at all? There’s a thin line between feeling justified for what one writes in seeking, for example, to expose wrongdoing in the community, and feeling self-righteous, or even immune from disapproval.
In “Back Off on the Bacchanalia” (April 1), Gary Rosenblatt takes a courageous step in calling attention to the danger of using alcohol as an outreach tool for attracting young people. He also notes that this practice is not restricted to young people, as in the case of “kiddush clubs.” He has identified a very real and serious problem.
The opinion piece by New Voices Editor Ben Sales sweeps under the rug the Israel-bashing that is an everyday occurrence in Middle East studies and political science classes and programs on campuses throughout the United States and Canada — as in the rest of the world, including (surprise?) Israel (“Campuses Are Safe For Pro-Israel Students,” April 1).