Editorial & Opinion

Palestinian Leadership Must Save Itself

Special to the Jewish Week

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' May 17 op-ed in The New York Times is a masterpiece of revision, rejection and recrimination in support of one simple request to the international community on behalf of the Palestinian people - please save us from ourselves. Having stubbornly refused to lead the Palestinians to resolve the conflict through the only viable approach, direct negotiations with Israel, he turns to the United Nations to enable and reward Palestinian denial of Israel's right to exist.

Bibi Opts For Confrontation

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.

Gary Rosenblatt

Delaying Tactics


In his book “Representative Men,” Ralph Waldo Emerson tells a helpful story about Napoleon: He directed his one-time secretary, Bourrienne, to leave all letters unopened for three weeks, and then “observed with satisfaction how large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself, and no longer required an answer.”

As someone who steadily answers e-mails lest the queue become unbearably long, I wonder at the steely self-discipline required to leave that mail unanswered. If Napoleon could manage that, world conquest was probably a trifle.

S.F. Circumcision Referendum


Religious freedom is both precious and precarious. Case in point: the circumcision ban that will be on the ballot as a referendum in San Francisco in November.

The proposed measure would make it unlawful to perform a ceremony critical to the identity of Jews; worse, it states that “no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that or any other person that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.”

Talk about blatant violations of the First Amendment.

Appreciating AIPAC


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is often described as one of the most powerful and effective lobbying groups in Washington. Just about any way you measure success — Congressional voting results, organizational skills, funding, effective professionals and legions of passionate lay leaders — AIPAC qualifies. And supporters of Israel, and of strong ties between Washington and Jerusalem, should be grateful for that achievement.

Origins Of ‘Holocaust’


In “Whose Holocaust Museum?” (May 6), Steve Lipman summarizes varied opinion on what Holocaust museums should actually do — limit themselves to the Jewish Holocaust or tell a wider story.

The critic Edward Rothstein states, correctly in my opinion, that by widening the subject “institutions dilute the message.”

A Shabbos Tragedy


I was incredulous that your front-page story (March 11) on the Jewish character of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire omitted the most relevant fact: The fire occurred on a Shabbos (Sephardic transliteration would be anachronistic in this context). I learned the day of the week on which the fire occurred several years ago, and was also told that the employees were forced to come to work on Shabbos because that was payday.

Saudi Initiative


Although I don’t fully agree with Gary Rosenblatt’s view of the Palestinian Authority as more recalcitrant than Israel is at times, there’s much in his column, “Looking to Bibi, As The World Closes In” (Editor’s column, May 20), that I do agree with. I especially agree that the so-called “Nakba,” the catastrophe for the Arabs as a result of Israel’s victory in 1948, was brought about by their violent opposition to the United Nations partition plan and their military attempt to destroy Israel in its infancy.

Israel In A Bind


Try as they might, Israel finds itself in a no-win situation. If Israelis are perceived to be taking a hard line in negotiating with the Palestinians, they risk incurring the wrath of President Barack Obama and European leaders. And if Israel succumbs to world pressure and agrees to relinquish territory vital to its security, it may encourage its Arab neighbors and Iran to wage war against her.

Boteach Off Base On Obama Speech


I’m really appalled that anyone would take a view written by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach seriously (“Obama At AIPAC: Let The Fun Begin,” Opinion, Jewish Week website).

Let’s start to clarify a couple of points. President Barack Obama did not say anything different than our former president. President George W. Bush sent a letter in 2004 to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon based on this premise [that Israel would keep the large settlement blocs in return for land swaps]. For obvious reasons he did not make it public.

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