Israel Now

Israel Now June 2012

Inside Israel’s Secular-Religious Culture War
Return to Beit Shemesh … The theater as bridge builder …
religious pluralism in the classroom. Plus, essays by Stuart Schoffman, Jonathan Rosenblum and Daniel Sokatch, and more.
28-page Special Report

05/29/2012
Israel Now June 2012

Toward A Song Of Freedom

Can art break barriers and build bridges between Israel and Egypt? It’s a long shot but some Israeli writers and musicians hold out a glimmer of hope.

Israel Correspondent
06/01/2011

Like a lot of other Israelis, and Jews, around the world, I watched the unfolding people’s revolution in Egypt earlier this year with a combination of admiration and trepidation.

There were dueling thoughts inside my brain. My inner New Yorker couldn’t help humming “Could be … who knows…,” the shout of hopeful anticipation from West Side Story; but it was soon drowned out by my outer Jerusalemite paranoia, which kept asking, “But is it good for the Jews?” “Is it good for Israel?”

Writer-filmmaker Etgar Keret, left, and singer Achinoam Nini right.

When September Comes…

Palestinian statehood, growing isolation for Israel and a ‘new chapter’ for the region.

Staff Writer
06/01/2011

In seeking United Nations recognition as an independent state — bypassing a negotiated settlement with Israel — Palestinians are tapping into the Arab clamor for self-determination and threatening to isolate Israel on the world stage, according to several Israeli analysts.

“Unfortunately, we are on the brink of a severe crisis,” said Yoram Meitel, chair of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Foreshadowing of September? Palestinians breach Israel’s border fence with Syria during Nakba Day protests last month.

For Israel, The Time To Act Is Now

A leading Israeli think tank founder says the country’s leaders should ‘drive’ the peace process.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/01/2011

When Christian fundamentalists predicted that May 21 would mark the end of the world, Jews laughed. We know that the end of the world won’t happen until September, when the Palestinians bring their declaration of the statehood to the UN General Assembly. Or when the Iranians get the Bomb. Or whenever President Obama utters the word “1967” and is not referring to Haight-Ashbury or Carl Yastrzemski.

Old allies, old reality: Bibi Netanyahu and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. getty images

The Year Of Thinking Biblically

A plea for adaptability and openness in a world increasingly colored, as in the Bible, in stark black and white.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/01/2011

When Christian fundamentalists predicted that May 21 would mark the end of the world, Jews laughed. We know that the end of the world won’t happen until September, when the Palestinians bring their declaration of the statehood to the UN General Assembly. Or when the Iranians get the Bomb. Or whenever President Obama utters the word “1967” and is not referring to Haight-Ashbury or Carl Yastrzemski.

How can we not rejoice at what we saw in Tahrir Square, the author writes. getty images

The Worst Case

On every front — from the Muslim Brotherhood to the White House — Israel’s back is against the wall, argues the author.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/01/2011

From an Israeli standpoint — and this is a non-partisan, across-the-board situation — the Middle East is heading toward crisis and disaster.

Just to list developments that are clearly happening is quite worrisome. The fact that the U.S. government doesn’t understand this long list of factors, nor do European governments, nor does almost all of the Western mass media, makes the problems far larger.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie. The group’s inclusion in the Egyptian parliament is of deep concern in Israel.

Nurturing Democracy

With so much hanging in the balance, an American Jewish leader weighs hopes and fears.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/01/2011

I want to be an optimist about the upheaval in the Arab world and where it’s headed. In fact, I desperately want to be hopeful.

After all, if things were to go in the right direction, then an entire region could at long last begin to savor the blessings of flourishing democracies and the protection of human rights. In turn, that could create an atmosphere conducive to peaceful conflict resolution and its potential aftermath, fruitful coexistence and regional development.

Steering Clear Of History, For Now

With all the turbulence around it, and caught between risk and opportunity, Israel should stand pat, argues a veteran of the peace process.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/01/2011

In the wake of the Arab Spring and winter sweeping the Arab world, Israel would be wise to keep its hopes and fears under control. There’s a great deal about these popular uprisings and those yet to come we obviously don’t know. With the devolution of authority comes confusion and the devolution of information as new players and old ones reconfigured step on the stage. It would be smart and prudent not to draw too many hasty conclusions.

Crossed out in Cairo: Egyptians in Tahrir Square as they called for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. getty images

Israel Now June 2011

Navigating the Arab Spring
Essays by Aaron David Miller, Gidi Grinstein, David Harris and more.

05/31/2011
Israel Now June 2011

Bright Flight

Israel’s brain power is increasingly global and mobile, and the country is moving to keep academics at home.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

T el Aviv — Israeli Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz announced recently that the country was unintentionally subsidizing the entire Western world to the tune of some $3 billion with its exported brain power. 

“We have one tremendous resource and that’s our human capital,” Hershkowitz told a recent conference on education, basing his estimate on the amount Israel invests in training its academics, thousands of whom are working abroad. “But we are bearing witness to brain drain abroad.” 

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