Israel's Crazy "Rape By Deception" Case

 We are moving forward with Ellie’s Israel-themed birthday party, which is next weekend, something I blogged about when she first came up with the idea.

I’ve hired the amazing Dafna Israel-Kotok to teach the kids some Israeli songs and dances. And we’ll serve borekas, hummus, candy and other Israeli treats, procured from Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills, an area Ellie and I refer to as “the Israeli neighborhood.”

Unfortunate Dating Experience? Why Not Arrest Him!

Quick. When you hear the phrase "consensual sex," what comes to mind?

Rape? How about "Rape by deception."

Because that is what one unfortunate Arab man is convicted of for having had the misfortune of sleeping with the wrong Jewish woman. His crime? Pretending he was a Jew. His punishment? Two years of house arrest and a possible 18 months in jail.


Do you know what your friends who fasted on Tisha B'Av had to eat when it was over? Chances are, if you and they belong to Facebook, you do.

Jewish positions generally unchanged as CUFI, John Hagee begin Washington summit

Vacation plans mean I'm missing this year's Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington summit, which begins today. I'm sorry because CUFI puts on a pretty impressive show, and the Jewish community's ambivalence about the meaning of this and other “Christian Zionist” groups is endlessly interesting for journalists.

The Gentleman Caller is Always Cute and Never Single

Let’s just cut the chase: The guy’s married.

Of course he’s married! They are always, but always, married!

So you would think by now that I would have caught on.

But no.

As my friend, Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers.”

Once More To The Lake (Apologies to E.B. White)

 I’m back from vacation, back to New York’s never-ending heat wave and an apartment that (due primarily to my husband Joe’s environmentalist zeal) lacks air conditioning.

We are sorely missing our lakefront cottage rental in Maine, where nights were cool and days were filled with swimming. We’ve been going to Maine since Ellie, now almost 7, was a baby, and it’s been rewarding to watch it evolve into a family tradition, one the kids adore as much as Joe and I do.

Catskills Intoxication

Maybe I was a tad defensive when a friend asked me this weekend if I was enjoying the mountain air. "The air's not so bad where I am," I answered.

Netanyahu 1, Abbas 0, peace process - who knows?

Whether or not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a strategic vision for peace I'll leave to the experts in the mysteries of Israeli politics. One thing I can say with confidence: in the day-to-day diplomatic trench warfare with Palestinian leaders, he looks like a genius.

The latest example: his ongoing call for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, which has now become a refrain of the Obama administration.

Even Orthodox Rabbis Here Bemoan (Privately) The Conversion Controversy

Amid all the furor from opponents of the proposed Knesset conversion bill that would turn the de facto Orthodox control into law, it’s instructive to note who isn’t speaking out, and why.

And one can appreciate how this controversy underscores the enormous gap in understanding between Jewish leaders here and in Israel.

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