Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Jonathan S. Tobin

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One Jewish people, two dissonant tribes

(JNS) What do you do about a relative who loves you but won’t listen to your concerns? That’s the likely American Jewish reaction to news about a new poll of Israeli opinion that signals both good and bad news to those who care about the...

 

Iran's lies matter

(JNS)—To Obama administration alumni and other detractors of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there was nothing all that new or noteworthy in his presentation of a treasure trove of Iranian nuclear intelligence obtained by the Mossad. Whi...

 

The universalist impulse and Anne Frank

(JNS)—In what must be considered a public-relations coup of epic proportions, the New Israel Fund announced this week that it would be benefiting from the sales of copies of Anne Frank’s diary. The diary is among the most beloved books of the...

 

Trump repeats Obama's mistakes on Syria

(JNS)—After eight years of dealing with an American president who considered establishing more “daylight” between the United States and Israel, the last 15 months has been a whole lot easier for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu....

 

The Saudis exit the conflict with Israel

(JNS)—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman made history after telling The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that his country recognized the right of the Jews to “their own land.” Though he added that the Saudis also care about the...

 

Why AIPAC can literally count on support

(JNS)—At this year’s AIPAC conference, a great deal of attention was given to organizational efforts to present Israel as an attractive cause for Democrats and liberals to continue to embrace. As I noted earlier this month, while perils are...

 

The smearing of Mike Pompeo

(JNS)—After more than a year of pretending that President Donald Trump was fomenting anti-Semitism, it’s been a bad month for some on the left. The fact that supporters of Louis Farrakhan lead the Women’s March, the movement organizing...

 

Why is Trump betraying terror victims?

(JNS)—It turns out that in some cases, the Trump administration can behave just like its predecessors. President Donald Trump has been rightly accused of smashing precedents as the commander-in-chief, and many of his subordinates have behaved,...

 

The real Russia challenge Trump faces

(JNS)—After beating ISIS, the administration can’t stand by idly as the chaos in Syria leads to war between Israel and Iran’s Hezbollah auxiliaries. Donald Trump was elected president of the United States promising an “America First”...

 

The embassy will move... and the world won't end

(JNS)—Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal after all. Instead of waiting until 2019 or 2020, the U.S. embassy to Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. On Friday, the Trump administration said the ceremony converting a Jerusalem...

 

What we thought of the Rev. Billy Graham

(JNS)—Perhaps the saddest thing about the death of the Rev. Billy Graham on Feb. 21, at the age of 99, was the fact that virtually every obituary gave prominent mention to what was arguably his worst moment. Graham was a giant of American...

 

Inclusion and the Jewish group that demonizes Jews

The issue the organized Jewish world has struggled most with in recent years is how to keep communal peace at a time when the debate over Israel has become increasingly polarized. The result is a dialogue of the deaf that diminishes the community. Th...

 

A law that allows hatemongers to pose as martyrs

The term “blacklist” is one that brings up memories of McCarthysim to most Americans. But those on a new Israeli “blacklist” who are to be blocked from entry to that country for promoting boycotts are undeserving of any sympathy.  The 20...

 

Why Trump's Palestinian aid cut threat makes sense

We didn’t need the publication of a new book filled with behind-the-scenes gossip to know that Donald Trump is an unconventional and, at times, inappropriate president. His use of Twitter provides many examples of this fact.  But amid another flur...

 

Defining 'occupied' and the semantic battle for peace

ByIn a demonstration of how completely at odds his views are from those of the foreign policy establishment, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman reportedly asked the State Department to stop using the term “occupied territories” and instead...

 

Ending the silence on abuse

In the last two months, the avalanche of stories about sexual abuse and harassment has touched virtually every sector of American society. The revelations about deeply troubling behavior on the part of politicians, journalists and figures in the ente...

 

The method to Trump's madness on Jerusalem may make sense

In the end, perhaps only a president so completely divorced from diplomatic reality and utterly indifferent to international opinion could do it. Despite the difficulties and the manifest dangers involved with keeping America’s promise—enshrined...

 

An unlikely bedfellow delivers a wake-up call

It’s difficult for Americans to sympathize with the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Though a longstanding ally of the U.S., the oil-rich theocracy has helped foment extremism around world by funding fundamentalist mosques and madrassas. That 15 of the 19 h...

 

Time for a peace process paradigm change

What are the details of the Middle East peace plan that President Donald Trump will use to craft what he hopes is the “ultimate deal?” Sometime in the next few months, they will be unveiled as part of an effort to revive the dead-in-the-water...

 

Who's shutting down the debate on Israel?

One of the complaints about the organized Jewish community is that it is silencing criticism of Israel. Left-wingers paint a dismal picture of a Jewish community in denial about Israel’s sins and determined to squelch debate about the peace...

 

How Balfour explains why the peace process failed

It was a minor news story when it broke in the summer of 2016. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was suing Great Britain over the Balfour Declaration, issued on Nov. 2, 1917. But as we prepare to observe the centennial...

 

An anti-Semitic smear gets another hearing

Last month, former CIA officer Valerie Plame crossed a line on social media even the mainstream liberal media couldn’t ignore. Plame gained fame due to her unmasking at a time when her husband was a prominent critic of the George W. Bush...

 

Where does Israel fit in a Jewish future without faith?

For Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political opponents, his government’s woes aren’t just an opportunity to score political points at his expense. They also provide easy-to-understand explanations for the question that nags at the margins...

 

Liberal choice: honor Obama's legacy or get tough with Iran?

Is there anything that would entice liberal Jews to stand with President Donald Trump or to join with him in trashing former President Barack Obama’s legacy? The obvious answer is nothing. In the wake of Charlottesville, disgust with Trump is at an...

 

Want diversity and tolerance? Stop demonizing conservatives

Many Americans know that the sickness at the heart of our political culture stems from a spirit of intolerance that has become the keynote of discourse. Liberals blame it on President Donald Trump and his supporters. But few of us seem able to...

 

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