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When great institutions lie

Over the past week, two major U.S. institutions have produced studies that discredit their names and reputations as credible organizations. Their actions are important in and of themselves. But they also point to a disturbing trend in the U.S. in whi...

 

Harvey, Irma and 9/11, we can replace the stuff

Hurricane Harvey and Irma have been bad news to all in their paths. Lives have sadly been lost, houses demolished and personal items blown or washed away. Such horrific acts of nature remind us that we are all fragile and vulnerable. The right wind a...

 

The slow death of Europe

What explains Europe’s self-destructive denial? Europe is committing cultural suicide. More than a decade ago, historian Bernard Lewis warned that by the dawn of the next century, Europe would resemble nothing so much as an extension of the...

 

Why you should know about Israel's air attack in Syria and why you should care

Perhaps you didn’t hear about Israel’s alleged air strike on a Syrian military installation last week, but the incident has significant global ramifications about which you should be aware. In Israel, it’s always reported that incidents like...

 

BDS supporters and Gaza are harmful to Israel

Dear Editor: I just finished reading the op-ed Heritage published from Rabbi Zimmerman regarding Israelis’ decision not to let supporters of BDS into Israel (Sept. 8 issue, “Why rabbis like me oppose Israel’s ban on BDS activists”) and this...

 

How we can upstage Billy Joel in the New Year

In the wake of the awful events in Charlottesville, Billy Joel’s fans got an inspiring surprise toward the end of his recent concert in Madison Square Garden. The singer, who does not wear his Jewish upbringing on his sleeve, came out for his encor...

 

Just do it: A High Holidays call to action

(Rabbis Without Borders via JTA)—As the High Holidays tides approach and soon over-wash with their poignant waters of joy, awe, solemnity and introspection, it’s tempting to imagine that this season is only for emotional and spiritual internals....

 

Self-hatred: It's not just for self-haters! 

(JTA)—I used to joke that I am not a self-hating Jew: It’s all those other Jews I can’t stand. Like I said, I used to tell that joke. In the current political climate, self-hatred is no laughing matter. Calling another Jew “self-hating” is...

 

Fear and trembling about High Holidays services

(Rabbis Without Borders via JTA)—Fear and trembling make a triumphant return to the Jewish calendar with the month of Elul and the initiation of the holiday countdown that leads to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As a rabbinical colleague wrote,...

 

How can we forgive the unforgivable?

(Rabbis Without Borders via JTA)—The month of Elul is the season of repentance and forgiveness that culminates with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In the rabbinic imagination, Elul is an acronym for “Ani L’Dodi V’dodi Li”—“I am m...

 

SPLC should rename 'Hate Map' to 'Groups We Hate Map'

The Southern Poverty Law Center admitted its fault and removed a town from its “Hate Map” this week. That map irresponsibly mixes religious organizations with violent hate groups, and this time it included the town of Amana because an unknown...

 

Leave the symbols of Nazi persecution alone, Billy Joel

Billy Joel’s decision to sport a yellow star on the front and back of his jacket during a concert this week was a nod to history that the singer may not have been aware of. The venue for the concert, New York City’s Madison Square Garden, was...

 

The peak of a three-year flooding trend for Houston's Jews

As a member of Houston’s Jewish community writing about a devastating flood for the third time since May 2015, I’m at a loss for words. Sitting in the comforts of my third-floor apartment, where I’m fortunate enough to view the unprecedented...

 

J Street rewrites history to create 'Palestine

The U.S. government’s reluctance to demand the immediate creation of a Palestinian state has sent J Street into a panic. With its candidates having been defeated in elections on both sides of the ocean, and its proposals crumbling in the face of...

 

Point: Why rabbis like me oppose Israel's ban on BDS activists

MADISON, Wis. (JTA)—In March, the Israeli Knesset passed a law that denies entry to foreigners who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS. At the time, the law felt so insidious because it introduced a political litmus test...

 

Counterpoint: Objections to Israel's BDS law are overwrought and hypocritical

JERUSALEM (JTA)—In July, five leaders of the virulent BDS groups Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine were barred at Dulles International Airport from boarding a flight to Israel. The move reportedly was the result of an...

 

From Rome to Charlottesville, a statue is never just a statue

NEW YORK (JTA)—French historian Pierre Nora spent his life describing and explaining “places of memory,” sites commemorating significant moments in the history of a community that continue to resonate and transform from generation to...

 

Let's talk about sex: the aftermath of Charlottesville

The scene is Paris in the late 19th century. At a glittering ball, a handful of eligible gentilhommes eagerly circled the charming Comtesse de La Rochefoucauld—something of an Ivanka Trump in her day—in the hope of being granted a dance. But wh...

 

Rewards for rock-throwers

On a recent Friday, several-dozen Jewish hikers happened to pass near the Palestinian village of Kobar. Some locals reacted to the sight of Jews by trying to stone them to death. News reports noted that Kobar is the home town of the terrorist who rec...

 

What to do about radical Islam?

There ain’t much anybody can do. It’s one of our insoluble problems. For those of us outside areas of the Middle East and Africa where one or another radical movement established itself, the problem may grow with the defeat of the extremists in...

 

Is it possible to fight both neo-Nazis and left-wing anti-Semites?

We live in a time when, as the U.S. State Department has noted, a “rising tide of anti-Semitism” has swept across the globe. Anti-Semitism has crept into the mainstream from the margins of society in the West, as a coalition of intellectual...

 

Charlottesville offers lifesaving lessons for American Jews

Jews are asking if we’re back in the 1920s. To me, the scene outside a Charlottesville synagogue is more like Odessa in 1905. Across from the synagogue stood three white supremacists with semi-automatic weapons. During the Friday night torchlight...

 

Has the heat of worldwide anti-Semitism become too hot for the Jewish people?

The stinging heat of anti-Semitism is being felt, yet again, around the world. Whether you live in Miami, Rome or Santiago, the goosebumps we all got when we heard the chants of the white supremacists in Charlottesville—“Jews will not replace...

 

State's new Mideast director has record of criticizing Israel

The newly appointed Middle East director at the State Department has a long record of criticizing and pressuring Israel. Isn’t anybody at the White House paying attention to who’s being hired over at Foggy Bottom?  David Satterfield, who is...

 

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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