Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Alex Traiman

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  • Oct. 7 'deeply personal,' says US actor Michael Rapaport

    Alex Traiman and Etgar Lefkovits|Jul 12, 2024

    (JNS) - American-Jewish actor Michael Rapaport said on Monday that the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, and the wave of antisemitism that it triggered across the United States, were deeply personal for him and enhanced his connection with Judaism. Rapaport spoke to JNS on the sidelines of the annual Pulse of Israel conference in Jerusalem, where he received the "Leadership of Zion Award" from the hands of CEO and founder Avi Abelow. The comedian has emerged as a leading voice for Israel in Hollywood, at a...

  • March of the Living provides a powerful opportunity for Jewish unity

    Alex Traiman|Apr 28, 2023

    (JNS) - There are no words to describe a trip to the extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The camps are surprisingly well-preserved and are a living testament to the most heinous crime in modern human history: the systematic extermination not just of every Jew, but of the attempt to annihilate every single one to the extent that shockingly detailed records were kept on so many of the 6 million killed. Visitors to the camps witness the cruelest of inhumane living conditions of the...

  • Israel's historic right-wing government is the democratic will of the voters

    Alex Traiman|Jan 6, 2023

    (JNS) - Israel inducted a historic right-wing government Thursday, led by three-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu's return to power and the formation of a strong right-wing government is a tremendous achievement for a nation that has increasingly turned towards the right-wing values of strong security and protecting the Jewish character of the state. The 64-member Likud-led coalition, joined by Netanyahu's loyal right-wing and religious allies, puts to bed years of electoral...

  • With overwhelming victory, Netanyahu set to form strong, right-wing government

    Alex Traiman|Nov 11, 2022

    (JNS) - Apparently in Israel, the fifth time is the charm. After repeated attempts by the opposition, by defectors from his own right-wing bloc, by the prosecution and the Supreme Court to prevent embattled former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from ruling, the electorate finally ended Israel's protracted political deadlock by voting overwhelmingly in favor of Netanyahu and his natural-and loyal-right-wing allies. With 87.6 percent of the paper ballots counted, Netanyahu's bloc is likely to...

  • US Amb. Nides to JNS: Israelis and Palestinians 'nowhere near two-state solution

    Alex Traiman|Oct 28, 2022

    (JNS) The Biden administration's ambassador to Israel Tom Nides has a tough act to follow. Predecessor David Friedman was the Trump administration's point person for major U.S. policy shifts in Israel's favor, including the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, and the signing of the historic Abraham Accords by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. For Israel's center-right majority, the Trump administration provided a...

  • Noor Dahri: Pakistani-born Muslim, counter-terrorism expert ... and Zionist

    Alex Traiman|Sep 2, 2022

    (JNS) - Noor Dahri just published a new book on the Israel Defense Forces. He is a counter-terrorism researcher and a former officer with the London Police. He has studied at Herzliya's International Institute for Counter-Terrorism and has lectured in front of Israeli security experts. Dahri is currently in Israel gathering research for his next book on Israeli security threats, traveling along Israel's often tense borders with Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. Details of his trip, including visits to...

  • Coalition doomed to failure, new elections loom

    Alex Traiman|Jul 1, 2022

    (JNS) - Israel appears set to head back to the polls after a "change coalition" has failed to hold its razor-thin majority, barely a year after its formation. Elections are likely to be held on Oct. 25, just after the conclusion of the Jewish High Holidays. The elections would be the fifth in just three-and-a-half years. Meanwhile, according to the coalition's complicated rotation agreement, Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid will tentatively become a caretaker "transitional" prime minister wit...

  • The power, potential and possible pitfalls of the Negev Summit

    Alex Traiman|Apr 8, 2022

    (JNS) - The sight of four Arab foreign ministers - from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt - accompanied by the U.S. Secretary of State and hosted by an Israeli foreign minister at the first annual Negev Summit at Kibbutz Sde Boker was more than just the fulfillment of founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's vision to make the desert bloom. The summit demonstrates that the 2020 Abraham Accords pave a clear path to the end of the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict. It also...

  • Malcolm Hoenlein, 50 years at helm of pro-Israel groups, still works to strengthen world Jewry

    Alex Traiman|Feb 25, 2022

    (JNS) — After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Mission to Israel kicks off Sunday in Jerusalem. The umbrella group, which represents more than 50 Jewish communal groups spanning from the right to left flanks of American Jewish life, gets unprecedented access to Israel’s top leaders. Scheduled to speak at this year’s conference are Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett; President Isaac Herzog; Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid...

  • On Israel's New Year for trees, plowshares are turning into swords

    Alex Traiman|Jan 28, 2022

    (JNS) — Just outside the entrance to the United Nations, a famous Jewish prophecy is engraved into the plaza’s Isaiah Wall: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war any more.” Sadly, wars continue to be fought across the Middle East, and Israel still strives to maintain its Qualitative Military Edge over other nations in the region. Yet more and more, wars are changing form, and the effectiveness of conventional weapons...

  • For Israeli startups, '7 trillion' reasons to develop climate solutions

    Alex Traiman|Nov 26, 2021

    (JNS) — The current Israeli government led by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is taking the issue of climate change more seriously than ever before. Israel has brought a delegation of 140 members to the 26th U.N. Climate Change Convention in Glasgow, Scotland. Bennett pledged this week that Israel will no longer burn coal for electricity by 2025, and committed Israel to be a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. While the pledges, particularly the latter, will be extremely difficult for a nation that currently relies on abundant sources of n...

  • Israel is positioned to become a leader in green technologies

    Alex Traiman|Nov 12, 2021

    (JNS) - Part of a 140-member Israeli delegation to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the 26th U.N. Climate Change Convention, Environment Minister Tamar Zandberg tells JNS how she assesses the role that the Jewish state can play in the global effort, and the environmental and economic benefits it will bring to the country. Q: Israelis generally don't take environmental issues seriously. There is litter and illegal dumping. Water sources are dirty. Air quality is often poor. Why start addressing the...

  • 'AP,' 'Al Jazeera' and the mainstream media are tools in Hamas's war against Israel

    Alex Traiman|May 28, 2021

    (JNS) - Journalists are expressing their outrage that the 12-story Al-Jalaa building housing the Gaza headquarters of Associated Press and Al Jazeera was targeted during retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Saturday. Al Jazeera Jerusalem bureau chief Walid al-Omari said that by striking the building, Israel was acting "not only to sow destruction and killing, but also to silence those who broadcast it." Not exactly an objective assessment. AP CEO Gary Pruitt released a statement expressing that...

  • Trump's lasting legacy will be the Abraham Accords

    Alex Traiman|Jan 22, 2021

    (JNS) — Mainstream media and pundits from across the political spectrum have been quick to assert that the violent riot on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 has permanently tarnished the Trump presidency. It remains to be seen what Trump’s historical legacy will actually be as a turbulent 2020 seems to be carrying over into a turbulent 2021, in which the stability of America’s democratic foundations will be put to the test. Yet for all the global and domestic chaos last year, one major geopolitical accomplishment stands out above all other...

  • With bilateral agreements, Trump administration reverses Carter, Obama settlement policies

    Alex Traiman|Nov 6, 2020

    (JNS) -President Donald Trump completed its reversal of a legacy U.S. policy prejudiced against Israeli settlements. The United States and Israel signed new bilateral agreements on Oct. 28 that further enhance the cooperation between the close allies in the areas of science, industrial research and agricultural. Yet perhaps more noteworthy is that legacy "geographic restrictions" have now been removed from existing agreements. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman noted at the ceremony that t...

  • What will normalization with the Arab world mean for Israel?

    Alex Traiman|Aug 21, 2020

    (JNS) — Israel is set to sign a historic agreement with the United Arab Emirates that would see the two Middle Eastern nations officially strike diplomatic relations and exchange embassies. The move represents a major validation of the Netanyahu inside-out regional peace doctrine. For years, Israel’s senior statesman has argued that it would not be a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that would be the key to peace in the greater region, but rather that peace with the greater Arab world will increase the chances of an agr...

  • The great myth of Israeli 'annexation'

    Alex Traiman|Jul 3, 2020

    (JNS) - For the last several weeks, habitual critics of Israeli policies, dubious self-described Israel supporters and even some longtime friends have come out against Israeli plans to "annex" parts of the West Bank. Here are their arguments: The Palestinian Authority will collapse; Israel will effectively kill the two-state solution and eventually become a minority within its own bi-national state; the peace treaty with Jordan will be rescinded; normalization with Arab Gulf states will halt;...

  • Netanyahu presumed innocent in Israel's court of public opinion

    Alex Traiman|Jun 5, 2020

    (JNS) — Israeli media and their left-wing anti-Netanyahu allies have been anticipating for years the moment Benjamin Netanyahu would be dragged into a courtroom. Unable to beat Israel’s longest-serving prime minister at the polls, many have looked to a politically left-leaning legal system to get him out of office. Many pundits eagerly anticipated pictures of a guilt-ridden former prime minister, defeated at the ballot box, sitting depressed on the wooden benches of the Jerusalem District Cou...

  • 'Peace to Prosperity' plan shatters failed Oslo paradigm

    Alex Traiman|Feb 7, 2020

    (JNS)—With the presentation of its peace plan, titled, “Peace to Prosperity: A vision to improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people,” the United States has essentially shattered the once-holy Oslo paradigm, having learned from the peace process’s failures and establishes a new path forward to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel and the Palestinians have been locked in a diplomatic holding pattern conditioned on future Israeli withdrawals from territories central to its... Full story

  • 72 representatives don't #skipthetrip, join largest-ever delegation to Israel

    Alex Traiman|Aug 23, 2019

    (JNS)-A total of 41 Democrats and 31 Republicans are in Israel on overlapping party tours to get a firsthand view of the complex security challenges Israel faces and to express their unconditional, bipartisan support for the Jewish state. The delegations are touring Israel's borders and gaining insight into Israeli advances in areas of defense, agriculture, commercial technology, and water desalination and conservation. In addition, the groups met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,... Full story

  • 58 Jewish groups gather in New York to mobilize against anti-Semitism

    Alex Traiman|Aug 16, 2019

    (JNS)-Fifty-eight Jewish organizations gathered in New York City on Wednesday for a "National Consultation on Responses to Antisemitism" to address ever increasing anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, Europe and around the world. Organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations and hosted at the offices of UJA-Federation of New York in Midtown Manhattan, the consultation was attended by Jewish leaders and included two members of the U.S. Administration,... Full story

  • Friedman fires back at New York Times

    Alex Traiman|May 31, 2019

    (JNS)-U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman fired back at The New York Times on Wednesday over an article castigating him for claiming that Israel was "on the side of God" while speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the upcoming U.S. peace proposal. Speaking to a group of evangelical faith leaders at the Aish Hatorah World Center, overlooking the Western Wall plaza and the Temple Mount, Friedman said that, "apparently, there was nothing more offensive I could have said to... Full story

  • March of the Living transcends distinctions to provide a deeply meaningful Jewish experience

    Alex Traiman|May 10, 2019

    (JNS)—There are no words for the experience of commemorating the horrific death, together with Holocaust survivors, on the sacred grounds of the Birkenau extermination camp, where more than 1 million Jews were sent to the gas chambers and crematoriums just 75 years ago. March of the Living, over the past 31 years, has brought nearly 300,000 Jews and members of nations around the world to see for themselves the site of one of the most heinous and sophisticated crimes in human history, and to walk the nearly two miles from Auschwitz to B... Full story

  • Hundreds of conference participants show support for Judea/Samaria

    Alex Traiman|Apr 5, 2019

    (JNS)-While the AIPAC policy conferences features panels and breakout sessions on almost every issue central to the geostrategic challenges facing the State of Israel, one key issue is repeatedly left off the schedule. That is the issue of Jewish settlements and growing neighborhoods outside the Green Line. To that end, more than 700 conference participants gathered off-campus on Sunday night to participate in an event supporting approximately 700,000 living in Judea, Samaria and periphery neigh... Full story

  • Getting 'fed up' with critical tone of Federation leadership

    Alex Traiman|Jan 4, 2019

    (JNS)—For the second time in two months, the leadership of the Jewish Federation of North America has made it clear that it is fed up with the policies of Israel’s government. According to multiple news reports, JFNA leaders told Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Relations this past week that “relations between Israel and U.S. Jewry are at their lowest point since the state of Israel was established.” Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the UJA-Federation of New York—the only leader willing to come on record—is reported as stating that “people... Full story

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