Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Melanie Phillips


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  • The Middle East's fateful moment

    Melanie Phillips|Jun 14, 2024

    (JNS) — If people think the war in Gaza is intolerable, they should buckle up for what may now be coming. This week, the north of Israel burned as fires caused by barrages of Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon consumed 3,460 acres of land. In addition, Hezbollah, which has been subjecting northern Israel to rocket and missile attacks for eight months, expanded its range as far south as Acre and Nahariya. This escalation may mean that Israel, which has been carefully limiting its responses to Hezbollah’s aggression, now takes the gloves off and mou...

  • The American betrayal of Israel

    Melanie Phillips|Mar 29, 2024

    (JNS) — As some of us have long feared and that has now become undeniable, Israel is fighting not one but two wars of defense against a malevolent foe. The first is against the axis of Iran and its proxies: Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis of Yemen. The second is against America. The Biden administration is to construct a pier off the Gaza shore to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. This week, Israeli TV’s Channel 14 reported that, astoundingly, the Americans have handed over the financing and management of this pier to Qatar, the...

  • The Hamas pogrom is the result of the West's refusal to accept the idea of evil

    Melanie Phillips|Oct 27, 2023

    Israel’s heart has been broken. At war once again against genocidal enemies, its people are shattered by shock, grief and horror. At time of writing, the number of those murdered has risen to 1300, with at least 2,315 wounded and more than 100 being held hostage in Gaza. The images of what happened will stay with us forever. Dozens of Israelis were gunned down in their homes and their cars. Elderly people and small children were slaughtered; women were raped; bodies taken into Gaza were paraded and desecrated; mothers with children in their a...

  • Spitting in God's eye

    Melanie Phillips|Oct 13, 2023

    (JNS) — Earlier this week, ultra-Orthodox Jews parading through Jerusalem’s Old City passed a group of Christians bearing a large wooden cross. Some of the Jews spat on the ground in the Christians’ direction. Two days later, Jerusalem police arrested five Jews involved in a similar spitting incident. The spitters provoked widespread outrage and disgust. They were denounced by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the chief rabbis of Israel and the U.K., and a number of ultra-Orthodox politicians too. The rabbis and other Orthodo...

  • Why compromise is unlikely in Israel's crisis

    Melanie Phillips|Aug 4, 2023

    (JNS) — The night before Monday’s Knesset vote on the first of the government’s proposed judicial reforms, a video filmed on the escalators in Jerusalem’s central train station went viral on social media. It showed a great tide of people holding Israeli flags going down one escalator on their way back from protesting against the reforms in Jerusalem, and a great tide of people holding Israeli flags going up the other escalator on their way back from demonstrating in support of the reforms in Tel Aviv. What was so remarkable and moving was tha...

  • It's time to dismantle the United Nations

    Melanie Phillips|Jul 21, 2023

    (JNS) — The malevolent scapegoating of Israel by the United Nations has long been a scandal. These abuses are regularly highlighted by tireless U.N. watchdogs such as Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, and Anne Bayefsky, president of Human Rights Voices and director of Touro’s Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Last week, Neuer testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. He described how Israel is routinely demonized by the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Human Rights Council and the World Health Org...

  • As Gaza's rockets are fired at Israel, so are media missiles

    Melanie Phillips|May 19, 2023

    (JNS) — We know it’s coming. We can write the script in advance. Yet it never fails to sicken and to shock. Israel was once again forced to take military action to defend itself against increasingly deadly attacks. As ever, Western media presented this as if Israel wakes up in the morning and decides to bomb Gaza through some insatiable lust for violence. Once again, such media outlets omitted or downplayed the crucial context for this military action. Once again, questions asked by some interviewers were framed through a maliciously dis...

  • America's outrageous attack on Netanyahu's right to govern

    Melanie Phillips|Apr 7, 2023

    (JNS) — Whatever one thinks about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, any true Israeli patriot will surely react viscerally to U.S. President Joe Biden’s outrageous attack on Israel’s right to govern itself without foreign interference. On Monday, Netanyahu announced he was suspending his coalition’s judicial reform legislation in order to negotiate a compromise with the opposition. The next day, Biden told Netanyahu to “walk away” from the legislation, saying he was “very concerned” about the health of Israeli democracy. Warn...

  • Israel's two-faced allies

    Melanie Phillips|Mar 24, 2023

    (JNS) — America and Britain claim to be allies of Israel. There is no gainsaying the deep links between them of military assistance, intelligence and trade. Israel is the invaluable strategic asset for America and Britain in the Middle East, a crucial bulwark in the defense of the West. And yet, both America and Britain undermine Israel’s security and defense against existential attack by sanitizing, promoting and funding Palestinian Arabs, whose active cause remains the destruction of the Jewish state. A recent event illustrated this par...

  • Can the whole world be wrong?

    Melanie Phillips|Mar 3, 2023

    (JNS) — One of the mysteries of the war against Israel is the extent to which a monstrously twisted narrative about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs — casting the former as evil and the latter as sanctified victims — has been absorbed by so many people. Still stranger, this narrative seems to be the driver of progressive politics. It’s not just that “intersectionality” demonizes the Jews, but that it is driven by an obsession with Palestinianism. As Corinne Blacker wrote in Tablet, “In queer and women’s studies programs, the topic of Palest...

  • The European Union's subversion of Israel

    Melanie Phillips|Dec 30, 2022

    (JNS) — Liberal Jews in both the Diaspora and Israel have been hyperventilating over the “extremist” ministers in the incoming government headed by Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu. These are the rabble-rouser Itamar Ben-Gvir, the theocrat Bezalel Smotrich and the ultra-socially conservative Avi Maoz. With Netanyahu insisting that he will keep these three on a short leash, the rational position is to judge this government on what it actually does rather than wildly denouncing these men on the basis of their previous behavior....

  • It's time for Israel to untie the American apron strings

    Melanie Phillips|Dec 2, 2022

    (JNS) — Can Israel break its dependency on the United States? The question has always been widely dismissed as unthinkable. But recent events are prompting it to be raised with increasing urgency. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has been far from friendly towards Israel. Despite continuing to fund its defense needs and support it against the relentless malice of the U.N., the Bidenites’ reckless appeasement of the Iranian regime has increased the Islamic republic’s capacity to attack Israel. At the same time, the U.S. has repea...

  • Dragons and dragon-slayers in Israel and America Most Israeli Jews know which is which, most American Jews do not

    Melanie Phillips|Nov 18, 2022

    (JNS) — The elections that have just taken place in Israel and the United States each boiled down to a contest between dragons and dragon-slayers. The difference is this: Israeli Jews mostly recognize who are the dragons and who are their slayers. American Jews mostly can’t work out which is which. In Israel, the dragons are the Palestinians, who want to kill Israeli Jews and steal their land, as well as the Islamic revolutionary leaders of Iran, who want to kill Israeli Jews and destroy their land. In last week’s election, the Israeli publi...

  • Democracy's watchdog has abandoned its role

    Melanie Phillips|Oct 14, 2022

    (JNS) — It has often been said that the media is a pillar of democracy because it keeps our politicians honest. Lifting the veil of secrecy in which authorities like to cloak themselves, revealing inconvenient truths that expose the inadequacies and worse of government actions and subjecting all politicians to forensic questioning without bias—this is how the media acts in the public interest. But when the media doesn’t deliver, truthfulness goes out of the window, propaganda and ignorance take over and democracy stumbles. We see this in much...

  • The urgent need for proper Jewish leadership

    Melanie Phillips|Aug 5, 2022

    (JNS) — Diaspora Jews worry about how to deal with the current tsunami of antisemitism that is washing through the world. They also worry about how to deal with the anti-Zionism and demonization of Israel that are now the default position for “progressives” in the West. Most painful of all, they observe with horror that Jews themselves are increasingly involved in the onslaught against Israel. However, there’s a problem that’s even more fundamental to the well-being of the Jewish people. It’s that Diaspora Jews are increasingly turning awa...

  • The real reason for Blinken's alarming warning about Iran

    Melanie Phillips|May 6, 2022

    (JNS) — Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the breakout time for Iran to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon had now come down to “a matter of weeks.” This is clearly deeply alarming news. But why did Blinken choose to announce this to the world? After all, it invites the question, “So what are you going to do about it?” Blinken told the hearing that renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which lifted sanctions in return for limitations on its nuclear program,...

  • For the Jews, history repeats itself in Ukraine

    Melanie Phillips|Mar 11, 2022

    (JNS) — The onslaught against Ukraine by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is a horrific tragedy for all Ukrainians as well as a crisis for Europe and the west in general. Nevertheless, for the Jewish people, it has special and deeply troubling resonance. During the Holocaust, an estimated 1.2 million to 1.4 million Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered. Volodymyr Zelensky, the country’s heroic president who is inspiring its resistance, is a Jew who lost relatives in that cauldron. Now Ukraine’s Jewish community, which carries a long history of trau...

  • The false accusation of 'Israel apartheid'

    Melanie Phillips|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) — The campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel has recently moved into a higher gear with the increased use of one particularly vicious falsehood. This is the claim that Israel is an apartheid state. The claim is as fatuous as it is pernicious. Apartheid was the name given to South Africa’s systematic oppression of its black inhabitants, who were denied political, civic and human rights. By contrast, Arab Israeli citizens have fully equal rights. They study in Israel’s universities; enjoy Israel’s beaches and parks; receive equal trea...

  • 'Imagine' all those people …

    Melanie Phillips|Dec 17, 2021

    (JNS) Diaspora Jews have a collective history of constant migration. Ethnically cleansed hundreds of years ago from their ancient homeland in Israel, they wandered between continents that periodically persecuted them, threw them out or barred them altogether. How, then, should Jews approach today’s phenomenon of the mass migration of peoples? All over the world, millions are on the move from the impoverished and violent developing world to the West in search of a better and safer life. On America’s border with Mexico, tens of thousands are try...

  • The inconvenient truths behind the hysteria over climate change

    Melanie Phillips|Nov 19, 2021

    By (JNS) — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, got himself into an unfortunate mess during the COP26 conference on climate change held in Glasgow, Scotland. After he claimed that politicians who failed to take the necessary action to halt climate change would be viewed in an even worse light than those who had ignored the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, he was asked whether that meant failure to act on climate change would be worse than allowing genocide to happen. He replied: “It will allow a genocide on an infinitely greater sca...

  • Jared Kushner's curious change of heart

    Melanie Phillips|Apr 2, 2021

    (JNS) — Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, was a senior foreign-policy adviser in the Trump administration. Now an op-ed by Kushner published in The Wall Street Journal has caused jaws to drop. Kushner was a key mover behind the Abraham Accords between Israel and the Gulf States. This agreement, brokered by Trump, was the most significant move towards peace in the Middle East for the best part of a century. In parallel, Trump’s U.S. withdrawal in May 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, coupled with the re-imposition of s...

  • Christian leaders remain silent as the church recycles its oldest hatred

    Melanie Phillips|Apr 2, 2021

    (JNS) - The World Council of Churches has gone full theological incitement against the State of Israel. In a recent Zoom webinar with more than 300 Christian activists to promote a film about the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and pro-Palestinian activism of Michel Sabbah, Rev. Frank Chikane, the moderator of the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, went much further than the usual falsehoods about Israel's "brutality" toward the Palestinians. "We need to begin to say...

  • The brouhaha over defining Jews as an ethnic minority

    Melanie Phillips|Mar 19, 2021

    (JNS) — A row over anti-Semitism that has erupted in Britain illuminates the problem that bedevils so many in the West over their understanding of what Judaism actually is. The controversy started with a tweet by the Labour Party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, congratulating the new head of the Scottish Labour Party, Anas Sarwar, on his appointment. Rayner described Sarwar, who is of Pakistani descent, as “the first-ever ethnic minority leader of a political party anywhere in the U.K.” Sarwar is certainly the first Muslim or Asian leader...

  • Electing a president under an erupting cultural volcano

    Melanie Phillips|Nov 20, 2020

    (JNS) — The U.S. presidential election has illustrated more graphically than ever before that we are living beneath an erupting civilizational volcano. The flaming cultural lava is spreading well beyond America. We have to wonder whether we are now watching the steady asphyxiation in the West of both liberalism and democracy. Nowhere is waiting with greater apprehension for the eventual outcome of the election than Israel. If President Donald Trump is finally edged out, the recent startling prospects for peace in the Middle East may well be e...

  • Trivializing the true evil of Nazism

    Melanie Phillips|Oct 9, 2020

    (JNS) — There is clearly no limit to the depths of moral perversity that the enemies of President Donald Trump are prepared to plumb, not least within America’s Jewish community. The Jewish Democratic Council of America has released a new campaign ad aimed at Jewish voters in swing states that compares Trump’s presidency to the rise of fascism in Germany. The ad features parallel images of anti-Semitism and nationalism in Nazi Germany and today’s America. There are images of anti-Semitic graffiti from 1930s Germany, along with similar attacks...

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