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 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    July 8, 2016

'Poisoning' accusations are a Palestinian tradition

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas must be surprised at the international outcry over his accusation this week that Israeli rabbis are plotting to poison Arab wells. After all, Abbas and his colleagues have been making similar allegat...

 

Deleting inconvenient words, from Arafat to Iran

The U.S. State Department’s admission that it altered an embarrassing video exchange about its nuclear negotiations with Iran is disturbing—but it’s not the first time that the Obama administration, or some of its predecessors, have tampered...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    May 27, 2016

Are profits everything? The 2016 race and a Jewish businessman's lament

The current American presidential campaign features candidates who seem all too willing to set aside ethics for the sake of greater profits. One presumptive nominee proudly made large donations to politicians “so they would do what I want” to...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    May 6, 2016

How 'Seinfeld' paved the way for Bernie Sanders

As recently as the 1940s, anti-Semitism was so common in the United States that even the president privately told offensive jokes about Jewish immigrants in a faux New York Jewish accent.  Yet in the past few months, a candidate who is the son of...

 

Israeli settlers, meet Brazil's settlers

Brazil says it will not confirm the Israeli ambassador-designate to the South American nation, Dani Dayan, because it does not want to “show support for the settlement enterprise,” for which Dayan has been an activist. But anyone familiar with...

 

Syrian refugee advocates are using the wrong Holocaust analogy

Examining America’s response to the Holocaust can help us avoid repeating the mistakes of that era, so applying the lessons of the Nazi years to contemporary concerns—including the plight of the Syrian refugees—certainly is appropriate. But...

 

Lack of democracy weakens U.S. Jewry

Fifty years ago this week, two prominent figures in the American Jewish community startled their colleagues by calling for democratic elections to choose Jewish leaders. The occasion was a two-day conference in New York City, in November 1965, on...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    News    August 14, 2015

Did Jonathan Pollard really cause anti-Semitism?

Did jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s actions provoke anti-Semitism in the United States? In the days leading up to the July 28 revelation that the U.S. has granted Pollard parole and that he will be released from federal prison on Nov. 20,...

 

Nader targets 'the Jews' and linguistically hijacks anti-Semitism

Ralph Nader, the famous crusader against fraud and corruption, believes he has uncovered a horrific new injustice—and the perpetrators are “the Jews.” “You never avoid using the word anti-Semitism when Arabs and Arab-Americans are...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    July 3, 2015

Answering Pope Francis's question about Auschwitz

“The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to... Auschwitz,” Pope Francis remarked this week. “Tell me,” he asked, “why didn’t they bomb them?” The pontiff’s question is not merely a matter of...

 

French rejection of Tel Aviv students echoes 1942 Benzion Netanyahu episode

The world-famous Louvre art museum stands accused of discriminating against Israeli students, after being exposed by some clever amateur investigative journalism that echoes a 1940s incident involving the father of Israel’s current prime minister....

 

When a piece of paper meant life or death

“It is a fantastic commentary on the inhumanity of our times,” journalist Dorothy Thompson wrote at the height of the 1930s European Jewish refugee crisis, “that for thousands and thousands of people a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    May 22, 2015

An American trapped in the 1948 siege of Jerusalem

“We are so used to bombs and the sound of firing guns that we don’t get upset anymore.” In choosing those words, Florence Bar Ilan probably hoped to convey that there was a certain stability to her daily life, but one can imagine her parents,...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Opinions    May 15, 2015

Baltimore 'riot mom' needed in Jerusalem

One of the most enduring images from the Baltimore riots was that of the irate mother of a rioter vigorously admonishing and slapping her law-breaking teenage son. Millions of frustrated Americans, watching the televised images of mobs of young...

 

Netanyahu's Congress speech follows in Rabin's footsteps

The supposedly unprecedented step taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his plan to speak directly before Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat on March 3, rather than working exclusively with the White House on the issue,...

 

From the Holocaust to Darfur, war criminals elude justice

The most notorious living perpetrator of genocide can sleep a little easier.  The International Criminal Court (ICC), which five years ago indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for organizing the genocide in Darfur, recently suspended...

 

Little left of Cuban Jewry's rich past

By The new U.S. policy of rapprochement with Cuba, which was accompanied by the celebrated release of imprisoned Jewish aid worker Alan Gross, probably will give American Jews greater access to a Jewish community with which few are familiar. But...

 

P.A. cartoon echoes Nazi newspaper's themes

A leering, hook-nosed Jew, beginning to disrobe, prepares to pounce upon a helpless non-Jewish woman who cowers in fear on the ground before him. This disturbing image, so common in anti-Semitic propaganda in past centuries, this week made an appeara...

 

Ex-presidents and the Jews: Carter vs. Hoover

Ex-presidents seldom take an interest in Jewish affairs, with two notable exceptions. One is Jimmy Carter, who has repeatedly clashed with the Jewish community. Another is Herbert Hoover, an unlikely ally of the Jews who passed away 50 years ago this...

 

Accusations against Israel latest disservice to coiner 'genocide'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims Israel is carrying out “systematic genocide” in Gaza. South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), asserts that Israel’s actions in Gaza “remind [us] of the atrocities...

 

D-Day and the bombing of Auschwitz

Seventy years ago last week, the Allies staged the D-Day invasion, landing some 24,000 troops on the beaches along France’s Normandy coast in one of the major turning points of World War II. What is not widely realized, however, is that the D-Day...

 
 By Rafael Medoff    Features    May 16, 2014

'A death sentence for the Jews': 75 years since the British White Paper

"We know we are going to be bamboozled," a despondent Stephen Wise, the foremost American Jewish leader of his time, confided to a friend before boarding a ship bound for England in early 1939. The...

 

April 1944: A Jewish exodus from the Polish army

A faded black-and-white photograph from 1943 shows Private Max Wald enjoying the Passover seder together with hundreds of his Polish army comrades.  But a tattered diary entry from the following year describes the “dampness and cold” of the...

 

'Monuments Men': Rescuing Chagall's paintings, abandoning Chagall

The new George Clooney film, "The Monuments Men," tells the thrilling story of U.S. military personnel who during World War II risked their lives to rescue paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso...

 

MLK Day: Recalling an early Zionist protest against racism

For American Jews, the birthday of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an occasion to recall the impressive Jewish contributions to the movement for African-American civil rights-from Jewish...

 

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