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Ever determined to get his wall, which he repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for, President Donald Trump has decided to “redirect” $3.6 billion from the Defense Department budget in order to build 170 miles of his “magnificent” border wall. That breaks down to $21 million and change p…

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Even more than Jerusalem, the city of Hebron, 17 miles to the south on the West Bank, is a captive of its history, to the detriment of many of its residents and to Israeli-Palestinian peace. To friends of Israel, the story of Hebron began when the patriarch Abraham purchased the Cave of Mach…

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According to the Republican Party in New York’s upstate Rockland County, a storm is brewing. In a Facebook video, with ominous music to set the mood, the GOP warned that “they” will “change our life.”

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Is it possible to overcome one’s sense of outrage and trauma in order to empathize with the suffering of another? And what if the “other” is not your friend, and may even have been complicit in bringing you pain? These are just two of the questions the new HBO series “Our Boys” presents to I…

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Last week the Trump administration proposed an expansion of the exemption that allows federal contractors who claim to be acting under principles of religious practice to hire and fire employees based upon their religious beliefs. The proposed regulation has generated significant comment fro…

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Last week President Donald Trump bemoaned the state of the Democratic Party, saying, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Given that roughly 80% of the Jewish population votes Democrat, the remark quickly…

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It’s hard to take Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seriously. And he hasn’t done much in the past several years to convince anyone that he deserves different treatment. Yet political leaders from around the world who visit Israel regularly meet with him to pay appropriate respect to the t…

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Finding the proper balance between politics and policy can be difficult. But for seasoned politicians, it is usually second nature. Except when it isn’t. That’s what played out last week when Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his administration bumbled, stumbled and fumbled th…

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What is it going to take for President Donald Trump to recognize the need for reasonable gun control policies and to say the words and take the actions necessary for appropriate federal legislation to be enacted? And why is he having such difficulty serving as the “comforter in chief” when a…

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (“UNRWA”) was created in 1949 as a relief and human development agency to support Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from their homes during Israel’s war of independence. Although originally crea…

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During last week’s second round of Democratic debates, we got to spend more time with the 20 highest scoring competitors for the party’s presidential nomination. Each tried to cram detailed policy positions and “attack zingers” into one-minute answers to moderator questions, and 15-second re…

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Last week the Senate confirmed Kelly Knight Craft as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. That position has been vacant since the popular and successful Nikki Haley stepped down last December. While we hope that Craft is up to the task of continuing the Haley legacy — as she pledged during…

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A divided country greeted the Trump administration’s decision last week to revive federal executions. The five death row inmates now slated to receive an injection of pentobarbital, an acutely toxic barbiturate, in December will be the first men put to death on federal charges since 2003.

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President Trump’s nasty attack on the city of Baltimore last weekend, calling it a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" where "no human being would want to live," hit hard for anyone who’s been offended by his numerous recent attacks on people of color and those who cherish America’s m…

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In a ruling last week, Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Court made clear that DNA testing cannot be used to answer the religious and politically sensitive question of who is a Jew. The court recognized that DNA testing results are vague and don’t identify a flashing Jewish gene that would nail do…

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In Israel’s April elections, former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s New Right party — the product of a political partnership with former Education Minister Naftali Bennet — was not able to achieve the election threshold, and evaporated. Now, three months later, Shaked seems to be more popul…

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Israel’s education minister, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, has only been in his job a month, and already he has made headlines for disparaging LGBTQ people, Diaspora Jews and the Holocaust.

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Jeffrey Epstein is a bad man. But he’s not bad because he is a billionaire who lives large; he’s not bad because he is Jewish; and he’s not bad because of his famous friends, political buddies and philanthropic partners — although, from the breathless press reports about him over the past we…

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For as long as any of us can remember, our country’s Independence Day observance has been marked by traditional patriotism: barbecues, flag-waving, fireworks, local parades and all manner of family and community gatherings. It has been a warm, unthreatening, self-satisfying celebration that …

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Jewish-organization watchers were surprised last week by the apparent collapse of The Israel Project, more often known as TIP, which describes itself as “the only organization dedicated to changing people’s minds about Israel through cutting-edge strategic communications.” First came reports…

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Last week’s Democratic “debates” — featuring 20 contenders in four hours of Q&A over two successive nights of prime time broadcast — introduced the country to a number of formidable, experienced, intelligent and passionate presidential contenders. And while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth W…

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Last week, Gary Rosenblatt, the editor and publisher of the New York Jewish Week, announced his retirement. In the world of Jewish journalism, the news was significant. It marked the beginning of another chapter in the development of our industry.

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In contemporary usage, the phrase “concentration camp” means one thing: the place the Nazis and their allies sent Jews and others they considered undesirable for forced labor and mass execution. Although there are historical uses of the words that relate to other mass detention situations, t…

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One of the strange consequences of the recent changes in U.S. tax law is the imposition of an obligation to pay taxes on otherwise tax-exempt organizations. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act requires nonprofits — including synagogues, social service agencies and day schools —to pay a business i…

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is viewed by most as a stalwart, rational and articulate friend of the state of Israel, who is laser-focused on maximizing the mutual benefits of the U.S.- Israel relationship. As one of the vocal supporters of Trump administration policies, he is known to have t…

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Jewish umbrella organizations are not the same as the individual groups they represent. As such, the relationship between the organization and its members can be complex — depending on the sensitivity of leadership and how far the membership is ready or willing to go.

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Although we know what Israelis who oppose haredi Orthodox control of the chief rabbinate and other state bodies are against, it isn’t clear why are they against it and what they are trying to accomplish. In a penetrating column last week, Michael J. Koplow, policy director of the Israel Poli…

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One would think that the organizers of last Friday’s Dyke March in Washington, D.C., would have been anxious for support from participants of all stripes who wanted to join the march and carry a gay pride rainbow flag. But it turns out that if the flag also had a large Star of David displaye…

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It turns out that Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t win Israel’s April Knesset elections after all. When the clock ran out last week, he was unable to form a parliamentary majority to lead a new government. Reports indicate that, at the 11th hour, he tested a number of different alliance and j…

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“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Robert Mueller declared last week, as he resigned as special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

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When 19-year-old American-born Michaela Levit died in Israel by her own hand this month, she became another lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces to die by suicide this year. The death of Levit, who made aliyah in 2017, has raised more questions about how the IDF treats its lone soldiers…

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In assessing the threat of rising anti-Semitism posed to Jews in Germany, the country’s commissioner on anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, was honest and forthcoming, even if his response to the problem was incomplete and unsatisfying. 

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Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the state of Israel. And if he has his way, he may never give up his post.  

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There is a clear national consensus on the need for immigration reform. And there is hope that, even in the highly politicized environment of Capitol Hill, serious people will engage on the issues and work toward a solution with the give and take inherent in any meaningful negotiation — keep…

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Fifty-six years ago, the Israeli Knesset established Yom Hazikaron as the Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers. It is poignantly observed the day before Yom Ha’atzmaut — Israeli Independence Day — to make clear how intertwined personal sacrifice is with the existence of the state. Over time, …

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Last week, around the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Iran announced it would restart a portion of its halted nuclear program. The Trump administration responded by announcing “new” sanctions. 

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In a free society like the one in which we are privileged to live, there is often a need to find a balance between individual freedom and public security. Our community got its first taste of that tension after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when bollards went up around Jewish institu…

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The April 26 cartoon in the New York Times International Edition showing a blind kippah-wearing President Trump being led by Prime Minister Netanyahu in the body of a dachshund seeing-eye dog was plainly anti-Semitic. That was really bad. And then, just three days later, as the Times was str…

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There are only two countries in the world that currently have a Jewish prime minister and a Jewish president. The fact that Israel is one is no surprise. But the fact that Ukraine is the other is a remarkable piece of news.  

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Do we need a Congressional Jewish Caucus, a group of Jewish legislators in the House and Senate who meet to discuss issues of importance to American Jews? 

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Last week, the New York University Chapter of the pro-BDS and anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine received NYU’s President’s Service Award. According to NYU, the annual award goes to selected campus clubs and individuals to honor them for “commitment to civic engagement and s…

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While it’s no longer news that anti-Semitic acts are on the rise in this country, the Pew Research Center has found that awareness of anti-Semitism is increasing, as well. According to a new Pew study released last week, 64 percent of Americans say Jews face at least some discrimination. Tha…

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It is ironic that for a contest whose results promise more of the same, the balloting numbers in Israel’s election last week suggest a potential  break with the past.

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What is it about sanctuary cities that has prompted such heated exchanges between supporters and opponents, and why is President Donald Trump threatening to send detained immigrants to sanctuary cities represented by Democrats?  Are the two sides engaged in a legitimate debate, or is this mo…

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Measles — the childhood scourge that many believed was largely relegated to history — has made a significant resurgence both in Israel and in the United States. While there are pockets of concern around the country, much of the press concerning the troubling uptick in reports of the virus ha…

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The return of Israel Defense Forces Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Baumel’s body for proper burial in Israel 37 years after his death was a poignant piece of positive news last week.

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, has a tumultuous history.  It is a law that most Republicans and many Democrats love to hate, but upon which an ever-increasing number of Americans rely for essential health care coverage.  

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President Trump’s March 21 tweet that “it is time … to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty” over the Golan Heights may have been timed to help the reelection efforts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it also set off a flurry of debate about the issue. That debate only intens…

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When word got out about the horrific March 15 Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand that left 50 dead and 50 more injured, the reaction in the United States was predictable. Messages of condolence were issued, mixed with healthy doses of anger, emotion and righteous proclamations that…

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There is little question that AIPAC has an extraordinary record of success in promoting the U.S.-Israel relationship. And the rising number of participants of all ages, colors, faiths and political stripes in AIPAC’s yearly Policy Conference — more than 18,000 gathered this week in Washingto…

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