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This week's editorial

O, Canada!

What are we doing in a trade war with Canada? Why have we inducted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into some new axis of evil? And why is President Donald Trump picking on Trudeau and Canada? “If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” Trump tweeted on Sept. 1 after talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada faltered.
Wednesday 09/12/2018
Israel doesn’t need Rodrigo Duterte
Posted: September 12, 2018

We learned a number of interesting facts last week during Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel. For example, we learned that in 1939, the Philippines authorized 10,000 visas to persecuted Jews and that 1,300 reached safety in the Pacific nation. And we learned that Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, has a Jewish grandfather. And finally, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded at the start of his meeting with Duterte, “The Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the establishment of the State of Israel in the U.N. resolution in 1947.” (Israel and the Philippines didn’t establish diplomatic ties until 1957.)

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Wednesday 09/05/2018
Welcoming 5779
Posted: September 05, 2018

As we prepare to welcome the Jewish New Year, beginning at sundown on Sunday, we can’t help but wonder what the coming year will bring. We have survived a year of instability and uncertainty both here and in Israel, and there are disquieting projections for the future. But there is hope.

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Coping with COPIA’s strong-arm tactics
Posted: September 05, 2018

Questions of communal free speech are always tested on the periphery. Last week, such a test played out in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where Hasia Diner, an authority on American Jewish history, was invited by the Foundation for Jewish Studies to give a lecture on Jewish immigration to America. The intended venue was the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, in Rockville.

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Thursday 08/30/2018
The not-so-new Saudi Arabia
Posted: August 30, 2018

For all the hype about the “new Saudi Arabia” — women drivers, movies, clerics put in their place, cooperation with Israel — the oil kingdom is deeply conservative and brutally authoritarian. No one should confuse it with the land of the free.

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Justice, honesty and the Episcopalian bishop
Posted: August 30, 2018

In Jewish tradition, justice and mercy share an uneasy balance. But strict justice, without more, produces evil in the world. Indeed, we are beginning to see a growing trend among critics of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians who explain their hostility to the Jewish state as an outgrowth of their pursuit of justice for the weaker side in the long-running conflict. That inclination is understandable as a natural impulse to identify with the underdog. But that blind, reflexive reaction — couched in the “sacred pursuit of justice” mantra, especially when practiced by Israel’s critics — can make fools out of those who lack a degree of self-awareness and humility.

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Wednesday 08/22/2018
Rashida Tlaib’s shifting positions
Posted: August 22, 2018

Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, supports positions that are becoming familiar for candidates from the Bernie Sanders wing of the party: Medicare for all, the abolishment of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and free college education, among her domestic policies. But Tlaib, an attorney and former state representative who is expected to be elected to fill the seat vacated by civil rights icon Rep. John Conyers, has offered a flurry of conflicting statements on Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians that are worrying.

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Israel’s restricted border door
Posted: August 22, 2018

This has become the season of a new kind of #MeToo — of left-leaning critics of Israel who have been stopped at the border and questioned under indirect interrogation governed by the Shin Bet internal security services before being allowed into the country.

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Wednesday 08/15/2018
Unite the Right fizzles
Posted: August 15, 2018

Sunday’s Unite the Right Rally in Washington was a virtual no-show for the white supremacists who sought a reprise of the torch- and weapons-carrying march that sparked violence one year ago in Charlottesville, Va. That rally, capped by the death of counter protester Heather Heyer, stunned and sickened the nation. On Sunday, the fewer than 40 who turned up in the nation’s capital were drowned out — literally and figuratively — by the thousands who took to the streets in opposition and by the rain which dispersed the crowds.

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