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As an aspirational ideal, the Green New Deal that has been percolating on the far-left for at least the last 10 years has a lot going for it. Now, with the publicity-seeking freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) taking up the cause, the plan has gotten additional attention. It woul…

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Israel’s political soup pot was bubbling as the deadline approached this week for parties to declare their candidate lists ahead of the April 9 Knesset election. In recent weeks in this space, we’ve looked at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, and newcomer Benny Gantz and…

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President Trump’s State of the Union address last week was both glossy and dark, with heroes and victims saluted and dire warnings of invasions from our southern border. And into the mix of hope and fear Trump stirred the Jews — a proud moment, or a disconcerting one, depending on what you t…

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International Fellowship of Christians and Jews founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who died Feb. 6 at age 67, is being remembered this week by politicians, clergy and Jewish community leaders. From all corners of the world, the tributes are pouring in for the New York-born rabbi whose organizat…

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After last week’s Likud primary, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still No. 1 on the party list for Knesset in April’s election. No surprise there, as his ranking was already determined. But the next few places, coupled with the findings of national opinion polls, are early indications o…

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In his maiden campaign speech last week, former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz made a virtue of being calm. Hewing close to patriotism but steering clear of jingoism, he struck a fuzzy middle course that initially excited enough Israelis to lead talking heads to conclude that Gantz may b…

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Many in our community view North American universities as bastions of anti-Semitism. They point to the strength of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses and the groups (including Jewish ones) who support it, such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, as i…

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When it comes to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, we tend to focus on the first two parts of the international effort to delegitimize the Jewish state. So, we properly cry foul when college students launch a boycott of Sabra hummus — which happened several…

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The new freshman class of Democrats in Congress has some pro-Israel Jews worried. In particular, there are concerns about Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

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If there’s one thing that business leaders in a host of different industries can agree upon, it’s that economies function best when the outcomes of decisions are predictable. So when looking at a country’s bottom line, finality matters. Perhaps that’s why, when the British people two years a…

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Is there anything positive that has come about or is even projected to occur as a result of the current government shutdown? Other than helping to frame more clearly how operationally dysfunctional our national leadership has become, is there any benefit to anyone from the increasingly dange…

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Almost everyone agrees that the first Women’s March two years ago was impressive. Hundreds of thousands of women and their supporters marched on Washington, D.C., in the name of human rights, gender and racial equality, and freedom of religion. Recognized as the largest single-day protest in…

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The history of coalition politics in Israel is a familiar story. Since no one party has ever received enough popular votes to constitute a majority, coalition governments need to be formed through what is sometimes a patchwork of deals and compromises which result in shared leadership and go…

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Eight years after losing their majority in the House of Representatives, and two years after losing the White House, the Democrats are once again firmly in control of the House. What will they do with that power?

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Late last month, at a synagogue in Rio de Janeiro, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed his love for his new bestie, Brazil’s incoming president, Jair Bolsonaro. According to Netanyahu: “It’s not just friendship … it’s a pact of brothers.”

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Amid the celebrations when President Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem last year was the cryptic warning that Israel will “pay a higher price” in peace talks with the Palestinians for Trump having taken Jerusalem “off the table.” Trump has not yet delivered on the peace plan. Yet it …

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NJY Camps in New Jersey is the largest Jewish camp complex in North America, serving about 5,500 youth annually. With a sexual abuse scandal that forced out its longtime executive director, the camp, sponsored by two New Jersey Jewish federations, will now find out whether more recent develo…

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For a brief moment last week, much of the organized Jewish world was in a frenzy, furiously checking text messages and social media feeds for information on what appeared to be another terror attack on Jewish institutions. Spurred to near hysteria by tweets and retweets about what was suppos…

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Our hearts go out to our Israeli brothers and sisters who, in addition to living in an official state of war with the wider Arab world since before the country’s founding in 1948, are again dealing with death from terrorism. For the past several weeks, Palestinian gunmen have targeted passin…

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A few years ago, researchers discovered what they called the Birthright bump — an increase in Jewish identity and participation following a 10-day Birthright trip to Israel. Now, we could be seeing a Birthright dip.

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An unintended consequence of the revolution in medical science in the last century has been complacency. Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, was eradicated in this country in 2000 by nearly universal vaccination. But it has been much longer since its widespread appearance among child…

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Kudos are due to the 87 nations that voted to condemn Hamas last week in the United Nations. With 57 votes against the U.S.-drafted resolution and 33 abstentions, proponents were not able to meet the required two-thirds majority to pass. But the vote did mark the first time the world body fo…

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At the United Nations Climate Conference in Poland, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he wished he could travel back through time, Terminator-style, and stop the use of fossil fuels before it began. If only it were that easy. 

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Such is the poor state of affairs with Israel’s Chief Rabbinate that its release last week of an index of approved Diaspora rabbis for performing divorces and conversions seems like a major step forward. It isn’t. The release of the list of some 70 “approved” Orthodox rabbinical courts came …

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Former President George H. W. Bush is being remembered this week as a mensch, as well as a model of duty and service. His family and friends are even referring to him as the best one-term president in the history of our country. And while it may be that Bush was all of the above, there is no…

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In the wake of the Oct. 2 disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there were weeks of conflicting accounts and mind-numbing allegations. President Donald Trump initially took a cautious, wait-and-see attitude. As the full contours of Kha…

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Airbnb’s decision last week to delist some 200 properties in Israel’s West Bank communities was certainly unfair. It’s an economic boycott focused on what the company calls the “discrimination” of Israel’s civilian and military presence in Judea and Samaria — some, including Airbnb, call it …

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When the Democrats take over the House of Representatives in January, the speaker’s gavel will probably be returned to Nancy Pelosi, the body’s top officer and the highest-ranking woman in American political history.

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To stave off a war that no one really wanted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week called it quits after responding to more than 400 Gaza-fired rockets with precision strikes on numerous Hamas installations, including a television station that Israel Defense Forces say had bee…

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The results of last week’s midterms didn’t meet the “blue wave” projections of the Democrats, nor did it qualify as the total vindication sought by the Republicans. Nonetheless, the results were significant. Democrats handily captured control of the House of Representatives, wresting absolut…

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Last week, the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee met to discuss anti-Semitism in America in the wake of the Oct. 27 shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Absent from the discussion were American Jews themselves, something that was noted — not uncritically — in news cover…

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In Israel’s municipal elections last week, the city of Beit Shemesh narrowly voted out its two-term mayor, Moshe Abutbul. In doing so, it ended eight years of confused and corrupt governance, and ushered in what we hope will be a new era that seeks to integrate the city’s insular haredi Orth…

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It was Solidarity Shabbat and the pews were full. So upsetting was the murder of 11 Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, so saturated was the media coverage of the victims and survivors, so pained were the commentaries, and so overwhelming was the compassionate and supportive response…

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In discussing his solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a Diaspora audience last week at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned the ghost of his Likud Party’s first prime minister, Menachem Begin.

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We are overwhelmed with deep emotions of anger, frustration and despair over the senseless attack last Shabbat at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The memory of the 11 victims of the worst mass murder of Jews in U.S. history haunts us.  

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Earlier this year, our colleagues at the three leading Jewish newspapers in the U.K. published the same front-page headline and joint editorial voicing concern over rising anti-Semitism in Britain’s Labor party. 

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If reports are correct, journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain a document he needed to marry his fiancée, a Turkish citizen. While there, he was attacked by as many as 15 Saudis, who cut off his finger and then killed him. Then, one of his …

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We are puzzled why so much noise has been made about a recent poll showing that 75 percent of American Jewish voters are still Democrats. That statistic doesn’t strike us as terribly surprising, or newsworthy. Rather, it seems to be telling us what we already know.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a major foreign policy speech last week in which he identified an emerging authoritarian strain around the world. The topic is an important one for a once and perhaps future presidential candidate to address. He correctly pointed out that authoritarianism is …

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As President Trump’s United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley redefined what it means to leave no daylight between the United States and Israel. In the two years of her tenure in office, she has brooked no compromise with Israel’s critics. None. AIPAC has thanked her for “consistently” standin…

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“Imagine a married couple who have cycled in and out of intimacy ask themselves every day if they should stay married. Without answering the question, the very asking of it assumes that there is a question to be asked. There is a problem. The question itself begins to undermine the relationship.”

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The headline in the Forward, “Canary Mission Blacklist Is Secretly Bankrolled By Major Jewish Federation,” was misleading. But revelations last week about the opaque right-wing Canary Mission show what happens when support for Israel runs amok.

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In a networked world, attempting to separate friends from foes can be messy. The High Court of the German state of Hesse last week tried to make some legal sense of the mess that is Kuwait’s non-recognition of Israel in an era of near-seamless interconnection. The result was unsatisfying.

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The mass Russian immigration to Israel in the 1980s helped put the Jewish state on solid demographic footing. But the nature of Soviet Jewish society brought its own demographic complications. Many Russians who immigrated with their families were not Jews, either according to Jewish law or p…

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With the worldwide refugee population estimated at 25.4 million, the Trump administration last week announced its refugee admission ceiling for fiscal 2019 will be the lowest in the nearly 40-year history of the U.S. refugee program. The cap of 30,000 refugee admissions — a 33 percent drop f…

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What’s with University of Michigan professor of American Culture John Cheney-Lippold? He’s the guy who refused to write a letter of recommendation for one of his students, a junior named Abigail Ingber, who asked him to support her effort to study abroad — in Israel. Cheney-Lippold refused I…

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Will continued pummeling of the Palestinians bring them to heel? Or, more specifically, will additional sanctions bring them to the peace table to sign the “deal of the century?” The Trump administration seems to think so.

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In reopening a probe of anti-Semitism at Rutgers University, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights may find in a 2011 incident at a pro-Palestinian event a violation of the civil rights of Jewish students. Or, like the Obama administration’s 2014 probe of the same facts,…

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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 …

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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…

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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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