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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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In a society that seems to grow coarser by the moment, word last week that a number of rich and famous people were being charged in a bribery and cheating scheme designed to get their children accepted into elite universities still caused quite a stir.

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In the run-up to the April 9 elections in Israel, there are several issues that are drawing public attention. In addition to the traditional focus on security, potential peace plans, economic issues, settlements, political posturing and coalition building, there is the lingering issue of Isr…

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Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the Somali-American politician who made history last fall by becoming one of just two Muslim women to ever be elected to Congress, bemoans that she’s misunderstood. Who can blame her?

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In largely Roman Catholic countries, Carnival bears a superficial resemblance to the upcoming Jewish festival of Purim. It is a raucous time of merrymaking and frivolity, where pieties are overturned and authority has its pants pulled down. The “celebration” comes immediately before the aust…

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In Jerusalem last week, the Jewish Agency’s board of governors was presented with an idea for taking the desire of young Diaspora Jews to do good in the world and channeling it into service to the Jewish people. Through service projects, young Jewish adults will be able to enhance their Jewi…

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had a most impressive run. He will soon be the longest serving prime minister in the state’s history. He has led the country to extraordinary economic growth, legendary military and intelligence status and impressive foreign policy achievement — …

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What are we to make of the announced alliance between Israel’s Jewish Home party and Otzma Yehudit? And how much of the blame for the move is to be borne by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?  

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As a general rule, domestic courts are terrible places to address such intractable problems as multiparty international political conflicts. And yet, they are exactly the forums varying groups on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide have turned to in the ever-widening phenomenon pop…

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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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