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Israel is a small country, often described as “the size of New Jersey.” With a population of about 9 million, it also has about as many people as the Garden State. Currently, Israel’s population is heavily concentrated in the metropolitan areas in the center and north of the county, with vas…

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It was just one week ago. The news that Jon Ossoff, a proud Jew, and Raphael Warnock, a respected Black minister, won election as Georgia’s new Democratic senators was a big deal. Democrats rejoiced.  Republicans sulked. Pundits had a field day. And the House was poised to certify President-…

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Last month, with the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, we saw the beginning of the end of the pandemic. We were happy to see front-line health care workers and the elderly get the vaccine, and are encouraged by public efforts to encourage all segments of the population to get vaccinated. V…

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At first glance, the headlines were heartening: “In first, Israel recognizes three civil marriages performed online” and “Couples marry online … beat lack of civil marriages in Israel.”

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We are under siege. The U.S. will end 2020 with 330,000 people dead from COVID-19 — a virus none of us had even heard of when the year began. Some 18.7 million Americans have been infected by the virus, entering them into a lottery whose results are anywhere between no symptoms and death. Mo…

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Unless there is some tectonic shift in Israel’s body politic over the next dozen weeks, the country will hold national elections on March 23, 2021. This will be Israel’s fourth national election in two years.  And it will likely result in a stalemate — necessitating a fifth round.

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Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s highest court, dealt a serious blow to ritual Jewish and Muslim methods of animal slaughter. The court upheld a Belgian law that requires that animals must be stunned before they are killed. Neither Jewish nor Muslim law …

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Competence, experience and precedent-setting diversity appear to be the hallmarks of the most recent round of men and women President-elect Joe Biden has nominated to fill his Cabinet. Each has a connection to the overall area of nominated responsibility — or has helpful parallel experience …

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Why is it that 75 years after the end of World War II there is still Jewish-owned art looted by the Nazis that has not been returned to its owners’ heirs? One answer is that it was a racist regime bent on genocide that coerced Jews to part with their property, while restitution efforts proce…

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The historic Abraham Accords have been a singular foreign policy success of the outgoing Trump administration. Last week, a fourth Arab country — the Kingdom of Morocco — joined the list of Arab states willing to normalize relations with the State of Israel. While Morocco may not be the shin…

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It is hard to remember a time when the lights of our Chanukah menorahs carried as poignant a message as they do in this tumultuous year. Night by night, as we add another candle to those we light in celebration, we propose to add a contemporary twist to the rabbinic gloss on the significance…

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Israel’s Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz has shown remarkable naiveté and disturbing short-sightedness as he has stumbled from one strategic miscalculation to another since he became active in the rough-and-tumble world of Israeli politics. Although universally respected for his cour…

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Among the most powerful and feared voices in the Middle East is that of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wealthy, large, conservative, aloof, sitting snugly in the cradle of Arab and Muslim civilization — Saudi Arabia wields significant political and economic influence in the complex structure o…

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President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of his first cabinet picks last week were pleasantly unsurprising. The selections were clear evidence of Biden’s centrist inclinations and determination to bring diversity, balance and a touch of creativity to his team. The 80 million or so Americans …

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President-elect Joe Biden recognizes the shared values between the U.S. and Israel, understands the  benefits of the close relationship and supports Israel’s strategic and military edge in the region. While we believe that his administration will continue this country’s special relationship …

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With control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance, the two runoff elections scheduled to take place in Georgia on Jan. 5 are, in effect, national elections. Attention and campaign dollars have been attracted from far and wide, since the Georgia results will determine whether the United …

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Saeb Erekat was the Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator with Israel since the 1990s. He was accusatory, confrontational and uncompromising in his public persona, but was reportedly more realistic and accommodating in private. When he died in an Israeli hospital last week of complications fr…

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Last weekend’s demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and other cities by President Donald Trump’s supporters made clear that there are a lot of people who believe that there were improprieties in the recent presidential voting — perhaps enough to have stolen the election.

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks exemplified the best of Modern Orthodoxy. Erudite, personable, a prolific writer, a beloved teacher and a public intellectual, Sacks moved comfortably in the Jewish community and in the larger world. He began his career as a congregational rabbi in London, served as Brit…

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In claiming victory this past Saturday as the nation’s 46th president, Joe Biden  hit all the right notes. He was forceful, empathetic and steady — and sought to begin the healing process for a divided nation following a bruising presidential election.

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Jeremy Corbyn, who led Britain’s opposition Labour Party until earlier this year, was suspended from the party last week. He was a leader with a blind spot for his own dislike of Jews and the anti-Semitism he helped foster in his party. The suspension was another sign that the Labour Party i…

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It took 18 years, but reality finally overcame politics. And now, the U.S. passport of Menachem Zivotofsky shows the unremarkable but much litigated truth that he is a U.S. citizen, born in Jerusalem, Israel.

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Last December in this space, we urged readers to vote in the elections of the World Zionist Congress, the once-every-five-year meeting that chooses the leadership of the World Zionist Organization and other veteran institutions that connect Israel with the Diaspora and, between them, boast a…

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In 1990, First Amendment attorney Richard Godwin proposed what has come to be known as Godwin’s Law. The law essentially posits that comparing someone to Hitler as a way to score points in an argument is glib, lazy and usually ends the discussion. And by overuse, repeated reference to Hitler…

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett is impressive. She appears intelligent, articulate, confident and poised, and spoke evenly in her public testimony over several days of lengthy proceedings last week before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Barrett has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals…

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The sometimes violent protests last week in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park were disturbing. Although the communal frustration that prompted the reaction may have been fueled by poor or misleading communications by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, much of the graphically reported respon…

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On May 15, with the coronavirus raging around the world, Israel reported just 13 new cases. It appeared that the start-up nation had succeeded in flattening the curve, as only a few other countries had done. That was cause for praise. Indeed, as others struggled to address the coronavirus, I…

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Last week’s first “debate” between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was a mess. More than 70 million people tuned in to watch. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to hear the candidates discuss their views concerning the significant issues and challenges facing our country.

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California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign into law Assembly Bill 331 this week, which will require public high schools to offer an ethnic studies course by 2025, and to begin making the course a requirement to graduate by 2029. While the innovative educational effort is commendable,…

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s remarkable career ended with her death on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. An icon for liberals, Ginsburg stood with the “the outsider in society … telling them that they have a place in our legal system,” as President Bill Clinton described her when he nominated her t…

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It is now more than seven decades since the end of the Holocaust. The number of precious survivors continues to diminish, even as we pledge to never forget. Numerous impressive projects have been undertaken to record the history of one of the world’s darkest chapters and combat the lies of H…

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The historic Abraham Accords, signed at the White House last week, established normalized relations between Israel and two Arab monarchies, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. While the ceremony was impressive and its results significant, the Accords had an important side benefit: They cleared…

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How much government support is required in order to address the extraordinary needs of Americans more than a half-year into the coronavirus pandemic? No one knows for sure. But everyone knows that the number is very high, and that the needs are extraordinary.

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The Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the beginning of the Jewish new year, has always been a time of reflection and introspection. Particularly as we get closer to Rosh Hashanah — which we will celebrate this weekend — we look back over the past year and think about the possibilities and…

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We are all familiar with the term “cybercrime” — we regularly read about hackers who steal financial or personal information from individuals, institutions or businesses through which they gain access to money or valuable data. Sometimes, the theft stops with the targeted taking. Other times…

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Among the many issues we are confronting during the coronavirus pandemic, public policy regarding housing affordability and stability ranks near the top. Affordable housing is an essential component of our societal infrastructure, and has a direct impact on our most vulnerable.

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The recent Democratic and Republican conventions told two very different stories. They reflected a political divide in our country that goes well beyond policy differences. The back-to-back made-for-TV events made clear that the two campaigns have decidedly different perceptions of today’s p…

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Conspiracy theories are hard to kill. They exist almost entirely in the mind of the believer. State a fact to disprove the theory and, to the believer, it will prove how well those carrying out the conspiracy are keeping it hidden. We go through life “connecting the dots,” or reaching logica…

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When President Donald Trump raised concern about mail-in voting for the upcoming November elections and suggested that the U.S. Postal Service could be an instrument for voter fraud, political reactions were quick and intense. In the process, Americans rediscovered their love of the post office.

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate was wise. Harris checks nearly all of the boxes Biden needs to round out his ticket and still appeal to progressives, independents and disillusioned Republicans.

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With the announcement on Aug. 13 that Israel and the United Arab Emirates were formalizing their relations, there was near universal praise for the diplomatic achievement. Credit for the historic accord was shared by U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and…

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The novel coronavirus is testing our resources and creativity in ways we never imagined. We look to government for support; we turn to communal social service organizations for assistance; we look to our scientific and medical community for innovation and answers; we look to our schools for …

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It is a rare accomplishment for a rabbi to have his name attached to the word “Talmud,” the corpus of Jewish law and lore that has been the subject of Jewish study and scholarship for close to 2,000 years. But becoming identified with his eponymous translation of the Talmud was only one of R…

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As so often happens in our social-media-driven political world, the tweets of President Donald Trump get a lot of coverage and strong reaction. Last week was no exception, as the president got people buzzing with a series of tweets about the November elections. Following up on his repeated a…

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There were many items up for consideration when the Democratic National Committee’s platform committee held a virtual meeting last week to consider changes to a draft version of the platform, including proposals regarding Medicare for All and the legalization of marijuana, both of which were…

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What is the proper role of the federal government in local law enforcement activity? Two different programs being pursued by the Trump administration highlight the potential benefits and some real concerns that can come from such involvements.

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Since Israel’s emergency government was formed in May, the problems have only gotten worse. Last week, there was talk of another national election by the end of 2020 — the fourth in the span of two years.

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“Beloved” is an apt word to describe John Lewis. He was more than a member of Congress, more than a civil rights leader and more than a friend of the Jewish people. Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who died July 17 at the age of 80, possessed an unusual combination of strength, courage, modesty, …

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Once you get past the schadenfreude, one could almost feel sorry for the New York Times. With the very public and searing announcement by op-ed staff editor and writer Bari Weiss of the reasons for her resignation from the paper, the curtain has been pulled back from the Gray Lady, leaving t…

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