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How extremist Israeli settlers celebrate the harvest festival

Sukkot, the Jewish holiday that marks the fall harvest festival and also commemorates 40 years of wandering by ancient Jews in the desert, commences at sundown on Wednesday. Jews throughout the world are building their local Sukkah, a temporary shelter that usually takes the form of a tent. So how are extremist Israeli Jewish settlers […]

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Thank you for putting J Street on trial

Last Wednesday, a Knesset Committee met in order to determine whether J Street had the right to call itself “pro-Israel.” The Knesset Member who called for the hearing, Otneil Schneller, “told the Forward that being pro-Israel can only mean defending the policy and conduct of the elected government, whatever one’s personal opinions.” Therefore, J Street […]

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When pro-Israel American Jews say, “This is wrong!”

More than 2,000 American Jews attended the national J Street conference last weekend in DC, determined to do something to change the discourse within the Jewish community and affect American policy. I’ve waited a week to write about this because I wanted to gauge others’ reactions and sort out what I experienced at the conference. […]

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Why the Jewish right is terrified by J Street’s conference

J Street, the political arm of the American Jewish pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, will convene its second national conference on Saturday night. There will be an enormous turnout. An organizer told me that about 2100 people are pre-registered (at their last conference, only 850 people were pre-registered but 1500 people showed up). There will be about […]

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The Labor Party’s new flirtation with the settlers

I don’t think there is much chance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without a revival of the parliamentary left –or at least left-center– in Israel, the development of a powerful and consequential counterweight to the aggressive right. (Of course, there is not much chance of resolving it even if there were such a revival, but […]

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“Not All Criticism Of Israel Is the Same”

My op-ed on the campaign against the “anti-delegitimization” of Israel was just posted on the New York Jewish Week web site. The far left won’t like it. The far right won’t like it. I don’t know what the centrists will think… Here it is: Not All Criticism Of Israel Is The Same In an article […]

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NY Times perpetuates myth that American Jews are single-issue voters

More and more Jewish voters are deserting the Democratic party, according to a Pew Research Center poll. The survey shows that 33% of American Jewish voters now identify or lean Republican, up from 20% in 2008. That’s interesting and troubling to a died-in-the-wool Democrat like me. But Charles M. Blow’s take on the poll in […]

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Dialogue on the Gaza Flotilla

“I appreciate your call. My staff was going to get in touch with you. The task force is meeting tomorrow at 8:30. Can you make it?” “I’m afraid the Consulate will need to get someone else. I’m calling to tell you I can’t help anymore. I’m too upset…” “But the facts are on our side. […]

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Peter Beinart offers the correct diagnosis, but the wrong cure

The blogosphere is buzzing about an essay by Peter Beinart in the New York Review of Books. Beinart convincingly denounces the Israel-right-or-wrong mantra of mainstream American Jewish organizations. He is justifiably worried about the future of “an American Zionist movement that does not even feign concern for Palestinian dignity.” But for all of its many […]

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Michael Oren hurts Israel by snubbing J Street

Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S, is the Jewish state’s highest ranking envoy to the American government and, by extension, to the American people. One of his principal responsibilities is to ensure that, when push comes to shove, Americans –including American Jews– will support U.S. efforts to protect Israel’s core security interests. That is […]