That is why both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke as forcefully on behalf of a two-state solution as they did in Annapolis -- as, not incidentally, did Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well. Now comes the hard part, the part so filled with trip wires. Already in Israel, the naysayers are shouting from the rooftops, and the admirable resolve that was on such vivid display in Annapolis seems to be receding. The stakes, this time around, are enormous: Failure to move responsibly toward a two-state agreement would likely consign the idea to the ash heap of history and ensure a future not less bloody than the past. That is a haunting specter; its implications should weigh heavily on the attitude of all those who hold Israel dear.
We're told, these days, that the situation in Darfur is not as simple as we supposed a year or two ago. There, too, ambiguity. But it is not acceptable to be immobilized by ambiguity, not when women are being raped, children starved, people driven from their homes, routinely slaughtered. Much of life is inherently ambiguous. Yet, if not now, when? Else it will never end.
The moral -- these many years later -- is not immediately obvious. Yes, it's about what one person can do, but it is about much more than that. It's about leadership and about community organization
Where Jewish terrorist Eden Natan-Zada lived -- first in Rishon L'Tzion, then evidently in Tapuach -- there is ostensibly an ideology that encourages the murders he committed last week in Shfaram.
Perhaps there was a time when the secular/religious divide -- it is of the Jews I write -- made sense. In Eastern and Central Europe from 1850 to 1930, it may have been the case that seculars Jews were genuinely secular, as some few remain today.
One of the signal contributions of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) over the many years has been its stream of publications reporting on and analyzing our community.
When it suits us, we refer to Israel as "the only democracy in the Middle East." When it suits us, we refer to Israel as "the Jewish state" or "the state of the Jewish people." And now and then, we describe Israel as "a Jewish democratic state."
The funeral took place in Vienna on July 7, 1904. The stunning announcement had come on the 4th: Theodore Herzl, dead at age 44.
Here is Stefan Zweig's description of the day:
However the sordid facts play out in the current FBI investigation of a senior Pentagon analyst's alleged spying on Israel's behalf, they raise a raft of nettlesome questions -- and memories.
Intelligence sharing between America and Israel goes on at the highest levels and is remarkably intimate -- but it is not, nor can it be supposed it ever will or even should be, complete.
We have long since learned to swallow hard as the Israelis persist in policies that are ill-conceived and ill-executed, policies that threaten the entire Zionist enterprise.
Yes, El Salvador. Not exactly (or even approximately) a tourist mecca, but a mecca of sorts to delegations organized by American Jewish World Service (AJWS), a rapidly growing and growingly effective organization devoted to connecting Jews and Judaism to the developing world.
There is a gathering hysteria in the American Jewish community that is dangerously self-destructive. Life as a Jew these days may not be -- is not -- a bed of roses, but neither is it a bed of thorns. Yet to hear some in our community tell it, thorns are all there are.
Consider: George Soros, the multibillionaire and philanthropist, spoke on Nov. 5 to a meeting of the Jewish Funders Network. In response to a question about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, he responded that "the policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that."
Can there be any doubt that he is right?
The conventional explanation for Israel's more controversial measures, including, in particular, the security fence under construction and the new marriage law passed by the Knesset, is that these are responses to the ongoing conflict.
What have our military expenditures to do with the state of the states? After all, we are a long way from the guns vs. butter arguments, when we used to show how many new schools or hospitals could be built for the cost of one new aircraft carrier.
What can account for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's recent assault on the State Department?
Pesach is rushing up to meet us, or we it, and with it, the real -- not the chronological -- spring. And spring, as is well known, hopes eternal. Accordingly, a column on the reasonableness of hope, the bad times notwithstanding.
What do Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boulder, Denver, NewHaven, Atlanta, Chicago, Gary, Des Moines, Portland (Maine), Baltimore, Detroit, St. Paul, Newark, Jersey City, Santa Fe, New York City, Syracuse, Cleveland, Akron, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Austin, Burlington, Alexandria, Seattle, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., have in common?
Plato described democracy as "a charming form of government." Well, perhaps in ancient Greece there wasn't much else to charm away the days.
The rituals are familiar by now. The sudden bulletins; the footage of chaos and shock and devastation; the anxious wait for the casualty list; the statements of condemnation; the statements of justification; the insane competition over who gets the "credit;" the haunting search for the tiniest bits of remains; the funerals; and the reprisal. And here, the community rallies, new missions are announced, once again we're told that "now more than ever" our solidarity is needed, we hunker down. And then the wait begins again, for though the other shoe has dropped, there is another, and another. This conflict is no two-legged monster, it is a damned centipede and we are nowhere near its end. Not for nothing is this called "terrorism."
Scholars will doubtless continue to debate Franklin Roosevelt's actions -- and inaction -- regarding the Holocaust. What did he know? When did he know it? Didn't he care, or did he really believe that the best and quickest way to help the Jews was, as he repeatedly argued, to win the war?
Rose Freedman has died.
Her death at 107 years of age has been widely noted, for Freedman was the last living survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, a calamity that claimed 146 lives. Just months ago, she was featured in a PBS documentary, "The Living Century," which told not only of her experience 90 years ago, but also of the remarkable life she led thereafter. That life -- as The New York Times put it -- was both "colorful and courageous," right up until her last days in her home in Beverly Hills.
Africa is not much on our minds these days. We have obviously been preoccupied by America's election and by Israel's chaos.
The Jewish world is seething with resentment. Our current narrative is both familiar and depressing.
Africa is not much on our minds these days. We have obviously been preoccupied by America's election and by Israel's chaos. Many of us have long since stopped reading the news from Africa, since it is almost always gloomy -- Africa as the world's basket case, the one continent that seems irretrievably trapped by misgovernment and murder, and now by a horrendous pandemic of AIDS.