A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
After reports surfaced earlier this week that the Jewish community of Odessa, Ukraine, was making evacuation plans, leaders assured the world that they were not planning to leave. “In connection with reports on the planned evacuation of the Jewish community of Odessa: No such plans exist,” Berl Kapulkin, a spokesperson for the local Chabad community, said in a statement. Still, some remain unconvinced that the worst is behind us: "Odessa has a bloody history of pogroms against Jews, as recently as 100 years ago.There has been a current of anti-Semitism running through contemporary Odessa as well," reminded Rick Moran at American Thinker. Others are saying that only Moscow can stand in the way of violence in Ukraine. Stay tuned.
Yom Haatzmaut celebrated
Israel turned 66 this week, and it led some to consider the (Jewish) state of affairs. "In recent years -- and with a population of over 8 million -- many Israelis have started advocating a forward-looking approach aimed at improving the country's future beyond the security realm by strengthening Israeli society," Abe Foxman wrote in The Huffington Post.
"When our neighbours come to terms with history and accept our right to live alongside them as equals, we will be the first nation to extend our hand in peace and friendship," wrote Joel Lion in the Montreal Gazette. "Until then, Israelis and Jews throughout the world will join in celebration of our people's revival in Israel and the wonderful things that we have accomplished together in spite of all odds."