A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Peace talks resume
Late last week Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Middle East peace talks would resume. How'd people take the news? "In a region of seemingly endless setbacks, a small step forward has occurred. Kerry will face criticism. He will likely be mocked for spending so much time on the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But on Friday, Kerry was deservedly triumphant. For now, he deserves it," wrote David Rohde at The Atlantic. Others wonder if this round will do any good. "Netanyahu has set the parameters for future negotiations: Israel will not come to the table unless Palestinians recognize that a Jewish State—with all its blemishes and inconsistencies—is an absolute necessity for the Jewish People," said Micah Stein at The Daily Beast.
The European Jewish Congress praised the European Union for blacklisting the military wing of Hezbollah. “We welcome this decision today and hope that this will greatly dampen Hezbollah’s efforts to raise funds to finance its terrorist activities, recruit, plot and commit atrocities on European soil and beyond,” EJC President Moshe Kantor said. “This decision sends a message that Europe will no longer be a welcome territory for this murderous terrorist organization.” Some say it's largely symbolic: "In drawing a line that Hezbollah itself doesn't recognize, the EU has lent credibility to the idea that there's a good Hezbollah and a bad one. As Hezbollah itself insists, there's really just the one," wrote the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
Amona in question
Ahead of a court deadline this week to leave, Jewish settlers in the West Bank outpost of Amona started to make entry into their area more difficult. Residents began to tear up the road to avoid the high order. The eviction process had been postponed in recent weeks. Amona was established in 1995, an area annexed by Israel during the 1967 Mideast War. The settlement contains 50 homes.E
The 92nd Street Y, home to Jewish events and culture in New York City, let its top executive Sol Adler go last week after it was revealed that Adler was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an assistant, who was also the mother-in-law of an employee suspected of taking kickbacks, according to reports. Sal Taddeo, an ex-con who served as director of facilities at the Y, solicited money in exchange for certain construction projects at the upper East Side location.
Let the Games begin
The Jewish Olympics are underway. Every four years, the Maccabiah Games are held in Israel, bringing together Jewish athletes from around the world representing their respective countries. "This year’s Maccabiah has brought 9,000 athletes from across the globe to Israel and with it, generations of athletes who have passed the torch to the future of the Jewish nation," reported The Jerusalem Post. However, not everyone is enthusiastic. In a letter to the Post, a reader points out some flaws in how the Games have gone on, including that "even before the start of the event the toilets were less than sanitary and rubbish bins were overflowing."