There's a controversy that has bubbled up in the Jewish world today around this question: Is it good for Israel when Jews go public with harsh criticism of Israel?
Letters to the Editor
Leaders of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, ensnared in a raging controversy over one of its members, this week moved to distance themselves from the cause of the furor.
Along with thousands of other Ethiopians fleeing their country, which at the time was ruled by communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Jews settled in refugee camps in Sudan and waited for Mossad operatives to take them out.
In 1979, comedian Al Franken wrote a skit for "Saturday Night Live" called "What if: Überman," featuring Dan Aykroyd as Klaus Kent, a clerk in Hitler's Ministry of Propaganda. Klaus dashes into phone booths to become Überman, uses his X-ray vision to detect bombs and to reveal Jews by looking through their pants, and ultimately leads his country to victory.
The center is also the focus of criticism from some of its would-be occupants, who say that they haven't been kept in the loop about planning the center from the beginning, that its opening has been delayed and that they are unsure about when they will be able to move in.
Jerusalem officials admitted that a U.N ouster of Iran was unlikely, given that it would require a Security Council recommendation and two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly -- traditionally a bastion of anti-Israel sentiment.
What are the limits for criticizing Israel? Many condemn the Jewish community's refusal to listen to harsh criticism, while others object to the aggressiveness of the attacks against the Jewish state.
Two antagonists in a long-simmering dispute about the handling of life insurance claims stemming from the Holocaust era took off their gloves last week in a bitter exchange of letters.
On the international front, the Israeli prime minister has weathered scathing criticism of Israel's latest military operation in the Gaza Strip, which left more than 40 Palestinians dead and dozens of homes demolished in the Rafah refugee camp.
At home, a rebellion is gathering steam in Sharon's Likud Party by opponents of the planned withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.
After several years in office that have been characterized by ongoing violence and diplomatic stalemate, Ariel Sharon says he is determined to press ahead with new peace moves that could include "painful concessions" to the Palestinians.
The prime minister's remarks last week elicited scathing criticism from within his own Likud Party. But opposition leaders and senior Israeli pundits remain skeptical. Sharon has made similar bombastic announcements before, they say, but never delivered.
A few months ago, in these pages, I described a brief visit to Los Angeles to attend the wedding of my daughter, Dafna, 42, and
her fiancé, Scott, 36 ("Father of the Bride," July 11). It was a first marriage for both and celebrated without benefit of clergy -- Scott being Christian and Dafna, Jewish.
This drew some criticism from readers who felt that I was amiss in not discouraging my daughter from marrying a non-Jew. One, in fact, reminded me that some Jews sit shiva when such a marriage takes place and regard the offending child as dead. It seemed to me that is a bit strong. There was also a time when adulterers were stoned, but we seem to have progressed beyond that. (More to the point perhaps, how does one tell a 42-year-old daughter whom she should marry?)
The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" have come to Los Angeles.
"We now tax Californians 2.7 cents per capita for all public art support," Paul Minicucci said, noting that in Canada, which has 4 million fewer residents than California, the National Arts Council has a budget of $660 million. He said similar figures for European nations are "simply off the charts."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian Authority counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, each will seek to persuade the American leader to lean on the other side to move faster -- and Bush will be ready to lean on both, Israeli analysts believe.
The latest book to charge into the battle of the media, "What Liberal Media?: The Truth About 'Bias' and the News," by Nation columnist Eric Alterman, attempts to give ammunition to the liberal side.
Rivera, 59, the flamboyant TV reporter, recently announced to the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post that he is planning to marry TV producer Erica Levy, 29, in a Reform ceremony in New York this summer.
Activists in Israel's gay and lesbian community are hailing the upcoming swearing in of the Knesset's first openly gay member, calling it a breakthrough in their efforts for greater recognition.