Clashes did not spontaneously ‘erupt’

After President Donald Trump announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week, the world readied itself for the reaction from Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. And in the statements that followed from world leaders, it was sometimes hard to know what was a prediction, what was a provocation and what was a license for… Read More

Entitlement cuts are next

In the past, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposals for entitlement reform have been criticized as being draconian, since they seem to put an extreme small-government ideology ahead of the needs of the elderly, children, the poor and the ill. They still do. With the Republicans’ new and unfolding tax plan, which appears to overwhelmingly provide… Read More

Responsibility of Jewish leaders

One image is likely to dominate the Reform movement’s biennial conference that is underway in Boston: that of Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, being roughed up at the Western Wall by guards and haredi Orthodox worshipers. The incident last month came as Jacobs and others tried to pray at the… Read More

All sizzle, no steak

Most American Jews would agree that that place for the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be Jerusalem. But the cheers of some to rumors, hints and pandering about a relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will do nothing to hasten what we hope is an eventual move. The rumor was delivered by Vice President Mike… Read More

The widening Syrian war

Although the overall threat of the Islamic State is diminishing, Syria remains a mess. For the United States, Israel and the Kurds, the defeat of the Islamic State merely turns the page to a new and possibly even more dangerous chapter. In the run up to a new round of Syrian peace talks in Geneva… Read More

A Trump peace plan?

Recently, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who is tasked with working on Israeli-Palestinian peace, paid a visit to Saeb Erekat. The veteran Palestinian negotiator was recuperating in Virginia from a lung transplant. According to The Washington Post, “after briefly considering, and then nixing, wine — Erekat is Muslim — Kushner ultimately brought chocolate.” While Erekat… Read More

Singling out Israel — again

Just when we were hoping that the Democratic Party’s left flank was moving away from some of its anti-Israel sentiment, along came Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and 11 of her colleagues to present legislation entitled the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. In introducing the bill, McCollum has simply… Read More

And now, Al Franken

Donald Trump, a Republican. Harvey Weinstein, a Democrat. Roger Ailes, a Republican. Dustin Hoffman, a Democrat. Roy Moore, a Republican. And now we come to Al Franken, the Jewish liberal Democratic senator from Minnesota and former comic who over the last few days has been accused by two different women of improper sexual conduct. We… Read More

Challenges for the Democrats

At a reception in Washington last week, a group of Jewish Democrats announced the creation of a new organization to support the election of Democratic candidates nationally and to further the general agenda of Jewish Democrats, who tend to be center or center-left. That the coming-out party happened the day after off-year elections produced two… Read More

Priti Patel’s blunder

Americans consumed with domestic government and sex scandals can be forgiven for not being aware of the recurring scandals in the United Kingdom which are embroiling Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government. The latest concerns the now former secretary of state for international development, Priti Patel. A strong Israel supporter in a largely pro-Israel government,… Read More