Free speech at Berkeley

As of this writing, the University of California at Berkeley is still planning to host a speech by conservative provocateur Ann Coulter. This is after the university canceled Coulter’s planned appearance at the invitation of a Republican student group, citing security concerns. The move brought to mind the violence in February that preceded the cancellation… Read More

Is Taylor Force the right approach?

In March 2016, a 29-year-old former U.S. Army officer named Taylor Force was fatally stabbed in Jaffa, Israel, reportedly by a Palestinian resident of the West Bank, who was himself killed. The attack came during the so-called Knife Intifada carried out by mostly young Palestinians. In death, Taylor Force lent his name to a Senate… Read More

Spicer’s Yom Hashoah lesson

It would be simple to play the moral outrage card on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s confused comparison of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and Adolf Hitler’s refraining from gassing enemy troops on the battlefield (but killing millions of Jews with that method to effect his Final Solution). But we detect… Read More

The Syrian attack

The chemical weapons airstrike in Syria on April 4, which killed some 80 civilians and which the West blames on the government of Bashar al-Assad, helped focus the Trump administration on the complexities of the situation over there. This wasn’t news to anyone who has been following the past six years of bloody, merciless civil… Read More

Bye, bye Bannon

In another sign that the Trump administration is moving toward greater stability and more traditional governance, the president last week signed an executive order removing White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council. Bannon’s appointment to the council and to its principals committee was roundly criticized as the infiltration of a radical… Read More

Haley’s comet flies over AIPAC

The days of Israel bashing are over,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said to cheering thousands at the AIPAC Policy Conference last week. And amid the smiling faces of those celebrating her words, there were many who exhaled in relief. There clearly is a new sheriff guarding U.S. and Israel interests at… Read More

The violent few

As a Jewish community, we have always thought of ourselves as peaceful and law-abiding — with our most vitriolic arguments carried out in press releases, blog rants and Facebook posts. Sure, we may be hot headed or even argumentative, but that’s because we fight with words. But violent? No way. Yet a growing amount of… Read More

Wake up, and say “yes”

Could it really be that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just rejected a proposal for further settlement construction that he was promoting less than a year ago? That seems the case if information from the Israeli media last week is correct. According to reports, Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s adviser on international relations, asked Israel to… Read More

The bomb threatener

We were as surprised as anyone else by the arrest of a suspect in the bomb threats against JCCs and other Jewish institutions in the United States and abroad, even as we counseled three weeks ago that “at least until we get a better idea of who did what, and why, we need to be… Read More

America the loser with ‘America First’

In selling the new administration’s astonishingly thin budget proposal last week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that it “represents a president who is beholden to nobody but the voters.” “He is following through on his promises,” Mulvaney went on. “We did not consult with special interests on how to write this… Read More