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Monday, July 15, 2019

Op-eds

The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently that he had no strategy as yet toward the Islamic State but that he would present a plan on Wednesday. It is important for a president to know when he has no strategy. It is not necessarily wise to announce it, as friends will be frightened and enemies delighted. A president must know what it is he does not know, and he should

Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a Model for Jewish Fundraising?

The hottest month of summer was ice cold, as thousands of people poured buckets of ice water over their heads to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and raise research money for the fatal neurological disease. In just a few weeks, three million donors helped raise more than $100 million, blowing the $2.7 million the ALS Association raised

When Burning Jews Isn’t News

On Aug. 30, Palestinian terrorists set a Jewish man on fire in Jerusalem, and on Sept. 1, other Palestinian terrorists tried to set an entire bus full of Israeli Jews on fire. Yet I couldn’t find any mention of these horrific attacks in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any other major American news outlet. Why is it that news about

Is There a Halachic Basis for the Refusal of Haredi Men To Serve in Tzahal? Part 2

The first part of this reflection on the very serious topic of people refusing to serve in Tzahal concluded with the observation that even after the destruction of Bayit Sheyni, Rabbi Akivah encouraged Bar Kochba to rebel against the Roman emperor Hadrian who tried to eradicate our religion. The extreme Islamist Jihadist enemies who surround Israel today would do

An Israel-Palestine-Jordan Economic Federation Can Advance Peace

Senior officials in Ramallah told Al-Monitor that the Palestinian Authority (PA)–alongside its statehood drive at the United Nations–will look for new plans to advance the two-state solution in coordination with the international community.

The PA is advancing innovative plans that build on the fractured structure left behind by the war. Such an

Drop the Ambivalence: It’s All Good

If Jerome Chanes had written “Orthodox “Retention” and Kiruv: the Bad News and the Good News” (eJewish Philanthropy, Contact Magazine, and JLBC) for a newspaper, veteran editors would have said that he had buried his lead. After opening with a focus on the ostensible “bad news” (emulating another adage from media: if it bleeds, it leads) of poor

Orthodox “Retention” and Kiruv: The Bad News and the Good News

[From a reprint from ejewishphilanthropy. This essay is from “Philanthropic Priorities in Light of Pew,” reprinted with permission from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.]

 

We are swimming—indeed drowning—in the ink spilled on the data from the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study of American Jewry.

The New Romantics “Being Fair” to Terrorist Groups

It is terribly easy to romanticize. Human beings do it all the time. But romanticizing can get out of hand. Think of all those millions of German women who swooned as Hitler drove past; the groupies of Stalin, the steadfast admirers of Osama bin Laden, or the women who offer to marry murderers on death row. Charisma, as Max Weber told us, is not so much an

After the Fog of War: An Early Assessment

It is far too early, to assess the impact of the latest war in Gaza, but still some preliminary thoughts are in order.

Antisemitism Panic:

Judging by what I have been reading in the press blogs and emails, it seems as if many Jews are in a panic about the rise in antisemitism. Once again, people are asking: Is this 1939? 1933? Even as distin­guished a

Is There a Halachic Basis For the Refusal of Haredi Men To Serve in Tzahal? Part I

As I write, our beloved state of Israel is in the throes of a war with Hamas in Gaza—and  whenever Israel agrees to a truce, for the benefits of the Gazan inhabitants, it is Hamas who breaks it, and the lives of the people in the Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF, Tzahal, are always at risk.

Unfortunately, most of the male members of the Haredi

The Arab Downward Spiral

The rapid rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to global notoriety has taken observers of Middle East politics by surprise. All of a sudden, a new Islamist political movement has stunningly upstaged former global public enemy number one al-Qaeda and establishes an Islamic state, a caliphate encompassing lands in both Iraq and Syria.

ISIS sees itself

UNRWA in the Crossfire? Surprise. Not.

The fact that UNRWA schools are caught in the crossfire of the Hamas war is hardly surpris­ing.

Fifteen years ago, the Gaza-based employ­ees of UNRWA held elections to determine its union leaders. Hamas took advantage of the campaign and took over the entire school sys­tem. By 2012, more the 90 percent of UNRWA employees had become Hamas