The awful truth about the recent Iran nuclear program deal is that no deal has actually been agreed upon. At best, the Geneva talks yielded an understanding that Iran’s nuclear program has to come under more stringent monitoring in the near future, in exchange for a significant lightening of the sanctions imposed on the Iranian regime. Amid speculation about the true motives of the partisans of this undone deal, those like "The Israel Lobby" co-author Stephen Walt are quite happy for Iran to have nuclear weapons, because that would involve Israel, a country they loathe, losing its military edge, thus forcing the U.S. to question the strategic wisdom of its historic alliance with the Jewish state, writes JNS.org Shillman Analyst Ben Cohen.
The late Nelson Mandela believed that Africans should be the sovereigns of their own destiny. Similarly, the founders of Zionism wanted nothing less for the Jews. Sadly, none of that will stop today’s advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement from falsely claiming Mandela as one of their own. In reality, Mandela’s complicated legacy doesn’t really belong to any political stream, writes JNS.org Shillman Analyst Ben Cohen.
The 11th installment of Harvey Rachlin's new comic strip, "The Menschkins." See the color version above, and the black and white version below. Click here for an introduction to the series.
Worldwide performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” attest to its cultural power, as it evokes the yearning for tradition in a changing world. What is behind the show’s staying power? Experts weighed in on the subject during a recent symposium at Princeton University that celebrated the upcoming 50th anniversary of the opening of “Fiddler” on Broadway. “What the play is about, despite moments of wrenching loss, is possibility,” said Jenna Weissman Joselit, program director of Judaic studies and professor of history at George Washington University.
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) New England Region is being scrutinized for its treatment of allegations of anti-Israel teaching materials in the public school curriculum of Newton, Mass., as well as for the amount of credit it has taken for dealing with anti-Semitism at Northeastern University in Boston.
A proposed bill in the Moroccan legislature that would criminalize any contacts with Israel threatens to undermine the warm relations Morocco has with its Jewish community at home and abroad, as well as its growing international reputation as a rare model for success in the Arab world. Yet there is still optimism surrounding the relationship between Morocco and its Jews. “They (Moroccan Jews) are the witnesses of a possible peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews with full rights and duties,” Ambassador Serge Berdugo, secretary-general of the Moroccan Jewish community and ambassador-at-large for King Mohammed VI, told JNS.org.
In the first collaboration of its kind in Jerusalem, bike tours were recently launched by the Inbal Hotel and outdoor tour operator Gordon Active. Inbal Communications Manager Barak Roth says the initiative offers participants “a new way of exploring Jerusalem and discovering what they didn’t know.”
The 10th installment of Harvey Rachlin's new comic strip, "The Menschkins." See the color version above, and the black aCnd white version below. Click here for an introduction to the series.
Europe today is not the domain of Antiochus, the villain of the Hanukkah story, nor of the Nazis, who famously banned kashrut three months after coming to power in 1933. Yet a practice does not need to be proscribed to become stigmatized, writes JNS.org Shillman Analyst Ben Cohen. After years of baiting Israel, parts of Europe’s educated elite are doing the same to Jewish ritual. How long before we hear reports of Jewish schoolchildren being bullied simply because they are circumcised?
The P5+1 powers and Iran over the weekend reached an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that highlights the cultural and strategic differences of the major players affected—the U.S., Iran, and Israel. Iran will receive $7 billion in sanctions relief in exchange for what the deal’s opponents call modest checks and reductions on its nuclear development, including the promise by Iran to dilute all existing uranium stockpiles already enriched to 20 percent, while the country maintains its ability to enrich to 5 percent. “I’m afraid Israel is in the most dangerous situation it’s ever been,” U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) told JNS.org.
The recent double suicide bombing outside of Iran's embassy in Lebanon by an al-Qaeda-linked terror group is just the latest attack in a complex and growing sectarian war between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. As Islam's two largest sects battle for supremacy, recent reports indicate that Israel and Saudi Arabia may have forged an unlikely alliance to thwart an Iranian nuclear weapon. Is the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" playing out? In interviews with JNS.org, noted Middle East scholars Dr. Efraim Karsh and Dr. Fouad Ajami weigh in on the direction of regional tension and what it means for Israel.
On the front line of the fight for recognition of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, according to Jewish and Israeli leaders, is the United Nations. Since 1947, among the 687 U.N. resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 101 have referenced Palestinian refugees, but none have called attention to the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab nations. “Over the last 65 years, the U.N. and its agencies have spent tens of billions of dollars on Palestinian refugees, but not a cent on Jewish refugees,” said Silvan Shalom—Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water, whose grandfather was once the leader of the Jewish community in Gabes, Tunisia—during a Nov. 21 conference on Jewish refugees at the U.N.
Archeologists have found what they describe as the “oldest and largest palatial wine cellar” ever discovered in the Near East, in the process unearthing some festive and even psychedelic surprises about Bronze Age. Part of the discovery included wine fortified with honey, mint, cinnamon bar juniper berries, and even special cedar tree resins—possibly giving the wine some psychotropic properties. Dr. Andrew Koh of Brandeis University, one of the leading archeologists on the discovery, told JNS.org that the 40 jugs of wine discovered likely belonged to a king or ruling elite, and that they would be used to throw a large communal party for family and local elites.