Israel defines the empowerment of women, even during wartime

While anti-Israel elements advocate for ending Zionism to advance feminism, Israel in reality is a hotbed for women’s rights. To undermine Zionism would be to undermine feminism, as feminism was embedded in Israeli law, politics, and society since the early ages of the Jewish state’s establishment, writes Eliana Rudee, a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.

Posted on July 30, 2014 and filed under Israel, Opinion.

The New York Times’s erroneous and shameful defense of Hamas

Hamas discourages Palestinian civilians from heeding Israeli warnings to leave areas that the Israel Defense Forces will strike. According to the New York Times, if Hamas doesn’t quite force those civilians to stay, it isn’t technically using “human shields.” But actually, utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas, or military forces immune from military operations constitutes a war crime—whether or not civilians are forced to stay, writes attorney Debra Feuer.

Posted on July 30, 2014 and filed under Israel, Opinion, U.S..

Under Muslim-Jewish hashtag, sharing a message of people over politics

#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies. To some, it’s just a hashtag. To others, it’s a way of life. When Israeli Abraham Gutman and Syrian Dania Darwish, students at Hunter College in New York, recently posted a photo of themselves holding signs with the above hashtag on Facebook, they didn’t know it would create a worldwide sensation. “We know a hashtag won’t solve this long conflict, but we wanted to be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Gutman said. Since the hashtag campaign started, dozens of others have posted similar photos to demonstrate that people of different backgrounds, religions, and countries can be friends, lovers, and even spouses.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Features, U.S..

The business of hiring and getting hired at Jewish non-profits

It has been six years since the economy crashed in 2008, and while finding employment has been a challenge, the tide may be taking a turn for the better—particularly in the non-profit sector. But where do Jewish non-profits fall within the current landscape, from the perspective of both job-seekers and employers?

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Business, Features, Jewish Life, U.S..

Pro-Israel Muslims seek alternative to radical Islam as a means for peace

Jews around the world were inspired last month when Arab-Israeli teenager Mohammad Zoabi cloaked himself in an Israeli flag and spoke into a bedroom video camera, “I am an Israeli and will remain an Israeli. Israel will remain a Jewish and a democratic country.” As the current Israel-Hamas conflict persists, such voices are often drowned out. But another voice bubbling above the surface has little to do with Israel and everything to do with fighting Hamas. It is the voice of Muslims calling on their peers to fight the advance of political Islamism over Islam.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Features, Israel, News.

Turning back the clock, JDC exhibit depicts a century of Jewish humanitarian work

Founded in New York City in 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has taken a leading role in providing relief to Jews and non-Jews alike in regions devastated by war, environmental disasters, famine, and political repression. Amid the celebration of its centennial, the organization’s work is embodied by four words—“I Live: Send Help.” That is the title of JDC’s ongoing exhibit at the New York Historical Society, which runs through Sept. 21. The display’s interactive elements and artifacts such as letters, pictures, radio recordings, and newsreel footage demonstrate the complexity of the humanitarian organization’s work, and transport visitors back in time.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Features, World, U.S..

While global anti-Semitism surges, don’t forget U.S. campuses

Amid the current unrest in Israel and Gaza, Jews around the world have been targeted for attack. Meanwhile, in the U.S. right now, school is out and students are safe. But there is little doubt that when the academic year commences, Jewish students on American college and university campuses will be targeted for harassment, intimidation, bullying, and worse, solely because of their actual or perceived identification with the Jewish state, writes Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative non-profit.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Opinion, U.S., World.

Making aliyah during wartime

More than 200 new olim (immigrants to Israel) emerged from El Al Flight LY 3004 on the morning of July 22 at Ben Gurion Airport. At least on the surface, with the Israel-Hamas conflict raging, it seems that they could not have chosen a more inauspicious time to become Israeli. But just the opposite is true, according to Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder of the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency. “These olim, who are choosing to move to Israel in these difficult times, are instilling hope, optimism, and strength throughout Israel and the Jewish nation,” Fass said.

Posted on July 25, 2014 and filed under Features, Israel, Jewish Life.

Gaza conflict spotlights role of Qatar, the Hamas-funding U.S. ally

The oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar’s influence has been widely felt during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. While traditionally closely aligned with Iran, Hamas has pivoted to Sunni powers like Qatar and Turkey in recent years for economic and political support. Keen to expand its regional and international influence, Qatar’s ties to the Palestinian terrorist group have drawn increasing criticism from Israel, the United States, and even fellow Arab states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who accuse Qatar of undermining regional stability by supporting Hamas. 

Posted on July 25, 2014 and filed under Features, Israel, News, U.S..

Are circumstances getting worse for Jews and Israel?

Are we seeing another spike of anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred that will die down once a cease-fire deal is reached in Gaza? Or has global sentiment on Jews and Israel taken a more permanent turn for the worse? Either way, if the Jewish community wants to emerge from this current round of conflict with confidence, it needs to conduct a thorough audit of the impact of Operation Protective Edge inside and outside the Middle East, writes Shillman Analyst Ben Cohen.

Posted on July 25, 2014 and filed under Israel, Opinion, World.

Being Jewish in France today

Amid rising French anti-Semitism, Simone Rodan-Benzaquen—director of the American Jewish Committee office in Paris—asks herself troubling questions: Does my public expression of Judaism endanger my safety and that of my children? Might showing my support for Israel generate threats? Am I being a responsible parent by raising my children in this country?   

Posted on July 24, 2014 and filed under Jewish Life, Opinion, World.

More than praying for the peace of Jerusalem, be my messenger

Noam Zion, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, reflects on the Israel-Hamas conflict and an interaction with his friend Drori, a war orphan.

Posted on July 24, 2014 and filed under Israel, Opinion.

FAA lifts ban on Israel flights after Obama accused of ‘economic boycott’

Late on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted its ban on flights by U.S. carriers in and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had accused the Obama administration of an “economic boycott on Israel” through politically motivating the FAA ban, which came just as Secretary of State Kerry traveled to the Middle East to try to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Posted on July 23, 2014 and filed under U.S., News.

The faux ‘investigations’ of Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) “reports” lack professional standards and research methodologies, and show a deep-seated ideological bias against Israel. HRW possesses neither the military expertise to conduct proper investigations that would lead to their conclusions. The faux-research is then repeated without question in the international media. And every time the allegations are repeated, new rounds of anti-Israel headlines and condemnations are triggered, writes Sarah Garfinkel, deputy editor of NGO Monitor.

Posted on July 23, 2014 and filed under Israel, Opinion.

Kerry unplugged: What do diplomat’s open-mic remarks on Israel reveal?

A private conversation caught on an open microphone between Secretary of State John Kerry and his aide July 20 is raising questions about whether the Obama administration’s uncompromising public support for Israel’s Operation Protective Edge may not reflect its private stance.

Posted on July 22, 2014 and filed under Israel, News, U.S..