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Bal Harbour, Fla., is best known as a popular destination for snowbirds. With a population ranging from 2,500-8,000, depending on the time of the year, it’s hard to believe that this small oceanside village, 30 minutes north of Miami, is now a national leader in combating anti-Semitism. On Nov. 21, Bal Harbour’s Village Council passed a measure that adopted the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.
Americans have good reason to be skeptical of Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis are right to alert President Donald Trump to the need to get over his foolish notions about Russia and recommit to holding the line against Iran. If Trump fails to listen to them, the price paid by the U.S. and its allies could be higher than he thinks, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
As Jewish communal organizations throughout the U.S. struggle to maintain membership levels and hefty annual budgets, a rapidly growing organization with the energy of a well-funded Israeli start-up is challenging the Jewish communal world and its relationship to the state of Israel. “Any organization that is taking Israel, and instead of making Israel the glue is making it the wedge, they are losing everything,” said Adam Milstein, chairman of the Israeli-American Council, which drew 2,700 participants at its national conference earlier this month.
In the wake of an attack by a teenage Palestinian terrorist, Jewish leaders are calling for the withdrawal of legislation targeting Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) is sponsoring a bill that would restrict U.S. aid to Israel if the Israelis undertake the “military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment” of Palestinians under age 18. Last Friday, a 17-year-old Palestinian injured two Israelis in a car-ramming attack.
Israel is concerned that a cease-fire in Syria brokered by the U.S., Russia and Jordan does not create a large enough buffer zone that is free from Iranian forces near the Israeli border. Additionally, the Jewish state fears that the deal heavily favors Russia and Iran, with the U.S. uninterested in becoming involved in Syria. “The U.S. remains committed to Israel…but this [cease-fire] agreement raises concerns for Israel’s security,” said Anna Borshchevskaya, an expert on Russia’s Mideast policy and a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Perhaps some believe that Russia can restrain Iran, but that’s highly unlikely to happen.”
A newly released report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs exposes the terror ties of Students for Justice in Palestine, an international campus organization that has posed an increasing challenge for Jewish and pro-Israel college students in recent years. “We wanted to unmask this group…They are not a grassroots pro-Palestinian group, but a group dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish nation-state. It’s about time they are held accountable for their own behavior,” Dan Diker, the author of the report, told JNS.org.
A former Israeli general and an ex-State Department official presented sharply differing views on the obstacles to Middle East peace during a Zionist event in Washington, D.C. Speaking at the American Zionist Movement’s national conference Nov. 15, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser described Palestinian rejection of Israel as the main impediment, while former U.S. Mideast policy adviser Aaron David Miller said both Israel and the Palestinians are to blame.
Ten members of Congress have introduced a bill to prevent U.S. aid to Israel from being used to arrest Palestinian terrorists who are under the age of 18. The bill characterizes young terrorists merely as “Palestinian children” and contends that their arrest by the Israeli army constitutes “abuse.” It’s worth recalling a few examples of the behavior of these “children” in recent years, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
The Trump administration is reportedly crafting a Mideast peace plan, and friends of Israel have good reason for concern. Israel will be forced to go way beyond what the Oslo Accords obligate the Jewish state to do. The U.S. should focus on getting the Palestinian Authority to honor the agreements it has already signed, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
Are threats from Muslims less problematic than the same actions from white supremacists? To some in the Jewish community: yes, apparently. Instead, American Jewry must become aware of the gamut of Jew-hatred that exists and be prepared to fight it regardless of the source, write the leaders of the Zionist Organization of America’s Greater Philadelphia chapter.
Speaking exclusively with JNS.org, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Sunday night confirmed a report that a team from the Trump administration is drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. “We’re working very hard on it,” Friedman said of the Mideast peace proposal, in an interview at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual awards dinner. The ambassador also said that U.S. support for Israel is “becoming too tilted to one party.”
Jewish leaders are strongly criticizing Rutgers University for employing a longtime Syrian government official. Dr. Mazen Adi served in the Syrian Foreign Ministry and with Syria’s U.N. delegation from 1998-2014, and has vigorously defended dictator Bashar al-Assad. Adi is scheduled to teach a course in “International Criminal Law and Anti-Corruption” in 2018. He first taught at Rutgers in 2015, but his continued employment there is attracting fresh attention amid the Assad regime’s ongoing perpetration of war crimes. Despite the professor’s track record and associations, the university describes the issue as a matter of “academic freedom.”
After Princeton University’s Hillel cancelled a speech by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin writes that the conventional wisdom about the plight of critics of Zionism is a myth. On campuses, it is those who speak up for the Jewish state who are often the ones being shut up, he writes.
The real struggle for American Jews lies not in the endless moralizing about the lack of peace, but in how to protect our children and keep them from abandoning their heritage in the hope of escaping the threat of the BDS movement. The first step toward defeating these efforts is to sever the lifeline that continued advocacy for a failed peace process has given the duplicitous Palestinian narrative behind this anti-Semitic movement, writes columnist Andrew D. Lappin.
A group of prominent rabbis has traveled to Qatar to meet with the country’s emir. Here you have Qatar, the world’s largest funder of the Hamas terror group, being whitewashed by Orthodox rabbis—and not just any Orthodox rabbis, but the head of a global kosher authority. No matter how much you package it, blood is never kosher, writes Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
Two Israelis who happened to be driving through a Palestinian town were nearly murdered by a group of teenagers last week. Meanwhile, in eastern Michigan, another group of teenagers succeeded in murdering a driver who happened to be passing by. Both groups used rocks, but there’s one very important difference: If the Michigan teenagers are convicted, they will not be rewarded by the U.S. government in any way. Yet American taxpayers’ money is being used to reward Palestinian rock-throwers, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
Elie Wiesel, who before his death in 2016 was arguably the world’s most well-known Holocaust survivor, reached millions of people through his writing and human rights activism. Wiesel’s audience ran the gamut from the everyman to the luminary, and one of his highest-profile relationships took center stage last week. “You knew you were in the presence of someone who had endured the unimaginable worst of times and could still give and teach the best that love has to offer,” said famed talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey upon receiving The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity’s first-ever Legacy Award.
President Donald Trump and former White House senior counselor Steve Bannon have done a lot to coarsen American political life. So it’s hardly a surprise that many of those who can’t stand Bannon and Trump—including many Jews—are using the same playbook to try to destroy them. But calling your opponents anti-Semites or white supremacists just because you can’t tolerate their politics is dangerous and wrongheaded, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.