JNS.org offers the latest Jewish news and commentary from the United States. To select another topic, choose from the other content “categories” in our navigation bar.
Jews are asking if we’re back in the 1920s. But to columnist Abraham H. Miller, the scene outside a Charlottesville synagogue is more like Odessa in 1905. In Charlottesville, as three white supremacists with semi-automatic weapons stood across from the synagogue, the congregants left through the back door. During the Odessa pogrom of 1905, Jews created armed militias and fought back. Jews need to learn from their own tragic history and from other ethnic groups that acted to defend themselves. Walking out the back door of a synagogue should never be the recommended option, writes Miller.
Visitors to the Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind Museum in Berlin would need to be blind not to notice Haim Hoffmann—or rather, his weird beard—as he asks them to leave their backpacks at the reception desk. “It’s called the ‘Three-day Freestyle,’” joked Hoffman, the museum’s shift manager. Hoffman should know. He’s the German champion for the “Imperial Beard,” in which a sizable mustache-beard arches upward. He’ll be defending the bronze medal at the 2017 World Beard and Mustache Championships (WBMC) in Austin, Texas, from Sept. 1-3. Bryan Nelson, the organizer of this year’s WBMC, counts at least a handful of “Members of the Tribe” among the record-high 700 contestants.
The heat of anti-Semitism is being felt worldwide. Wherever you live, the goosebumps we all got when we heard the chants of the white supremacists in Charlottesville—“Jews will not replace us”—are the same. The feelings are reminiscent of Robert De Niro’s character in the 1995 movie, “Heat.” De Niro’s character famously says that you have to be ready to drop everything and go, in 30 seconds, if you feel the heat coming around the corner. With the heat index of anti-Semitism rising, Gabriel Groisman, the mayor of Bal Harbour, Fla., asks: Is it time for Jews to drop everything and move to Israel?
Neo-Nazis may seem scarier than Jew-haters on the left, but American Jews need to try to rise above the partisan loyalties that can blind us to both sides of the anti-Semitic coin. Until that happens, liberals and conservatives alike will continue to fail to adequately address a problem that ought to transcend politics, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
Many scholars of anti-Semitism have closely examined the threads that link anti-Semitism with unfulfilled sexual desire. The great paradox that the Jew represents—a racial and political polluter, and yet successful in winning the affections of “Aryan” women—is never resolved, but only exacerbated with words like “bestial” and “lustful” that are soaked in sexual envy. JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen explains the connection between this mindset and the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Seventy future IDF soldiers—more than half of them women—immigrated to Israel from North America this week, arriving on an El Al Airlines flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency. “I realized that if [IDF soldiers] felt [Israel] was my home, and I felt it was my home, then shouldn’t it be my duty to protect it too?” said Sophie Stillman of Hopkins, Minn., one of the future soldiers arriving on the aliyah flight Aug. 15.
Some 80 students from 13 different countries participated in a high-level training conference that prepares students to make Israel's case to various audiences, including anti-Israel professors and campus activists, many of whom lead the BDS campaign against the Jewish state. "There's a global problem, which is attested this year by the many countries the kids are coming from. But the very good news is the spirit and positive energy of the wonderful students who care about Israel and its cause,” said Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA, the conference's organizer.
Several top experts on nuclear proliferation and Iran told JNS.org the failure to successfully deal with North Korea sets a precedent for a similar result with the Islamic Republic. “If a short-term delay causes the international community to be lulled into a false sense that the [nuclear] deal ‘is working,’ as we are hearing lately from deal supporters, it is likely to wake up with a nuclear Iran that will be as firmly entrenched as North Korea,” said Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies.
Those who refuse to listen to or to associate with political opponents are at the core of our society’s current political illness, in which we have been divided into two warring camps that have lost the ability to listen to each other. That’s why if you think Dennis Prager must be boycotted or believe Morton Klein is as much of a threat to American Jewry as Islamist terrorists, then don’t bother the rest of us with hypocritical complaints about President Donald Trump, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
Two prominent U.S. senators are raising questions about an American-funded school in Ramallah that is running an extremist summer camp for Palestinian teens from around the world, many of them Americans. The controversial summer program, called “Go Palestine,” is run by the Ramallah Friends School, a 148-year-old Quaker institution in the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital. Its stated mission is to provide Palestinian teens from abroad with “introductions to Palestinian culture, cuisine, life and work, and the Arabic language.” But in addition to traditional summer camp fare, Go Palestine participants are immersed in anti-Israel films and lectures by militants, some with terrorist connections.
One of the strongest sources of support for Israel has been found among evangelical Christians in the U.S. Yet today, evangelical Christian millennials, like the rest of their generation, are becoming less religiously observant, which Christian leaders fear may eventually erode support in their community for the Jewish state. In order to counter this trend, Christian leaders are taking a page from the Jewish playbook by launching 10-day trips to Israel for college-age adults.
Compelling the Palestinian Authority to reject a culture of violence that ensures the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue indefinitely is the only hope for the conflict’s resolution. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.
The darkness around President Donald Trump, his character and his intentions should not obscure the occasional rays of light emanating from his administration. Yet the rays of light do not tell us a great deal about how Trump thinks the world should be organized—assuming he thinks about that subject at all, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.
When presidential adviser Jared Kushner said in a private discussion that “there may be no solution” to the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel, he was just stating the obvious. For nearly a century, self-appointed wise men have claimed to have the solution, but every such proposal has proved to be a mirage, writes columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
The Trump administration has reportedly reached a new contract with the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems to implement advanced security systems on the U.S. border with Mexico. According to reports that emerged last weekend in Hebrew- and English-language Israeli media, an American delegation recently visited Israel to tour the country’s borders with Gaza and Egypt. Delegation members were pitched on a “smart border” security concept for the U.S.-Mexico border.
As a child, Eliana Rudee spent her summers at Camp Solomon Schechter, a Conservative Jewish camp in Western Washington. The camp was founded on Zionist principles and served as a safe haven to build Jewish community for many campers who might be the only Jews in their schools and hometowns. But this safe haven was shaken last week when the Palestinian flag was raised over the campgrounds, writes Rudee, a fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center.
Former Israeli diplomats charge that the State Department is recycling parts of its old reports in order to whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incitement to violence. The State Department last week released its annual assessment of global terrorism for the year 2016, claiming the PA works “to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.” Alan Baker, former deputy director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, told JNS.org the State Department is seemingly “taking previous reports and copying them, making slight changes where they consider it relevant.”
The State Department’s “evenhanded” statement. The U.S.-backed Middle East Quartet’s call for “restraint.” President Donald Trump sending his international negotiations representative to the region to “mediate.” It all adds up to one thing: American pressure on Israel to make concessions. The July 14 terror attack that killed two Israeli policemen is a clear-cut case of Palestinian aggression if ever there was one, and the Trump administration should have been clearly on Israel’s side from the beginning, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire, has all the makings of a character in a Hasidic fable. He sees no moral contradiction in funding the forces for an “open society” in Eastern Europe, while giving at the same time to left-wing lobby groups advocating for a diminished relationship between the U.S. and Israel, the single sovereign open society in the Middle East. He values the “universal” in Judaism and cares little for the “particular.” Yet Soros is the target of anti-Semitism in his native Hungary. Is Soros being targeted as a man or as a symbol? Even if there is a trace of the former, it’s the overwhelming presence of the latter that should keep us healthily skeptical, writes JNS.org columnist Ben Cohen.