Sunday Mar 17, 2013
Israel has a new government. On the domestic front, there is much reason for optimism. On the Israeli-Palestinian front, however, the chances of movement of any kind are slim indeed. The coalition agreements signed with all parties—other than the small Hatnuah party of Tzippi Livni—do not even mention Israeli-Palestinian issues except in passing. President Obama is arriving this week, and...
Monday Mar 04, 2013
When Yaakov Epstein became Chief Rabbi of Haifa in 2029, neither the press nor the public took special notice of the event. True, he was the first Reform rabbi elected to the highest rabbinic position in a major metropolis, but he had already served with distinction as Chief Rabbi of Netanya. In fact, four Conservative and two Reform rabbis were then serving as Chief Rabbis of medium-sized Israeli cities.
By then, the “Religious...
Wednesday Feb 06, 2013
Finally, the taboo has been shattered. For more than 3 decades, Israeli politicians have not talked seriously about the need to get haredi men into the army and into the workplace. And haredi rabbinical leaders have not talked about it either. The politicians were silent out of fear of losing haredi support in government coalitions they hoped to create. Haredi rabbis were silent because they did not want to...
Wednesday Jan 16, 2013
Jeffrey Goldberg’s report on what Barack Obama had to say about Bibi Netanyahu has caused quite a fuss. It may or may not be totally accurate, but there have been no denials, and in any case, it doesn’t tell us a lot that we don’t already know. Now might be a good time to review the major factors that govern the relationship between the two men.
PRINCIPLE ONE: Obama and Netanyahu do not like each...
Tuesday Jan 08, 2013
On Monday, January 7, Elliott Abrams was interviewed on National Public Radio. During the course of the interview, he referred to Chuck Hagel as an anti-Semite.
I was stunned. I was under the impression that in discussions about Hagel over the last few weeks, a consensus had emerged in the Jewish community that while some may be uncomfortable with the former Senator’s views, he is not an anti-Semite. But Mr...