Opinion

ANALYSIS When a government won’t let you look away

President Donald Trump walks to a waiting limousine to greet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, May 16, 2017. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — No one who has lived in Israel or even visited for an extended time can forget the top-of-the-hour news broadcasts on Kol Yisrael, or Israel Radio. Before its shutdown this week as part of a byzantine reform of public broadcasting, the government-run station preceded… Read more »

ANALYSIS Emmanuel Macron wins French election, but Marine Le Pen wins legitimacy

Emmanuel Macron addressing supporters at the Louvre in Paris after winning the French presidential election, May 7, 2017. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old  former investment banker and political centrist, handily defeated the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. Exit polls showed Macron winning Sunday’s vote by a margin of 65 percent to 34 percent. Although her bid to lead the country failed, Le Pen’s divisive campaign against Macron achieved some of… Read more »

ANALYSIS Bernie Sanders just defended Israel on Al Jazeera. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

Bernie Sanders at Bronx Community College in New York City, April 9, 2016. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

  WASHINGTON (JTA) – In an appearance on Al Jazeera, Bernie Sanders defended Israel’s right to exist, rejected BDS as a tactic and assailed the United Nations for singling out the country for condemnation. The Vermont senator’s interview May 3 on the Qatar-based network, known for its often hypercritical coverage… Read more »

FIRST PERSON I’m Jewish and I just became an EU citizen. It feels a little like boarding the Titanic.

Cnaan Liphshiz, his wife and eldest son in a tulip field near Amsterdam, April 3, 2016. (Courtesy of Liphshiz)

  AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Considering Marine Le Pen’s historical gains in the French presidential elections, the Dutch far-right’s rise and the assault on ritual slaughter in Belgium, this spring is shaping up to be a life-changing time for Europe — its religious minorities in particular. In other words, it’s… Read more »

OP-ED The war never ended for poor, elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union

Afim and Emma A. are clients in need of assistance from the Hesed social welfare in Rustavi, Georgia. (Sarah Levin of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee)

  (JTA) — We Americans use the phrase “the greatest generation” to describe those who grew up during the Depression, prevailed in World War II and contributed to America’s postwar prosperity and influence. But on a visit last week to Jewish communities in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Belarus’ Minsk and… Read more »

OP-ED Why Radiohead’s Israel show matters

Thom Yorke of Radiohead performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., April 21, 2017. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

(JTA) — It may be the 20th anniversary of Radiohead’s seminal album “OK Computer,” but for some Jewish fans of the band, like me, all is not OK. You might even say I’m feeling “Let Down.” Here’s why: In February, the British band announced that it was playing Tel… Read more »

ANALYSIS Spicer, Hitler and the Soup Nazi: Why can’t this White House get the Holocaust right?

Sean Spicer in a TV interview at the White House apologizing for comments he made suggesting that President Bashar Assad of Syria was worse than Hitler, April 11, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — We interrupt this Passover to bring you two news bulletins: Bashar Assad is worse than Hitler. The Soup Nazi was almost a real Nazi. Let’s start with the second revelation, since Sean Spicer’s Hitler gaffe about Hitler is probably better known. Entertainment Weekly reported… Read more »

ANALYSIS Is Mike Pence’s marriage rule anti-women, or pro-religion?

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, walk in the presidential inauguration parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(JTA) — I am a huge fan of monogamy. My wife and I have been married for — well, let’s just say we met in high school (we didn’t get together until after college, but I was trying to avoid saying “a long time”). I took it personally when… Read more »

Daughter’s aliyah plans fill family with pride, hope

My wife, Sue, and I are new to Arizona, having moved here from West Chester, Pa., in August 2016. However, we are not new to Judaism or a love of Israel and Jewish culture. But this is not about us, it’s about our daughter, Alexandra Simone Penfil. When Alli… Read more »

From disabilities awareness month, a way to think about bomb threats

Julie Zorn

Last month was Jewish Disabilities Awareness month, and as I found myself in a situation where I was suddenly asked to be a substitute teacher for sixth and seventh grade students at the local reform Jewish synagogue, I really felt that this was a good topic to discuss with… Read more »

OP-ED The surge in anti-Semitism? Here’s how to stop it

People demonstrate at a Stand Against Hate rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, March 2, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Almost daily accounts of vandalized cemeteries, spray-painted swastikas and bomb threats to JCCs and other Jewish agencies have naturally evoked considerable alarm. Clearly, we must never reconcile ourselves to an America where this is considered normal. Yet we must not succumb to the opposite tendency to see… Read more »

Analysis: JCC bomb threats are weapons of fear

Police block off a parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Feb. 27, 2017.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — The “fear itself” thing? FDR was on to something. The rash of JCC bomb threats and cemetery desecrations, combined with a general sense that the country is becoming more intolerant, has Jews on edge in ways they haven’t been in years. The head of a major… Read more »

Ray of hope amid gloom of vandalization, bomb threats

I was immensely saddened to learn of recent bomb threats to JCCs in the United States and Canada and of the malicious destruction of headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in my hometown of University City, Mo.  I hope our country will soon know who committed these heinous… Read more »

Complaint about two-state letter missed the point

I’d like to thank David Kohn for his detailed and illuminating response (“Letter on two-state solution got the facts all wrong,” AJP 2/3/17) to Joel Heller’s original letter on the “two state solution” (“Two-state solution could have happened decades ago,” AJP 1/20/17). Educational as it was, I don’t think… Read more »

OP-ED When Jews were illegal, and turned to others for sanctuary

Protesters demonstrate at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 26, 2017. (Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images)

  MILWAUKEE (JTA) — I was privileged recently to participate as the sole Jewish voice at a news conference with Latino leaders, community activists and faith groups at which we spoke loudly and clearly in support of compassionate immigration policies. I told the people gathered about a piece of… Read more »

ANALYSIS Trump, the Jews and the political weaponization of anti-Semitism

Stephen Bannon at a White House news conference, Feb. 16, 2017. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Was that so hard? At some point in the past week, it looked like President Donald Trump was never going to use “anti-Semitism” in a sentence. It took a fourth series of hoax bomb threats at JCCs around the country and imprecations from Jewish groups across the ideological… Read more »

OP-ED Israeli development aid is a win for Africa, Israel and American Jews

A look inside the Project Ten Volunteer center of The Jewish Agency for Israel. (Courtesy of Shimon Mercer-Wood)

  (JTA) — Late last month, on the eve of Black History Month, a delegation of African-American journalists landed in Ghana to cover international development projects and the impact those projects are making in that West African country. This in itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Africa in… Read more »

‘Lebensraum’ evocative and educational

Until I saw “Lebensraum” on Feb. 9 at the Invisible Theatre, I thought I knew a great deal about the Holocaust; how wrong I was. I had never heard about lebensraum (“living space”), Hitler’s belief that Germany needed more living space to survive, a premise based on the denial… Read more »

Lecture adds to understanding of Lincoln

I want to express appreciation to the Secular Humanist Jewish Circle and member Joel Unowsky, for his thought-provoking lecture on Feb.11, “Jews and the Civil War.” It was “altogether fitting and proper” (to quote a phrase from the Gettysburg Address) that this lecture should take place one day before… Read more »