Islamist agenda of Turkey’s new Mideast ambitions must be checked

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu grandiloquently proclaimed recently that, “If the world is on fire, Turkey is the firefighter. Turkey is assuming the leading role for stability in the Middle East.” Such ambition is new for Ankara. In the 1990s, it contentedly fulfilled its NATO obligations and followed Washington’s… Read more »

With Arab Spring, will Israel be left in the cold?

Unless Israel acts fast, when the Arab Spring comes to full bloom, the Jewish state will be left out in the cold. That was the essence of the dire warnings issued earlier this month by the high-profile backers of a new Israeli peace push who say they seek to… Read more »

Unrest in Syria presents Israel with potential dangers, opportunities

With the turmoil rocking the Middle East now threatening the regime in Syria, Israel faces potentially grave dangers and huge opportunities. The dangers are clear: The emergence of a more radical regime in Syria could mean a stronger Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis. Iran could get direct access to its allies in… Read more »

Op-Ed: Education is key in a changing U.S. Jews-Israel relationship

WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) — The relationship between American and Israeli Jews is changing. For most of Israel’s history, the American Jewish community was larger, wealthier and more powerful than its “poor cousin” in the Middle East, but now the differences between the two communities have greatly narrowed. More Jews… Read more »

Palestinians must take responsibility for savage streak in their society

The topic of the day-long conference was torture, and Palestinians were describing the horrific methods the Shin Bet used in prison to get information out of them. Photos and illustrations of these practices were shown on a screen. Human rights activists, Palestinian and Israeli, spoke at length and in… Read more »

With pressure mounting, will Bibi go left or right?

Israel is staring at a fork in the road, with potential disaster along either path. On the path to the left lies a major Israeli peace initiative that deals with all the core issues under dispute with the Palestinians. On the path to the right lies more waiting, possibly… Read more »

Op-Ed: Don’t believe gloomy forecasts on Conservative Judaism

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. (JTA) — Conservative Judaism is dying, I hear — or at least according to the media. Not so. Please don’t tell me that because North America’s United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has had its problems, that means Conservative/Masorti Judaism is declining around the Jewish world. Yes,… Read more »

Op-Ed: Triangle Shirtwaist fire reminds of need for unions

Some of the 146 victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire lay on the streets of New york's Lower East Side, March 25, 1911. (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (JTA) — Late on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire erupted at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the top floors of a modern, fire-proof building at the corner of Manhattan’s Washington Place and Greene Street, near Washington Square Park. In the bedlam precipitated by… Read more »

Time to hold U.N. human rights chief accountable

The favorite word of Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, appears to be “accountability.” Yet with her own agency tainted by its longtime disregard of Libyan human rights violations — and by apologists for Libyan strongman Muammar Gadhafi occupying key U.N. positions — it’s high time… Read more »

News analysis: Arab unrest alters power balance in as yet unseen ways

Demonstrator with an anti-Gadhafi sign outside the Libya Embassy in Cairo shows his solidarity for Libyans protesting their leader, Feb. 22, 2011. (Sierragoddess via Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — They were the devils they knew. Though Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by countries whose leaders or people wish its destruction, over the years it had adjusted to the status quo, more or less figuring out how to get by while keeping an eye… Read more »

American Jews must regain focus on Mideast

The rapid changes in the Middle East are leading many in the American Jewish community to suffer from “analysis paralysis.” We have become so mesmerized by events in Cairo that we have stopped doing vitally important work to advance American interests and stability in the Middle East, as well… Read more »

Op-ed: We must turn Israel inside out

This is an extraordinary time for the Middle East, an unprecedented one, a glorious one – and it’s passing Israel by. Since Mubarak’s fall, we’re trying to be good sports, good losers, trying to grin and bear it, saying mabruk, congratulations, and all that. This week we’re rooting for… Read more »

Op-Ed: Celebrating 25 years of freedom for Natan Sharansky

Avital Sharansky addresses the Prime Minister's Council at general Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans on her struggle to achieve the release of her husband, Natan Sharansky, right, from the Soviet gulag, Nov. 7, 2010. (The Jewish Agency for Israel)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Feb. 11 marks 25 years since Natan Sharansky crossed the Glienicke Bridge from East to West Germany and became a free man. Countless stories have been told about Sharansky’s defiance of the Soviets and his courageous actions during his more than nine years of imprisonment.… Read more »

News analysis: Unrest in Israel could lead to Israel’s worst nightmare

JERUSALEM (JTA) — For Israel, the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime raises the specter of its worst strategic nightmare: collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt, the cornerstone of its regional policy for the past three decades. That is not the inevitable outcome of the unrest; a modified… Read more »