Point/Counterpoint

OP-ED As Orthodox community grows, study of all Jews reveals stark contrasts

The Orthodox Union's youth organization sold more than 4,000 tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure on the first day of chol hamoed, Passover's intermediate days, April 25, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

  (JTA) — The 2013 Pew survey “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” shows that Orthodox Judaism, while currently attracting the allegiance of only about 10 percent of all American Jews, is the fastest growing sector of the community. The high birthrate and retention rate confirmed by the survey have led some observers to predict that within a generation, American Jewry will… Read more »

Op-Ed: The West Bank is under military occupation, and that’s a fact

Jessica Montell (Courtesy B'Tselem)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — According to press reports, the crowd at a recent Republican Jewish Coalition conference “noticeably gasped” when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie referred to the West Bank as “occupied territories.” Christie promptly apologized to the event’s host, mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, clarifying that his remarks “were not meant… Read more »

Op-Ed: ‘Occupied territories’ is a flawed and biased term

Alan Baker (Courtesy Alan Baker)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Republican donor Sheldon Adelson for using the term “occupied territories” to refer to the West Bank, critics pounced. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” ridiculed the apology, insisting that the phrase is “widely accepted” and accurate. While the… Read more »

Op-Ed: Kerry’s perilous path to failure

Jonathan S. Tobin

In the past few weeks, Secretary of State John Kerry has come under attack from prominent Israelis as well as American friends of the Jewish state for some of the methods he has adopted in his determination to find a solution to the Middle East conflict. Such criticism strikes… Read more »

Op-Ed: Let’s bet on peace

Rabbi Sharon Brous

John Kerry is not a naive man. I met him recently at a luncheon at Georgetown University with a small group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders brought together to hear the secretary of state’s frank reflections on the peace process. While deeply aware of the complexities and… Read more »

Op-Ed: Conversion shouldn’t be the only path to joining the Jewish people

NEW YORK (JTA) — Right now, there is just one way for someone who is not Jewish to become Jewish in a publicly recognized and officially authorized fashion: undergo religious conversion under the auspices of a rabbi. Whether the path to Jewish identification follows Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or… Read more »

By hosting BDS conference, college gave imprimatur to hate speech

Is it appropriate for a respected institution to sponsor or host a speaker who harshly accuses the Israeli government of standing in the way of Middle East peace or grossly violating human rights because of its policies toward the Palestinians? Absolutely. While American Jews overwhelmingly disagree with these broad… Read more »

Diverse media boosts Israeli democracy

Can you imagine Israel without a free, independent, vociferous and diverse media? Can you imagine Israel without Maariv and Haaretz? Without biting commentary, investigative reporting and an open, cacophonous marketplace of views and ideas? Such an Israel terrifies me, and it should alarm you, too. It is not the… Read more »

Adelson’s paper brings needed pluralism to Israel’s press

Liberal pundits have coined a new saw: Sheldon Adelson and the newspaper he owns, Israel Hayom, are primarily responsible for the collapse of many Israeli media outlets, and this endangers Israeli democracy. The assertion is wrong on both the business and ideological levels. The imminent failures of Maariv and… Read more »

Op-Ed: Romney is more than a fair-weather friend of Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — At the end of the month, Mitt Romney will visit Jerusalem. It has become a ritual of American politics for presidential candidates to pay a visit to Israel, but this is certainly not Romney’s first trip to Israel — this will mark his fourth visit — and… Read more »

Op-Ed: Obama has helped make Israel safer

NEW YORK (JTA) — Throughout a half-century of international diplomatic work, I have learned to tell the politicians from the friends and the charlatans from the statesmen. Charlatans scream. They tell you what you want to hear and call other people names. Friends and leaders need not rely on rhetoric… Read more »

Romney would make U.S-Israel ties stronger

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the passionately pro-Israel members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “do the opposite” of the things that President Obama has done regarding Israel, the room erupted in applause. They understood exactly what he meant because they know that the… Read more »

By the ‘opposite,’ what does Romney mean?

Gov. Mitt Romney has made some outrageous comments and taken some extreme positions in this presidential campaign. But few, if any, are more baffling than his latest statement on his plans for the U.S.-Israel relationship. Asked last weekend what he would do to strengthen America’s alliance with Israel, he… Read more »

In debate over nuclear Iran, lessons of Auschwitz remain relevant

Rafael Medoff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the Holocaust in his March 5 speech at AIPAC for the same reason that President Shimon Peres referred to it in his speech the day before and President Obama alluded to it in his news conference the day after: Because in the… Read more »

Seeing the world through Auschwitz lens amounts to Jewish PTSD

Michael Lerner

When I learned of the murder of dozens of members of my family in the Holocaust and then met my Israeli relatives whose Auschwitz numbers could hardly be missed on their arms, I decided to dedicate my life to challenging war, the denial of human rights, the hatred of… Read more »

Op-Ed: A Palestinian state should be the result of negotiations

Mervyn Danker

To establish its independence, Israel had to win a war against the combined might of the Arab nations in 1948. The Arab failure to destroy the nascent Jewish state became known, in Orwellian Arab vernacular, as “Nakba,” a catastrophe. For the next 20 years, neither Jordan nor any of… Read more »