Politics

Trump triggers crisis of faith for some religious Jews

February 6, 2017

The election of Donald Trump has created a profound crisis of faith among some Orthodox Jews who opposed Trump’s candidacy. How is it possible, they ask, that so many of their co-religionists allowed themselves to look past Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, his pathological falsehoods and moral failings that seem to go against so much of what […]

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Breaking the rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage

January 2, 2017

Rabbi Chuck Davidson is on a holy mission to end the Israeli Rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage. Nearly every night of the week, Davidson conducts wedding ceremonies that the rabbinate deems “illegal.” His goal: to get arrested. That’s the only way, he says, to force the courts to rule on what he considers one of the […]

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Lowest common denominator

November 6, 2016

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu buckled under haredi pressure in September and canceled 20 long standing Israel Railways permits to do regularly scheduled repair work on Shabbat (leading to the cancelation of train service the following Sunday morning that inconvenienced tens of thousands of commuters and soldiers), he probably wasn’t thinking it would reignite Israel’s […]

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Snub from Cairo

September 16, 2016

When Egyptian judoka Islam el-Shehaby lost to Or Sasson in the 100-kg judo contest at the recent Rio Olympics, Shehaby demonstrably snubbed his Israeli opponent by refusing to shake hands, as is Olympics protocol (not to mention just plain good manners). This prompted outrage – not only in Israel, but at the International Olympics Committee, […]

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Abolish the rabbis

August 15, 2016

A radio campaign called Hatuna Shava – a play on the Hebrew for a wedding that is both egalitarian and “worthwhile” – has been running over the past month in Israel. The radio spot urges young couples to get married, but to keep the Israeli Chief Rabbinate out of it. Hatuna Shava is a collaboration […]

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Secular in City

March 16, 2016

Yaniv doesn’t like Jerusalem. “It’s nothing personal,” he said nonchalantly between demonstrative slurps of my wife Jody’s famous chicken soup, as he joined us at the Shabbat table a few weeks back “I just don’t feel welcome here – in the city that, is,” he added, looking sheepishly at Jody. “It’s just so…you know…religious.” There’s […]

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Co-opting intersectionality: how to beat BDS on campus

February 18, 2016

The drama continues at Oberlin College. Last month in The Jerusalem Post, I wrote about growing anti-Semitism and BDS support at my alma mater. Now, the Facebook group “Oberlin Students and Alumni Against Anti-Semitism” has published an open letter with more than 200 signatures describing the toxic climate on campus for pro-Israel students and calling […]

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Anti-Israel sentiment is PC at Oberlin College

January 18, 2016

Oy, what has happened at my alma mater? Oberlin College was in the news in December when its students declared that the campus dining department was guilty of a litany of offenses, in particular “cultural appropriation.” Trigger warning here: if you are uncomfortable with young people acting ridiculously, stop reading now. Still with me? OK, […]

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A terrible confession

December 7, 2015

I have a terrible confession to make. I’m ashamed to even let the words pass my lips, but I suspect I’m not alone. Each time there’s a terror attack overseas, that is to say, one outside of Israel, I feel a tiny twinge of hope. Then I am instantly overcome with guilt and I berate […]

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Israel’s Electoral System: the Best for Us?

March 9, 2015

As elections draw close, friends and family back in the old country often ask me how someone who grew up in the U.S. with a relatively simple and seemingly stable two-party system makes sense of Israel’s very different approach, with up to a dozen parties who have to be coaxed, coerced and wheedled together into […]

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