Politics

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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In praise of datlashim

June 7, 2015

Datlashim are some of my favorite people. I admit I’m partial. All three of my kids are datlashim. That said, datlashim may represent the very future of Judaism or, stated with less hyperbole, may help an increasingly fractured Jewish community find common ground between religious and secular. Datlash is an acronym that stands for dati […]

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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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USY language change on interdating not a yiddishkeitastrophe

January 9, 2015

The headlines screaming across Jewish newspapers worldwide were an Orthodox kiruv professional’s wet dream. For a Jew whose job it is to bring other Jews closer to Orthodox observance, the dopamine rush of delight must have been overwhelming. Because if it’s your business to convince wandering Jews to become frum (religious) and one of the […]

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The Evolutionary Inevitability of the Jewish State Bill

December 18, 2014

It’s already hard to remember, with election fever raging all around us, what triggered this expensive, unnecessary mess we’re now in. I’m talking about the “Jewish State” bill, of course. It wasn’t the only culprit, but it was a big one. What’s most interesting about the Jewish State law is not whether it was a […]

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July 22, 2014 – The Day Everything Changed

August 10, 2014

July 22, 2014. Remember that date. It will be recalled in history books yet to be written as the day the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians changed completely. That’s because it’s the day that the war in Gaza transformed from just another in a series of “operations” to an existential threat to the Jewish […]

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Why’d You Want to Live Here, Anyway?

July 25, 2014

An article a few weeks ago in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz questioned why someone would ever want to make aliyah from a comfortable country like the U.S. Especially these days – with the murders of the Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Shear and Eyal Shach still on our minds, the revenge killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khaider stinging at our […]

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How I Met Ehud Olmert

May 13, 2014

I was nearing the end of an interview with an Israeli business executive for an article I was working on when there was a surprise guest at the door: Ehud Olmert. This was after the point when Olmert, one of Israel’s most veteran politicians, a former prime minister and mayor of Jerusalem, was convicted on […]

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Will the World’s Largest Seder be Canceled this Year?

March 25, 2014

The sanctions and now full strike at Israel’s Foreign Ministry have already wreaked havoc with the country’s diplomacy. First, a planned trip by the Pope to the Holy Land appears to be on the verge of cancellation. Next, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to Latin America also looks likely to fall to the editing […]

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Haredi Nation vs. Startup Nation: JNext and the Irony of Sunday’s Protest

March 4, 2014

The irony was almost too delicious – and at the same time dreadfully serious – to avoid. The hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews who rallied on Sunday essentially against integrating into Israeli society nearly sabotaged an event across town meant to position Jerusalem as the “capital” of the Startup Nation with all the jobs […]

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