Thursday, April 9, 2020
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Leonard Fein


‘Two-state solution’ faces a hornets’ nest

That is why both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke as forcefully on behalf of a two-state solution as they did in Annapolis -- as, not incidentally, did Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well. Now comes the hard part, the part so filled with trip wires. Already in Israel, the naysayers are shouting from the rooftops, and the admirable resolve that was on such vivid display in Annapolis seems to be receding. The stakes, this time around, are enormous: Failure to move responsibly toward a two-state agreement would likely consign the idea to the ash heap of history and ensure a future not less bloody than the past. That is a haunting specter; its implications should weigh heavily on the attitude of all those who hold Israel dear.

The time has come for action on Darfur

We\'re told, these days, that the situation in Darfur is not as simple as we supposed a year or two ago. There, too, ambiguity. But it is not acceptable to be immobilized by ambiguity, not when women are being raped, children starved, people driven from their homes, routinely slaughtered. Much of life is inherently ambiguous. Yet, if not now, when? Else it will never end.

Where are the other Jewish anti-war voices?

On March 12, by action of its Executive Committee, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) became the first national Jewish organization to take more...

Rosa Parks’ Message for Today

The moral -- these many years later -- is not immediately obvious. Yes, it\'s about what one person can do, but it is about much more than that. It\'s about leadership and about community organization

Saving Zionism

Where Jewish terrorist Eden Natan-Zada lived -- first in Rishon L\'Tzion, then evidently in Tapuach -- there is ostensibly an ideology that encourages the murders he committed last week in Shfaram.

Immeasurable Faith

Perhaps there was a time when the secular/religious divide -- it is of the Jews I write -- made sense. In Eastern and Central Europe from 1850 to 1930, it may have been the case that seculars Jews were genuinely secular, as some few remain today.

The Measure of a Jew

One of the signal contributions of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) over the many years has been its stream of publications reporting on and analyzing our community.

Can One Imagine Another Herzl Arising?

The funeral took place in Vienna on July 7, 1904. The stunning announcement had come on the 4th: Theodore Herzl, dead at age 44. Here is Stefan Zweig\'s description of the day:

Did Feith Cross the Pro-Israel Line?

Intelligence sharing between America and Israel goes on at the highest levels and is remarkably intimate -- but it is not, nor can it be supposed it ever will or even should be, complete.

Pursuit of Peace Requires New Coalition

We have long since learned to swallow hard as the Israelis persist in policies that are ill-conceived and ill-executed, policies that threaten the entire Zionist enterprise.

Uniting Among the Rabbis of Tomorrow

Yes, El Salvador. Not exactly (or even approximately) a tourist mecca, but a mecca of sorts to delegations organized by American Jewish World Service (AJWS), a rapidly growing and growingly effective organization devoted to connecting Jews and Judaism to the developing world.

Who Causes Anti-Semitism?

There is a gathering hysteria in the American Jewish community that is dangerously self-destructive. Life as a Jew these days may not be -- is not -- a bed of roses, but neither is it a bed of thorns. Yet to hear some in our community tell it, thorns are all there are. Consider: George Soros, the multibillionaire and philanthropist, spoke on Nov. 5 to a meeting of the Jewish Funders Network. In response to a question about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, he responded that \"the policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that.\" Can there be any doubt that he is right?

Settlements Plan Spotlights Dark Issues

The conventional explanation for Israel\'s more controversial measures, including, in particular, the security fence under construction and the new marriage law passed by the Knesset, is that these are responses to the ongoing conflict.

U.S. Spending Ignores Domestic Deficits

What have our military expenditures to do with the state of the states? After all, we are a long way from the guns vs. butter arguments, when we used to show how many new schools or hospitals could be built for the cost of one new aircraft carrier.

Charming? Not the Word for Politics

Plato described democracy as \"a charming form of government.\" Well, perhaps in ancient Greece there wasn\'t much else to charm away the days.

A Dangerous Beast

The rituals are familiar by now. The sudden bulletins; the footage of chaos and shock and devastation; the anxious wait for the casualty list; the statements of condemnation; the statements of justification; the insane competition over who gets the \"credit;\" the haunting search for the tiniest bits of remains; the funerals; and the reprisal. And here, the community rallies, new missions are announced, once again we\'re told that \"now more than ever\" our solidarity is needed, we hunker down. And then the wait begins again, for though the other shoe has dropped, there is another, and another. This conflict is no two-legged monster, it is a damned centipede and we are nowhere near its end. Not for nothing is this called \"terrorism.\"

Was FDR to Blame?

Scholars will doubtless continue to debate Franklin Roosevelt\'s actions -- and inaction -- regarding the Holocaust. What did he know? When did he know it? Didn\'t he care, or did he really believe that the best and quickest way to help the Jews was, as he repeatedly argued, to win the war?

Sweatshop Days

Rose Freedman has died. Her death at 107 years of age has been widely noted, for Freedman was the last living survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, a calamity that claimed 146 lives. Just months ago, she was featured in a PBS documentary, \"The Living Century,\" which told not only of her experience 90 years ago, but also of the remarkable life she led thereafter. That life -- as The New York Times put it -- was both \"colorful and courageous,\" right up until her last days in her home in Beverly Hills.

Sitting Idle

Africa is not much on our minds these days. We have obviously been preoccupied by America\'s election and by Israel\'s chaos.


The Jewish world is seething with resentment. Our current narrative is both familiar and depressing.

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