January 20, 2019

Israel

"Israel’s light is dimmed when veterans of its famed armed forces, whose mission is to defend the Jewish state’s freedom, misuse their expertise to aid oppression in other countries."

"In Israel we have a resource which different groups try to claim as their own – Shabbat. Shabbat is viewed in totally different terms by different groups in our society..."

"Efforts to derail Israeli training for U.S. law enforcement reveal the link between BDS and anti-Semitism by attempting to blame Jews for police shootings in America."

"The recently discovered mask already stands to elicit legal challenges should it eventually go on public display in Israel, which captured the West Bank in the 1967 war."

"Digital propaganda does not always rely on proactive means to manipulate social media platforms and capture the attention of online audiences."

"Airbnb serves 191 countries and regions and more than 81,000 cities, but announced on November 19 that it would no longer list around 200 Jewish rentals in the West Bank on its website."

"THE PARALLELS between what happened to Jews in Europe and what happened to Yazidis in Iraq do not have to be exaggerated to make the similarities seem to fit. There is a direct connection."

"Lovers and haters alike have to admit how difficult it would be to chronicle the annals of the Jewish state without devoting considerable space to “King Bibi,” as Time magazine crowned him in 2012."

"The question of Arab and Islamist anti-Jewish hatred goes to the heart of the conflict with Israel. So why have Jewish refugees been so neglected?"

"Netflix’s latest holiday confection, The Princess Switch, might be the least original movie of all time, but if you’re a nostalgia freak like me, this might actually be something to celebrate."

"Suppose the Exodus from Egypt had never occurred. Suppose the Romans never exiled the Jews. Suppose also that there had been no Jews in antiquity. Even then, the justification for establishing their nationhood in Israel would be valid..."

"The gulf between liberal U.S. Jews and right-wing Israel now colors our responses to Jews being killed: there's a sliding scale of innocence according to which we rate the victims."

"It's highly unlikely that Israel's center-left parties will form a coalition to run together in the 2019 election, but they should not abandon efforts to find common ground to fight for."

"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."

"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."

"Ultra-Orthodox communities are increasingly divided, with a small but growing number of young people openly defying their rabbis and voting for non-Haredi candidates – with major implications for the Diaspora."

"So even while things are not as bad today as they are portrayed, the issue that now confronts the State of Israel is: what can be done to further engage Jewish millennials."

"The integration of ultra-orthodox society into Israeli society at large and internal divisions within the ultra-orthodox world have caused many ultra-Orthodox Jews to vote for candidates in municipal elections who are not themselves ultra-orthodox.

"The plan is based around a simple idea: Establish an Israeli desalination plant, built on Israeli land, funded by Saudi Arabia, the Europeans and others, that provides clean water to Gaza."

"[The Left] has made Israel-hatred legitimate. If there is a “climate of hatred” it’s a result of this acceptance, and it's this that is making Jews flee Europe."

"It has long been clear that freedom of artistic expression isn’t a supreme value, so Culture Minister Miri Regev’s ‘cultural-loyalty bill’ deserves praise."

"As an Israeli citizen who is passionate about advocating for Israel, my suggestion is provide the right people with the tools to educate. Create a community of advocates who understand the social climate on the ground in the US and worldwide."

"At a time of increased anxiety for many Jews in Europe and North America, the rise of evangelical and Pentecostal Christian support for Judaism and Israel in much of the world is a heartening sign."

"The relationship between art and the state in Europe and Israel is totally different from the American model, so don’t call Culture Minister Miri Regev ‘Israel’s very own McCarthy’"

"In homage to this deep-rooted tradition, Jerusalem artist Eitam Tubul launched the light-hearted “Amulet Authority,” an art project that has produced a variety of intricate plaques designed to thwart modern misfortunes."

"Slowly but surely, the new reality in the Gaza-envelope region is seeping into public awareness: the routine of a war of attrition. On one side is Hamas... On the other side is the Israeli government."

"For more than a decade, the festival has tried to give audiences a glimpse into slices of Israeli society that are often ignored or misunderstood in mainstream culture, which has tended to focus on the country’s Jewish populations."

"...for Hebrew speakers, gender inclusivity is much more complicated. That’s because gender in Hebrew—as in Spanish, Hindi, French and other languages—is intimately woven into word construction."

"Although we eagerly consume news on coalition crises and Knesset shenanigans, most Israelis are unaware of what truly affects our quality of life – local government."

"Governments around the world are quietly turning to YAMAM, Israel’s special police force, for help with their most intractable security problems."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"