Israel Now

The New Rhythm Of Israel-Diaspora Relations

Israelis in America: We need your song, especially now.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

My attitude to the presence of Israelis in New York has evolved.

When I was young, I would hear Hebrew on the street and feel the poignancy of yeridah, of Jewish Israelis “descending” to live in the diaspora.

Guitarist Dan Nadel, Singer and flutist Dan Aran. Larson Harley

A Full-Court Press Against The Press?

A reporter indicted for exposing IDF secrets sees a chilling media landscape in Israel these days.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

Incoming phone calls from unidentified numbers usually spell trouble. The call I got some six years ago, on a steamy summer afternoon in Tel Aviv, was no different.

The new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked. Getty Images

The Coalition Conundrum

Israel’s ruling government, American Jews and the question of the Jewish state’s democratic values.

Israel Correspondent
05/27/2015

Relations between Israeli and diaspora Jews, complicated during the best of times, have been strained — to say the least — since the months leading up to Israel’s March 17 election.

Frenemies? The new coalition is a partnership between Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett.

Drifting Apart, Coming Together

The old/new dynamic of Israel-diaspora relations.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

Spring is the time of year when many Jews reflect on the condition and direction of the Jewish people. This period from Pesach through Shavuot to Tisha b’Av, and from Yom HaShoah through Yom Ha’Atzmaut to Yom Yerushalayim ties together the gravest moments of powerlessness in Jewish history in two millennia with the  this era of our super-power and the mission to be a light unto the nations.

‘We’ve Been In This Movie Before’

The current moment, caught as it is between tragedy and farce, invariably echoes the past.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

The week after Independence Day, I took the Number 18 bus to the Mahane Yehuda market, to run a few Friday errands. I got off at Davidka Square, where the Street of the Prophets meets Jaffa Road. In the midst of the square is a monument of the 1948 War, displaying a homemade mortar nicknamed “Davidka,” one of six deployed by Jewish fighters; the mortars were notoriously inaccurate but incredibly loud, so much so, the story goes, that Arab forces thought the Jews might have the atomic bomb. It’s been quite a while since we were David and they were Goliath, but we still cherish the myth.

Huge social protest rallies filled the Tel Aviv streets in 2011. Wikimedia Commons

The Politics Of Loyalty

Hawks and doves are both wrong when it comes to liberal Zionism. What’s needed is the reimagining of an ideology.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

It is in vogue to say that liberal Zionism is in crisis. Last summer’s war in Gaza provoked a spate of essays purporting that the confrontation between liberal values and the policies of a hawkish Israel were making the ideology untenable. In this portrayal, liberal Zionism was a precarious political ideology that entailed support for the State of Israel while believing that the state had to express progressive values, and that history and politics were conspiring to unmake an ideology and prove it to have been feeble and unrealistic all along.

A home in Gaza destroyed by Israel during last summer’s war.

Navigating Existential Divides

The Iran deal, a Palestinian state and the gulf between Israelis and American Jews.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/27/2015

Existential threats once united the diaspora and Israel. Now, increasingly, it is existential threats — or rather opposing perceptions of existential threats — that deeply divide us.

Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor. Photos by Wikimedia Commons

A Wide, Wide River To Cross

Managing Editor
05/26/2015

A Jewish island in an Arab sea, Israel has always been a country on the edge. That edge appears to have gotten even more razor thin in the last year. The Jewish state’s ties with its main ally, the United States, have become severely frayed. The relationship between the Israeli prime minister and the American president is strained, to say the least, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress criticizing President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal adding to the mistrust between the two. Israel, for the first time in memory, has become a partisan wedge issue in the U.S. Congress. Israel’s commitment to democracy and pluralism are being questioned by a wide swath of American Jews, and Jerusalem’s new, tissue-thin right-wing government is only complicating the matter.

Israel Now 2015

Navigating the existential divide. The debate over liberal Zionism. Press freedom under siege. Israeli-Americans
as a bridge.

05/26/2015
Israel Now 2015

If I Had An (Anti-BDS) Hammer!

What to tell the kids about the boycott — and the need for dialogue, thanks to Pete Seeger.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/28/2014

As a rule, BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, doesn’t keep me up at night. (And I don’t think it keeps my two boys up, either.) The reason is because, in my mind, the movement is destined to fail.

BSD, not BDS: Pete Seeger, argues the author, champions Building Serious Dialogue.  Getty Images
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