Marc Stern

Amnesty’s War on the Law of War

Generating predictable newspaper headlines around the world, Amnesty International has issued a report calling for an arms embargo on Israel and Hamas. Journalists dutifully reported that demand, as well as Israel’s criticism of Amnesty’s report. The impression created is of the usual factual dispute about claims of human rights violations.

The Media Was Misled by Amnesty’s Legal Advocacy

Anyone following last summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah knows that international human rights groups such as Amnesty International were fiercely critical of Israel, accusing it of violating international law by inflicting disproportionate harm on civilians. What the public might not know from these human rights groups’ reports — but what Amnesty has now conceded in a letter to the American Jewish Congress — is that respected authorities differ substantially regarding this area of the laws of war. Such caveats, sadly, were absent from the oversimplified accounts of last year’s Israel-Hezbollah war.

Fight Over Dubai Ports Deal Is Not Ours To Lead

It is natural for the Jewish community to want to respond actively to the political firestorm over Dubai Ports World’s takeover bid, just as it was previously in regard to the controversy over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Both present an opportunity to highlight the threat posed by Islamic extremism, and the urge to do

Question Time for John Roberts

Next week many Americans will be paying careful attention to the answers given by Judge John Roberts during his Senate confirmation hearings. This is to be expected, given the importance of the Supreme Court in the contemporary political constellation.Jews are no exception. The list of subjects of interest to the Jewish community on the high

Between Religious Equality and Liberty

Lawyers will be arguing for a long time about the practical effect of this week’s Supreme Court decisions in two cases related to the public display of the Ten Commandments. About the only thing that can be said with certainty is that the hope that the court would establish clear rules about religious displays to minimize divisive litigation has

Divided By the Pledge, and Plenty More

Michael Newdow’s challenge to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, argued last week before the Supreme Court, is only narrowly a case about the Constitution. No development in legal theory can explain why the country and its highest court are suddenly caught up in a bitter ideological clash over the constitutionality

Cracks Form in the Wall of Separation

A revolution is underway in church-state relations, and the Jewish community has yet to grapple forthrightly with it.In earlier years, the constitutional rule in regard to the disbursement of public money to religious institutions was simple: Aid that gave a substantial benefit to institutions teaching religion was impermissible.