Bernard Avishai


Bucky Cantor and the Idea of the Good

By Bernard Avishai

What is the right thing to do — what is the good? And does doing it, if indeed we can know it, bring happiness? These questions are not exactly new. They are also not exactly bad. “Nemesis” raises them rather more starkly, and elegantly, than other books Philip Roth has written. “Nemesis” also adds little twists that Aristotle never quite got to.Read More


The Israeli-Palestinian Confluence

By Bernard Avishai

The Israeli-Palestinian Confluence
Is the two-state solution passé? Serious people, with democratic instincts, are asking this now, but it is hard to think of a more frivolous question.Read More


Regional Peace Requires Troops For Palestine

By Bernard Avishai

‘How can Israeli soldiers fight a 10-year-old boy who wants to die? Or a teenager at the wheel of an exploding truck, smiling because he knows that in 10 seconds he will be in Heaven? This is the generation I am afraid of!”Read More


Can Kadima Hold the Center As Israeli Voters Move Forward?

By Bernard Avishai

FORWARD FORUM Just days before Israel’s election, polls are showing Ehud Olmert’s Kadima list at somewhere between 35 and 42 seats, while Labor and Meretz together get between 21 and 28. Arab lists will get between seven and 10, depending on turnout. Likud and the parties to its right will get the rest.Do the math, and you have to wonder,Read More


Mel Gibson and the Demise Of Enlightened Skepticism

By Bernard Avishai

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was out on video last week, and I still haven’t seen it. I probably never will, and judging by the surge in its worldwide box office receipts, I may prove to be the only such soul on God’s good earth. This is not a boycott. It’s just that as a 10-year-old boy in Montreal — a pupil atRead More






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    • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
    • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
    • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
    • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
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    • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
    • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
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    • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
    • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
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    • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
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