Simeon Kolko


Rules of Engagement

By Simeon Kolko

We are nearing the end of a time many like to refer to dismissively as the “silly season.” But for Jews, some of the antics on display during this year’s campaign should not just be blown off semantically that way, as if they had no wider repercussions for the health of the country, or our own community. American Jews are highly engaged in the political process, both as elected officials and shapers of the public agenda. What is—or should be—the Jewish significance of this involvement?Read More


When Legislation Matches Our Best Impulses

By Simeon Kolko

This Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. This landmark legislation, which remains a stirring case study in the importance of human rights and moral idealism as an instrument of foreign policy, provided the impetus for the mass emigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union and helped propel the windsRead More


Political Truth and the Rosenbergs

By Simeon Kolko

Fifty years ago on June 19, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed after having been convicted of the crime of transmitting American atomic secrets to the Soviet Union during the 1940s. The Rosenberg case continues to evoke emotions, stir passions, raise disturbing questions and defy easy resolution. The discomfort stirred by this hauntingRead More






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    • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
    • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
    • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
    • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
    • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
    • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
    • 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.
    • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
    • "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.
    • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
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