Simona Shapiro


Fear of Informants Leaves Arab Americans Reluctant To Speak Out

By Simona Shapiro

CHICAGO — Covering the Arab-American community here in the Windy City is not easy. People hide from reporters. They don’t want their names to appear in print. They seem irrationally mistrustful and refuse to speak on the record for any number of reasons: one “because I have a sister in Ramallah,” another because he didn’t want toRead More


Pro-Israel Groups Focus on Christians Under P.A. Rule

By Simona Shapiro

CHICAGO — With the Palestinian Authority retaking control of Bethlehem earlier this month, several pro-Israel organizations are hoping to focus greater attention on the plight of Christians living in the territories.Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress and National Christian Leadership Conference forRead More


Liberal Protestant Churches Rebuff Pro-Israel Speakers

By Simona Shapiro

CHICAGO — Liberal Protestant churches are coming under renewed fire from Israelis and their American allies who accuse the churches of unwillingness to hear Israel’s side in the Middle East debate.The newest unrest began to emerge after the start of the intifada, as Jewish observers noticed that the five prominent Protestant denominations wereRead More


Iraq War Pushes Little-Known Assyrians to Fore

By Simona Shapiro

CHICAGO — Waving American flags, more than 400 people gathered last Sunday in Chicago’s Warren Park, carrying signs that read “God Bless America.” At first glance, the scene was unremarkable in this time of rallies for and against the war. But there was something unusual about this crowd. Their Middle Eastern looks. The hand-lettered signsRead More






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    • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
    • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
    • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
    • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
    • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
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