Overnight, he went from leader of Israel’s most illustrious left-wing party to an appendage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. What next for Ehud Barak? Since his January 17 break with Israel’s Labor Party — taking that once mighty, now shriveled faction down yet one more peg by his departure — the retired general and former prime minister is voicing high hopes for the new party he has founded with fellow Labor Party defectors.
If Israelis are feeling increasingly internationally isolated, it is not only the result of pro-Palestinian sentiment overseas. Lately, it is also due to the work slowdown declared by Israel’s foreign service, a new phase in the diplomats’ ongoing struggle for higher wages and more funding.
Not a single candy wrapper, cough nor cell phone interrupted the New Yiddish Repertory’s January 13 reading of “Shaylok, oder der Koyfman Fun Venedig,” a Yiddish adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” at the Center for Jewish History. The evening was, in Broadway speak — a smash hit.
A New York suburb is divided over plans to absorb a private special education program for Yiddish and Hebrew speakers into the public school district — a plan that opponents say could be racially discriminatory. The proposal for the East Ramapo Central School District in Rockland County, N.Y., to take over the financially troubled Rockland Institute for Special Education (RISE) is drawing complaints from local activists and minority communities in the ethnically diverse district, which is home to a large Orthodox Jewish community.14
In Germany today, Muslims are often cited as a driving force behind contemporary German anti-Semitism — and are increasingly a target of ethnic-based prejudice and bigotry. Yet leaders of Germany’s Jewish community have joined others in combating what many view as a tidal wave of German Islamophobia.70
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