First Steps Along the Map

Next week’s visit to Washington by Prime Minister Sharon is more than just a courtesy call. President Bush opened a new page in Middle East history this month with the publication of his road map to Israeli-Palestinian peace. If he can persuade the two sides to begin implementing it, there may be some hope of bringing some sanity to that woundedRead More

Labor’s Message

Amram Mitzna appeared on the world stage last fall with the suddenness of a meteor when he was elected chairman of Israel’s opposition Labor Party. His ignominious resignation this week, barely six months into his tenure, continues the meteoric metaphor. He simply flamed out, leaving behind a gloom that seemed deeper than before. TheRead More

Campaign Finance Goes to Court

Some things never change. Liberals and good-government types were cheering last year when President Bush signed into law the heralded McCain-Feingold Bill, meant to limit the flow of big money into political campaigns. The cheers were premature. Last week, when a three-judge panel in Washington struck down severalRead More

The Honey and the Sting

There’s a background music to Jewish life, if you listen for it. It’s a ubiquitous melodic phrase that’s heard at weddings in Haifa and bar mitzvahs in Houston. It’s played to phone callers put on hold by synagogues and office suites in Toronto and Tel Aviv.The precise tune changes from decade to decade, sometimes from year to year. It’sRead More

Sanctimonium Santorum

Playing the “gotcha” game is a dangerous political pastime. At best it puts public servants on the defensive, forcing them to measure every word and speak in pablum, impoverishing and degrading the public discourse. At worst an individual’s words can be misquoted or taken out of context, subjecting them to undeserved attacks. That apparentlyRead More

Yes, Prime Minister

When the showdown ended this week between Yasser Arafat and his prime minister-designate, Abu Mazen, it was Arafat who blinked. With the full weight of the international community coming down on him, he was forced to back down and accept Abu Mazen’s nominee for security chief, Mohammed Dahlan. Arafat appears to have given up his precious controlRead More

Expecting the Unexpected

You can never be sure what to expect next in the Middle East, but one thing is certain: It’s never going to be what you expected. Those who march in with the surest sense that they know what they’re doing are the ones most likely to be surprised, usually unpleasantly.Case in point: the unexpected outpouring of Shi’ite Muslim fervorRead More

Gedenk — Remember

It was six decades ago, on April 19, 1943 — most Jewish communities will mark the anniversary on Tuesday, following the Hebrew calendar — that a group of young Jews in Nazi-occupied Warsaw began the hopeless act of resistance remembered as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Numbering scarcely 750, armed mainly with pistols, they took on theRead More

Shame and the Congo

The numbers are in. Our shame can now be quantified. At least 3.3 million people have been killed in the pointless, genocidal warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the last four and a half years, while most of us were looking elsewhere. Let us remember, and tell our grandchildren. How did we not notice?The figure, releasedRead More

Crossing the Line

Whatever one’s views on the proper location of the line separating church and state — and there is legitimate room for debate — it’s clear that the line was crossed this week by President Bush’s education secretary, Rod Paige, when he called in a published interview for America’s schoolchildren to learn in schools that teach “theRead More

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