Two Viktors and Ukraine’s Soil

the Black Sea through Belarus and Lithuania to the North Sea. Places with names like Chernowitz, Kamenetz, Lutsk and Dubno are imprinted in our genes and on our driver’s licenses. We were there far longer than we have been in America. It was there that the greatest flowering of modern Jewish culture took place, from the Hasidic teachingsRead More

Engaging Iran

President Bush was right to demand this week that Iran allow clear-cut, third-party verification of its claims that it has suspended its enrichment of weapons-grade uranium before the rest of the world begins to breathe easy. There’s been a lot of slippery talk and outright falsehood about nuclear weaponry in the Middle East of late, andRead More

Old Europe, New Jihad

We Americans have tended to be of two minds as we have watched events unfold in the Netherlands in the three weeks since the murder of filmmaker and anti-immigrant provocateur Theo Van Gogh. Half of us look at the mounting tensions surrounding Europe’s growing Muslim minority, the incidents of jihadist and anti-Jewish violence, and theRead More

Rice’s Mission

If there were any doubts about President Bush’s inclination to learn from the foreign-policy mistakes of his first term, he seemed to lay them to rest this week with his nomination of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. True to form, the president is not looking back but steaming forward, and critics be damned.Coming on the heelsRead More

The Palestinian Moment

More abruptly than anyone could have predicted, the death of Yasser Arafat has cleared the path for a new beginning in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, if the key players know how to read the signs and seize the opportunities.On the Palestinian side, Mahmoud Abbas, the longtime Arafat lieutenant known as Abu Mazen, has moved withRead More

The President’s Mandate

The results of this election will be analyzed, spun and dissected for years, but one cardinal message must be clear in our minds: The Republicans have become this nation’s majority party. Democrats need to look that reality in the face, absorb it and begin to plan their next moves accordingly.Four years ago, the Republican Party emerged from aRead More

What Democrats Must Do

Democrats face a delicate balancing act. On one hand, they must use every tool at their disposal, building coalitions where possible, filibustering when necessary, in order to slow or block the worst extremes of the Bush agenda. On the other hand, they must begin a long process of reconnecting with the voters. The two goals are potentiallyRead More

Living Under Water

There’s an old joke about the British secret service learning that the polar ice cap is melting, threatening to drown the world within six months. The queen asks the clergy to go on television and prepare the public for the End. The archbishop of Canterbury goes first, urging his flock to receive sacraments and get ready to meet their Maker.Read More

Voting and Change

It may or may not be true that this election is the most important one in living memory, as some of its more heated partisans have taken to declaring. What’s beyond doubt is that it has been the most passionate — and the nastiest. The divisions in our body politic have deepened to the point where opposing camps seem no longer to findRead More

Out of Gaza

After all the buildup, it’s tempting to view the Knesset vote approving Prime Minister Sharon’s Gaza-West Bank disengagement plan this week as an anti-climax. What more can be said of a political idea that already has been discussed half to death and isn’t even close to being implemented?For starters, there is the passage of a momentRead More

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