The Accountability Moment

The beginning of a president’s second term is a complicated moment, both for the president and for the nation. It is at once a reaffirmation, a chance for the president to continue and finish what he has started, and a pause, a time for the nation and its leader to rethink and start anew.As President Bush enters his second term, there is everyRead More

Sharon’s Misbegotten Miracle

The new Israeli government sworn in this week in Jerusalem is a stark testament to the power of one man’s will. Ariel Sharon, for a half-century the living embodiment of Israeli intransigence, has decided to remake Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians before his days are up, and he is willing to batter down any door, climb any mountain,Read More

Time for Heresy

Four months ago, the American Jewish Congress stunned Israel and the Jewish world by naming a foreign diplomat, Alon Pinkas, outgoing Israeli consul general in New York, to be its new CEO. The congress, a struggling agency, was showered with plaudits (including an editorial in this newspaper) for its boldness in choosing an eloquent voice thatRead More

Old Friends, Shattered Dreams

By J.J. Goldberg

One day back in the late 1980s, during another interminable cocktail party in another New York Jewish office suite, I had the good fortune to find myself in a quiet corner with Malcolm Hoenlein, then recently installed as executive director of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. It turned into one of those easyRead More

Peace, Sharon and, Yes, Shas

Ariel Sharon’s self-imposed coalition crisis has already forced Middle East-watchers around the world, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to re-evaluate their long-held views of Israel’s aging enfant terrible. After a 55-year career of brutal military adventurism and relentless territorial expansionism, Sharon appears toRead More

Hanukkah, Forever New

In trying, as we do every year on this page, to understand Hanukkah’s magical hold on the American Jewish imagination, it’s worth examining the holiday’s marvelous malleability, its Zelig-like capacity for embodying the very values that each generation needs it to uphold.Yes, drowning out Bing Crosby is partRead More

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

Reforming the U.N.

Kofi Annan delivered a surprise Hanukkah gift to friends of Israel and democracy this week, in the form of a United Nations reform plan that includes, at long last, a clear and usable definition of terrorism. Ruling out “mitigating” circumstances like occupation, the report is said to declare that terrorism against civilians “is never anRead 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

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