Forward Forum


I Simply Remember My Favorite Things...

By Leonard Fein

‘Victory,” John Kennedy famously said after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, “has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.”Read More


Embracing the Exiles

By Jonathan M. Stein and Gideon Aronoff

Shmuel Kaplan, an 80-year-old amputee, breathed a sigh of relief in 1997 when the United States granted him political asylum after he fled antisemitism in the former Soviet Union. Two years later, we similarly received an Iranian boy, Rouzbeh Aliaghaei, and his parents. His mother was a high school teacher who had been imprisoned and twice fired for decrying the treatment of women and their lack of freedom. Nine-year-old Rouzbeh understood little about his family’s flight — he is afflicted with a rare genetic disorder resulting in profound mental retardation.Read More


Preconditions for a Problematic Partner

By Yossi Alpher

In early February 2006, just days after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, the Olmert government successfully negotiated with the Quartet (the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia) a framework for dealing with the Islamist movement. Any Hamas-led Palestinian government would have to fulfill three conditions before Israel and the international community would deal with it and renew transfer of aid and taxes: an end to violence, acceptance of previous agreements negotiated between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and recognition of Israel (usually stated by Israel as recognition of its “right to exist”).Read More


Being Ourselves By Being For Others

By David Ellenson

There is a Hasidic allegory in which a rebbe explains why the stork, known in Hebrew as the hasidah, is characterized as a non-kosher animal. At the outset of his homily, the rebbe observes that the stork is labeled the hasidah (the merciful one) because the kindness and compassion this animal displays for its own kind is unlimited. However, the rebbe goes on to point out that precisely because the stork reserves these traits only for its own, the stork must always be defined as treyf. He concludes that the Jew must always extend compassion and mercy to all.Read More


Condi’s Shocking Speech

By Morton A. Klein

I’ve heard and read many speeches on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those made by well-known, hostile critics of Israel always caused me great pain by their use of hyperbole, absurd analogy and falsehoods. But I was not prepared for a speech by an American secretary of state with those very attributes, such as the keynote address delivered last week by Condoleezza Rice to the gala dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine in Washington.Read More


The Trumpets Did It

By Gus Tyler

Not too many years ago, corporal punishment of students by their teachers was common. A popular song recalled, “School days, school days. Golden rule and school days. Reading and writing and ’rithmetic, taught to the tune of the hickory stick.” Since the 1970s, however, corporal punishment in any form has been outlawed in 28 states. In the remaining states, it is allowed but generally requires parental consent.Read More


The Fantasies of Avigdor Lieberman

By Leonard Fein

Some people going through a reasonably civilized divorce confess to an unsettling fantasy. While they do not wish their partner ill, it would be nice if somehow that partner would just disappear. Cease to exist. Be utterly pulverized (albeit painlessly, to be sure). See the lightning storm up ahead? Maybe you’ll get lucky and the next bolt will dispose of your burden. Presto.Read More


A ‘Lobby’ Prof Asks: Can We Talk?

By J.J. Goldberg

The brouhaha over the dark power of the “Israel Lobby” has flared into a full-scale intellectual prairie war in the past few weeks. And boy, the fireworks couldn’t be more riveting.Read More


In the Beginning, 13.73 Billion Years Ago

By Howard Smith

Since the start of the Hebrew month of Elul in late August, Jews have been examining the year past in search of lessons to apply to the year ahead. Now, as the holiday season winds to a close, the weekly cycle of Torah readings offers another opportunity to examine the past as we return to the study of the very beginning: Genesis and the story of creation. This year, modern science has something new to add.Read More


Don’t Play Politics With Antisemitism

By Sam Gejdenson

Heading into the home stretch of another bitterly fought national election, partisans on both sides aren’t pulling any punches. Democrats charge Republicans with incompetence, corruption and failed leadership. Republicans call Democrats ready to cut and run on Iraq, weak on security and, of course, tax-and-spend liberals.Read More


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