Forward Forum


Admit That the Boycott of Hamas Has Been a Failure

By Eric Frey

For more than a year, the European Union and its member states toed the harsh Israeli line in boycotting the Hamas-led Palestinian government. But since the unity government of Fatah and Hamas was sworn in earlier this month, the Europeans have parted ways with Jerusalem and are seeking direct contacts with the Palestinian Authority — and they are right to do so.Read More


Make JTS Proud To Be Pluralistic

By Joanna Samuels

As a Conservative rabbi, I applaud the Jewish Theological Seminary’s decision this week to ordain openly gay and lesbian Jews.Read More


The Niftiest Pedagogic Device There Is

By Leonard Fein

The Passover Haggadah, as we all know, is fixated on the number four: Four questions, four cups of wine, four sons and so fourth. But that fixation derives from a much earlier time, when the number four was basically as high as most people could count.Read More


Make the Negev Desert ‘Blossom As the Rose’

By Shimon Peres

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, understood that the Jewish state’s future lay in the Negev. Indeed, he himself called the Negev home, and it was in his hometown of Sde Boker that, this past November, the development of the Negev once again became a national strategic priority. At a special government meeting held in commemoration of Ben-Gurion, some $500 million was allocated to jumpstart projects in the Negev, part of a $4 billion plan to develop this vast landmass. The challenge is immense, and the task of carrying out such a tall order imperative. While the Negev represents 60% of the Land of Israel, it is populated by a meager 8% of its population. Meanwhile, the center of the country is increasingly overcrowded, expensive and congested.Read More


Back Bill To Ban Cluster Bombs

By Kathleen Peratis

The United States and Israel, as well as dozens of other countries that are makers, sellers or stockpilers of weapons, are in the cross hairs of an international movement to abolish cluster bombs.Read More


Water Is More Than Just A Liquid Asset

By Lawrence Bush

The opening line of Psalm 24 — “The Earth is the Lord’s, and all of its fruits” — is considered by many to express the cornerstone economic principle of Judaism. It’s a principle that our biblical ancestors learned the hard way: According to one Hasidic teaching, Jews endured centuries of slavery in Egypt in order to learn that wealth comes from God, not from the Nile River.Read More


Greece Must Acknowledge Its Complicity in the Shoah

By Andrew Apostolou

Today, as European nations continue to struggle with the legacy of the Holocaust, the role of the Greek state in facilitating genocide against its own Jews remains unacknowledged and ignored. Greece has rarely confronted its past; but with increasing demands for all nations to face their history, it is time that Greece followed suit.Read More


Leaders to the Right, Followers to the Left

By Leonard Fein

On March 12, by action of its executive committee, the Union for Reform Judaism became the first national Jewish organization to take more than a tongue-clucking position on the Iraq War. It did what the Senate has been unable to do: It voted overwhelmingly to oppose President Bush’s “surge” of new troops, and it called on the president to set and announce a specific timetable for the phased withdrawal of troops. Alas, the URJ decision is very much non-binding.Read More


When Love Is a Casualty of War

By Joshua Gross

My Lebanese girlfriend does not want to listen to The Cure’s song “Killing an Arab.”Read More


Alvin Rosenfeld Is Right About Liberals And the Jewish State

By Lee Adlerstein

In speaking with people these days who were brought up in open-minded households, dedicated to progressive causes and educated in liberal schools, I have found considerable unease with the liberal approach in the vital area of security. Seeing the events of September 11, 2001, together with the wagons circling around Israel and violence against Jewish communities, many traditional liberals appear to be in transition toward backing a conservative approach to security issues.Read More


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