Forward Forum


Austria Comes to Terms With Its Past

By Stuart Eizenstat

Last week, after a federal judge in New York dismissed the last major Holocaust restitution case against the government of Austria and several private Austrian corporations, Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel told President Bush that he was declaring “legal peace.” The Austrian leader then called me and said in emotional terms that it was aRead More


The Danger of Arab Democracy

By Yossi Alpher

This week, Iraqis were set to go to the polls to elect a new parliament. At least two of the radical Islamist parties on the ballot, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Sadr Organization, maintain large and active militias.In Lebanon, elections a few months ago returned HezbollahRead More


Open a Secular Door to Judaism

By Leonard Fein

When the bomb was thrown 22 years ago, many were aghast: Surely it would lead to an irreparable schism in the Jewish people. Even within the Reform Jewish movement, from which the explosive decision known as “patrilineal descent” had emanated, there were cautionary voices.The Reform rabbinate in Israel, as also Reform Hillel rabbis here inRead More


Sea of Distrust Watering Down Euro-Mediterranean Ties

By Eric Frey

As soon as European monitors took up their positions at the newly opened Rafah checkpoint last month, European Union diplomats started speaking of a new chapter in the difficult relationship between Israel and Europe. Not surprisingly, the honeymoon ended barely after it had begun.The leak last week of a controversial E.U. report, which heapedRead More


Laboring for Social Welfare Limited by An Open Economy

By Ephraim Kleiman

By speaking out loudly against the rise of economic inequality and the spread of poverty in Israel, newly elected Labor Party leader Amir Peretz has brought about a major shift in the country’s public agenda, away from the security matters that have dominated debate in Israel for so long. Some unspecified anti-poverty measures were supposedly inRead More


Jewishness Gets Americanized, Lox, Schlock and Pickle Barrel

By Bethamie Horowitz

Of late, ethnic Jewishness in America seems to have taken on some new flavors. Consider the bagel.Today, in addition to the traditional poppy seed and onion, one hears about heretical varieties like blueberry, rainbow and parmesan. And what’s more, these bagels now seem to be available everywhere around the nation, whereas evenRead More


Left, Right And Center

By Leonard Fein

For about a millisecond, it seemed as if politics in Israel was experiencing a clarity bounce. The Labor Party, once the unchallenged engine of the system but lately suffering from mortis (yet without rigor), a flopping corpse suffering from terminal nostalgia, suddenly had chosen to face forward rather than back.Amir Peretz, its new leader, was aRead More


Press Poland To Pass Property-Restitution Law

By Marilyn Henry

In 1956, a year after Auschwitz survivor Michael Taffet became an American citizen, the government of Poland nationalized his family’s property in Debica. The seizure was based on a decree issued in 1946 that permitted the government to take property still considered “abandoned” 10 years after the end of World War II.Polish Jews likeRead More


The Long Way Home to Lhasa

By Ira Rifkin

Tibet would seem to have little history in common with Israel. Yet much like Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple, today Tibetans face the daunting task of preserving their religious culture and national dreams while facing an indeterminate exile.The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled political and cultural leader, is well awareRead More


Sharon Centers on What’s Left

By Yisrael Medad

Since independence 58 years ago, Israel’s political system has lacked a true center. This week, Ariel Sharon decided to try to find it, and in the process, rewrite the history of the Jewish state.The prime minister’s jettisoning of his Likud connections is more than just politics become personal on a scale not seen since David Ben-GurionRead More





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  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
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