Forward Forum


We Are Responsible

By Gus Tyler

Who is responsible for the New Orleans catastrophe? A one-word answer might well be “we.” The conclusion is based on the history of floods from Noah to New Orleans. Too often, in trying to explain the origin of natural phenomena, we are inclined to overlook the role of humans — individually or collectively — in government.Let’sRead More


Poisoned Orchard

By Leonard Fein

Here’s the scenario: You’re watching television, and suddenly, there’s the president of the United States saying, “We’ve received reports that the nine American soldiers kidnapped last week by terrorists in Iraq are being subjected to brutal torture. This outrage must stop, and it must stop immediately. It is a violation of internationalRead More


The Way We War

By Yossi Alpher

Three months ago this column was devoted to a comparison between the Israeli military and the American armed forces, focusing on the differing public attitudes associated with a conscription-based army as opposed to a volunteer force. In particular, the relative absence in the United States of organized mass protest concerning the war in Iraq,Read More


Disabuse Community of Intolerance

By Jay Michaelson

The resignation last week of Rabbi David Kaye from the educational program Panim, after revelations that he had solicited a 13-year-old boy online for sex, elicited the usual expressions of shock from the Jewish community. Of course, we all should be outraged when such immoral conduct is brought to light, but those who follow the Jewish world knowRead More


It Takes a Community

By Leonard Fein

There’s been considerable coverage these last days of Rosa Parks, whose death a full half-century after the brief episode that rendered her an “icon” calls to mind a long-ago time. But there’s been little evocation of that time, the events and the circumstances that earned Parks iconic status.The year is 1955, the date is December 1, andRead More


High Holy Days Ticket Prices Are Costing Community

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Before Christmas and Easter, many churches display signs that say “Come Worship With Us.” The most important Jewish holidays, by contrast, are just about the only times when Jews cannot walk freely into temples and synagogues to worship.Unaffiliated Jews can be charged between $200 and $400 for the privilege of attending HighRead More


Taking Tehran at its Word

By Abraham Foxman

Shortly after the immediate and strong international reaction to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” his foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, indicated that this position was nothing new: The Islamic regime had always viewed Israel that way, ever since the Khomeini revolution inRead More


Blaming Women Begets No Babies

By Shulamit Reinharz

In the olden days, Jewish offspring were begat by their fathers, seemingly without intervention by women. The Bible is full of begotten children.For the most part, the Bible has only two reproductive narratives: long lines of uninterrupted male begetting and women suffering from infertility. Women seemed to have all sorts of trouble having babies,Read More


From Baghdad to Beirut, Arab Leaders Being Held To Account

By Michael Rubin

Long home to farfetched conspiracy theories and a political culture of victimization, the Arab world is now being swept by a new emphasis on accountability. While commentators and pundits debate the merits, drawbacks and sincerity of the Bush administration’s drive for democracy, events across the Middle East suggestRead More


In the Wake of A Sinking Ship

By Leonard Fein

In November 2004, just after the reelection of President Bush, I wrote that the Republicans are “off to such a furious start that their excess may presage their early demise. Simply stated, the likelihood is that the Republicans will over-reach. The early indications are that they have not merely been buoyed by their victories, but inflated byRead More





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