Forward Forum


Losing the Forest for the Trees

By Russell Robinson

For more than 100 years, the name Jewish National Fund — and the name of our primary agent in Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael — has stood for three things: uniting Jews everywhere with the land of Israel, developing that land into a thriving and vibrant home for the Jewish people, and promoting Zionism through education. For one generationRead More


In the Mideast’s Outpost of Democracy, Settlers Openly Flout the Law

By Dror Etkes

Israeli attorney Talia Sasson has delivered an interim report about illegal outposts, those settlements in the West Bank that have been built without official Israeli authorization for more than a decade. After months of research and frustration in dealing with stonewalling bureaucrats, she managed to document what Peace Now has beenRead More


Starvelings on Our Doorstep

By Leonard Fein

Jake, the hero of Mordecai Richler’s underappreciated 1971 novel, “St. Urbain’s Horseman,” “had expected the coming of the vandals. Above all, the injustice collectors. The concentration camp survivors. The emaciated millions of India. The starvelings of Africa…. The demented Red Guards of China are going to come, demanding theirs,Read More


America Brandishes a ‘Big Carrot’ at Iran

By Yossi Alpher

President Bush appears to have encountered the limits of American power. Hence, his approach to extremist elements in the Middle East has become more nuanced in his second term, and the results are increasingly confusing.Take Iran. While continuing now and then to threaten Tehran over its alleged nuclear weapons program, Bush is looking for waysRead More


Bush’s Budget Runs Up a Moral Deficit

By Isaac Shapiro and John Springer

Congress just started work on the 2006 federal budget, and the sound you hear coming from Washington is the other shoe dropping.The first shoe was the large tax cuts Congress and President Bush enacted in 2001 and 2003, which helped push federal revenues down to their lowest level since the 1950s when measured as a share of the economy. The secondRead More


The Paper That Rewrote Catholic-Jewish Relations

By David Rosen

Forty years ago, the Catholic Church revolutionized attitudes within the Christian world toward Jews and Judaism with the declaration known as Nostra Aetate, a document that emerged from the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.Prior to this document, the perception that had prevailed within the Christian world over the centuries was thatRead More


The Evolving Involvement of American Jews

By Bethamie Horowitz

An essay by a newly Orthodox Jewish writer provoked plenty of ire not so long ago, when she criticized the fictional characters created by various authors whom she said had “renounced Orthodox Judaism.” Leaving aside questions about her literary judgment, what intrigued me was the writer’s own new-found religion, pointing as it does toRead More


My Self-imposed Exile From Israel

By Emily Hauser

I am not always welcome in Jewish circles here in Chicago.A handful of people won’t talk to me; some won’t even look at my children. I was told by one Jewish communal official that I’ve supplied weapons to the enemy, and a prominent member of my community accused me, in a letter sent to dozens of people, of stabbing Israel in the back.Read More


An Island of Empowerment

By Kathleen Peratis

From the air, the many islands off the Andaman Sea coast of southern Thailand’s Trang Province look like Shangri-La: luxuriantly green, white beaches, aqua sea. Last week I visited the small village of Koh Muuk on one of them, Muuk Island.Early and misleading reports following the tsunami of December 26 — a date referred to there as we referRead More


If It’s Saturday, This Must Be America

By David Klinghoffer

Of the Ten Commandments, the Fourth — Sabbath observance — had until recently received less respect than any of the other nine, among Jews and Christians alike. One joker has called it “the Rodney Dangerfield of the Decalogue.” America, however, is due for a Sabbath revival, and there is evidence in the culture that oneRead More





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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • 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
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