Forward Forum


Getting Our Learn On

By Leonard Fein

Time out: With just weeks to go before the fateful election, which will at last put an (upside down?) exclamation point to the end of a campaign that has tested our capacity for sheer endurance, it is time (and then some) for a brief recess.Two catalogs arrived in the mail last week — one from the Lehrhaus Judaica, which describes itselfRead More


Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

By Leonard Fein

In a debate the other night at the annual meeting of Cleveland’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe’s well-spoken conservative columnist, remarked that “Since 9/11, there’s been no 9/11.” That, he argued, is evidence that President Bush is doing a good job in defending the nation against terrorism andRead More


A Place for Politics in the Pulpit

By David Klinghoffer

I used to be one of those conservatives who bemoan political sermons from the pulpit. This was some years ago — starting when I was in high school and the rabbi at our Reform temple would spend his precious half hour after the High Holy Days fund-raising appeal browbeating the congregation about the perils of the arms race, nuclear winter (whichRead More


Sharon: Pathetic, Heroic, Villainous

By Leonard Fein

Will the real Ariel Sharon please stand up?Probably not. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that Sharon does not know which of his personae is the “real” one. There’s the pathetic Sharon, and the heroic Sharon, and the villainous Sharon — and just now, they seem to be in terminal competition with one another.Read More


The Way We Were, The Way We Are

By Karla Goldman

Their arrival was not auspicious. When 23 Jews came to New Amsterdam on an early September day in 1654, 350 years ago, two of their number were thrown into jail as security for money still owed for the group’s passage. Although those still at liberty were able to pay off the fare by auctioning their remaining goods, their prospects were byRead More


Cut Losses in an Unwinnable War

By Yossi Alpher

The extraordinary terrorist events in Russia in recent weeks are in many ways unique. But the Russia-Chechnya conflict also has an important element in common with other arenas where, for a variety of mostly bad reasons, powerful non-Muslim societies are ruling over Muslims. Chechnya, Iraq, Gaza — all have become lose-lose situations for theRead More


‘Pro-Israel’? Hardly.

By Leonard Fein

However the sordid facts play out in the current FBI investigation of alleged spying on Israel’s behalf by a senior Pentagon analyst, they raise a raft of nettlesome questions — and memories.Recall, for example, that the heart of Jonathan Pollard’s self-justification was that he passed on to Israel information regarding Iraq’s evolvingRead More


A Closed Mind Is a Terrible Thing To Haste

By Jonathan Laurence

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security revoked an earlier decision to grant an entry and work visa to Swiss theologian Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan had accepted a visiting professor position at the University of Notre Dame, but spokespeople for Homeland Security and the State Department are now invoking laws suggesting that RamadanRead More


Why Do We Still Blame Victims Of Date Rape?

By Kathleen Peratis

According to Alfred P. Doolittle, shrewd and cheerfully unemployed working-class nemesis of Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” some poor people are deemed “deserving” of charity — the ones who seem miserable and wretched — and others, the “undeserving” (like him), are not. We divide sexual abuse victims into similar groups: those whoRead More


When a War of Words Becomes More Than Just Semantics

By Douglas Kahn

Some of my best friends are skewish.Israel’s ideological detractors have long sought to skew public debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by using particularly loaded terms to describe the Jewish state’s actions. But now, in listening to discussions about Israel’s new barrier, it is becoming clear that the transmitting of unfairRead More





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