Forward Forum


Shalom, Austrian President Thomas Klestil

By Ruth Weinberger

Some 36 hours after his rather sudden death last week, I received a personal letter from Austrian President Thomas Klestil.In his letter, Klestil wrote that he fully intended to fight for the Jewish cause until his very last day in office. The envelope was postmarked July 2, which turned out to be his final workday. Before the letter arrivedRead More


IBM and the Gypsy Holocaust

The Nazi census expert observing the Romanian census was Friedrich Burgdörfer, president of the Bavarian Office for Statistics in Munich. Ludwig Hümmer, an IBM punch-card expert working in IBM’s German subsidiary, Dehomag, accompanied Burgdörfer to Romania. Hümmer went to Romania only reluctantly since he was not receiving a commissionRead More


The Way We War

By Leonard Fein

If you are tired of filmmaker Michael Moore and his shtick, I understand. So am I, and have been for some years — offended, in addition to other things, by his antipathy to Israel. But for all its flaws, “Fahrenheit 9/11” is a brilliant documentary. It could have been and should have been a masterpiece, but Moore is Moore, which means thatRead More


A Sick Health Care System

By Leonard Fein

Somewhere in the shuffle, as you may recall, the now almost defunct Iraqi Governing Council approved an interim constitution. American experts and authorities had a good deal of influence on the constitution’s content, and the result of their work is fascinating. Here, for example, is Article XIV: “The individual has the right to security,Read More


Bathsheba Bloomingdales Shmutz, Baron Ezekiel Gideon Rothschild

By Catie Lazarus

Bathsheba Bloomingdales Shmutz, 29, and Baron Ezekiel Gideon Rothschild, 69, were married today at the home of Queen Noor in St. Lucia. Rabbi Moishe Gawlshplatz officiated. Mr. Rothschild’s father, Baron Judah Jonah Rothschild, a cantor, participated.The bridegroom is known as Pish and invented the zipper. He served as the SeniorRead More


Breaking Sacred Ground for Equality

By Phyllis Chesler

On June 20, the second day of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, ultra-Orthodox women physically and verbally attacked a group of religious women praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This was not a spontaneous demonstration of hatred, but rather a calculated action to prove to the Israeli Supreme Court that the prayers of the Women of the Wall, or WOW,Read More


America Is Not Above the Law In Bringing Saddam to Justice

By Kathleen Peratis

The United States has turned over to Iraq “legal custody” of Saddam Hussein. He is apparently headed for a trial in an Iraqi courtroom. Unlike Slobodan Milosevic, whose trial before a highly qualified international criminal tribunal resumes this week, the quality of the justice Saddam will receive is very much in question.The United StatesRead More


Shelter the Displaced Among Us

By Jill Jacobs and Noah Leavitt

On Monday, residents of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing development appeared in federal court, charging the Chicago Housing Authority with violating international human rights standards prohibiting forced evictions.For the first time, human rights laws on displacement are being used to contest the eviction of public housing residents inRead More


Right’s Wrong On Being Left

By Leonard Fein

All right, let’s say that I am wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. Let’s say that in the November elections, America’s Jews will indeed abandon their traditional loyalty and vote for the Republican nominee for president. As I’ve written fairly often in recent months, I see no reason to think that will be so — that in defiance of precedent and common sense, this will be the election where the quadrennial prediction that the (Democratic) party’s over will finally prove out. Such public opinion surveys as I have seen all suggest that we’ll end up pretty much where we’ve mostly been: some 20-25% of us voting for George W. Bush, the vast majority voting for John Kerry.Read More


Honoring Australia for Misguided Policies

By Geoffrey Brahm Levey

Earlier this month, the American Jewish Committee bestowed on visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard its highest honor, the American Liberties Medallion. Previous recipients of the award include Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Vaclav Havel, Natan Sharansky and Elie Wiesel.The citation for Howard’s awardRead More





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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • 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."
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