Forward Forum


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


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


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


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


Proposed Law Pays for Belief With Bias

By Marsha Atkind and Laura Murphy

The problem with the Workplace Religious Freedom Act is one of poor draftsmanship, not malice aforethought.Civil rights advocates and most religious groups are of one mind in supporting broader accommodation standards for religious dress, appearance or holy days. However, WRFA legislation, as it currently stands, is dangerously broad and wouldRead 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


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