Forward Forum


The Bishops’ Cop-Out

By Michael J. Cook

I n April 2003, I was invited, along with four Roman Catholic and two other Jewish scholars, by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs to offer a confidential assessment of a script for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” that was to be sent to the filmmaker. There was concern at theRead More


A Matter of Comfort or Right? Gay Marriage: An Exchange

In his February 13 column “Communal Confusion,” the Forward’s David Klinghoffer took aim at Jewish groups that back gay marriage. Klinghoffer argued that the Torah’s disapproval of homosexuality is clear, and that on gay issues these Jewish groups have privileged an alternative set of values over Judaism. “The reigning valueRead More


New Podhoretz Reader Puts His Famed Volte-Face in Perspective

By Hillel Halkin

Since disclosures of interest are expected from reviewers these days no less than from politicians and financial analysts, I’ll make mine at the start. For the last three-and-a-half decades I have written frequently for Commentary, a monthly magazine that was as closely associated with Podhoretz for over a generation as was The New Yorker withRead More


Back to the Middle Ages?

By Kathleen Peratis

As other explanations for America’s invasion of Iraq have been cast into doubt, a new dawn for human rights has become one of the rationales invoked by the Bush administration to justify the war. So it’s not surprising that the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority would boast of its efforts to improve the lot of IraqiRead More


Israel’s Right to Self-Defense on Trial

By Eliot Engel

Israel’s right to defend itself against suicide bombers is on trial. On Monday, the International Court of Justice at The Hague began a hearing on whether Israel has the right to build a security fence to try and keep out the terrorists.This case is being brought to the court by the Palestinians and anti–Israel factions in the United NationsRead More


Passion and Redemption

Amid all the boiling passions awakened by Mel Gibson’s “Passion,” it’s been mostly overlooked that this movie is a critical landmark in Gibson’s personal journey as an artist. Of the 40 films with which he’s been associated over a 25-year career as actor, director, producer and writer, only three have been described as labors of loveRead More


Don’t Rush Rebuilding of Iraqi Military

By Daniel Byman

Improving security may be the single most important objective for U.S. officials in Iraq, but current American efforts to promote security risk jeopardizing Iraq’s eventual chances of becoming a democracy.Iraqis walk along dangerous streets, with murder and robbery common. An ongoing insurgency claims American lives almost daily, and killsRead More


Wide-Ranging Interests

By Leonard Fein

When it comes to the question of what constitutes “Jewish art” or “Jewish music,” there is not and likely never will be a definitive and satisfying answer. Is any art by a Jewish artist “Jewish art”? Was Felix Mendelssohn a “Jewish composer”? Mahler?Similarly, there is no final answer to what it is that makes an issue of public…Read More


A Double Standard on Suicide Terrorism

By Leonard A. Cole

At the recent conference of world business and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan’s foreign minister, Marwan Muasher, declared that suicide attacks against Israeli citizens are morally wrong. His statement was extraordinary because Arab leaders rarely, if ever, have forthrightly labeled such killing immoral. AcknowledgingRead More


Joe Lieberman’s Historic Run

By Blu Greenberg

A decade ago, I found myself in a hotel lounge in a mid-sized American city chatting with a local Jewish leader. He spoke loudly, but every time he used the words “Jew” or “Jewish,” he lowered his voice. For an instant, I experienced an urge — similar to one I had felt in a Moscow cafeteria in the 1970s — to hopRead More





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