Forward Forum


Imprisoned for Her Own Protection

By Kathleen Peratis

Seven years ago, Fatima fell in love with the wrong man. Her family would not allow her to marry him. To put pressure on them to change their mind, she had sex with the man and presented her family with a fait accompli. Her strategy did not work. When her father threatened to kill her, she fled to the local police station.Fatima (not herRead More


Take the Peace Process Public

By Joel Pollak

As recently as 1990, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the South African struggle and the “troubles” in Northern Ireland were considered equally irresolvable. The end of the Cold War brought the softening of old antagonisms and inspired renewed efforts at peacemaking in all three cases. But while South Africa made the transition toRead More


Prescribe Standardization for Sick Health Care System

By David Chess

The American health care system is, quite literally, sick.Our health care system was not designed. It was not thought out. It is no more than hundreds of patchwork pieces, stitched together over time. The resulting mosaic is a confusing tapestry — with gaps and pieces dangling in the air, and connections that make no sense, and themes that areRead More


Edward Said: Inclusive Mind, Exclusive Idea

By Alan Mintz

I found out about the death of Edward Said, the Columbia University professor and advocate of the Palestinian cause, from friends in synagogue only on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. I had been too preoccupied with preparations for the holiday to see the news of his passing the day before.That night I dreamt of Said. I had been aRead More


Pope John Paul II’s More Friendly, More Foreign Vatican

By Margaret O'Brien Steinfels

News photos of an ailing John Paul II unable to deliver a speech in Slovakia in September were heart-rending. Unwilling to give up but unable to carry on, the figure of the 83-year-old Polish pope, virtually immobile and slumped in his chair, was a far cry from the vibrant and strapping 58 year old who was elected pope on October 16,Read More


Sin of the Year

By Leonard Fein

Here we go again: The Yom Kippur confessional is upon us, our annual alphabetical recitation of our sins and transgressions, from “ashamnu” to “titanu,” from avarice to xenophobia and zealotry. The list never changes; the question it poses, somewhat tediously, is whether we have changed.While it may be thought useful to have a list that is…Read More


The World’s Woes, As Soap Opera

By Oren Rawls

Reality has invaded the West Wing — or, rather, “The West Wing.”Yes, America’s favorite political soap opera, after two years of inhabiting an alternative dimension where Democrats still ruled the roost and conflicts were always resolved with a hug, decided in its season premiere last week to catch up with the real world.Read More


The Importance of ‘Marrying In’

By Avi Shafran

Is it wrong for Jews to believe that Jews should marry other Jews?The question was raised during the national political campaign in 2000, in the context of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s vice presidential candidacy. As an observant Jew, the senator was assumed to embrace the religious tradition’s view on intermarriage, a viewRead More


Reassess America’s Mideast Policy

By Scott Lasensky

After three years of violence, a seemingly unending Israeli-Palestinian conflict appears resistant to any negotiated solution. From the failure at Camp David in 2000 to the debacle at Taba, from the now-forgotten Mitchell report to the abortive missions of CIA Director George Tenet and General Anthony Zinni, and most recently the wildly off-courseRead More


A Letter to My Palestinian Friends

By Avraham Burg

My resume is no secret. My mother was born in Hebron in 1921, a seventh generation Hebron Jew. I am the eighth generation. My family’s deep link to the City of the Patriarchs was cruelly severed in the summer of 1929, when rioters chanting “Kill the Jew” slaughtered half my family. The other half — my grandfather, uncles, aunts andRead More





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  • 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
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
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