Forward Forum


A Tribute That Desecrates Rather Than Sanctifies

By Avi Weiss

Creating a memorial to the 600,000 Jews murdered at the Belzec death camp in Poland is of the utmost importance. It is profoundly distressing, however, that the planned memorial will feature an enormous trench running through the entire camp. The project has already disturbed — and will continue to disturb — the ashes and bonesRead More


Belzec’s Victims Have Waited Long Enough for a Memorial

By Irving Greenberg

Between March and December 1942, more than 600,000 Jews were murdered in the Belzec killing camp in Poland. In 1943, to cover up the crime, the Nazis demolished the camp and dug up and burned hundreds of thousands of bodies. Ashes, bones and bodies were buried in chaotic fashion.Ever since, Belzec has been abused. Under the Communist regime, theRead More


More Mystical, Less Statistical

By Leonard Fein

What, after all, do we mean by the term “Jewish identity?”For a while, during the height of the Jewish continuity craze of the early 1990s, it seemed as if we were producing a whole category of people whose Jewish identity consisted principally of urging others to “have” a Jewish identity — not only as a phenomenon, but also as…Read More


Recall Returns GOP to Center

By Lawrence Molton

While the national media has been having a field day with the recall of Governor Gray Davis, we here in California have a perspective on the October 7 vote that has less to do with the big screen and more to do with the ballot box.What to pundits in the East appears to be some kind of illegitimate Republican plot or right-wing coup is nothing ofRead More


Send Arab Soldiers Into Iraq

By Donald Losman

The Iraq morass looks bleaker every day, with American casualty numbers rising and the expenses associated with military deployments raising questions of affordability. Yet in testimony to Congress last month, the commander of American forces in the region, General Tommy Franks, maintained that American troop levels — now numbering about 148,000Read More


A Jewish State, Or State of Jews?

By Leonard Fein

The conventional explanation for Israel’s more controversial measures, including in particular the security fence now under construction and the new marriage law passed by the Knesset, is that these are responses to the ongoing conflict. (The new marriage law cancels the automatic citizenship hitherto accorded Palestinian spouses…Read More


‘Russian’ Immigrants, In Search of a Communal Identity

By Leah Moses

In Russia we were called “Zhids.” Here in America we are called “Russians.”Why is it that no one, including ourselves, seems to be calling us what we are: Jews?At the first annual “Russian Heritage Week,” held in June in New York with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s blessing, the best and brightest of our community were paraded around asRead More


Reporting On History In the Making

By Charles Enderlin

In his July 25 review of my book “Shattered Dreams,” Itamar Rabinovitch implies that any account which differs from those presented by “Clinton, Barak, Shlomo Ben-Ami, Dennis Ross” should be considered as “revisionist” (“Camp David Redux: The Reporter As Chronicler and Participant”).To this list of names, he adds Saudi PrinceRead More


The Particular Poignancy of Tisha B’Av, This Year in Jerusalem

By David Ellenson

Last March I spoke out publicly to express my distress when a scheduling difficulty made it impossible for Uri Lupolianski, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who was then the acting mayor of Jerusalem, to meet with a delegation from the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion’s Board of Governors. We had come to Israel to express solidarity withRead More


Demolishing Homes While Mourning Lost Temple?

By Brian Walt

This Thursday, while Israelis across town marked Tisha B’Av by mourning the destruction of our Temple, as many as 45 Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabel Mukaber, Sur Bacher, Shuafat and Beit Hanina were facing the impending demolition of their homes.None of these families, who in recent weeks had been informedRead More





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  • 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."
  • "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?
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